Faulconer, John Waller Jr.


Faulconer, John Waller Jr.

Last Name


First and Middle Name

John Waller, Jr.

Biographical Text

“At a given time to the second, we poured a terrific rain of our heavy high explosive shells...into a wood filled with enemy machine guns, killed or ran out the entire crew...Ah! It was a magnificent affair”
-Captain John Faulconer describing combat in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive

John Waller Faulconer, from Tappahannock, Virginia,  graduated as part of the Virginia Polytechnic Class of 1912. Nicknamed “Poky”, he studied Civil Engineering, where he excelled academically. A Company Commander in Company D of the Corps of Cadets, Faulconer also worked as Business Manager of the Bugle, the VPI yearbook.

Just months after the war began, Faulconer joined the United States Army on June 5, 1917 as a Second Lieutenant. Faulconer was assigned as a battery commander with the 315th Field Artillery Regiment, 80th Division. With the 315th, Faulconer participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  

On the evening of September 9, 1918, Faulconer and his unit arrived on the battlefield and began preparations for the upcoming Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Under the cover of night and poor weather, the 315th built their gun positions. He described the work as harder than any he ever done before. But he wrote that the hard work was also reassuring because it meant that him and his unit would have some protection from returning German artillery fire. When the Meuse-Argonne Offensive began, Faulconer and his unit poured an incredible amount of artillery fire into German lines in preparation for the infantry advance. During the six hours of shelling before the infantry advance, American artillery units expended more ammunition than was spent by both sides during the entirety of the American Civil War.

He was Honorably Discharged with the rank of Captain at the end of the war. He later married Sylvia Dornche and moved to Southern Pines, North Carolina, where he died on September 18, 1971.

Nicknames or Other Names



Tappahannock, Virginia

County and/or State

Essex County, Virginia

Birth Date

11 September 1892



Death Date

18 September 1971

Cause of Death

Central Thrombosis

Place of Death

Southern Pines, Moore County, North Carolina


John Waller Faulconer and Carrie Colgin Jones


Marguerrite Faulconer, Carrie R. Faulconer and Bettie Faulconer


Sylvia Dornche

VPI Graduating Class


Undergraduate Major

Civil Engineering



Service Branch



315th Field Artillery Regiment, 80th Division


Began war as a 2nd Lieutenant, promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and then to Captain.

Retired Rank

Honorably Discharged as Captain

Military Events

Participated in the Meusse-Argonne Offensive

Battles or Engagements

Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Contributing Researchers

Gregory Milhiser


  • John Waller Faulconer, Jr. to The Virginia Tech, 15 September 1918 (published in The Virginia Tech on 28 November 1918), Blacksburg, Virginia, pg. 2.
  • 1912 VPI Bugle, yearbook
  • US Select Military Registers 1862-1985
  • 1900 US Federal Census
  • Florida Divorce Index
  • North Carolina Death Certificates 1909-1976


John Waller Faulconer Jr. senior portrait from the 1912 VPI Bugle.jpg
John Waller Faulconer Jr. from the 1912 VPI Bugle.jpg
Letter from John Waller Faulconer published in The Virginia Tech 28 November 1918.jpg
Excerpt - Letter from John Waller Faulconer published in The Virginia Tech 28 November 1918.jpg
Meuse-Argonne Offensive.jpg



“Faulconer, John Waller Jr.,” VPI in World War I, accessed August 12, 2022, https://vpiworldwarone.lib.vt.edu/items/show/206.

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