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Milam County, Texas

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Milam County, Texas: List of Honor --
Individuals Who Have Given Their Lives in the
Defense of Their Country from World War I through Vietnam

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Samuel Torbett Childress [1], [2], [3]

Seaman Second Class (S2C), U.S. Navy, World War I


Service No.: 121-25-08

Born: 17 Dec 1897 at Worlds Point, TX [4]

Died: 9 Oct 1918 at Yorktown, VA [5]

Age at time of loss: 20 years, 9 months, 23 days

Home of Record: Cameron, Milam Co., TX

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single

Occupation: clerical

Attended: unknown

Religion: unknown

Draft Registration: None found [6]

Entered Service: 22 Feb 1918 at Houston, Texas

Overseas Duty: None

Ships/Unit: USS Ohio (BB-12) from 31 Aug 1918 to 25 Sep 1918
USS Solace (AH-2) from 25 Sep 1918 to 9 Oct 1918

Awards: None

Casualty Type: Non-hostile, died of illness

Cause of Death: Broncho Pneumonia

Casualty Location: aboard USS Solace (AH-2), Fleet Base #2 at Yorktown, VA

Soundex Code: C-436

Census: 1900 Federal Census [7]; 1910 Federal Census [8]

Parents: George Ferguson Childress and Mae Torbett Childress

Brothers: Delbert Childress, George F. Childress, Jr., Clark Childress, Fred Childress

Sisters: None found

Paternal Grandparents: H. E. Childress and ______________ Childress
(NOTE: Could this be Harris E. Childress and Anna E. Minnix Childress?? - check census)

Maternal Grandparents: _________________ Torbett and Sallie C. Torbett

Wife: None

Children: None

Burial: White Rose Cemetery, Wills Point, Van Zandt Co., Texas (Block 2, Lot 30)

Arrangements: U.S. Government

Milam County War Memorial: Left Panel

S2C Childress was assigned aboard the USS Ohio until he became ill and was transferred on 25 Sep 1918 to the hospital ship, USS Solace, where he died.

USS Ohio (BB-12) [9]

The third USS Ohio (BB-12) was commissioned on 4 Oct 1904 by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA as a Maine class battleship. She was named for the 17th state admitted into the Union on 1 Mar 1803. She joined the U.S. Naval Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia, PA in 1914. Soon after the United States entered World War II, the Ohio was recommissioned on 24 Apr 1917. Throughout World War II, she operated out of Norfolk, VA training crews for the expanding fleet, often taking part in battleship maneuvers. She was again placed in the U.S. Naval Reserve Fleet on 7 Jan 1919 and decommissioned on 31 May 1922. She was sold for scrap on 24 Mar 1923.

USS Solace (AH-2) [10]

The first USS Solace (AH-2) was built in 1896 and 1897 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, VA and was operated as the SS Creole by the Cromwell Steamship Lines. The ship was acquired by the U.S. Navy on 7 Apr 1898 and was renamed the Solace and converted into a hospital ship. She was the first U.S. Navy ship to fly the Geneva Red Cross flag. She served as a hospital ship at ports along the eastern seaboard of the United States from Newport, RI to Key West, FL.

Log Book - USS Ohio (BB-12) [11]

Entry for 25 Sep Nov 1918 indicates that between 5:00 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. "The following men were transferred to the U.S.S. SOLACE for treatment .... Childress, GT (S2c) ....

Log Book - USS Solace (AH-2) [12]

Entry for 9 Oct 1918 indates that at "3:25 p.m. Childres, S.T. (sic) Sea.2c died this date." Entry for 11 Oct 1918 indicates that at "5:47 p.m. hlf masted colors while transferring the remains of ... S.T. (sic) Childress, Sea. 2c ...."

"Sam Torbett Childress" [13]

The sad news of the death of Sam Torbett Childress was received in Cameron by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. F. Childress, last Saturday evening, same having occurred on October 9th, on the Hospital Boat Solace, he having been transferred from his ship, USS Ohio, only a few days before, The deceased was the victim of broncho pneumonia.

Sam Torbett Childress was born in Wills Point, Van Zandt County, on December 17, 1896. He was ____nverted and joined the Methodist Church when only 14 years of age, _____d he lived his life knowing there was a Savior and the burden of his ___rrowing ones is made easier to bear because his steps were ever following that which was ideal. He enlisted in the United States Navy in February this year and was called to San Diego, Cal. where he received his training and was drafted as a seaman and sent to Virginia and assigned to the USS Ohio, headquarters for this ship being Fortress Monroe, Va. Besides his mother and father the deceased is survived by four Brothers: Delbert, who is in France fighting for his country; George, who is in training service of Uncle Sam at the A and M College; Clark and Fred who are living at home with their parents. Also his grandmother, Mrs. S. C. Torbett, whose tender care has ever been a blessing in this God-fearing home, is left to mourn the sad death of her grandson.

The remains will be shipped to Wills Point, the old home, for interment, but funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

The following letter was received by Mrs. Childress on Tuesday of this week, regarding her son's death:

USS Solace (Hospital Ship)
October 9, 1918

Mrs. G. F. Childress, Cameron, Texas ---

Dear Madam:

It is with regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son, Samuel T. Childress, Sea-2, U.S.N. which occurred on this ship October 9th, 1918 at 3: 25 p.m., as you were informed by a telegram from the Navy Department.

The cause of his death was Broncho-pneumonia. I assure you that every attention was given to him by both Medical Officers and their assistants. His courage and manliness were apparent to all.

Your son has died while in the service of his country during this great war for the preservation of all that we hold as ideal for the advancement of civilization and the uplift of humanity. His death is just as glorious as if he suffered on a battlefield, and such as every true patriot should envy him, though I can well understand what his loss must mean to his mother.

Please accept my deep sympathy and prayer that our Heavenly Father will comfort you only as He can.

Faithfully yours,
Lt. Comdr., M.C.
U.S. Navy, Commanding

"Funeral of Torbett Childress" [14]

The remains of Sam Torett Childress, who died of pneumonia on the hospital ship Solace, on the 19th (sic) of October, arrived in Wills Point last Sunday afternoon at 1 o'clock. They were carried to the home of this aunt, Mrs. F. J. McKinney, where services were held on Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock, conducted by Representative H. P. Davis of that district and Rev. Moody, pastor of the Wills Point M.E. Chruch South. The ceremony was the most impressive one ever held in that city, report has it. Representative Davis made a talk which burned its way into the hearts of his hearers. Interment was made in the City Cemetery of Wills Point, this city being where young Childress was born and the old homestead of the family.

Through respect to the deceased and the cause for which he gave his life all business was suspended in Wills Point and every store closed.

Attending the funeral besides the family from Cameron were Mr. and Mrs. R. H. McIntosh from Royce City, Mrs. Bessie Wright from Greenville, P. H. Childress, an uncle of the deceased, and Mrs. John Boles and son.

The floral offerings were many and beautiful, showing the high esteem in which young Childress was held by the folks who knew him best.


[1] U.S. Navy, World War I, p. 175

[2] No Individual Deceased Personnel 293 File, Office of the Quarter Master General Burial Case Files, 1915-1939 (Record Group 92), National Archives Building, Washington, DC

[3] Military Service Card (Library Bureau Form 26-1533), Texas Military Forces Museum, Adjutant General of Texas, Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas

[4] U.S. Navy Service Record

[5] No Texas or Virginia Death Certificates found

[6] WWI Draft Registration, Milam Co., TX, M-1507, Roll 124

[7] Van Zandt Co., TX, T-623, Roll 1675, ED 130, SH 6, LN 9

[8] Van Zandt Co., TX, T-624, Roll 1596, ED 109, SH 7B, LN 82

[9] Dict. Amer. Ships

[10] Mooney, vol. VI, p. 543

[11] Sep 1918 Log Book, USS Ohio (BB-12), (Record Group 24) National Archives Building, Washington, DC

[12] Oct 1918 Log Book, USS Solace (AH-2), (Record Group 24) National Archives Building, Washington, DC

[13] Cameron Herald, 24 Oct 1918, p. 4

[14] Cameron Herald, 31 Oct 1918, p. 12

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Created 20 June 2004 and last revised on _______ 2004