While overseas Otto was sent to the hospital three times, twice because of mustard gas attacks, the second worse than the first, but both of them considered minor. The third time because he was hit by machinegun fire. Fortunately, the bullet hit him in his very solid infantry belt buckle and it only left him with a very large bruise in the abdominal area. All three were considered minor and he was only off the front lines for a few days each time. Otto’s war experiences, especially his talking with the German soldiers across the lines gave him a distaste for Germany and he refused to teach his children how to speak German, although for privacy sake he sometimes did speak it in the house to Louise.
Otto died of stomach cancer in 1946. Although he had been a smoker since he was 14, I believe that the root of his cancer was not the smoking as much as the gas attacks and bullet bruise.
From the book "Ohio Soldiers in World War I", Otto's Service Records:
Co A 323 Machine Gun Battalion to 29 July 1918; Co C 3 Machine Gun Battalion to Discharge Private, first class 22 Nov 1918. St Mihiel; Meuse-Argonne; Defensive Sector. American Expeditionary Forces 12 June 1918 to 5 Sept 1919. Honorable discharge 25 Sept.
|passing through Saint Baussant in advance upon St. Mihiel Front|
Here is his registration card. It has a contradictory birth year. I have records that his birth year was 1894 and 1896. This record indicates 1895.