Vern’s Illness and Return to the Continental U.S. 


Vern’s Army records indicate that he was transferred out in June, 1912, and his service record

with Signal Corps Company ‘K’ was updated ‘7850’ at the end of the quarter, 31 June 1912

(the meaning of the annotation ‘7850’ is unknown; it is assumed that ‘7850’ is a classification

code of some kind, perhaps a disability, ship, or transfer code number) [Note 15, d., 31 June 1912].


Vern’s Army medical record says that “Soldier states first symptoms of disease arose insidiously

in January 1912, and since then have grown progressively worse” [Note 15. e. July 1912]. Clearly,

he arrived at Letterman General Hospital, The Presidio, San Francisco, in early July 1912, on or

before July 9th, 1912, which is the date of the medical diagnosis in he hospital there [Note 15. e.].


When Vern arrived at Letterman General Hospital (L.G.H.) in San Francisco, he was examined

by the Army surgeon(s) there, who determined on July 9th, 1912, that he was “unfit for duty”.

The medical diagnosis by the Army surgeon was “Diabetes mellitus” along with the statements: 

When disability arose soldier was (state duty or service) “Performing usual duties of a soldier”;

“Disability was incurred in line of duty” . . . “No further information obtainable”; and “Opinion

based on history and progress of the case . . . Cause undetermined. Incurred in line of duty.”

[Note 15. e., Certificate of Disability, examined July 9, 1912, Certificate dated 13 Sept. 1912].


Vern’s service record was updated to Signal Corps Company ‘M’ [‘M’ for Medical(?)] at the end

of August 1912, along with the start of the paperwork for his medical disability discharge. Vern

received a General Discharge on 5 October 1912, at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco,

and started the long train ride home to Coatesville, Indiana [Note 15. e., Note 34. d., 31 Oct. 1912]. 


Vern’s Final Days back home in Coatesville, Indiana


After his discharge in San Francisco, Vern returned home to Coatesville, Indiana (which would

have been a 3 or 4 day trip by train, eastbound across the Rockies, and probably through Chicago).

With all of the Railroad employees in the family (father, and brothers), it is possible that someone

went to San Francisco, and then accompanied Vern on his final trip home, but there is no mention

of that in any of the local newspaper articles.


The local Coatesville Herald weekly ran a “Back From Alaska” article on Thursday, 17 Oct. 1912

[Note 34. a., App. C (transcription); Note 8.d. (image)], which ends with the hopeful thought

. . . and it is hoped by his many friends to see him soon the ‘Breakie’ they once knew”.


Sadly, Vern died 3 days later, on Sunday morning, 20 Oct. 1912, at the family home in Coatesville.

A memorial service was held at the Methodist Church on Wednesday morning, 23 Oct. 1912, the

Rev. C. O. Smock officiating, and Vern was buried in a special plot at the Coatesville Cemetery,

south of town, Clay Township, Hendricks County, Indiana [Notes 8.e., 8.f. (images)].



McAninch Family History NL v.XX n.3 / July 2012 / Frank McAninch, Editor / page 2012-25


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