Log Cabin Memorial - Veterans 314th Infantry Regiment A.E.F.


Allen Delke KIA
Company I, 314th Infantry

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Allen Delke KIA - Company I 314th Infantry - Legion-Post-in-Slatington-Pennsylvania

 
Allen Delke KIA - Company I 314th Infantry - Draft Registration Card
 
Allen Delke KIA - Company I 314th Infantry - Draft Registration Card
 
Allen Delke KIA - Company I 314th Infantry - Veteran Burial Card
 
OCR of 13-page PDF below.
 
Date of organization meeting: June 20, 1919 Date of Charter: August 1, 1920

Place: Slatington, Pennsylvania	County: Lehigh

Chairman: Roscoe C. Berlin	Secretary: Owen E. Owens

Organizers: Roscoe Berlin, Harold Berlin, William Reinsmith, William Sauerwine, Allen Davis, John H. Roberts, John M. Roberts, Rowland G. Pierce, 
John J. Morris, Ellis Owens, Floyd Hausman, Norman E. Smith, John J. Griffith, Owen E. Owens, A. Dewey Benninger and Harry W. Muschlitz.

Temporary Officers: Norman E. Smith

Vice-Commanders: David Kern

Adjutant: Owen E. Owens	Finance Officer: Albert Schertzinger

Chaplain:	Sergeant-at-Arms:

Other Officers: Allotment & Post Employment Officer: Paul Schertzinger

Executive Committee: Roscoe Berlin, William Sauerwine, Lawrence Haines and William D. Reinsmith.

History of Post Name: Named after Allen O. Delke, first local boy killed in action. He was a private in Co. "I" 314th Infantry, 79 Division, killed Nov. 2, 1918, Meuse-Argonne.

Important Events in Organization: Charter applied for with sixteen members, committee appointed for county: Floyd Hausman, Alfred Neff, Earl Brown.

Additional Data Temporary charter, June 20, 1919, Permanent charter was issued August 1, 1920, named Allen O. Delke Post #16.
 
Doughboy's sacrifice still inspiration
Slatington man remembered as first from town to die in World War I
 
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.
John McCrae, 1872-1918
By VALERIE HILDEBEITEL 
Of The Morning Call 

The induction order was dated May 20, 1918. Following the traditional "Greetings" from the president, Allen O. Delke, a 31-year old Slatington bridge builder, 
was given a week to settle his affairs and report for duty at 3 p.m. May 27 at Lehigh County Courthouse.

Although war had raged in Europe for more than four years, it was Germany's unrelenting submarine warfare and its attempt to enlist Mexico as an ally that 
finally brought the United States into the hostilities in 1917.

On May 28, 67 years ago today, the young man reported to camp for infantry training . one of 2.8 million men who would be inducted for military service 
over the 19 months the United States was involved in the war.

The draft notice didn't specify which camp Delke was assigned to, but it was the first leg of a journey that would take a gentle Slate Belt construction worker 
to the trenches of France and to places that are merely names in history for most.
 
It was there, during the third battle of the Argonne Wood, that Infantryman Delke, Co. I, 314th Infantry with the American Expeditionary Forces, died - 
nine days before the Armistice was signed . and a little more than five months after his induction.

Delke was born May 30, 1887, in Lehigh Gap. He was a 16-year old orphan - his father, William, died in 1897 and his mother, Sabilla, eight years later - 
when he came to Slatington. Members of the borough Ameri-can Legion Post that bears his name speculate the boy was probably looking for work.

Although Delke had relatives in the area, Eva Schlosser Krum, one of the few people surviving today who knew Delke, said that relatives "didn't want him" 
and so the boy took a room in the Schlosser home at 116 Main St.

For the next 15 years, Delke made his home with Lloyd and Jennie Schlosser. His work with bridge construction crews would take him from the area for months at a time, 
but he always returned to the Schlossser home.

"He called my mother 'Mom' and even used to send money home to her," Mrs. Krum, now 78, said. "He was outgoing and friendly
 and treated me and my brother Earl like a sister and brother.
"I can still remember a time when he came home from a bridge project and brought a doll for me and a little girl who lived on the third floor. 
My mother told me not to go up those steps but I did and fell and broke the doll.
 
"Allen just said he would buy me another when he found out. He was the best sort."

The last letter Delke wrote to his cousins was dated Oct. 16, 1918. Creases in the paper make much of it unreadable and time has faded the sprawling pencil script. 

What is discernible reads: "I am in a resting camp. It is a town the Germans took from the French some time ago but it is a real nice place... 
Two days before I left for the front I went over the top (a Legion member explained this meant Delke left the trenches to fight on the ground). 
I was there for several days and it was exciting at some times."

The telegram, addressed to Lloyd Schlos-ser, arrived at the Main Street home on November 27, 1918.

It's one line message, signed simply Harris, the Adjutant General, read: 
"Deeply regret to inform you that Private Allen O. Delke infantry is officially reported as killed in action Nov. Second."
 
 
Portrait of Allen O. Delke in his uniform
 
"My mother cried a lot. She wasn't the fainting type, but she just sat in a corner and brooded and cried," Mrs. Krum recalled.

Allen O. Delke was not to return from Europe until three years after his death. it is believed that he was buried in Flanders Field during that time.

On Dec. 12, 1921, Delke was laid to final rest in Slatington's Union Cemetery, beside his mother and father.

Edward Haley, chairman of the American Legion Post committee to research Delke's background, turned up information on that funeral with the help of 
Slatington funeral director and post member George Harding.

A Rev. Peters of the United Church of Christ conducted the service and the church choir sang.

"Allen's relatives took up the first pew in the church," Mrs. Krum remembered. 

"The biggest light in my life came when the ushers put up chairs in front of the family for my mother and father and our family. 
They knew mother raised him when his family didn't want him."

Delke's flag-draped casket was taken through the borough's Main Street on a horse-drawn caisson. 

Uniformed members of a National Guard unit or from the Ameri¬can Legion Post, it's not clear which, stood honor guard throughout.

The Allen O. Delke Post was already in existence, named for the first man from Slatington to die in the war.
 
As far as anyone can remember, a band and the choir accompanied the cortege to the cemetery gates and played and sang as the body was taken to the burial plot.

Both Mrs. Krum and Legion members document the services as "one of the finest funerals in the Borough of Slatington." 

An old receipt found by Harding shows the entires cost was $109, paid for by Delke's cousins.

About five months ago, Mrs. Annette Hayes of Slatington was cleaning the family garage. Among her father's papers were Delke's original induction notice, 
the telegram relating his death and a memorial death certificate certifying his honorable death. 

The certificate is signed by John J. Pershing, commander-in-chief of the Expedi-tionary Forces.

Mrs. Hayes has donated the papers to the Allen O. Delke American Legion Post in Slatington.

The Post, the oldest and largest in Lehigh County, continues today as an active service organization donating in the neighborhood of $10,000 a year to community activities.

The post supports the ambulance corps, a medical van for senior citizens, provides military funerals for veterans and sponsors Boy Scout, 
Cub Pack and Little League organizations, in addition to numerous other activities.

To continue their work and to sustain the memory of men like Allen O. Delke, the post is seeking the membership of other
 
The caisson carrying Allen Delk's body proceeds along Main Street in Slatington
 
The last military funeral in which the "CAISSON" was used in the year 1934. the Caisson was used to carry "Fred C. Wehr" (A World War I Veteran) to the Union Cemetery. 

During World War II the Caisson was melted down and used in the war effort.
 
veterans, particularly those of the Korean and Vietnam wars, and the Gulf War which just ended in 1991.

Haley, an unabashedly patriotic man, summed up the point of the Legion:

"We of the American Legion would like the general public to know that we, as survi¬vors of the previous wars, still fight for what they died for.

"Allen O. Delke and millions like him gave their lives for the cause of liberty, freedom and humanity. We still give our all to the cause... 
in their names so they may never be forgotten."
 
 
LEGIONNAIRE HARLAN REMALY, grave registrar at Union Cemetery, Slatington replaces flag on grave of World War I veteran, Allen O. Delke. 

The Slatington Ameri¬can Legion Post 16 was named for private Delke, who was the first casualty from that  area, during that war. 

Legionnaires holding flags for distribution are 1-r: Robert Harry Jr., vice commander; John Hedmeck, Vin¬cent Miller, Sgt.-at-Arms; Sherwood Yenser, and Mark Queen, adjutant. 
(Janet Kunkel/TIMES NEWS)
 
SLATINGTON LEGION REPLACES U.S. FLAGS ON VETERAN'S GRAVES
 
The members of the Allen O. Delke Amer-ican Legion Post 16, of Slatington, replaced over 130 dozen American flags on the graves of Veterans in 11 area cemeteries yesterday morning. 

The group of about 20 members led by Arthur Kistler, commander of Post 16, placed flags in the following cemeteries: Slatington proper, Union and Fairview cemeteries, 
the Seventh Street and Washington Street Catholic cemeteries; outlying areas, Friedens, Neffs, Jacksonville,
 
New Tripoli, Heidelberg, Slatedale, and Williamstown cemeteries.

Special recognition was given to the gravesite of the first casualty victim in the Slatington area of World War I, Private Allen O. Delke, 
who served with Company I, 314th infantry division, after whom post 16 was named. He was killed in France, November 2, 1918, and is buried in Union Cemetery, Slatington, 
beside the grave of his parents, William 0. and Sabilla Delke.
 
 
To be inclosed with each order into military service (Form 1028) sent to a selected man.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL MEN SELECTED FOR MILITARY 
SERVICE AND ORDERED TO REPORT TO A LOCAL BOARD FOR 
MILITARY DUTY.

The day and hour specified on the Classification List of this Local Board, and on the order and notice of induction into military service 
which accompanies this notice for you to report to this Local Board for military duty is the time that marks your actual obligation as a soldier of the United States.

Failure to report promptly at the hour and on the day named is a grave military offense for which you may be court-martialed. 

Willful failure to report with an intent to evade military service constitutes desertion from the Army of the United States, which, in time of war, is a capital offense.

Upon reporting to your Local Board, you will not need, and you should not bring with you, anything except hand baggage. 

You will not be permitted to take trunks or boxes with you on the train. 

You should take only the following articles: A pair of strong comfortable shoes to relieve your feet from your new regulation marching shoes; 
not to exceed four extra suits of underclothing; not to exceed six extra pairs of socks; four face and two bath towels; 
a comb, a brush, a toothbrush, soap, tooth powder, razor and shaving soap. It will add to your comfort to bring one woolen blanket, preferably of dark or neutral color. 
This blanket should be tightly rolled, the ends of the roll should be securely bound together and the loop of the blanket thus formed slung from your left shoulder to your right hip.

You should wear rough strong clothing and a flannel shirt, preferably an olive-drab shirt of the kind issued to soldiers.

NOTE. . Local Boards may have prepared, in the form of a rubber stamp, and stamp in below or on the back hereof any special instructions
 such as a direction to request permission to eat and spend the last night at home, as it may desire to give.

LOCAL BOARD FOR DIVISION NO. 1, for the County of Lehigh,

State of Pennsylvania COURT HOUSE, 5th & Hamilton Sts., Allentown, Pa.
(Stamp in designation of Local Board.)
P.M.G.O. FORM 1028A
 
Form 1204
 
The "American Legion" Allen O. Delke Post 16 
510 Main St. Slatington Pa., 18080 
As it looked on 5 June 1988
 
Monument Dedicated to those who served their Country 
World War I 
World War II 
Korea 
Vietnam 
Picture was taken 5 June 1988

 
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