Acquisition: WWI Footlocker

WWI Chest 03.05.2013

World War I Footlocker – This Word War I footlocker was recently acquired by the Wayne County Historical Society from the family of Vernon Fair. Vernon served in the 37th Infantry Division of the United States Army. Nicknamed the “Buckeye Divison”, the 37th was a National Guard division from Ohio and is now known as the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team with battalions from Ohio and Michigan. The 37th Division was initially formed as the 16th Division in 1913 and was comprised of National Guardsmen from Ohio and West Virginia. The 37th was federally activated in August 1917 and sent oversees during WWI in June 1918 where they fought on the Western Front at Meuse-Argonne and at Ypres-Lys. Footlockers were used by soldiers to carry their personal belongings. The term “footlocker” was coined because they served essentially as a type of locker and were kept at the foot of a soldier’s bed or bunk. Items contained in Vernon Fair’s footlocker include an ID car, songbook, “Faith in God” pamphlet, soldier’s handbook, 37th Division handbook, dog tags, mess cup, gas mask, can opener, winter coat, uniform hats and jacket, sewing kit, cotton bag and helmet to name a few. The footlocker also contains items from Vernon’s twin brother Virgil Fair who served in the US Army as a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery. Vernon was born, raised, lived and died in Wayne County, Ohio.


  1. Kenny Libben says

    Fantastic piece(s)!

    Looks like a British Small Box Respirator (SBR) for the gas mask…be careful with those, as mustard-sulphate residue is still extremely toxic if present.

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