It was supposed to be the “war to end all wars.” The Great War, as it was referred to at the time, is what we know today as World War I. One of the deadliest conflicts in our nation’s history, it is estimated that close to 120,000 U.S. servicemen lost their lives serving our country. The war took place during the height of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, resulting in many soldiers succumbing to influenza and pneumonia as they served overseas.
As Memorial Day approaches in May, The Tribune will look back and remember those brave service members from Cullman County who sacrificed everything for our freedoms.
Johnie Pichelmayer- Hanceville
Johnie Pichelmayer was born Nov. 8, 1895 to parents Andrew and Josephine Pichelmayer. Prior to entering the draft at the age of 22, he had lived with his family in both Stout’s Mountain and Hanceville.
Pichelmayer’s young wife Ludie Irene and baby son, Early Ozell, said their goodbyes to him Sept. 18, 1917 as he was ordered to report to the local board for military duty. He was enlisted in the United States Army with the rank of private.
He was sent to Europe, where, on Aug. 6, 1918 he was killed in action. While no specific details of his death have been found, like so many who reported to the local board at the same time as Pichelmayer, he died on the battlefield in France. His body remained in France until the end of the Great War.
On April 26, 1921, the body of Pvt. Pichelmayer arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey on its journey home to Cullman County. This brave hero is now buried at Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in Hanceville.
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