Photo and Article Donated by Sam Drummond

These 13 men from Fort Plain left together to fight in WWI in the 51st Pioneer Infantry. All thirteen survived their experience and returned home. This newspaper article and photo was published after the death of two of their members, William Minch and Carl Luft, after their return home.

Source: unknown/undated newspaper article and original photo

(Click on Image to Enlarge)


As Carl Luft and Harry Hoag of the "Lucky Thirteen" of the 51st Pioneer Infantry, were absent, Captain Canfield of the 51st and Howard B. Gray sat in the picture to make "the Thirteen" complete. The picture was taken at the Welcome Home to Fort Plain's World War I veterans, in September, 1919, at the Duffy fountain in Haslett Park. The "Thirteen" from left to right are: Seated - Howard B. Gray, William Minch, Everett Saltsman, Capt. Canfield, Herman Stubley, Sanford Waters, Howard Hudson, Standing - Dan M. Martin, Silas Athanas, Herbert A. Rapp, Fred Fellows, Edward G. Sauer, Francis Bannon. All are living except William Minch and Carl Luft. The 51st saw hard service at the French front.

Notes from Lisa Slaski

The following was found in the WWI Civilian Draft Registration Database on Ancestry.com regarding the men named herein:

The "Lucky Thirteen":

  1. Carl Henry Luft of St. Johnsville, born 16 Feb 1896 in Palatine, NY
  2. Harry F. Hoag of Ft Plain, b. 8 Apr 1896 in t/o Canajoharie, NY
  3. William Philip Minch of Nelliston, b. 20 Sep 1893 in Fort Plain, NY
  4. Everett Jeremiah Saltsman of Palatine, born 27 Jun 1892 in Palatine, NY
  5. Herman Stubley of Fort Plain, born 29 Jan 1896 in Batley, Yorkshire England
  6. Sanford Otis Waters of Fort Plain, born 5 Jun 1894 in Nelliston, NY
  7. Howard Farley Hudson of Fort Plain, born 24 Jun 1890 in Fort Plain, NY
  8. Daniel Manning Martin of Fort Plain, born 9 Sep 1895 in Fort Plain, NY
  9. Silas Athanasopoulos of Fort Plain, born 15 Aug 1892 in Sparta Greece
  10. Herbert Arthur Rapp of Fort Plain, born 16 Nov 1886 in Fort Plain, NY
  11. Fred C. Fellows of Fort Plain, born 21 Jul 1894 in Fort Plain, NY
  12. Edward G. Sauer of Fort Plain, born 1 May 1887 in Fort Plain, NY
  13. Francis Bannan of Fort Plain, born 9 Jan 1892 in Little Falls, NY

The "stand-ins" for the photo:

  1. Capt. Canfield wasn't found definitely [a couple possibilities]
  2. Howard Byron Gray of Ft Plain, b. 10 Mar 1887 in Fort Plain, NY

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Created: 5/28/07
Photo and Article Copyright © 2007 Sam Drummond
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