PRIVATE JOSEPH F. COVERT was the son of Joseph H. and Lydia C. Covert. He was born on June 16, 1887 on North Water Street in Selinsgrove, Snyder County, Pennsylvania. The Covert family was still living there when the 1910 Census was taken. The elder Covert worked building steel and iron bridges. Joseph F. Covert was then working as a telegraph operator. The family moved to Camden, New Jersey after the Census enumerated..
Joseph F. Covert's father worked as a shipyard inspector, and his brother James as a shipyard electrician. Joseph Covert, however worked as a clerk at the Victor Talking Machine Company. Off work, Joseph F. Covert was a member of the patriotic fraternal organization, the Improved Order of Red Men, belonging to Ottawa Tribe No. 15, which met in Morgan's Hall on Market Street in the years leading up to America's entry into World War I. Ottawa Tribe No. 15 members included J. Richard Geist, Fillmore Haines, Burton Bagg, John Harkins, William Schucker, and Ralph Benner.
When he registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 Joseph F. Covert was living at 561 Viola Street in Camden's Eighth Ward. He had already enlisted in the Ambulance Service when he registered. His parents and family were then living at 1146 Whitman Avenue, Camden NJ.
Joseph Covert was sent to Base Hospital No. 34 in Allentown PA for training in the Ambulance Service. He was sent overseas in September, 1917.
The statements below are based on the "History, Base Hospital No. 34, A. E. F.," by the commanding officer of that hospital, Lieutenat Conol Ralph G. DeVoe, Medical Corps. The history is on file in the Historical Division, S. G. O., Washington, D. C.
Base Hospital No. 34 was organized in April, 1917, at the Episcopal Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa., and was mobilized there on September 7, 1917. On September 8, the organization proceeded to Camp Crane, Allentown, Pa., where it was trained and equipped. On November 21, the unit was transferred to Camp Mills, Long Island, N. Y., to await transportation abroad. It embarked December 14 on the S.S. Leviathan, leaving New York the next day for Liverpool, England, where it arrived December 25, 1917. It proceeded from Liverpool by rail to Southampton and crossed the channel on the night of December 25, arriving in Le Havre, France, December 26. From Le Havre the unit was sent to Blois, France, for further orders; from there it was assigned to its permanent station at Nantes, Loire Inferieure, in base section No. 1. It arrived at Nantes January 8, 1918, and took over Grand Séminaire, a four-story brick structure, which before the war had been used as a Catholic seminary.
Private Joseph F. Covert died of pneumonia in France on March 22, 1918. He was survived by his parents, Joseph H. & Lydia C. Covert, and a brother, James, all of 1146 Whitman Avenue in Camden.
The Coverts were still on Whitman Avenue 1920. In 1930 Joseph H. Covert was still working as a rigger at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard in Camden, and had bought a home at 420 Vine Street in Camden.
Private Covert was memorialized by the Red Men when they erected their War Memorial in Camden in May of 1920. The Red Men War Memorial, a statue of an Indian chief by Camden sculptor Nicola Berardo, stood for many years in the park at Benson Street and Haddon Avenue, before being moved to Tuckerton, New Jersey in the early 1980s, due in great part due to indifference on the part of those in City government at the time.
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