The St. Johns County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller is honoring the men and women who served in the armed forces of the United States with this virtual exhibit of a few of the thousands of discharge certificates recorded at the Clerk’s office.
In the fall of 1919, one year after the end of World War I, the St. Johns County Clerk of Court began recording discharge certificates. Veterans brought their discharge certificates to the Courthouse, located at that time at the corner of Charlotte and Treasury streets in the colonial part of St. Augustine. The Clerk’s staff made photographs and returned the original certificate.
This virtual exhibit, narrated by St. Johns County Clerk Historian Dr. Susan Richbourg Parker, offers a sampling of the many soldiers and sailors who served from the time of the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War (1898) through World War II (1945).
The exhibit ends with 1945 as privacy regulations restrict the display of more recent documents.
The images of the discharge documents in this exhibit were made between 1919 and 1945, using the technology available at that time.
The information in the discharge certificates changed over time. You can read about where each person served, their health and character, and their occupation before enlisting. You might read about identifying marks and scars or whether the person could ride a horse. There is also information on final pay and transportation home.
Thanks to Dr. Parker for her dedication to sharing the history of our county and for telling the stories of St. Johns Countians who have served and sacrificed for our country.