William P. Gallagher
Corporal, U.S. Army
Co 2nd Engineer Regiment,
2nd Infantry Division A.E.F.
Born: April 3, 1896 in Lima Ohio
Enlisted: May 19, 1917 in Lima, Ohio
KIA: June 24, 1918 in France
William Paul Gallagher was born to Rosa Kingsley Gallagher and William Gallagher on April 3, 1896 in Lima, Ohio. He grew up on Lima’s northside as a member of St. Rose Parish and a student of the parish school. He was a 1914 graduate of St. Rose High School. For three years after his graduation he worked at Wentworth and Dean Electrical.
On April 6, 1917 the United States declared war on Germany after the country resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare. Six weeks later on May 19, 1917 William Paul Gallagher enlisted in the United States Army as did many young men in Lima. On June 13, 1918, he wrote his last letter home from France saying “Am still alive and in the best health and spirit. Can’t keep an Irishman down” He signed off with “I am as ever, your devoted soldier son W.P.G.
On June 24 he was killed in action by a bursting artillery shell as he strung barbed wire near is position in the Aisne-Marne defensive sector near Chateau-Thierry. He was the first man from Allen County, Ohio killed in action in the World War. He was interred in the Aisne Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France in Plot A, Row 13 Grave 40.
After the armistice on November 11, 1918 American soldiers in Paris waiting to return home, formed a veterans mutual aid organization and named it “The American Legion”. It was chartered by congress in September 1919. In October 1919 veterans of the World War in Lima Ohio were granted a charter from the national organization and were designated Post#96. In keeping with customs from the day they names their post after a deceased hero, William Paul Gallagher, the first man from Allen County, Ohio killed in action in France.