Veterans' Memorial Project

William Franklin Earnest

Homer, IL

World War I

College: Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences

Graduation Year: Attended 1915-1916

Service Branch: Army

Rank: Sergeant

Date of Birth: 09/03/1895

Date of Death: 09/17/1918

Sgt. Earnest served with the 370th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division. He died in combat in the Argonne, France. He is buried at Plot D Row 17 Grave 34 in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois, France. He is believed to be the first World War I African-American casualty from Champaign County, Illinois. The William F. Earnest American Legion Post 559, Champaign, Illinois, has been named after Sgt. Earnest.

-submitted by Ray Cunningham, Homer, IL, and additional information provided from News-Gazette article above, along with University and public records

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