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David W. Dorsey


Mr. Dorsey was born in Maryland on 20 Aug 1893, the son of Edward Dorsey and Georgia Ann Barnes.

When he was 25 years old, Mr. Dorsey enlisted in the US Army. He likely went to Camp Meade (now Fort Meade) near Baltimore and was assigned to the 371st Regiment, one of the few regiments for African American soldiers. In August 1918, Private Dorsey shipped from New Jersey to France. Rather than fighting alongside their white countrymen, the African American soldiers were assigned to fight with French divisions. They were required to wear French uniforms and use French rifles and other equipment. The regiment sustained heavy losses through September and October, holding the line in several areas near Verdun. The regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre as a unit award.

In February of 1919, Private Dorsey came back from France to Camp Jackson, South Carolina, as part of a general redeployment of the regiment. There, he was honorably discharged, having been awarded the Order of St. Sava, a Serbian award, for military merit.

Back in Westminster, Mr. Dorsey lived with his parents. He worked as a cook at the Western Maryland College (since renamed as McDaniel College) for many years. At some point, he was married to a woman named Eliza Loop or Toop. They probably did not have any children.

Private Dorsey was admitted to the Veterans’ Hospital at Perry Point, Maryland in late 1943. He died there on the 5th of March.

Maryland State Archives