Corporal Irving J. Graham
Special thank you to Mr. James Gunnis
Mr. James Gunnis, met Irving’s son, Bob, in 2011 and helped Bob research his father’s history. In addition to his detailed research, Mr. Gunnis digitized over 300 photos and documents from Corporal Irving’s papers. He has generously donated his findings to thwelfthrecon to help us document the enlisted man’s experience in the 12th Aero Squadron.
This collection is especially notable as it is the only album we have from an enlisted member of the 12th Aero Squadron during the Great War. The collection includes several photos documenting his experience, as well as many beautiful souvenir postcards and aerial photos of battlefields.
Irving J. Graham was born in Buffalo, N.Y. on 20 September 1887. He was 30 years and 2 months old when he enlisted as an Army mechanic. At 5 feet 10 inches, blue eyes, brown hair and fair skin, he must have been a striking figure. He departed the United States with the 167th Aero Squadron from pier 60 North River NY on 31 Jan 1918. He arrived in Liverpool on February 16 1918 and was later assigned on an unknown date to the 12th Aero Squadron. He remained with the 12th after the war serving in the Army of Occupation. Eventually, he returned home with the 12th aboard the S.S. Liberator and on 28 June, 1919 he was honorably discharged from the Army at Mitchell Field L.I. NY.
Four years later, on 15 December 1923, he married Margaret Germond in Glen Cove, NY. They had two children, Bob and Majorie before Corporal Graham passed away on 30 August 1936 in Grantwood, NJ.