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Knatz Family in WW1

Knatz family members fought on both sides of the war. Below is a picture of a photo postcard that shows the soldiers from Niedenstein in September 1914. Standing in the back row, second from the left is Johannes Knatz. Standing on the far left is Ludwig Knatz. Both soldiers survived WWI. Ludwig Knatz and his wife and daughter were killed in the allied bombing of the city of Kassel in WWII.



This is a picture of a curved plaque made to honor Frederick G. Knatz who was lost in the Battle of the Marne in 1918. The plaque was placed on a tree in front of the Knatz house in Brooklyn. If you look at the Walking Brooklyn website, you can see that using trees as memorials was something pretty common in WWI, although the Knatz memorial is the only one that I know that was curved and placed right on the tree. I imagine this was because families in WWI had nothing to bury. The plaque is now with the Fred Knatz family in northern New Jersey (Demarest). A temporary cemetery was established near Belleau Wood for the soldiers killed in this battle and in 1921 the US Congress authorized retention of this site as one of the eight WWI military cemeteries on foreign soil. Today is it known as the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau. The cemetery contains the graves of 2290 american soldiers killed in the Battle of the Marne while the chapel contains the names of 1060 who are resting in unknown graves. In fact, Frederick was officially actually missing in action. He name can be found on the tablets of the missing.

The inscription on the plaque that was on the tree in Brooklyn reads
DIED JULY 16, 1918

Who was Frederick G. Knatz? He was descended from the Jacob Knatz family. Jacob married Kate Hill and they had several children, John, Fred, and Francis. Fred was born in October 1896. He was my Dad’s cousin. Here he is as a young boy.

On the US Side, the following Knatz men registered for the draft in WWI based on a list of WWI Draft Registration cards, 1917-1918. Even though they registered, does not mean that they served.
1. Harry Melvin Knatz, born April 26, 1894 in Maryland, registered in Allegany, MD
2. John Michael Knatz, born Dec 31, 1898, registered in Baltimore, MD
3. P.H. Knatz, born July 2, 1892 in Maryland, registered in Baltimore, MD
4. Edward Gerhardt Knatz, Jr., born Jan 2. 1892, in Maryland, registered in Baltimore, MD
5. Albert Frederick Knatz, born Nov 20, 1881, registered in Baltimore, MD
6. Arthur Charles Knatz, born Apr 21, 1900, registered in Monroe, MI
7. John Knatz, born Dec 1890, in New York, registered in Bronx, NY
8. Louis Knatz, born Jul 7 1877, registered in Brooklyn, NY
9. Adam Edward Knatz, born Aug 3 1881, registered in Brooklyn, NY
10. Robert Knatz, born Dec 10,1873, registered in Rochester, Monroe, New York
11. Henry Knatz, born Nov 16, 1872
12. Joseph Knatz, born Mar 11, 1898, registered in Athens. OH
13. Albert H. Knatz, born May 13, 1896 in Ohio, registered in Auglaize, OH
14. Carl H. Knatz, born Aug 29, 1888 in Ohio, registered in Auglaize, OH
15. Carl John Knatz, born Dec 10, 1897, registered in Auglaize, OH
16. Charles H. Knatz, born Jan 24, 1876, registered in Auglaize, OH
17. Gottleib Knatz, born 24 Jun, 1885, registered in Sheboygan, WI
18. Frederick William Knatz, born Dec 20, 1879, registered in Sheboygan, WI

Records show that the following Knatz’s served in WWI. This list is not exhaustive and there are probably others not listed here.
1. Sgt. U. S. Army Charles Conrad Knatz, born 2/24/1893, served from June 19, 1916 through April 3, 1919. He is buried in Long Island National Cemetery. His picture below is believed to have been taken in Camp Smith, New York, before he went overseas.

2. Pvt First Class George H. Knatz, born 3/11/1897 served from July 16.1917 through Jan 2, 1919. He is buried in Long Island National Cemetery. His wife Lillian is buried with him. George H. Knatz’s application for a social security card is given below. In addition his military records indicate he was severely wounded on or about September 2, 1918.

3. Sgt. Philip C. Knatz, born 12/23/1897, served from May 26, 1917 through Jan 26, 1919. He is buried in Long Island National Cemetery. His wife Margaret Anna is buried with him.

4. Sgt. Frederick Knatz, US Army 101st Fiedl Artillery Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. Entered the service from New York and died, missing in action at the Battle of the Marne. He has a memorial tablet at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau France.