Elco Bolton

Black American soldier in Britain, Elco Bolton from Florida, being given directions by a British police officer, 30 June 1942.

Object Number - HU 54542 - First Sergeant Elco Bolton being given directions by British police Sergeant Radford, June 1942.

Elco Bolton was born between 1897 and 1900 most likely in Atlanta, Georgia, his parents were Doner/Donie and Elco Bolton Sr. Around 1916 he joined the US Army, where he served as a Private with Quartermaster Corps C Company, 310th Labor Battalion of the American Expeditionary Force (service number 2574696). Bolton sailed with 289 enlisted men and 3 officers of his unit on the USS De Kalb from Newport Virginia on 8 May 1918 to the Western Front. Following the end of the war he sailed from Brest to New Jersey on 12 June 1919 on the USS Great Northern. Throughout the 1920s Bolton lived in Columbus, Georgia while serving in the Army. He married Flora Mae Bolton (nee Henderson) in 1927 in Alabama, and they had at least 5 children: Doris, Earline, John, Elco Jr and Louise (who died of pneumonia aged 2 in 1925). Bolton re-enlisted in January 1939, and  in around 1940, Bolton moved to Tampa, Florida. By 1942 Bolton had been promoted to First Sergeant and over saw a Truck Company, he was posted to the UK and had arrived there by June 1942. He was photographed at least twice during his service there, as the Pittsburgh Courier published photos of him at work- once talking to a policeman, and once overseeing a practice march. Bolton possibly left the armed forces to work in the Railroads. He died around 1962


Date16 Jan 2023 16:04:25

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Date16 Jan 2023 15:56:12

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