805 Pioneer Infantry A.E.F.
|Corporal George Strader|
805th Pioneer Infantry A.E.F., Company D, Camp Funston, KS.
27 Sep 1894 KY - 28 March 1954 CO
Buried: Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver Colorado
The Colored Troops of Camp Funston, KS were not unique - they too were patriotic, and wanted to serve their country. They too declared their allegiance to the United States, the only country they knew; they too were Americans. But like the other Colored Troops in America, they were waging a battle of their own: the victory over racism, so that they could serve as American soldiers.
Nearly 400,000 Negro Soldiers served in the United States Army in the Great World War. About 367,710 of these came into the service through the operation of the Selective Draft Law... It is a matter of pride, however, to realize that at the instant of the declaration of war, there were nearly 20,000 soldiers of the Negro race in the United States, uniformed, armed, equipped, drilled, trained and ready to take the field against the foe. Proportionately to the total Negro population of America, this was a splendid showing.
Finally on the 5 of Oct 1917, it was official, the Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, was taking the Negro soldier’s interest seriously.
Although they were on railroad duty, this too was an important and needed job. But they too wished to see a bit of combat, before turning home - which they did. The 805 Infantry was transported from Kansas to Europe. There they saw action.
Cpl. George Strader accompanied Company D as they traveled from Ft. Riley Camp Funston 25 August 1918 to Kansas City where they boarded the Wabash train to Detroit. They were able to stop in Moberly, Mo. for a proper military send off by the “colored citizens” of the town. From Detroit, they took passage by ferry to Canada, stopping in Niagara Falls for a short visit before reporting to Camp Upton, Long Island, 30 August 1918. On Sept. 1, they were shuffled off to Montreal Canada where they were shipped to Camp Romsey in England. Having yet to arrive in France, they crossed the English Channel for France on 28 September. The 805th landed in France and served in Europe until July 1919. They were engaged in 39 days of action.