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My grandfather, Chester Allen Bower, was born in New Oxford, Pennsylvania on August 30, 1894 and died near there in Hanover on December 30, 1939. He was my mother's father, and she was just 12 years old when he died. I never had the chance to meet him.

Chester served in the Great War in the U.S. Army's 79th Division, which took part in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive from September to November 1918. This Offensive was the largest military operation ever undertaken by the U.S. Army at that time and its success led, in part, to the end of the war. My grandfather was not wounded in the war, but he was gassed very close to the Armistice, around November 3, 1918. This gassing was thought to have contributed to his long-term health issues, and ultimately to his early death at age 45. [excerpt]