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Corporal John Lawrence Townsend served in the 26th Recruit Company G.S.I.; Battery C 59th Artillery CAC, from 3 May 1917 to 8 Feb 1919, during World War I.
The Townsend family was from Vandergrift, Westmoreland County, PA. Townsend lineage traces back through John Hill Townsend to Isaac Townsend, original owner of the Townsend farm on which Vandergrift now stands. Townsend Station derives its name from this line.