William O. R. Bourne, “Buffalo Soldier”

William O. R. Bourne was born 13-SEP 1888 in Barbados, British West Indies, Great Britain.  His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bourne.  He later lived at C/O Lindenwood in St. Charles.  He was employed by Lindenwood Female College as a chef.  He entered the service on 27-OCT 1917 and was later promoted to regimental Sergeant Major on 2-FEB 1918.  He served in the 92nd division.  The U.S. organized two divisions of segregated men, the 92nd Division and the 93rd Division for WWI. The 92nd would carry the name “Buffalo Soldiers” as their nickname.  He went overseas on 15-OCT 1918.  Parts of the 92nd would see combat action in France. William was in the battles of Vosges, Argonne, Pont-A-Moussan, and Metz.   The Buffalo Soldiers quickly dispelled the American Army’s belief that they were inferior soldiers as they heroically and valiantly fought in fierce combat throughout the war.

William was discharged 13-MAR 1919.  The 1950 Federal Census indicates he is married to Olla N. Bourne in Cook County Chicago IL.  William O.R Bourne died 22-NOV 1967 and is buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield IL.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.