Gold Star Family Support Center

Questions & Answers

What is the history of  "Gold Star Family"?

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, George Vaughn Seibold, 23, volunteered, requesting assignment in aviation. He was sent to Canada where he learned to fly British planes since the United States had neither an air force nor planes. Deployed to England, he was assigned to the British Royal Flying Corps, 148th Aero Squadron. With his squadron, he left for combat duty in France. He corresponded with his family regularly. His mother, Grace Darling Seibold, began to do community service by visiting returning servicemen in the hospitals.

The mail from George stopped. Since all aviators were under British control and authority, the United States could not help the Seibold family with any information about their son.

Christmas Eve, 1918, the postman delivered a package to the Washington, DC residence of George and Grace Seibold. The package was marked, "Effects of Deceased Officer, First Lieutenant George Vaughn Seibold, Attached to the 148th Squadron, BRFC." No other information was provided.

Grace continued to visit hospitalized veterans in the Washington area, clinging to the hope that her son might have been injured and returned to the United States without any identification. While working through her sorrow, she helped ease the pain of the many servicemen who returned so war-damaged that they were incapable of ever reaching normalcy.

     After months of inquiry, the family received official notice. "George was killed in aerial combat
     during the heaviest fighting over Baupaume, France, August 26, 1918." His body was never

     Grace, realizing that self-contained grief is self-destructive, devoted her time and efforts to not
     only working in the hospital but extending the hand of friendship to other mothers whose sons
     had lost their lives in military service.

     She organized a group consisting solely of these special mothers, with the purpose of not
     only comforting each other, but giving loving care to hospitalized veterans confined in
     government hospitals far from home.

     The organization was named after the Gold Star that families hung in their windows in honor
     of the deceased veteran.


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