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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Canadian born American engineering soldier

John Gilinsky

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Does anyone have ANYTHING on this man:

Kapitain, Charles Gordon

born: August 15, 1888 Toronto, Ontario CANADA

Enlisted (?) in the AEF, 303rd. Engineers, 78th Division May 1918

Discharged: Camp Sherman, June 19, 1919

SERIAL number: 2657600

1919 address(?): 4518 Franklin Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio (and/or a suburb of Cleveland starting with C...?)

Did he serve overseas and if so any details?

What happened to him?




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Hi John,

Ancestry has his WW1 Draft Registration card.

Here are the details:

Name: Charles G. Kapitain

Age: 28

Current Address: 7512 Colgate, Cleveland, Ohio

Date of Birth: August 15, 1888

Natural born citizen, naturalized citizen or an alien: Alien

Where born: Toronto, Canada

What country are you citizen of: Canadian

Present trade or occupation: Brush Maker

By Whom Employed: Fish Brush Co.

Where Employed: 4700 Loraine Ave.

Married or single: Single

Prior military service: Yes

Branch: Medical Corps

Years: 2

Nation or state: Canada

Date signed: June 5, 1917

The suburb of Cleveland that you mention that starts with a C is probably Cayuhoga County.

Hope this helps a little,

Regards, Bruce

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Thank you so much for filling in several blanks and potential questions. I just found out about this Canadian who enlisted (I thought he enlisted in May 1918 but apparently he was drafted!).

Did the AEF keep stats on CANADIANS who were enlisting/drafted into the AEF etc....?

Thanks again so much.



This man served in the 78th AEF Division (I believe this was a National Guard division) in the 303rd. Engineers.

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Hi John,

I only have a little more information to share. This really isn't an area that I am expert at.

The 78th "Lightning" Division was a National Army (not National Guard) unit that was established on 5 Aug 1917. It was primarily made up of draftees and was formed and trained at Camp Dix, New Jersey. It started it's overseas movement on 18 May 1918 and was fully deployed overseas by 12 June 1918.

National Guard units were those that had been previously established within the US and had "regular" training prior to the war. National Army units were units made up of draftees with no prior training. The 303rd Engineer Regiment was a part of the 78th Division.

In so far as I can tell from on-line resources, they participated in the St. Mihiel campaign and the Meuse-Argonne campaign.

Primary Units of the 78th Division were:

155th Infantry Brigade:

309th Infantry Regiment

310th Infantry Regiment

308th Machine Gun Battalion

156th Infantry Brigade:

311th Infantry Regiment

312th Infantry Regiment

309th Machine Gun Battalion

153d Field Artillery Brigade:

307th Field Artillery Regiment (75mm)

308th Field Artillery Regiment (75mm)

309th Field Artillery Regiment (155mm)

303d Trench Mortar Battery

Divisional Troops:

307th Machine Gun Battalion

303d Engineer Regiment

303d Field Signal Battalion

303d Train Headquarters and MP

303d Ammunition Train

303d Supply Train

303d Engineer Train

303d Sanitary Train (Ambulance Companies & Field Hospitals 309, 310, 311, 312)

Finding information on a soldier in the US Army is difficult (to say the least) at best. The records are held in St. Louis at the National Personnel Records Center and are all on paper. They too had a fire in the 1960's and a lot of records were destroyed. Nothing as yet has been digitized although there is some talk that they may do so. You can read about obtaining Veteran's records at this link:


Regards, Bruce

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  • 3 weeks later...

Name: Charles G. Kapitain

Serial Number: 2657600

Race: W

Residence: 7512 Colgate Ave., Cleveland, O.

Enlistment Division: National Army

Enlistment Location: Cleveland, O.

Enlistment Date: 25 May 1918

Birth Place: Toronto, Canada

Birth Date / Age: 29 9/12 Years

Assigns Comment: 14 Co 2 Infantry Replacement Regiment Cp Gordon Ga to 12 July 1918; 16 Co July Automatic Replacement Draft Cp Gordon Ga to 12 Aug 1918; Co D 116 Engineers to 7 Sept 1918; Co E 303 Engineers to Discharge Private, first class 12 Apr 1919. Meuse-Argonne; Defensive Sector. American Expeditionary Forces 23 July 1918 to 6 June 1919. Honorable discharge 19 June 1919.

Volume #: 9

The 116th Engineers were part of the 41st Division which was broken up in France for replacements, the 303rd Engineers were a part of the 78th Division. Hope this helps,


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