Calvert County ‘s African American World War 1 Heroes


The following individuals from Calvert County died in service during WW1. Their names are inscribed on a memorial in front of the Calvert County Circuit Court house , but they are segregated from the White soldiers.


Alanza Brown


            From Olivet. Served with the 371st Infantry , an African – American regiment under French command. Killed in action on September 30, 1918. Awarded the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre from the French Government and the Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Army.


James Butler


             From Island Creek. Served with Company A of the 808th Pioneer Infantry ,an African – American engineering outfit performing construction and demolition duties. Died of lobar pneumonia on September 17, 1918 , buried in Oise – Aisne American cemetery , France.


Wallis Curtis


             Born in Popular Hill , Prince George’s County , later moved to Calvert. Served with company C of the 333rd Labor Battalion of the 20th Engineers.The 33rd was a forestry unit that provided the materials for construction projects as well as wood for fuel , and caskets. Died of typhoid fever and pneumonia on December 10 ,1918.


John Gross


         From Chaneyville. Served with Company D of the 811th Pioneer Infantry. Died of lobar pneumonia on October 4, 1918 at Camp Dix , New Jersey.


Thornton Gorman


           From Plum Point. Assigned to Company 4 of the Training Battalion , 154 Depot Brigade at Camp Meade MD. Died of influenza on October 11, 1918.


Joseph S. Jones


           From Parran. Served with Company I of the 372nd Infantry. Re assigned to the French Army’s 157th “ Red Hand” Infantry.Took part in the Meuse – Argonne, Lorraine and Alsace campaigns that captured nearly 600 prisoners along with needed supplies and ammunition. Killed in action on September 27, 1918 in the Aire Sector. Awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm.


Benjamin Kent


        From Huntingtown. The grandson of a slave , his father moved to Baltimore where Benjamin was born. Benjamin loved visiting his country cousins and moved back to Huntingtown as an adult. Served with company F of the 808th Pioneer Infantry. Died of pneumonia on October 29, 1918 in Meuse – Argonne France.