”Honor the Past; Deserve the Present“

Joseph Anthony Voss

(November 7, 1897-October 16, 1918)

Private, Army
Wagoner, Battery D, 62nd Artillery, CAC (Coast Artillery Corps), 97th Division

Contributor:  Elizabeth Sklar

Documentary materials provided in part by Marie Bowen


  • Born in Wyoming on November 7, 1897, on a train "en route to Salinas", California [Anna J. Voss (sister of Joseph), "California's Honor Roll" (document), December 25, 1918; "California War History Committee, State Council of Defense, State Capitol, Sacramento, Cal.," Document, nd]
    • He was one day old when the train reached California
  • Father: Franciscus Voss, born in Westphalia, Germany
  • Mother: Katherina J. Schorn, born in Treves, Germany

In San Francisco, California

  • Joseph was the ninth of 14 children born to Franciscus and Katherina
  • The 1900 and 1910 federal censuses show the family living in San Francisco
  • Joseph became close friends with future fellow soldier, Earl Shope

Pre-WW1 Military Experience

  • Joseph enlisted in the California National Guard (9th Company), December 8, 1915, attaining the rank of corporal
    • He was a sharpshooter and 2nd Class gunner


  • He was honorably discharged from the National Guard because, on August 5, 1917, he was drafted into the Army [Anna J. Voss (sister of Joseph), "California's Honor Roll" (document), December 25, 1918]
    • At that time he lived with his parents at 1375 Haight Street in San Francisco
  • Joseph was assigned to the 62nd Artillery Regiment, which came to be called the "Market Street Artillery"
  • Joseph and his friend Earl were Wagoners, Battery D, 62nd Artillery, CAC, 97th Division
    • 62nd Artillery had been formed in January 1918, with headquarters at Fort Winfield Scott at Presidio of San Francisco
    • Regiment paraded on Market Street for the last time on June 13, 1918, and on that day departed for Camp Mills, NY
    • The Regiment embarked on HMS Baltic for England in July 1918, and then sailed for France
    • 60th, 61st, and 62nd Regiments formed the 33rd Brigade, which trained at O & T (Operations and Training) Center No. 1 in Libourne, a town in southwestern France
    • Of the three regiments only the 60th saw action

Death and Burial in Libourne, France

  • Joseph died of Spanish Influenza-induced secondary pneumonia October 16, 1918
  • The following day, his friend Earl Shope died of the same disease
  • Joseph and Earl were buried side by side in Libourne, where the regiment had been in training

62nd Regiment Returns to U. S.

  • Regiment embarked on the USS Pocahontas, departing Bordeaux, France, on February 13, 1919
  • 14-day voyage to Newport News, VA
  • Regiment went to Camp Stuart, Virginia
  • Regiment demobilized at Camp Eustis, VA, in March 1919

U. S. Burial

  • In late 1920, the bodies of both Joseph and Earl were disinterred from their Libourne, France, burial sites and brought to San Francisco where they were buried side-by-side at the San Francisco National Cemetery, Presidio (Section NAWS Site 1440-A for Joseph, 1441-A for Earl Shope), on January 1, 1921
  • Joseph was survived by his parents and six siblings
(rev. 5.30.2013)