Doughboy Center

The Story of the American Expeditionary Forces

28th Division

America and the Akins Family

Lose a Son

Documenting the Death of a Doughboy


Corporal Frank L. Akins, 111th Infantry, KIA August 12, 1918
Pride of the Akins Family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Presented the Great War Society

The intent of this article is to show in matter-of-fact manner how the Army and government treated the death of an American soldier, how they brought it to the attention of his family, and how the loss was commemorated. The materials here are presented with minimal commentary to avoid diminishing from their impact. Please click on the thumbnail to see the photo or document, then use your back icon to return to this page.

Frank's Early Service
28th Division Operations Along the River Vesle, August 1918
Preliminary and Final Killed in Action Reports
Western Union Telegram Sent to the Family
Newspaper Announcement of Frank's Death
Frank's Last Letter Home
Information on Temporary Burial at Fismes
The Members of Company M Send a Tribute to Frank's Bishop
Final Burial Location Notice
Aunt Kass's Gold Star Mother Trip to Europe, 1930
Fismette at the Time of the Battle

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Memorial Bridge on River Vesle
Marty Beatty's Mission on Behalf of Frank
Final Resting Place of Frank Akins
Oise/Aisne US Cemetery

Sources and Thanks: Marty Beatty, Frank's Great Nephew, and the other descendents of Frank Akins did a wonderful job pulling together most of the material used here. Marty would appreciate any comments or respond to your questions at:

Supplemental material was added from the 28th Division Official History and the always useful American Armies and Battlefields in Europe. The portrait artist was Helen Fisher. MH

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For further information on the events of 1914-1918 visit the homepage of

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Additions and comments on these pages may be directed to:
Michael E. Hanlon ( regarding content,
or toMike Iavarone ( regarding form and function.
Original artwork & copy; © 1998-2000, The Great War Society