George K. Dwight, 1918.

Taps Sounded For Honolulu Boy Who Joined Gas Corps


George K. Dwight, a Honolulu boy, who left here in December to join the gas and flame corps of the American army, died last Sunday, Jan. 27, in a hospital at Annapolis, Maryland.

News that her son was dead was received this morning by Mrs. Ellen H. Dwight of 1543 Makiki street in an official cable from the military authorities. It reads:

“Annapolis, Maryland, Jan. 28, 1918.

Regret to advise that your son passed away yesterday at hospital. Kindly advise immediately what disposition you wish made of his remains.


“Captain, 30th Engineers.”

Word of his death came as a great shock to friends and relatives of the young soldier, as letters received only yesterday stated that he was in the best of health and enjoying his training. He had not been bothered by the cold weather, he said, though the two other Honolulu boys who left with him, James Makinney and Arthur Gilman, were suffering intensely from it.

The cause of young Dwight’s death is not known yet, but it is thought probable that he contracted pneumonia. A message sent from here today asks that his remains be cremated and the ashes sent to Honolulu for burial.

George was born in Honolulu and was 27 years of age. He was a graduate of McKinley high school and for the last five or six years had been employed with the firm of Leweres & Cooke. Out of respect to his memory the flag on their building was lowered today to half-mast.

The young man was one of the first to enlist here for service when a call for the gas and flame corps was issued from the army engineer’s office this winter. He left Honolulu on the December transport and went first to Angel Island for training, thence on Jan. 2 to Fort Myer, Virginia, where technical and physical training for this highly specialized branch of the service was begun.

Besides his mother, Mrs. Ellen Dwight, the young soldier is survived by two sisters, Bernice and Ellen, of Thompson & Cathcart, and three brothers, James A. Dwight of Lewers & Cooke, Joseph L. Dwight with the Associated Oil Co., and Charles B. Dwight, with Thompson & Cathcart.

[When you are looking for information, it is best to look through all  the newspapers, whether it be English or Hawaiian, or any other language available that you can access. You never know what you will find.]

(Star-Bulletin, 1/29/1918, p. 1)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume XXV, Number 8647, Page 1. January 29, 1918.


2 thoughts on “George K. Dwight, 1918.

  1. I suspect this man might have died in the influenza epidemic of 1918, which was catastrophic to the world’s population. (One of the main Samoan islands was one of the very few places to escape this plague, which was achieved by a total ban on any ship landing for at least a few months, which shows that in 1918 they were still adequately self-sufficient to be able do this.) Uncharacteristically, this particular strain of the flu killed many young adults, instead of old people. It really swept through World War I military camps in the USA.

    The apparent cruelty of this terse message of his death was because it would have been a telegram. These were the fastest method of communication at that time, but because each word over a certain number was charged individually, telegrams were of necessity very short.

    • Great information. Wikipedia has a very interesting write-up on the “1918 flu pandemic”. Just as stated in this article, he very possibly died of pneumonia brought on by the so-called “Spanish flu”. And since they had just received a letter from him, I suspect that it was a case of viral pneumonia rather than secondary bacterial pneumonia that takes longer to kill.
      And yes, that telegram was shockingly cold-hearted!

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