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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Say Army: 1940

Say Army: 1940

Washington, D.C., June 1940. "New recruits join up. Kermit Kuhn, 21 years old, of Bayard, West Virginia, being examined by Army doctor Major Seth Gayle Jr." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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He was my grandfather. I have his medic kit and flag. Thank you all for your comments.

Side note

My father was wounded Jan 11 1945 near Samree, Belgium. He was in the 84th, 335th regimen. He met my mother a month or so before he was wounded. She was from Heerlen, Limburg, NL. She and her brother took care of graves at Margraten until, she came to the US in 1951 when she married my father. Small world.

No war yet

June 1940 - still a year and a half from Pearl Harbor. Kermit probably had no idea that he'd be heading to Europe when this photo was taken. Makes it even more poignant that he didn't survive the war.

[The war started in 1939. In June 1940, Germany had just invaded France and the Battle of Britain was only weeks away. Europe is exactly where he would expect to be sent. - Dave]

The greatest generation-

We're losing a huge number of them now per day, and heroes such as Kermit never had the pleasure of growing old beside their loved ones. It's good to see their bright, optimistic young faces and remember the sacrifices all of them made to preserve our basic American freedoms, now by many taken for granted.


My heart just broke a little. All the fine young men we've lost to wars.

Two years later

my father would lie about his age to fight in this war.

I salute you Pvt Kuhn, and all others that gave their lives in this war. You did what you had to do.


Kermit Dale Kuhn was born August 22, 1919, at Bayard, West Virginia, the third of six children born to Walter and Margaret Kitzmiller Kuhn.

Kermit attended Bayard High School, where he played basketball and baseball. A star athlete, he was captain of the basketball and baseball teams and won the Bayard High School Athletic Award for his sportsmanship and athletic ability. Kermit was high point man in the basketball tournament at the Parsons sectional for three years.

Private Kermit D. Kuhn entered the Army on June 21, 1940, and was trained Fort Benning and Camp Gordon in Georgia; Camp Howe, Texas; and Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. On December 9, 1942, Kermit married Juliette Wilson Bennett of Atlanta. They had a daughter, Brenda Dale, and a son, Randy.

In September 1944, Kermit went overseas and received further training in England after which he saw action in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. In January 1945, Kermit, a member of the 309th Engineer Combat Battalion, 84th Division, was awarded the Bronze Star for the heroic act of administering first aid while under enemy fire to ten men who would have died without receiving it. His sister Mary Scripp received word from the War Department that Private Kermit D. Kuhn was killed in action in Germany on February 27, 1945. Private Kuhn was buried in the American Cemetery in the Netherlands.

-- Kermit Dale Kuhn, West Virginia Division of Culture & History


Alas, Kermit did not survive the war. He died 27 February 1945, and is buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial.



Report for immediate induction into the armed forces of the United States of America!


That would mean he was born in 1919 - and the same age as my parents! Hard to imagine my parents that young!


Note to vintage clothing enthusiasts: His trousers have buttons for suspenders, but he's wearing clip ons. Clip ons were definitely in use back in the day.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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