American families sacrificed greatly during the two years (1917-1918) that the United States fought in “The War to End All Wars.” Of the approximately 4.7 million men and women that served in the regular U.S. forces, National Guard and draft units, over 116,500 were killed in action or died of disease and other causes. On July 4, 1919 the South Mountain Council No. 88, Junior Order of United American Mechanics, erected a monument in Boonsboro honoring the “Boys from the Boonsboro District” that served. Sixty-seven names are on that plaque, three of which died in service–John F. Clopper, Austin G. Michael and C. Robert Kline. The Clopper-Michael American Legion Post 10 is named in memory of those soldiers.
In another footnote to Boonsboro’s connection to WWI, the last surviving female sailor serving in WWI died in Boonsboro. Charlotte L. Winters, a retired Navy yeoman died at the age of 109 on March 22, 2007.
Photo shows the World War I Memorial at 19 N. Main Street in Boonsboro, flanked by two naval shell casings. Photo courtesy Western Maryland’s Historical Library.