WWI soldier Dave Fortinberry was born in Mt. Hermon, Louisiana in 1895 and registered for the military draft like a multitude of other young American men.
His draft card tells us that he was “tall” and “stout” and an “African”. He was employed by John Pearson in Franklinton and I’m curious whether John Pearson was related to my 3X great-grandfather, Joel Pearson.
It’s odd that Dave Fortinberry's draft card shows his name to be spelled “Fortenberry”, yet all official US Army documents list him as “Fortinberry”.
Dave, a member of the 21 Co of the 301 Stevedores, died of pneumonia in St. Nazaire, France on August 23, 1918 and was buried there the following day. This is where things get a bit more interesting. Not many Americans are aware that the remains of tens of thousands of American WWI soldiers were shipped back to the United States. Parents could make this request, and Charles Fortinberry not only made the request, he was there to receive his son Dave’s remains on October 8, 1920. You read that correctly ---- Private Fortinberry had been deceased over two years when his father took delivery of his remains.
And this is precisely where the trail goes cold. On the popular genealogy help site findagrave.com, I’m told there are no Fortinberry’s buried in Washington Parish --- however there are 68 Fortenberry’s listed in the parish. None of the descriptions match up to Dave’s name, birth and death years. And, so, I ask the good people of Washington Parish to help me solve this mystery and give this Louisiana soldier the recognition he deserves.
If you have any information at all concerning Private Dave Fortinberry (or Fortenberry), please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org