Charles J Doyle, Special Correspondent of the Gazette Times in France
Personal Messages From Scenes Of War Will Come To Pennsylvania Homes
October 16, 1918
Mr. Doyle, Authorized by War Department as The Gazette Times Correspondent at Battlefront, Will tell of the Daily Activities of the Boys from This Section.
Charles C. Doyle is on his way to the war fronts for The Gazette Times and his going means that news from the boys of Western Pennsylvania will assume a new and deeply interesting personal tone in these columns henceforth. There is hardly a young man of Western Pennsylvania, either “over there,” or “over here” to whom Mr. Doyle’s name is not familiar, and to considerably more than a majority of them he is known personally and intimately.
For years he has been writing sports for The Gazette Times, specifically baseball, but his interests and knowledge of sports generally have led him into other fields and he is a contributor of articles on golf, of which he himself is an expert player, and on football and other out-door sports.
His early training and his acquaintance by actual experience and practice with the sports of young men soon brought him to the larger field of the city newspaper, and to the special work of writing about baseball. Here he found congenial employment, and from the first took rank with the sanest and most entertaining writers on all subjects pertaining to the great national game.
A WIDE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
Mr. Doyle is a man of engaging personality. He is a young man, and for that reason easily adjusts himself to the companionship of young men, and makes friends among them rapidly on his own account as a clean, clever fellow. Added to these qualities he has proven himself a writer on baseball and other sports of sound judgment. Brought into contact with the big league game his work on The Gazette Times immediately came into the favor of the fans.
He knew form long study not only the rules of the game and could put on paper entertaining and accurate accounts of the fine points, but he could also give the fan all the shades of information concerning games as they were reported to him from time to time. Through these qualities Mr. Doyle extended his acquaintance and widened the sphere of his friendships to include leading players and devotees of baseball throughout the country. Among the fighting men on the French front there are thousands of young men who followed the national game with enthusiasm, and to them the name of Charlie Doyle is familiar. Among the players of the National League he has a host of friends. To all of these the tie was not alone that he sat in the press box and wrote pieces about baseball, but was a personal sense of friendship and sympathy.
Being a golfer, there were few members of the various teams visiting Pittsburgh who had not at one time or another played golf with him on some of the local links.
HE KNOWS BOYS
All these things give Charlie Doyle an especial advantage in the work he is now undertaking. He is a young man, going to mingle with young men, most of whom he knows and with all of whom he is in the closest sympathy.
He is not going as a war correspondent or to describe battles and tell of the hardships of the young men in the trenches. This is altogether outside his mission. In the homes from which the soldier boys have gone there burns constantly the flame of anxious devotion as to the personal lives of the absent one. The necessities of war and the tasks of the army of correspondents and photographers make personal data, intimate references to individuals impossible.
Our newspaper reading of the war is of necessity limited to the activities of the mass. It is to supplement this that Mr. Doyle has been sent to France by The Gazette Times.
He will fill in the larger history of the soldiers from Western Pennsylvania and their activities by individual and definite personal accounts, incidents and experiences. These will not be written from a convenient point miles back of the lines, but will be fresh from actual association and contact with the men who are doing things.
It must be emphasized that Doyle is not a free lance in the sense that he is left to the dubious and uncertain chance of luck in making his way about.
He is assigned to the headquarters staff of Gen. Pershing and is equipped with the strongest sort of credentials from the War Department in Washington which practically gives him all the facilities for association with the men.
So far as our own boys of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania are concerned no better man could be fund for this task. Doyle thinks as a young man, can enter into the closest fellowship with young men, and because they already know him and admire him the way is open from the very start for an intimacy that will bring to his correspondence in The Gazette Times just the sort of gossip, recitals of experiences, and even the deepest thoughts and aspirations of these boys of ours who are fighting so gallantly for the homes and the country they love.
NOT A NARROW COMMISSION
Mr. Doyle’s instructions are not limited, beyond the understanding that he will not be a war correspondent in any technical or descriptive sense. The Gazette Times is already highly equipped with a staff of war writers who are experts in their various assignments and fields.
Charlie Doyle goes as a young man, a trained writer on subjects that before the war enlisted the eager attention of 90 per cent of the American young men with whom he will come in contact on the battle fronts in France. He is quite as well acquainted and sympathetic with the country boy as with the city chap. He was a country-reared boy himself. And he knows hundreds of these boys from the towns, villages and farms of this section.
It will be his work to write about these young fellows; to tell what they do when resting, when amusing themselves back of the front line. He will share their hardships and get an intimate sense of their joys as well as their sorrows.
Into his letters to The Gazette Times, which will early appear, he will put news and intimate revelations that will bring to the mother back home or the friends who wait for “the cruel war to be over” comforting, personal assurances that will seem almost like letters individually addressed. Charlie Doyle, first, is an Irishman, with all the sentiment and poetry of his race, before he is a writer, and what he may write from France to The Gazette Times will bear a touch of youth speaking for youth.
For these reasons The Gazette Times feels particularly happy over the fact that it will have on the battlefields and in the camps of the American soldiers from Western Pennsylvania a man so admirably equipped for a task that an older or less experienced man among young men could not so efficiently perform.
October 13, 1918, pg 32
Service Page of The Sunday Gazette Times
DODGING SHELLS DESCRIBED BY NORTH SIDE BOY
Member of Ambulance Unit Writes Of Experiences in Hun Air Raid
That the Pennsylvania troops are in the thick of the fighting “over there,” and are finding almost every town evacuated by the Huns in ruins, is the information contained in a letter from Harry W. Fowler, a member of Ambulance Company No. 112, One Hundred and Third Sanitary Train, to a friend in this city. Fowler, previous to his enlistment, lived on the North Side. The letter, dated “Over There,” August 25, in part is as follows:
I have heard that you cannot duck a bullet, and it may be all so, but that does not hold good with shells, and I am the one who knows. Yes, you can surely hear them coning, and when they do come, well, you will never see such ducking unless you are over here. We had shell fire yesterday from about noon until 1 o’clock this morning, and when that let up along came a Boche plane and unloaded about a carload of bombs around us. Now, you have never been in an air raid, and I hope you never will be, for if there is anything that will make you think more of home I don’t know what it is. About 2 a.m. another plane came over and duplicated the feat, but as before, he missed us though not by an inch.
Then at about daylight we were treated to high explosives with “sneeze” gas and then mustard gas. Fritz used these gases in his high explosives with “sneeze” gas to make it impossible to keep on you mask and then giving you the mustard and believe me that is a creation of hell. Then at breakfast we got more of the high explosive shells, about 15 minutes of them, then a pause and some more for the same length of time, lasting about an hour and a half. We had dugouts, which, by the way, are life savers and though we were showered with debris, we escaped unhurt. This is a daily occurrence. We are non-combatants but that does not keep us from getting all that’s coming to us and more.
I wish you could hear what the people over here think of our division and the Allies, too, then you would be mighty proud of Pennsylvania and her boys. If you could see what obstacles the boys had to overcome to drive the Hun as he has been driven, you would know what terrific fighting our division was engaged in.
Since we have been in action all the French towns that we have been in have been in ruins and the ruins were not all caused by shell fire, though they were to a great extent. Homes that were only slightly injured by shells were completely wrecked inside by the Huns. Pictures were ripped and torn, mirrors smashed, furniture demolished and in the case of leather finished furniture, the leather was always cut off. All this, due I suppose to the “misfortunes” of war. The churches especially seem to be the pet buildings for the Hun to destroy. Haven’t seen a whole church for months. A great deal of this wreck and ruin was not necessary but I suppose Germany won’t be content unless she destroys everything in sight.
October 20, 1918
OFFICER TELLS THRILLING TALE OF BATTLE
Lieut. Lewis Describes a Bayonet Clash – Small Yank Kills Giant Hun.
Washington, Pa., Oct. 19. – Buried alive half an hour in a trench along the Marne River and alive to tell the tale is but one of the thrilling experiences of Lieut. James A. “Pud” Lewis, of Elizabeth, Pa., and former Washington and Jefferson college student, recently returned from the French battle front.
Lieut. Lewis left college in his senior year at the declaration of war in April, 1917, and enlisted as a private with Company H of the old Tenth Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard. In his company he was promoted to corporal, sergeant and mess sergeant. He was then sent to the officers’ training school, won a second lieutenancy, and was assigned to Company B of the One Hundred and Ninth Infantry, a Philadelphia regiment, with which he has won high honor and promotion to first lieutenancy. He tells a story of a marvelous bayonet fight.
Lieut. Lewis wears the ribbon of the French Croix de Guerre, awarded for valor in action, but modestly declines to wear the medal itself. During the second battle of the Marne his company was sent to take and hold a difficult position. The company became divided in the battle and Lieut. Lewis found himself in command of 92 men, with whom he held the position for two days and two nights without food or water, until relief came. For this feat the French general in command awarded the cherished cross. He also has medals for services with the English and the French and the ribbon indicating participation in the second battle of the Marne when the Hun was thrown back in retreat to Germany.
We’re Fighting A Barbarous People
The 300-members of the Washington and Jefferson Student Army Training Corps assembled in the gymnasium last night to hear Lieut. Lewis drive home the meaning of and reason for military discipline. He told of the atrocities of the Huns which had come before his eyes, and by the valor of the American soldiers.
“We are not fighting merely the German government, we are fighting the German people,” declared Lieut. Lewis. “They are the same uncivilized race that sacked the City of Rome centuries ago and I cannot agree with some of the things I read in the press of this country after meeting them face to face. The race which has pillaged and burned unprotected French and Belgian towns, tortured and murdered innocent children in cold blood and carried young women into slavery with no military advantage accruing, is not to be dealt with as a member of this world’s civilization. And they are not. All these things I saw with my own eyes.”
Lieut. Lewis was in more or less constant touch with the One Hundred and Tenth Infantry, being in the same brigade. July 3 the brigade was billeted 13 miles behind the front line. The Allied high command anticipated a new German drive either July 4 of July 14, the French holiday. The German expected to find his enemy celebrating.
Discipline Prevents Mutiny
Of all this the junior officers were ignorant. The Pennsylvania boys had prepared baseball diamonds and tracks for a big field day on the Fourth. Lieut. Lewis describes what happened.
“About 3 o’clock in the morning, I wakened and heard some one climbing to the top floor of the French home in which Lieut. Warren, my company commander, and I were sleeping. A knock at the door and a voice said, ‘Lieut. Warren, I have orders for you.’
“Those orders were to go to the front immediately with the usual two-day iron rations. The brigade was formed, hiked to the front, skirmished for about three hours, and was ordered back over that same 13 miles. The boys wanted to stay there and fight, and I thought there would be a mutiny in camp. All were tired, restless and talking among themselves. Where was the discipline and obedience of the eight months of training at Camp Hancock.
“Lieut. Warren stepped in front of the company and called ‘Attention.’ Every man clicked his heels together and straightened his tired back. But two words were spoken to those men at that time and they went away quietly when dismissed. Lieut. Warren said ‘VICTORY FIRST.’ Such discipline is not to be found with ray recruits.”
Is Buried By a Shell
Washington boys have written home that July 4 would never be forgotten, but this is the first time the story has been told.
Only of his experiences in being buried alive would Lieut. Lewis speak of himself. His other stories are of his men. The expected German attack came July 14 and the Pennsylvania boys were there to meet it. From that time until August 11 when he was ordered to the United States as an instructor at Camp Logan, Tex., Lieut. Lewis said the Iron Division was under fire.
“I was sitting in a trench,” he related, “telling two of my sergeants of the attack we were about to make, when a shell it a bit too close and caved in the trench. I was bent over, but sufficient air space remained to keep me alive for the half hour it took the boys to dig me out.
“On another occasion I was sitting talking to Lieut. Tom Bridges of Washington, when we were unexpectedly ordered into the fight. Tom and I both had on trench boots and no time to change them. When we got to the firing line I was surprised to find a remarkable concentration of fire in my direction and caught a machine gun bullet in the leg. Then I discovered the boots, which indicated to Fritz I was an officer. I soon got them covered with the wrapped leggings of a man who had fallen. I believe Tom was wounded the same day and for the same reason.”
Sees a Brother Killed
“When the battle started July 14 the boche planes bombed us at will, for there was not an Allied plane to be seen. He would swoop down within 100 years of the ground, tip over and let go one of the ugly black bombs. Our machine guns were our only defense.
“My platoon was within a few hundred yards of the 110th headquarters building when it was bombed by a German plane. It was there that Leonard Whitehill of Washington was killed. I sent one squad of my men to move the men from the debris and learned later that 18 of the 60 in the building were killed. Little did I think at the time that a college fraternity brother had paid the price before my eyes. My platoon was ordered forward immediately.
“We started up a hill one day and not a shot was fired until he had passed the edge of a road which ran around the hill. Then the machine guns broke loose. The road was our only protection, and not much at that. We hung in behind it while other organizations cleaned up the woods at the top. That night there was not a mess pan in my whole platoon that would hold the good old army beef stew the cooks had for us. Those machine gun bullets had been grazing over the backs of my men and had filled their haversacks with holes. We got new mess kits. In fact, whenever we come out of the line we can get everything new from head to foot if we want it.
Beautiful Bayonet Fight
“The tiredest [sic] man I saw in France was ‘Pete’ Redinger, from Washington. I found him one day trudging along, 10 miles away from his company, which he had lost. He slept with me that night and started out bright and early to catch up with his company.
“The best story I can tell, and it must be about the last,” Lieut. Lewis continued, “is of a little hand-to-hand skirmish we had with Fritz and the clever work of the smallest man in my company. It was a bayonet fight and there the American soldier is supreme. My pistol was empty when I saw this powerful six-foot Dutchman making for our 130-pounder. It was David against Goliath. The boy stood in an easy position. His rifle was broken and there was no time to grab another. The German made his deadly bayonet lunge and our boy caught the bayonet with the outside edge of his right hand, throwing the blade past his shoulder. He grabbed the German’s rifle and gave it a couple of little clever twists we learned in camp. The German fell dead on his own bayonet. It was the gamest thing I ever saw.”
Lieut. Lewis said that while he did not see many of the Washington boys he heard always of their various fortunes and tried to keep in touch with them because he started his career with them. He knew nothing more about any of them than has already been learned here. He did not talk of peace, but of getting back to France, to be there to help put the finishing touches on the enemy. His company was composed entirely of Philadelphia men.
October 25, 1918
OUR OWN BOYS WIN PRAISE OF VETERANS IN ARGONNE FOREST
With the American Expeditionary Forces in France, Oct. 12. – The remarkable achievements and valorous deeds of the boys from Allegheny county, other parts of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia during the desperate fighting in the Argonne forest are the subject of admiring comment not only among the Americans, but also in the ranks of our French Allies. Many of the officers who took part in that campaign, among them some men of wide experience, have nothing but praise for the dashing boys of the Eightieth Division who, under the command of Maj. Gen. C. B. Cronkhite, smashed through the Hun defenses and gained their objectives in the face of what seasoned veterans say was unusually severe and determined resistance. Gen. Cronkhite enjoys the confidence of his men to a remarkable extent. He was in charge of their training at Camp Lee, Va.
(Edwin L. James, special correspondent with the American overseas forces for The Gazette Times and the New York Times, has written several fine descriptive stories of the marvelous defensive system which made the Argonne forest perhaps the greatest single fortified position ever constructed. – Editor)
In the Eightieth division are young men from Pittsburgh proper, Knoxville, Carrick, Fairhaven, Homestead, Bellevue, Sewickley, Sharon and many other towns in the Western part of Pennsylvania. Few had any military experience before going to camp, but they faced the terrific machine gun and shell fire of the Germans in a manner that astonished even their own officers. Innumerable tales are being told of the coolness of these hitherto untried soldiers and it was quite common for boys to be observed calmly rolling and smoking cigarets [sic] between the curtains of the barrage.
So violent was the attack of the Eightieth that time after time the Germans did not wait until their trenches were actually reached, but came out, hands aloft, to surrender. There were a number of odd incidents. One St. Clair borough soldier (name deleted) in the thick of the fighting suddenly found himself confronting his own cousin, a German infantryman, who had visited in Pittsburgh before the war. The German promptly surrendered to his American cousin and the two shook hands heartily amid the battle din before the captive started willingly to the rear.
Quite a number of men in the Eightieth held responsible positions in civil life a year ago and their rapid seasoning has been a surprise to the veterans of other divisions and to the French. A group of Pennsylvania boys who spent some time at the East Liberty barracks has made a reputation, not alone for bravery in action but for fortitude in hospitals. One battery captain brought a lot of Boche souvenirs back with him, caring for them in spite of his wounds. At another hospital where there were both white and Negro patients the men mingled together in the most fraternal spirit. When I dropped in I found a spirited craps game in progress and could almost imagine I was back on Wylie avenue.
Although the Americans are pretty [unreadable] over France, a good deal of new circulates through the various companies and regiments. Friends get into communication with each other and the gossip spreads. One tale has to do with Leon D. Kiss of Buena Vista street, North Side, Pittsburgh. He has been in France for some 19 months and was most of the time in communication with his brother, William U. Kidd, who first took a course at the University of Pittsburgh, and later went to the ordnance supply school at Camp Hancock. Letters stopped coming without explanation and Leon was worried, but one evening as he was seated at his typewriter busy with a letter home, he received a healthy shot on the back, and turned to see “Bill.” Neither of the brothers had known they were to meet and there was a great reunion and talk of home.
Ted. H. Braun of 208 Stratford avenue, Pittsburgh, who has been in France for some nine months, is said to be doing well. He enlisted at Camp Lee, September 8, 1917. Since his arrival in France he has been made a sergeant in the Motor Transport Corps to which he transferred from the infantry last November.
Lyle M. Finley of the North Side is another Pittsburgh boy who is getting along. He was employed with the Gulf Refining Company before entering the service in September, 1917, at Camp Lee. Soon after that he was transferred to the Quartermaster’s Corps and has served some 10 months in France with that branch.
Headquarters friends also hear occasionally from “Joe” Tanner of Mt. Troy Road, North Side, and C. R. Tannerbaugh of North Graham street, Pittsburgh. Tanner was connected with the American Tobacco Company and both have many friends among the younger set in the Steel City.
October 29, 1918
ALLEGHENY COUNTY BOYS WIN PRAISE BY DASHING CHARGE ON STRONG POST
With the American Expeditionary Forces in France, Pct. 27. – If the world war were to end tomorrow so that their reputation would have to rest upon the fights they have already fought, the fame of the Allegheny county regiments at the front would still be secure and very bright for the splendid drives made by the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry in the four days’ fighting northeast of the Argonne forest are known and praised throughout the length and breadth of the American sector.
I came up with the local regiments just as the American forces were pushing on from the battle in the woods. The men were tired as was natural after the engagements in the forest where they had turned back the Hun, in spite of one of the hottest machine gun defenses he has developed anywhere. But they were grimly happy and when I met a hundred fellows I had known in Pittsburgh or her suburbs and congratulated them upon the first fights in Argonne they showed nothing but confidence.
Twenty minutes later came the order for the Three Hundred and Twentieth and Three Hundred and Nineteenth to charge a division of German infantry backed by artillery which lay near the top of a bluff three quarters of a mile away.
They charged. It was an unequal fight and as they went down the slope and up the brow of the Hun entrenched eminence I wondered how many of these lads would come back.
Not a single man came back. Dashing across the intervening lowland the Pennsylvanians, with fixed bayonets, went on in spite of the bombardment of machine guns lined against them less than six feet apart, kept on full-face into the murderous rifle fire the Huns poured at them, swarmed up the side of the hill, hurled themselves upon the first line of the enemy and ended the unequal fight in 15 minutes by taking 200 Germans prisoner and consolidating their position around the mammoth 14-inch and 38-centimeter guns that they had taken along with the Huns.
\Veterans who have seen world war charges from the Marne to Countral told me they had never looked upon one that surpassed the vim, dash and downright bravery exhibited by those 2,000 lads from Pittsburgh and Allegheny county when they went up that hill and turned their own guns upon the retreating remnant of Huns they had not captured.
The victory, moreover, was highly important, for the howitzer and the 14-inch gun they took had been creating havoc in the rear lines of Maj. Gen. C.B. Cronkhite’s division for days. And among the prisoners they made were two battalion commanders, the loss of whom had considerable effect upon the subsequent morale of the retreating Germans.
In recognition of the splendid work of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth regiments, Gen. Cronkhite sent to each regiment a letter of congratulations and thanks for the highly successful drive. The Twenty-eighth has come in also for both official and unofficial praise.
November 3, 1918
Pick and Shovel as Well as Bayonet and Gun Help Pennsylvania Boys Win
With the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Nov. 1 – The Western Pennsylvanians of the Twenty-eighth and Eightieth Divisions are winning renown over the entire Allied front by charging the Boche with pick and shovel as well as with bayonet and gun. Skirmish after skirmish and drive after drive they have won literally with these tools as well as with their weapons. The history of their two-fold prowess at Argonne (in the wood and in the four days’ fighting beyond) has already become a classic of the war. Since July they have gone forward 20 times, and the records show that each time they have achieved their own objective.
That is 100 per cent fighting efficiency.
It is the more remarkable because these men were thrust “green” into the very heart of the most violent fighting Yankee soldiers have done in this war.
I saw 500 fellows from Pittsburgh and Allegheny county make one of those famous self-supporting drives at (name deleted by censor) near the Meuse today.
Three hundred of them carried shovels strapped to their backs. The Boche met them with a murderous machine gun fire and then, as they dashed on in spite of it, he split his front, so that half his force ran to the right and half to the left as the Pennsylvanians approached. Straight on to the knoll where his machine guns had been ran the Americans, firing right and left; then as they reached it the riflemen formed a great square about the knoll, and while they poured a merciless hail of bullets and their own machine fire into the Huns at either side, the others unlimbered that battery of picks and shovels and in one-half hour’s time the entire American raiding force had dug itself into the newly won position and was waiting for orders for another forward drive.
A French colonel, standing beside us as we watched, said simply: “That is the way to win war, M’sieu. Valor, the gun and the shovel – the three together – they are invincible.”
Incidentally the military experts have by no means left the Pennsylvanians’ achievements out of their review of the work of the First American Army. Paraphrased that review says: “In a month’s activities the long Argonne siege developed the most violent fighting the Americans have yet seen in France. And in this great drive the Pennsylvania soldiers of the Twenty-eighth and Eightieth won particular renown for their valor and initiative.”
Again in the most recent smash, continues the review, the Eightieth Division machine gunners, composed largely of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia soldiers, fought magnificently through the dense woods in spite of the most unusually effective Hun defense.
Col. B. M. Gordon, a former Mercer (Pa.) boy with the Three Hundred and Twentieth Regiment, told me that he did not believe it lay in any many to fight with more heroism, intelligence and determination than did the lads of Mercer and Allegheny counties. “They were marvelously effective, especially with the machine guns,” he said. “In the fights where they beat off the counter-attacks of the desperate Germans their work passed beyond all praise.”
The Eighteenth has been especially commended for taking dugouts that were said to be insuperable. Some of them had been held by the Huns four years when the Pennsylvanians routed them out.
CAPTURES AND FEEDS COUSIN
Private Ernest Roeck of St. Clair Borough, a member of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment, discovered his cousin, Karl Potrafke, among the prisoners captured at the end of the third day’s drive out of Argonne. Private Roeck, who had been one of the first over the top and who had made several prisoners on his own account, was detailed at the end of the day to search and take back to the rear some 50 Heinies who had surrendered. Going through the pockets of one of them he came upon some papers that referred to a town in Germany where he knew he had relatives. Questioning disclosed the cousin’s identity. He belonged to the Thirty-second German Division. His captor gave him the first square meal he said he had had in two months.
It may now be said that the Pennsylvanians in the Eightieth Division first went to the front near the famous Dead Man’s Hill.
November 14, 1918
GIRLS UP AT THE FRONT.
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Sept. 27. – (By Mail) Pennsylvania girls are doing and serving as bravely as Pennsylvania boys over here. I met two from the Pittsburgh district today way up almost at the front. They were Miss Marie Cavanaugh of Braddock, a graduate of the Pittsburgh Hospital Training School, and Miss Irene W. Odenwelles of Bruin, Pa., who recently received her training at the Butler County General Hospital at Butler.
Irene W. Odenwelles
These nervy young women were attending the wounded at one of the emergency hospitals nor far behind the firing ling. They were too busy to do very much talking, but they certainly will be able to make up for lost time when they get home among their friends. They have had some thrilling experiences and made some stanch friends out here where it’s what one is that counts. They happened to have copies of their passport pictures with them and gave them to me for publication in The Gazette Times.
Another interesting picture is of a big German gun taken by the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantries in the Argonne forest fighting. At the same time these Western Pennsylvania boys captured 200 prisoners, including two battalion commanders. The Gazette Times is indebted to Maj. Gen. C.B. Cronkite, commander of the Eightieth Division, for the photograph of the Hun giant cannon.
At another hospital, further back, I met Stephen J. Harbula, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Harbula or Ambridge. This youngster, for he admitted on being quizzed that he would “be 17 before very long,” although he stoutly maintained that his “army age is 18,” had been severely gassed.
A SCHEME THAT WORKED
“But I feel fine now and I expect to feel a lot better when I get back to my company,” he asserted. And he looked the part, rosy-cheeked and sturdy.
Stephen is a member of the One Hundred and Third Signal Corps, attached to the great Twenty-eighth Division, and Heinie got him while battling valiantly in the Chateau-Thierry sector. “I think I got three Heinies before they gave me the old gas,” he explained and seemed only worried because he had to stay out of the scrap so long.
Stephen says he has a brother who played with the crack Ambridge baseball team. He became a great favorite in the hospital and a pretty nurse sat along side him when he posed for his photograph.
I met a Pittsburgh youth who told me how he “dodged the flu” on the way over. Julie Orris - he is that same Julie who was the snappy catcher for the Pressed Steel Company baseball team. This is how he turned the trick.
Orris boarded the boat with hundreds of other lads from Camp Johnston. Many of them prepared at Pitt and tech as motor mechanics, but they were primed for anything that came along. The trip had hardly begun, however, before influenza appeared and soon there was a number sick.
Julie was one of those who felt good when he embarked and he wanted to continue that way. So when, the first day out, the officers asked for volunteers in the stokehold, he went to the front. Day after day he swung a shovel for hours, coming up on deck at intervals for fresh air. The prescription worked, too. His exertions in the boiler room gave him the daily equivalent of a Turkish bath, and the turn about the deck kept his lungs in good shape.
“It’s a funny place for a stranger,” commented Orris in telling of his trip over before the furnaces, “but the boiler flue looked a heap better to me than the Spanish ‘flu.’ And besides, I knocked off a couple of bones a day.”
November 18, 1918
PENNSYLVANIA GUARD DIVISION BATTLES TILL ARMISTICE HOUR ON SECTOR EAST OF ST. MIHIEL
Fighters of Twenty-Eighth in Thick of Final Blow – Eightieth Division Sent Back to Recuperate Just Before Signing of Truce After Brilliant Work in Drive on Sedan.
Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces, Nov. 15 (delayed) – As I write, this picturesque old town, 200 miles east of Paris, is the scene of rejoicing. The streets are thronged with joyous soldiers, while men, women and children, free at last from the fear of possible danger of the terrible air raids, are everywhere chanting songs of victory and thanksgiving. Through the merrymaking are heard the historic church bells, whose chiming smothered the last final echoes of the destructive artillery bombardment which continued until the hour of the armistice. There is a reverent touch to the informal celebrating as the war-stricken hearts of the people are revealed by their actions.
Reaching France late in the war, I was fortunate in getting into intimate touch with the last great drive made by the American fighters. After following the Eightieth Division in its spectacular swing toward Sedan, I dropped down the St. Mihiel sector at its finish. Two Pennsylvania divisions, the Twenty-eighth and the Eightieth, were recuperating there after their severe fighting.
Among those who made this final smash were thousands of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia men in the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth regiments. After reaching their objectives near Buzancy they moved forward with their divisions to the village of Sommauthe. Unexpedtedly the order came to march to an area many miles in the rear for recuperation.
The doughboys of the Twenty-eighth (old Pennsylvania National Guard) however, fought up to the armistice hour in an advanced sector east of St. Mihiel. Escorted by Capt. John Sands of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth, son of Laurence E. Sands, president of the First National Bank of Pittsburgh and Col. Love, commander of the same regiment, I moved up with the regimental command. On the second day of the attack the doughboys “jumped off” near Somme and in company with some French units, had taken Imecourt before the post command advanced.
In company with Col. Love and Capt. Sands I “hiked” across three or four miles of shell furrowed battlefields. Finally we found a murky cellar, recently evacuated by the Germans, where the post command was established. Later that night I chatted with some of the tired fighters, getting what rest they could in shell holes and impromptu shelters.
After a ride of 25 miles on one of the motor trucks which carried all the supplies forward, following the big advance, I reached the headquarters of the Eightieth Division. Here I had supper with Brig. Gen. C. B. Cronkhite and here, also, I had the pleasure of meeting my brother, Private Steve Doyle of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth, with whom I slept that night.
Here we established a temporary headquarters for The Pittsburgh Gazette Times at the message center. Private Lester Wertheimer of Lawrenceville, and Private Paulson Foster of Carnegie were in charge and they were only too glad to undertake to look after “the home paper” and its interests in the field. (The Pittsburgh directory gives the name of Lester H. Wertheimer of 7245 Kedron street and of D. Paulson Foster of Carnegie.)
Travelling the next day in the path of the victorious Yanks I say many remarkable scenes among the refugees and in the towns liberated after being in German hands. Numbers of the civilians had been prisoners virtually since the beginning of the conflict. Others, hurrying back to their homes on the heels of the army, followed the old men and women, with the crowds of the young, including babes in arms, into the churches.
These were impressive scenes, but not more so than the welcome given the American troops. The peasants crowded around, showering praise on their liberators, who marched, wheeled and maneuvered as steadily and easily as though they had not carried heavy sacks over tiring roads for miles.
Perhaps the most inspiring scene, however, was when a party of 20 young men, all of military age, but civilians, who had been taken prisoners at the beginning of the war by the Germans, but released when the armistice was signed and came marching down the road ankle deep in mud singing the “Marseillaise” with fine dramatic fervor. These liberated prisoners were beside themselves with joy and looked with wonder at the Americans.
November 21, 1918
KNOXVILLE SOLDIER KILLS FOUR GERMANS, ALTHOUGH SUFFERING FROM WOUND
Plucky Corporal Scialabba, While Crawling Back to His Company, Traps Huns Party, Three Survivors Surrendering to Him.
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Nov. 19 – If the review of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry that I witnessed this beautiful afternoon had been staged in Schenley Park instead of this little Argonne forest village I am sure the picture would have excited Pittsburghers to as unrestrained expressions of joy as were shown by the villagers.
It was an inspiring sight as these thousands of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia youths marched in review through the green pasture fields, with the picturesque town of Leneu for a background. Their excellent condition after the exhausting work of the last drive was commented on. The entire division is now resting in Argonne forest villages.
The weather has been ideal, bright and crisp, and a more charming setting for the review could not have been devised. A few minutes after the arrival of Maj. Gen. Adelbert Cronkhite the review began, the orders being issued by Brig. Gen. Lloyd N. Brett, commander of the One Hundred and Sixtieth Brigade, which includes both the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth regiments.
Among others I saw Pitcher John Miljus of Pittsburgh, who was under contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He will have some real tales to tell his club mates when he comes back.
I talked today with another Pittsburgher who has a brilliant record. Corp. Ignacio Scialabba of Company K, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry. His home is at 113 Brownsville road, Knoxville, and he is a son of Mrs. Anna Scialabba. This soldier was the central figure in an exploit that has been brought to the attention of Gen. Cronkhite with a view of getting official recognition. The story runs like this:
Corp. Scialabba, with other members of the Third Battalion of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth, ran into an ugly machine gun nest on the outskirts of Imecourt, near Buzancy. As the men were dropping back to the protection of a big orchard, by orders of the battalion commander, the Pittsburgher was grazed and burned by a machine gun bullet. He refused to go back for first aid treatment, but remained with his company, which he reached after rolling and crawling some 200 yards through the open fields into the orchard.
Shortly after reaching shelter Scialabba saw seven Germans creeping along a narrow road flanking the position. He opened fire and killed four of them when the other three ran forward, hands up to surrender. The Pittsburgher was unable to walk because of his wound, so he turned his captives over to a member of Company I, who had been attracted by the firing, to be taken to the rear. The incident was reported to Capt. Hooper of Company K, who in turn brought it to the attention of Gen. Cronkhite.
I also talked with Capt. Harry Sergeant of the Thirty-second Division. He told me how he had ridden all night with a company of about 100 Yanks, who had been prisoners of the Germans in Luxemburg until a few days ago when their captors turned them loose and told them to hustle for the French lines. The Americans walked for two days before reaching the Thirty-second north of Verdun. They sang all night for joy at being back among their countrymen. The said the food situation in Germany was bery bad, according to reports, and that the roads leading back into Germany were crowded with soldiers going home.
As I write, Lieut. J. F. Beattie, Fifteenth Engineers, a New Bethlehem boy, dropped in, apparently in the best of health. He had been reported dead. His outfit was formerly the Fifth Engineers, which trained in Pittsburgh, and Beattie says they are still at Verdun.
Pat Ward, a soldier athlete from Duquesne, showed me a cartridge belt he intends to keep as a souvenir. During the severe fighting at Imecourt, Ward, a member of Company L, Three Hundred and Nineteenth, felt a jerk about the middle of his body. An investigation showed that a machine gun bullet had torn out one of the pockets without injuring him. Ward was a member of the football eleven at Camp Lee.
They are telling a humorous story about Private Pat Hines of Pittsburgh, also a member of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth. After an advance, as the men were hastily digging themselves in, a German aviator circled low over the lines and bombarded them with bullets from his machine gun. Hines, flattening his body as small as he could in his shallow trench, looked up defiantly at the Boche and shouted:
“Ye villain, am I the only wan yes ken see!”
“And,” said one of the officers telling me the story, “that was just the way every man of us felt while that Hun was cutting up.”
November 27, 1918
MEN FROM PITTSBURGH AND VICINITY PRAISED FOR TRANSPORT WORK
Western Pennsylvanians and West Virginians Assigned to Eightieth Division as Drivers of Motorcycles and Automobiles Share in Service Which Won Commendation of Commander.
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Nov. 16. (By Mail) – When a Yank over here tells you that he is a member of “the headquarters garage” of any division you may, if you are not wise, get the idea he had a nice peaceful occupation, far from the nerve wracking dangerous zone known as “The Front.” This erroneous viewpoint is soon obliterated, however, when one comes into contact with these skillful manipulators of motorcycles and automobiles and hears something of their duties and responsibilities.
The Gazette Times correspondent had supper the other evening with the Motor Transportation Corps of the Eightieth Division. Capt. Charles Alexander, who is in command, is a native of Indiana, but Sergt. Gus Pannier, who was assisting him in the branch I visited, is from the North Side, Pittsburgh. “Smiling Gus” he is called. Others at the mess that evening were Sergt. Herman Davis of Keyser, W. Va.; Corp E. D. Meyers of Mt. Lebanon, and Crop. O. Owens of Cottersport, Pa.; Wagoners Mat Oliver of Bellevue, Harry Leaf of Fairmont, W. Va.; Walter Giles of the East End, Pittsburgh; Irwin Wetmore of Warren, Pa.; Victor Simon of Canonsburg, Pa.; Henry Lalus of the East End, Pittsburgh; Privates Biel Love of Hazelwood, John Vogt of Altoona, Pa.; Arthur Jarvis of Carrick; Tom Moyes of Harmarville; Frank Stewart of Sharpsville; Salvo Rago of Swissvale; Otis Jobe of Huntington, W.Va.; Earl Gerringer of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Herbert Harrison of Charleston, W. Va.; Neil Richardson of Erie, Pa., and Regis Rents of Hollidaysburg, Pa.
The Motor Transportation Corps gets into exciting action in times of battle. This branch of the dashing Eightieth Division is made up of almost two score of boys who love to say they live in Western Pennsylvania. Three hail from the shores of Lake Erie almost anywhere down the border to the nooks of Little Washington, Canonsburg and other towns. In some cases the line extends to the thriving cities of West Virginia.
Tales of thrilling experiences are numerous among the Yanks from the Pittsburgh sector. Riding through a shower of shrapnel with an officer in the side car seat is what has come to the lost of some of those dexterous drivers. They are often called up to furnish transportation to officers of the division who have missions at the front and, as these journeys are generally made in the cover of darkness, along muddy roads on which the traffic is very heavy, the attendant dangers can be partially comprehended by the reader. But one has to see the speed of these little cars along a black thoroughfare before getting anything like a true sense of the experience.
It is not hard to realize, however, that a driver of fine nerves and unusual skill is essential to hold a regular job in this important branch of a division. Riding over a shell-swept road is far from pleasant, but the spirit of the American which is quickly manifest in the average boy from progressive Pennsylvania and West Virginia responds to the situation and as a rule they look upon the whole thing as a rather enjoyable adventure. Frequently these rider-soldiers assist in the first-aid work by gathering in the wounded, and rushing them to First Aid stations.
Immediately after the signing of the armistice, I had an opportunity to visit Verdun, to which city the press headquarters were moved. The first soldier I talked to after entering the city was Herbert Orth, a Bellevue boy. He seemed to be in splendid condition and told me all the Western Pennsylvanians were rejoiced over the prospect of “the gang going back home soon.” Only a few of the Pennsylvanians were there, the commands having gone to rest camps in the Argonne Forest some little time before, and I understand that they are on their way to another rest camp about 100 miles further south by this time.
The signing of the armistice and the approach of Thanksgiving give point to Maj. Gen. Adelbert Cronkhite’s letter of appreciation to his command, the Eightieth Division. This was sent after the Argonne fighting, in which the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth Regiments covered themselves with glory. The letter reads as follows:
P. C. Eightieth Division, American Expeditionary Forces.
To the officers and enlisted men of the Eightieth Division:
I wish to express t you my deep appreciation of the great work accomplished by you in your first active operation.
Your work has received the highest commendation from your corps commander and his confidence in your military prowess is evidenced by the demands he has made upon your services.
It is too soon to mention officially individual deeds, but you may rest assured that due honors will be recommended in all cases of personal distinction.
Remember as well that whatever hardships you may have to suffer, the divisional staff, whose duty it is to provide for you, has done and will continue to do all that is within the limits of possibility to lessen your burdens. Give them your thanks.
You will soon be called upon for another push.
Remember that you made the Army objective on your first call.
Remember that the Eightieth Division can never stop short of the Army objective wherever it may be placed.
The enemy is faltering: his allies are deserting him. His infantry will not stand before your onrush.
Continue to smother his machine gunners by skillful maneuvering; hit his line hard and pass through.
Get him on the run and we shall eat our Thanksgiving dinner in peace.
November 28, 1918
HAND GRENADE, PLUCK AND “TIN HAT” SAVE M’KEESPORTER’S LIFE
Corporal Stevick Thankful for His Basketball Training, to Which he Owes His Escape from Clutch of Germans After Capture in No Man’s Land.
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Nov. 26 - Now that the fighting is over many interesting stories of individual experiences are coming out. One has to do with a McKeesport soldier-athlete who, although with a badly scarred head, is happily back again with this comrades of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth. He is Corp. Howard R. Stevick of Company M, whose home is at 401 Penny street. It reads like the scenario for a moving picture screamer.
Corp. Stevick was in the employ of the American Sheet and Tinplate Company and played with Squire Mansfield’s basketball team. He attributes his escape from death or captivity partly to his training on the basketball floor and cherishes fond memories of a little hand grenade which saved him from brutal punishment, if not the loss of his life.
The McKeesporter had not been long in France before he attracted attention, and the captain of his company several times assigned him to scout duty. On dark night, about 10 o’clock, near the close of the big American offensive in the Argonne region, the captain of Company M detailed Stevick and three men for a scout patrol. They came back a half hour later and reported voices a short distance from the front live. Stevick was ordered to investigate.
Creeping cautiously through No Man’s Land in the dense darkness Stevick suddenly was dumbfounded to find himself in the midst of a big squad of Germans. He was seized and disarmed, but his captors overlooked the fact that his slicker raincoat was provided with a pocket in which had a hand grenade. Some of the Germans who spoke English quizzed the Yank at once, but he gave evasive answers and they soon started him for the rear under guard or several armed men.
It was not exactly a pleasure trip, for the gauntled [sic] soldiers were not gentle in handling their prisoner and used their fists as persuaders when he did not get along fast enough. Before the party had gone very far the American outposts began to fire, and all but one of Stevick’s guards turned back to aid their comrades in the patrolling party. Although the German was armed with a rifle the McKeesporter was quick to seize his opportunity and clinched with him.
This was where the Yank’s basketball training stood him in good stead, and in a short time he had wrested the rifle from his captor. But, just as he did so, he received a hard blow on the head from behind. Luckily, his “tin hat” took most of the force of the thrust, and Stevick was not much hurt. A second later, however, a gun butt laid open his head and knocked him flat, although it did not stun him.
Stevick saw that three other Fritzies had come to the assistance of his guard, but he remembered his hand grenade. Pulling it from his pocket he extracted the pin and flung it squarely into the midst of his assailants, who scattered in all directions. Taking advantage of the momentary freedom the McKeesport lad jumped over a little hill and managed to hide in the darkness.
Corp. Stevick was weak from loss of blood, but made a desperate struggle to get back to his own line. He finally reached the vicinity of the American trenches, although unfamiliar with the trails. A Yankee sentry heard the rustling in the bushes and challenged. Stevick heard, but was too weak to answer. A second challenge came, and a third. Then Stevick heard the click of the sentry’s rifle and, summoning all his strength, he managed to whisper “Doughboy.”
The sentry who was on duty tells the rest of the story. He says he was just about to pull the trigger when he caught the whisper, and a minute later Corp. Stevick fairly collapsed into the trench, unconscious and covered with blood. He was immediately hurried to a first aid dressing station and later to a hospital, where his condition was serious for a time, but his recovery was rapid and he soon got back to his company.
After a pleasant but rather exhausting “hike” of six or seven days the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth Regiments have arrived in the vicinity of Chaumont, in Central France, where they expect to remain for some time. These Pennsylvania and West Virginia lads are thoroughly enjoying their life at this rest camp. The Gazette Times correspondent “hiked” for a day with Sergt. Ralph Miller of Knoxville, who had shortly before rejoined his company after being confined in a hospital for a time. He received a shell wound below the knee during the last big push, but had entirely recovered. He was in the pink of condition and was able to walk the entire distance without trouble.
The men said they particularly enjoyed this march because of the beauty of the country. Although heavily laden they were passing through villages and rural districts untouched by war, and, filled to their full strength by replacements from the depot division, the doughboys, led by the really excellent bands, stepped along briskly. It is also not telling any secrets to say that the face that a rest camp, and not German machine guns, faced them at the end of the day had something to do with making the march a pleasant one.
The Rev. Edward Wallace, chaplain of the Three Hundred and Twentieth is back with that command, despite the report that he was dead. The chaplain had a severe attack of grippe, but is now fully recovered.
WEST VIRGINIA RIDER SAVES FOUR WOUNDED MEN IN SHELLED AREA
Makes Four Perilous Trips Over Treacherous Roads Just Behind Fighting Lines – Member of Motor Transport Detail of 80th Division.
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Nov. 13. (By Mail) – There are many incidents of the great war that are not told in the heat of conflict and only come to light when commands get into the rest camps. The Gazette Times correspondent spent several days with the Motor Transport detail of the Headquarters Troop of the Eightieth Division, and this is one of the little real life stories that he heard:
Otis Jobe lives at Huntington, W.Va., when he is not engaged in helping his Uncle Samuel to keep peace in the world. Over here he is the driver of one of the little motor cycle side car which have been so potent a factor in keeping communications intact between headquarters and “the front.” To say that he is an expert motorcyclist is not crediting him with any special distinction, because every youth with such an assignment must be that. It takes a star to roll along near the ditch for miles, perhaps in pitch darkness, leaving the middle of what is called a road for the bigger cars and trucks.
In common with his fellows, Jobe was frequently assigned to trips into and through the shelled areas just back of the fighting line, and it was on one such run that he became for the time, an emergency aide. He had been to the advanced trenches with important messages and was on his way back when he heard a faint call for help from along the road.
His side car was empty at the time, as it happened, and so, when Jobe found that the call came from one of a party of four wounded doughboys, he was able to give them practical assistance. The roads were in exceptionally bad shape, owing to the heavy traffic and the many shell holes, but he got the most seriously injured Yank into his car and made an emergency run to the nearest first aid dressing station.
This wounded man delivered into the hands of the medical unit, Jobe went back to the others, taking with him a few things to make the wait more comfortable. The side car would accommodate but one man, so it took four trips to bring them all, but they were made without mishap and the motorcycle man finally got back to this own station a trifle late, but with the knowledge that he had been instrumental in saving considerable suffering.
December 1, 1918
SOLDIERS TELL OF BATTLES IN LETTERS HOME
Spring Garden Bride Hears of Husband’s Death – Soldier Gets D.C. Medal
Drive is Described
Although the war is ended, details of deaths, deeds of heroism and letters from the service still continue to come from France. In a telegram just received from the War Department, Mrs. Emma M. Smith of 1812 Spring Garden avenue has been notified that her husband, Sergt. Herman J. Smith, who died September 28, received his fatal wounds two days earlier just as he was going over the top with others of his company. He was a member of a Machine Gun Company of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth. He had escaped in several other battles. Sergt. Smith was married just before leaving for France.
Miss C. M. Dore of 900 Kirkbride street, has just received a letter from her nephew, Thomas Raphael O’Connor, stating that he won the Distinguished Conduct Medal which carries with it 20 pounds sterling annually and among several privileges that of visiting Ireland. He writes an enthusiastic description of Ireland, after his visit there. He won his medal for carrying wounded under fire.
James G. Hysong
A delayed letter from James G. Hysong of the One Hundred and Eleventh Infantry, written August 25 to Blaine Davies of 716 Sterrett street, recalls the thrilling battles, now past. He says: “I never realized what this thing was over her until I did my first bit on the front line and then I prayed and cried. Those large shells raise one clear off the ground if they hit near and it is an awful sight to see your comrades lying dead and wounded beside you.”
Sergt. John Dodrigan, son of John B. Dodrigan of 1246 Reedsdale street writes from a base hospital in France where he is recovering from a wound. He tells that his company was wakened from peaceful sleep at 3 o’clock one morning and started over the top. They ran into a nest of machine gunners and snipers.
The captain said, “Come on boys, let’s get them!” and we started. Before going far, however, he was shot in the leg. Several others were popped off and we stopped to give them first aid before going on. After firing only a few shots from my pistol it jammed which no doubt was caused by being hit by a bullet. This didn’t stop me, for I stooped down and got the captain’s pistol and went on ahead, but the fire became so strong that we had to lie down and believe me it was a good thing because a German barrage opened up and nearly tore us to pieces.
Private Joseph C. Dodrigan
This fire lasted four hours and they lay on their faces through it. Sergt. Rodrigan was wounded when he started away. He is a member of Company I, Three Hundred and Twenty-seventh Infantry. His brother, Private Joseph C. Dodrigan, is in Camp Lee.
SNIPERS KILLED ON CHURCH STEEPLES AND IN TREE TOPS
Machine Gun Fighter From East End Tells of Rapid Taking of Hindenburg Line.
In a letter received yesterday by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Roche of 618 Collins avenue, Private John Francis Roche of Company C, One Hundred and Thirty-third Machine Gun Battalion, A.E.F., describes the rapid penetration of the Hindenburg line, “which no other soldiers could break through until that time but the Yanks.”
“It took the American boys just 45 minutes at this point to break through the defenses and rout the Huns,” the letter says. The letter further states that with his battalion were he Oklahoma and Texas soldiers, all determined to show the Hun how to fight.
Private Roche said the captured Huns afterward told them that they feared non but the American fighters. The letter goes on to state that in the nine days fighting 12 villages were retaken from the invaders.
“We found Hun dugouts and trench dwellings 50 feet under the ground,” the writer relates. “Snipers were shot from church steeples and tree tops.” He tells his parents not to worry, that someone had to go to the front. He enlisted in Pittsburgh and was training at Camp Lee.
EDGEWOOD SOLDIER’S PLUCK BRINGS DEATH IN BATTLE
Officers Give Details of Falling of Harold A. Knapp in Fight July 18
Two letters have just been received by A. D. Knapp of Edgewood Park, giving details of the death of his son, Harold A. Knapp, member of Company A, Sixteenth Infantry, who fell in battle last July 18. According to the letters the young man’s pluck was responsible for his death.
Lieut. Ernest L. Visanska says Private Knapp went over the top on the morning of July 18 southwest of Soissons. He and Lieut. Visanska cleared a wheat field of machine gunners. The letter says:
After that we went forward, you son being about 10 yards on my right. Suddenly he called to me and said, “Lieutenant, I am hit.” I turned and started toward him and he said, “I am hit again.” At that time I was hit in the ankle by a machine gun bullet and your son and I fell within three feet of each other. I told him to examine his wounds and see how serious they were and in the meantime I removed my boot and found that my ankle was broken. Harold told me that his two wounds were merely slight flesh wounds in the upper part of his leg and that he wished to go forward with the attacking forces. Before he left he gave me first aid and I really believe that the tourniquet he put on my leg saved my life, for I was bleeding profusely.
Private Knapp continues on. Capt. Basin D. Spalding in his letter gives the following account:
It was here about 5 a.m. that your son was slightly wounded but though his platoon commander urged him to go to the rear he refused to be evacuated, saying that he could still be of some use in mopping up when we reached our objective. About 7 a.m. we reached the reserve lines and had a hard time breaking through on account or wire entanglements, protected by machine guns and artillery. It was here unfortunately that your son was killed and the service lost a soldier whom it could ill afford to lose and who had several times been an example to his comrades of courage and coolness under fire.
Both officers have high praise for the young man and Lieut. Visanska said that is there is any criticism to make it was that he was, perhaps, willing to expose himself unnecessarily to danger.
MACHINE GUN MAN KILLED BATTLE
War Department Notifies Relatives of Soldiers’ Death.
Missing Boy Safe
Private Sylvester Rombach, son of Mrs. Charles Rombach of Spring Garden avenue, was killed in battle October 11, according to information received by his mother. He was attached to the Machine Gun Company of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry.
An official telegram has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Donnelly of Homestead, which states that their son, Private Henry A. Donnelly, was killed in battle October 12. He was attached to Company B, Fifth Train Headquarters and Military Police. He saw service on the Mexican border with the United States Cavalry.
According to information received by Mr. and Mrs. T. F. Ackerman of 1316 West street, Homestead, their son Private L. De Vernon Ackerman, died in battle September 29. He was a member of Company D, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry. He trained at Camp Lee.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Boyd of Braddock, have been officially informed of the death of their son, Private William M. Boyd. Private Boyd was attached to the Three Hundred and Eighteenth Infantry. Besides his parents he leaves three brothers and three sisters.
December 8, 1918
320th INFANTRY CHOSEN AS PRESIDENT’S ESCORT – PERSHING SIGNALLY HONORS PITTSBURGH TROOPS
Crack Fighting Forces to Represent Army in Parade of Allies
319th, Also Largely Composed of Local Boyd, Close Second in Candidacy for Distinguished Honor – Brilliant Work of Soldiers Wins Commander’s Praise for People of This City.
SURVIVORS OF SHOCK PLATOON GET FLAG AT IMPRESSIVE SCENE.
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Dec. 7 – The crack Three Hundred Twentieth Regiment, composed almost exclusively of Pittsburgh and other Western Pennsylvania men has been chosen by Gen. John J. Pershing to represent the American Expeditionary Forces in the great Allied parade being arranged to honor President Wilson.
General Headquarters has notified the command of the Eightieth Division to prepare a regiment of infantry, presumably to act as an escort for the President when he arrives at the French capital.
When the orders were received the commanding general of the Eightieth Division asked Brig. Gen. Lloyd M. Brett, commander of the smashing One Hundred Sixtieth Brigade, to designate one or two regiments for the signal honor.
The One Hundred Sixtieth Brigade includes the Three Hundred Nineteenth and Three Hundred Twentieth Regiments, both of which were notable for their valorous service during the [unreadable] months of the war. These regiments are composed of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia troopers, among those very large numbers from Pittsburgh and the immediate vicinity.
TROOPS WIN GLORY FOR PITTSBURGH
Gen. Brett told the writer today that it was a most difficult task to select the command for the honor. He finally picked the Three Hundred Twentieth because it had more of the old members surviving. The general also took occasion to express his appreciation of Pittsburgh people, as exemplified by the remarkable dashing and efficient body of doughboys given to the army.
“They are most brilliant soldiers, exceptionally manly boys,” was the comment of the commander.
An impressive review of the Three Hundred Twentieth was held near Ancy le Franc yesterday in preparation for the parade in Paris. The most touching part of the spectacle came when the surviving members of the championship platoon, [unreadable] the best in the regiment, sent its shock troopers to be presented with an honor flag.
There are only 15 doughboys left of the original platoon, the Fifth, and it was an impressive scene as they advanced and stood at attention while Gen. Brett made the presentation. Sergt. Ralph Bugher, sterling athlete and corking soldier from Washington, Pa., had charge of the silent platoon.
Afterward the 36 full strength platoons, making up the regiment passed in review before the group of distinguished officers with the small championship platoon marching in the place of honor about the center. These men, all from the Pittsburgh section, are:
Sergt. Robert Willis, Elliott
Corp. Joseph Crossen, Connellsville
Private Joseph Karnes, Salina
Private K. Obidzinsky, Pittsburgh
Private David Auchinvole, Pittsburgh
Private Pietro Galossi, Pittsburgh
Private Dalton Verner, Pittsburgh
Private Roy McEl[?], Pittsburgh
Private Joseph Onkasky, Pittsburgh
Private Frank Leromineaux, Pittsburgh
Private Harvey Heisson, Pittsburgh
Private Vincent Scullo , Pittsburgh
Private Vincent Fegeti, Greensburg
Private Charles Ridenour, Greensburg
BRILLIANT WORK CONTINUED TO LAST
The prize platoon first distinguished itself on the Arras front where it served with the British. Sergt Bugher led the boys in a number of daring exploits that were notable even among these dashing fighters, with which his command was brigaded.
The platoon continued its good work during the September, October and November pushes. Some of the members made the great sacrifice, while many others were wounded.
Lieut. Col. Edie of Connellsville has been promoted to the position of chief surgeon of the Eightieth Division, succeeding Col. Rhodes. This is in recognition of the splendid work done by the medical detachment during the big drives that ended the war. Col. Edie had previously been mentioned in orders for the meritorious work of the command.
Although there are thousands of Pittsburgh boys in the Eightieth Division, it was not until yesterday that I found a commissioned officer who lives in Pittsburgh proper. He is [unreadable] William Blough of Fletcher way, Homewood, formerly with the “Fighting Twenty-Eighth”, with which he saw action before he was transferred to his present post.
December 2, 1918
PROSPECT OF EARLY RETURN BRINGS THANKSGIVING JOY TO WOUNDED PITTSBURGH BOYS.
Fighting Cook of Three Hundred Nineteenth Infantry Overjoyed When Told by Gazette Times Correspondent His Pals Came Through War Unscathed. Knoxville Youth Doing More Than His Bit When Stopped by Piece of Shell – Ball Players Act as Ushers in Paris Church.
Paris, Nov. 29. – (Delayed) – It was a curious but thoroughly enjoyable Thanksgiving afternoon that I spent sitting beside the cozy cots in American Base Hospital No. 41, chatting with the sturdy young chaps who are recovering their health and strength there. It is the magnificent Legion of Honor structure, rich in historic lore, at St. Denis, on the outskirts of Paris. The building, more than 600 years old, was formerly the burial place of the French kings. Once a monastery, it was later, under Napoleon, a school for officers’ daughters and is now a mammoth hospital sheltering about 2,500 wounded Yanks.
While wandering through the stately corridors of the ancient monastery in search of the men of the Twenty-eighth Division whom I had heard were being treated there, I was roused from my spell of admiration for the beautiful old building by a cheery hail.
“Hello, Doyle! How are the Three Hundred Nineteenth boys?” came the call.
Peering over a sea of cots I got a glimpse of the laughing face of Private Charles H. Glacken of 443 Brownsville road, Knoxville. Although “Charlie” was carried on the rolls of the regiment as a cook, he “went over the top” with the rest of them, having gotten hold of a rifle somehow, and was certainly doing his bit until hit in the knee by a small piece of high explosive shell.
This was during the early part of the advance and, as the wound was not a very serious one, Glacken was able to make his way back to a first aid station. Later he was brought to Paris for treatment. Now he looks the picture of health. As we talked he lay on his comfortable cot, extremely happy because he had been told that he would be sent back to Pittsburgh soon. He expects to have the full use of his leg in a short time.
The fighting cook of the Three Nineteenth [sic] had only one worry. He was anxious for news of Sergt. Bert Tremellen of Locust street, Mt. Oliver and Sergt. George Hegemelf of Knox avenue, his chums in Company K. I was able to tell him that both came through the hot fighting without a scratch, which was a great relief to him.
One of the The Gazette Times-Chronicle Telegraph soldiers literally beamed when I reached his cot. This young fighter was Thomas Orpy of 1330 Webster avenue, Pittsburgh, and was employed in the mailing room before he went join [sic] the army. He is a member of Company L, One Hundred and Eleventh Infantry, Twenty-eighth Division. His nurse had all sorts of nice things to say of this boy, who was wounded seven weeks before the Argonne forest fighting. Although he had a machine gun bullet in his foot, which required much attention, he displayed rare patience. He is doing well now.
Private Fred Libby, a Johnstown member of Company F, One Hundred and Tenth Infantry, was also in the hospital. He was almost entirely recovered from the effects of a shell wound. He formerly lived on the North Side, Pittsburgh.
Another Western Pennsylvanian I saw was Corp. George McCann of Butler, who was wounded near Verdun. He smiled broadly through his big bandage as he talked to me of the prospect of getting back home. He was wounded five times, but none of the injuries was serious and he is practically well now.
Private Louis McDonald, known about Homewood as an amateur ball player, who served “over there” with an anti aircraft company, was another who will probably soon be able to leave. He was sent to the hospital [unreadable] and was also told that Private Roy Kelly of the West End, Pittsburgh, had been there, but was recently discharged and was probably heading straight for the Steel City. He served with the One Hundred and Ninth Division.
I missed seeing a number of the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania men because most of those well enough to stand the trip had been taken in trucks into Paris for the big celebration. King George of England and two of his sons were present and took part in the official observance of the day. All Paris had a great day. The splendid cathedral was decorated with French, American and English flags and the service was wonderfully impressive. Cardinal Bourne of Westminster, the principal speaker, touched strongly on the part played by American in bringing the war to a close.
At the Madeleine the mass was opened by the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” on the huge pipe organ to the accompaniment of trumpet blasts. This service was arranged specially for Americans, but the appreciation of the French people was shown by the fact that they stormed the gates at a very early hour and literally took possession of the church.
Andy Noswing of Pittsburgh was in charge of the ushers at Madeleine and among his assistants were Jack Hendrick, manager of the St. Louis Nationals, and Johnny Evers, the famous second baseman. Both are doing Knights of Columbus work in France.
December 4, 1918
WORK OF FIRST AID MEN FROM PENNSYLVANIA WINS THEM UNDYING GLORY
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Nov. 16 – (By Mail) – When the Eightieth Division Medical Unit was given special mention by the First Corps commander for exemplary service on the field of battle the mark of honor fell to hundreds of the sturdy sons of good old Pennsylvania. The work of the stretcher bearers and first aid men was especially commended and Col. Rhodes, who is at the head of the unit, earned admiration of the doughboys in the ranks, as well as of Maj. Gen. Adelbert Cronkhite, commander of the Eightieth Division.
Ralph Hanna, Springdale
The writer was given shelter for a few hours one morning at the Eightieth Division first aid station, near Imecourt, the scene of some of the fiercest fighting engaged in by the command during its last drive. Coming in out of the desolate darkness about midnight, I asked permission to rest awhile at a welcome wood fire which blazed in a spacious grate. Four or five workers were “on the job” that night, a half dozen others being rolled in their blankets on the floor, sleeping after their strenuous day of battle.
The bright-looking lad who had a cheerful welcome for me was delighted when he learned that I was a Pittsburgh newspaperman. He proved to be Sergt. Joe Dick, whose home is in Wilmerding. Despite the strain under which he had been working, he was as fresh as a daisy and the quick certainty with which he cared for incoming calls was impressive. Stretching a blanket near the fire he insisted that I lie down and we had a long talk about the Steel City and its affairs before I dropped off for an appreciated sleep.
Joe Dick, Wilmerding
Private Sam Augustine, a fiery-eyed but smiling youth from Glassport, and Private Ralph Hanna of Springdale were on duty with Sergt. Dick that night, while others from the Pittsburgh section that I met were Gustave Sammneck of Turtle Creek, Tom Dunlay of McKeesport and William Rodgers of Pittsburgh. I also got the picture of two study soldiers, taken as they rested alongside a typical French road, Joseph Laughlin of McKeesport and James Harden of Carnegie, both members of First Aid Corps.
Aside from the commissioned officers, the Eightieth Division First Aid Corps is composed almost entirely of Western Pennsylvanians. It is the testimony of Gen. Cronkhite himself that their work during the great drive toward Sedan was one of the remarkable features of the gallant advance. In addition to taking care of their own command, countless fighters of other unites were aided and there were a number of daring rescues. They were able to help out in this manner on account of their general efficiency and spirit. Much of the work was done under hot shell and machine gun fire and during gas attacks.
December 11, 1918
PITTSBURGH FIGHTERS GIVEN WEEK’S REST IN NOTED FRENCH WATERING PLACE IN THE ALPS
Well-Earned Vacation is Granted to 150 Members of Pennsylvania Regiments – Boys in Great Condition After 100-Mile Hike – Steel City Corporal Proud as Lucifer Over Punctured “Tin Lid”
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Dec. 6 – (Delayed) – About 150 members of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth infantries, among them a number of boys from Allegheny county, got a week’s leave of absence after the armistice was signed. They were taken to Aix Les Bains, the great resort in the French Alps, for a rest.
The two regiments had just finished a 100-mile march and were comfortably settled in quarters near Chatillon Sur Seine, some 150 miles southeast of Paris, when the writer visited them a few days ago. I met up with a dozen or more Pittsburghers who had enjoyed the “big week” at the famous watering place in the Alps. All were feeling and looking fine after their seven days of soft beds in a good hotel, but without exception the boys seemed to be glad to get back with their outfits again.
At the end of their leave the doughboys were assigned to railroad coaches, which carried them to Ancy le France. Here they disembarked to march the remaining 25 miles to find their regiments. Here are the names of the men in the happy squad I met trudging along the road which led to camp:
Sergt. Charles Dinah of Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh; Corp. Ray Atkinson, Homewood, Pittsburgh; Sergt. Brook Braugner, Homewood, Pittsburgh; Corp. Conrad Rectenwald, Mt. Oliver, Pittsburgh; Private Mike Vackaro, Belle Vernon; Private Herman Brown, Stevenson street, Pittsburgh; Private Earl Kalisinski, Sunnyside; Sergt. George Emory, Homewood, Pittsburgh; Private Frank Ryan, Elliott, Pittsburgh; Private A. B. Torrance, Butler street, Pittsburgh and Sergt. Joe Rectenwald, Mt. Oliver, Pittsburgh. All are members of various companies of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry.
Corp. Conrad Rectenwald of Company K, also of Mt. Oliver, was carrying a highly valued souvenir which he proudly showed me. It was his steel helmet which had been penetrated in two places during the last drive of the war. The bullet had torn through the tough steel, burned the side of the overseas cap worn beneath the helmet and passed out the other side without touching the skin of the wearer.
Corp. Rectenwald was a well-known amateur base ball player back home. He “jumped off” with his company at Sommerance and was exceedingly busy chasing Huns when the leaden missile arrived and dazed him momentarily. His pals thought that he had been wounded, especially when they say the holes in his helmet, but Rectenwald was found to be unharmed and soon recovered enough to take his full part in the smash that carried the boys from the Keystone state through Buzancy.
When I visited the commands the doughboys, despite the walk of 100 miles in 10 days, were in the best of condition. Sergt. J. Norman Digby, 118 Meridian street, Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh, formerly a member of the editorial staff of The Gazette Times, now in Company D, Three Hundred and Twentieth, spied me hiking down the road and insisted that I stop and have dinner with his outfit. And it certainly was some beefsteak dinner that was served that day in Sergt. Digby’s hut in the rear of a comfortable stable.
Among the other boys gathered around the gay and festive board with Digby an dme were Private Stephen Chmielewski of Fleetwood street, Pittsburgh; Corp. Stewart McCartney of Bolivar; Cook Emil Miller of the North Side, Pittsburgh; Private Stephen Wano, Latrobe; Private William McKinley, Mt. Oliver, Pittsburgh; Private Francis Milewski, North Side, Pittsburgh; Private John O’Hagen, Fleetwood street, Pittsburgh, and Private William Winter, Lovett way, North Side, Pittsburgh.
I heard a lot of army gossip that night. Private Winter claims he is the luckiest chap in the whole American Expeditionary Forces. He had just been discharged from the hospital after recovering from a wound received in the Bois de Argonne push when he got in the way of a German sniper’s bullet. It penetrated his steel helmet and tore a nasty wound in Winter’s forehead, but fortunately it was almost entirely healed when I saw him.
Private Winter had been used as a runner during the big drive in which the Americans won so much favorable notice. It is extremely hazardous work and the North Sider was under fire a great part of the time. A German sniper had spotted and tried to get him the day before he was hit, but missed. When the Boche got his chance the second day, however, he was more successful. Fortunately for Winter, he had been careful to carry his first aid packet and was able to give himself emergency treatment, which sufficed until he was able to find his way to a first aid dressing station.
December 14, 1918
EIGHTIETH DIVISION GLORIFIES ITSELF WHEN CALLED UPON TO HELP START HUN TOWARD SEDAN.
“Blue Ridgers” Under Cronkhite, Who “Only Move Forward,” Prove in Every Emergency That Their Motto Was Well Chosen.
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Nov. 13. (By Mail) – “The Eightieth Only Moves Forward!”
Such is the striking slogan of the Blue Ridge, or Eightieth Division, which is composed entirely of boys from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.
The catchy motto allotted to this brilliant band of fighters probably was originated by Maj. Gen. Adelbert Cronkhite, division commander, or one of his staff. What it typifies was carried out in a forceful manner every time Gen. Pershing called on the lads for a drive.
But the slogan of the division is hardly any more appropriate than its pretty nickname. “The Blue Ridge Division,” the symbol of which has been cleverly worked into a monogram showing three mountains, each emblematic of one of the three great states represented in the Eightieth.
In a few days now the rank and file of the boys of the Eightieth will be wearing a distinctive cloth insignia on their arms near the shoulder. They are not aware of this at present, but Gen. Cronkhite appeared in one a day or so ago, and when questioned he admitted he was having them made by the thousands for his boys. They appropriate chevron clearly shows three mountain peaks, the design having been produced cleverly in the cloth.
On the stationery of the Eightieth staff officers the idea appears in a beautiful monogram, the numerals “80” showing under the view of the mountains.
Gen. Cronkhite smiled when he stated he had another surprise for the boys. He hinted that it might be a divisional club, because, as he said, the outfit had considerable money to spend, and he believes in doing as much for the fighters as possible.
Shortly after the Eightieth Division emerged from its first successful drive of 16 days, or about October 10, Gen. Cronkhite, the commander of the outfit, made a prediction in a letter of congratulation to his men which to all intents is to be fulfilled.
Thankful over the great work of his boys in the severe Bois de Agon action, Gen. Cronkhite issued an order to officers and enlisted men which extolled the fighters in glowing terms. In closing the letter the commander of the troops declared in capital letters:
“Get him on the run and we shall eat our Thanksgiving dinner in peace.”
The prophetic vision of the General is vindicated in what has transpired. The Yanks kept the Boche on the run, and in a few weeks they were begging for peace and the armistice was effected.
The Eightieth was called upon for more valiant service after a week’s rest and consequently marched up to the lines during the last days of October. Taking their position in the vanguard during the very early hours of the morning of November 2, they “jumped off” near the town of Sommerance and, in conjunction with other units of the Army, soon had the Hun backing toward Sedan.
The commanders of the First American Army and the First Army Corps have honored the boys from Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia by giving them special mention in the Army orders while the big drive was in progress. The names of Lloyd M. Brett, brigade general in charge of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth regiments, together with his doughboys, were given extraordinary prominence, which means that they boys who live in the western end of the Keystone State are akin to wildcats when they once get under way, and it does not require much urging to start them.
The following is the full text of the honorary orders given in reward of the boys’ push toward Buzancy, as well as the appreciation of Gen. Cronkhite to the members of his division:
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTIETH DIVISION, AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES.
General Order No. 19
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE 89TH DIVISION:
The Eightieth Division only moves forward.
It not only moves forward against the enemy, but it moves forward in the estimation of all who are capable of judging its course, its fighting and its manly qualities.
In the operations for the period November 1-5, the division moved forward 13 ½ miles in an air line.
It always led.
It captured two Huns for every man wounded.
It captured one machine gun for every man wounded.
It captured one cannon for every 10 men wounded, besides large quantities of munitions and other stores.
It accomplished these results of vast importance to the success of the general operation of casualties than any other division engaged.
It has learned by hard training and exercise.
The appreciation of the corps and Army commanders is expressed in the following:
Telegram from the commanding general, First Army:
The Army commander desires that you inform the commander of the Eightieth Division of the Army commander’s appreciation for his excellent work during the battle of today. He desires that you have this information sent to all organizations of that division as far as may be practicable this night. He fully realizes the striking blow your division has delivered to the enemy this date.
Telegram from the Commanding General, First Army Corps:
The corps commander is particularly pleased with the persistent, intelligent work accomplished by your division today. He is further desirous that his congratulations and appreciation reach Gen. Lloyd M. Brett, commanding your brigade, which has borne the brunt of the burden.
Letter from the Commanding General, First Army Corps:
The corps commander desires that you be informed and that those under your command be informed that in addition to other well-deserved commendations received from the Army Commander and the Corps Commander, he wishes to express his particular gratification and appreciation of the work of your division from the time it has entered under his commands.
It is necessarily a great honor to be allowed to command an organization which earns such commendation.
It likewise is a great honor to belong to such an organization.
I do not know what the future has in store for us.
If it be war, we must and shall sustain our honor and our reputation by giving our best to complete the salvation or our country.
If it be peace, we must and shall maintain our reputation and the honor of our division and the Army, as soldiers of the greatest country on earth, and as right-minded, self-respecting men.
The Eightieth Division moves only forward.
MANY PITTSBURGH MEN OF THE 80TH DIVISION ABOUT TO BE DECORATED
Some Awards for Valorous Service, Others to Best Trained Platoons – Cronkhite Made Commander of Army Corps.
With the American Expeditionary Forces, Dec.14. – (Delayed) – The next few weeks will see many decorations among the doughboys of the Eightieth division. Some of these decorations will be rewards for valorous service in action, while the commanding officer of the division has offered several hundred pretty pearl chevrons for members of the best trained platoons in the four regiments of infantry. The fourth platoon of Company K Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry won the championship of the One Hundred and Sixtieth Brigade, which is made up of two Pittsburgh regiments.
There are approximately 36 platoons in each regiment, but the fourth section of Company K cleaned up everything in the Three Hundred and Nineteenth. The section then went over to tackle its sister regiment, the Three Hundred and Twentieth, where it met and won over Company A platoon, a severe test. The latter platoon or what is left of it, is now in command of Sergt. Ralph Bugher of Washington, Pa. These boys, it is understood, will probably get sleeve decorations, which are to be worn between the triangular service stripes.
The following remain of this championship platoon: Sergt. Burton Tremellen, Mt. Oliver, Pittsburgh; Sergt. Gilbert Snyder, of Fairhaven; Sergt. William Poster, of Crafton; Corp. James Laughlin, of Homestead; Corp. Fred Ramsey, of Bellevue; Private James Quinn, of Monessen; Private Harry Markowitz, of Woods Run, Pittsburgh; Private Austin Murphy, of Monessen; Private Henry Hinman, of West Virginia; Private Michael Kermes, of Millvale; Private Michael Rusake, of New Brighton; Private George Young, of East McKeesport; Private Frank Miller, of West Homestead; Private Antonio Paolone, of Pittsburgh; Private Robert Logan, of Clearfield; Private Hyman Epstein, of Tyrone; Private William Naylor, of Pittsburgh; Private George Nuttall, of West Newton’ Private Andrew Olszewski, of Erie; Private Arthur Carlson, of Pittsburgh; Private Francis Finn, of Bedford; Private Albert Hess, of Sharon.
The following members of the platoon who were slightly wounded in battle, were sent to hospitals, but many of them have been discharged: Sergt. John Jenkins, of Homestead; Corp. James White, of Erie; Corp. Edward Maushart, of Avalon; Privates Wayne Ruth, of Swissvale; John O’Dell, of West Virginia; Alexander Kirstein, of Mt. Oliver, Pittsburgh; Abraham Panish, of Etna; Floyd McKelvey, of Fair Oak.
All the Western Pennsylvania boys are now qualified to wear service stripes, which denote six months’ service in France. The order for the stripes was given by Maj. Gen. Cronkhite in command of the Eightieth division. Gen. Cronkhite has been promoted to commander of an army corps in recognition of his good work.
December 17, 1918
DASHING FIGHTERS HAILING FROM ALLEGHENY CONTY SEE PRESIDENT BUT MISS OLD PALS.
Members of Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry, Recommended for Commissions Because of Bravery in Action, Say Absence of Comrades Mars Enjoyment of Paris Festivities.
Paris, Dec. 16. – There is one bunch of Allegheny county doughboys in Paris who are disappointed, although they saw the wonderful spectacle connected with the arrival of President Wilson. They are members of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry who had been detailed to an officers’ training school near here. They are disappointed because they have not yet seen their pals of the old regiment, which, they had been told, were to be detailed to Paris in connection with the President’s stay in the French capita.
The Army orders instructing the Pittsburgh boys to report at the capital did not say when they were to come or exactly what they were to do. There were no soldiers of any description in the party which escorted the President from the railroad station, although thousands of French troops were used as guards along the line of march.
The Western Pennsylvania fighters have all be given new uniforms, shoes and arm decorations and have been assiduously drilled, so they are ready for any event, no matter how pretentious. The regimental officers say they think there will be a review later and are holding the regiment in readiness.
The embryo officers in the vicinity of the city, who secured short leaves of absence to witness the big spectacle, were all up bright and early. By 6 o’clock in the morning they were out hunting for the boys with whom they fought in the severe battles for the Argonne forest. They are all members of the splendid Three Hundred and Twentieth Regiment and, following the first two drives made by that command, were recommended for admission to the training school in preparation for commissions.
I happened to meet up with a party from the training school. Shortly before they had encountered two pals from the Three Hundred and Twentieth, who were going back to join their outfits after recovering from wounds. Fine husky-looking soldiers they were, all of them, and they asked The Gazette Times to convey their wishes for a “Merry Christmas” to their friends back home.
These fellows who made me very welcome were: William Keifer, Iten street, North Side, Pittsburgh; D. C. Hill, Halsey place, North Side, Pittsburgh’ P.V. Speer, Vandergrift; Sabin Boltin, Collins avenue, East End, Pittsburgh; James Palmer, Bellevernon; Charles Ernst, Rial street, East End, Pittsburgh; William Collignan, Michigan avenue, South Hills, Pittsburgh; T. K. Brennan, Hotel Henry, Pittsburgh, and George Costello, Coltart square, Oakland, Pittsburgh.
All these men won distinction during the hard fighting immediately preceding the final actins of the war and were recommended for commissions. It was their behavior under fire that attracted the attention of their superior officers. Although all of them have finished the prescribed training, they told me they would be willing to forfeit their pending commissions if allowed to get back to “the old outfit.” They are lonesome, and want to renew the warm friendships made in the ranks of the Three Hundred and Twentieth, preferring them to military honors. Most of these men were sergeants during the time they were fighting in France.
Charles O. Mebie, a well-known Fayette county resident, whose home is near Uniontown, was one Pennsylvanian whose presence in Paris came to the notice of the public. He disregarded all parade traffic rules in his efforts to find the youthful son of Carl. L. Bemies, a member of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Regimental Band, but has had to postpone the reunion for a few days. Mr. Mebie is on his way to Russia on a special mission for the Y.M.C.A.
It is evident here that the folds back home are reading the special stories in The Gazette Times. A number of clippings have come to the boys of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and the Three Hundred and Twentieth, and they are not only being passed around among the men, but are being read with interest by the officers.
December 18, 1918
HEROIC PITTSBURGH BOY BRAVES DEATH TO STOP HUN HORDE.
Lt. Moreland’s Remarkable Gallantry Wins Croix de Guerre With Star and Enviable Place in Ranks of Famous Foreign Legion.
Paris, Dec. 7. – Of the many stories of Western Pennsylvania youths who rushed to France to fight with her for the noble cause of world liberty, which have been coming to light since the war ended, none is more interesting or varied in episode than that of young William Ford Moreland of Pittsburgh, whose father is secretary of the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company. Young Moreland is a lieutenant of artillery in the far-famed Legion Etrangere, or Foreign Legion, of the French Army. He wears the insignia of the Croix de Guerre and star for valor, the decoration having been bestowed upon him in the field by Marshal Petain, at the time commander of all the French armies.
Lieut. William F. Moreland.
Lieut. Moreland is the youngest officer by several years in the artillery unit to which he is attached, and has been in more battles and swifter action and tighter places and through greater hardships than most other young men of the United States who valorously came to France to help her fight off the Hun horde. His story was told to me by some of the other young Americans here, who know his record, which is said to be unusual and which France has recognized by several decorations.
As soon as war was declared between American and Germany young Moreland, then a student at Yale University, started out to get into Uncle Sam’s fighting forces and be sent over here. As he was not yet 20 years old he was unable to enlist in any officers’ training camp of the American service in any capacity, although he tried them all. However, he came to France with the American Field Service toward the end of June, 1917, enlisting to drive an ambulance or transport.
After he got here and looked around he decided that he would see more action and be of more service by joining the French Army transport, which he did. He was sent to a training camp and engaged in a short while as a full-fledged driver, or “conducteur,” of a five-ton French Army truck.
Moreland’s company was sent to supply the famous French 75s in the artillery duel on the Verdun and Champagne fronts, and it was while so engaged that he received his first citation for courage in going to help serve a gun which had become shorthanded by reason of casualties during the action. His work with the transport service, hazardous and hard and frequently under fire, brought him in contact with the artillery at the front and caused him to determine to get into that branch of the French service.
Leaving the transport, he enlisted in the French artillery as a private, but was shortly taken out and sent to the officers’ training school at Fontaineblau [sic], near this city, where he trained for artillery aviation. He passed successfully the severe tests of the school and was sent to train for the flying service.
Just as he had completed his training as an airman volunteers were called for in the new French tank service and Moreland stepped forward. However, before he could be fully trained for this branch of the service he was selected on merit for the artillery of the Foreign Legion, and from the moment of joining his battery was engaged in action, which continued up to the signing of the armistice with little respite. The battery to which he was originally assigned was decimated in one of the great West front battles and Moreland was transferred to another command, which was badly used up in the closing engagements of the war, losing nearly all its horses and sustaining heavy casualties among officers and men.
From the start of the great Allied offensive which brought end of the war Lieut. Moreland’s battery was at the front, following closely after the advancing infantry to furnish barrage fire and obliterate enemy trench systems and repel counter-attacks.
DECORATED FOR BRAVERY
The act for which Lieut. Moreland was decorated in the field was one of exceptional coolness and deliberate sacrifice. His work of acting as barrage officer obliged him to go forward with the infantry to direct the barrage fire so that it remained always in front of the troops. This was done by means of a telephone mounted on wheels and required quick thinking and accurate calculating in order to avoid the catastrophe of the infantry rushing into its own barrage and also to prevent the enemy from coming through it.
On the occasion mentions Lieut. Moreland was far out ahead with the first saves of infantry going forward in a heavy field of gas. Suddenly he saw a mass of enemy troops arise out of the trenches only a few hundred yards away and start forward in counter-attack. Quick work was necessary to alter the range of battery fire and check the attacking wave of Huns. He tried to give directions over the telephone, but the difficulty of making himself understood through the gas mask was too great. Instantly and deliberately he removed the mask and transmitted the proper orders. He managed to get the mask on again, but succumbed to the gas.
The advancing French found him unconscious and removed him to a dressing station. Here he was brought around and sent back and finally ordered up to this city on furlough to fully recover.
COMMAND IS SAVED
Official records show that, as a result of Lieut. Moreland’s prompt and heroic action in risking his life to save his comrades, the battery was able to lay down a heavy barrage on the Huns within eight seconds after his telephone message got in and the attack was completely checked. For this deed of coolness he was awarded the Croix de Guerre with star, which indicates a double award, and had the further distinction of having it pinned on his breast before the troops by Petain.
At the time this occurred Lieut. Moreland was a lieutenant aspirant, but having notable passed through the probationary period has since been promoted to a lieutenancy. His experience in the Great War just ended has been that of many other clean, courageous, high-minded young Americans, but few of them have been privileged to serve with the French artillery in the world-famous Foreign Legion and fewer still have been in as many battles and experienced as many exciting adventures with accompanying thrills.
December 19, 1918
PITTSBURGH TROOPS ENDEAR THEMSELVES TO FRENCH TOTS WITH PLANS FOR CHRISTMAS.
Knoxville Sergeant Selected as “Mayor” of Villiers Where Huge Community Tree is To Be Loaded For Kiddies – Death of Gallant Lieut. Trotter Casts Shadow Over His Company
Headquarters Eightieth Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Dec. 17. – (Delayed) – The big-hearted doughboys of the Eightieth Division are preparing to give a real American Christmas treat to the kiddies of the French villages in which they are quartered. Elaborate plans have been made by the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia fighters, and it is safe to say that the boys and girls are going to have the time of their young lives.
The various battalions of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry are scattered through a number of country towns in a 20-mile area of some 150 miles southeast of Paris. They have made themselves very much at home and, in humorous fashion, have named men from their commands as “mayor” and taken over the town arrangements, all with the full consent of the regularly constituted authorities. Companies I and K, Three Hundred and Nineteenth, for instance, are quartered in the village of Villiers.
In spite of the fact that their salaries are not large, the soldier boys have their Christmas funds well under way. Most of the money will be spent on the children. In Villiers there is to be a huge community tree in the center of the village with gifts on it for all the happy kiddies, who are already wild over the Pittsburghers. Sergt. Burton Tremellen of Knoxville was selected as “mayor” of Villiers by Top Sergt. Ralph Miller, another Knoxville trooper, with Sergts. “Tom” Kenny of Beltzhoover and Gilbert Snyder of Fairhaven as members of the committee in charge of the children’s Christmas.
The same sort of thing is being done, I am told, in every town housing the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth men. In Villiers “Mayor” Tremellen has issued a permit for a doughboy minstrel show which will be staged by the Pittsburghers of the two companies in a few days for the benefit of the kiddies’ Christmas fund. The “talent” is hard at work and it promises to be one of the events of the season.
There is plenty to keep the boys occupied in spite of the fact that the hard and serious part of the war is over. In addition to the necessary drills and other work of a military character and the Christmas planning sports have taken a big spurt. The doughboys have football elevens organized and there are some fast games.
At the request of his family in Pittsburgh, Capt. Frederick Hickman of Company O, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment, today mailed letters containing intimate details of the heroic death of Lieut. Clyde A. Trotter, 214 Amanda avenue, Mt. Oliver, who gave his life for his country in the furious Bois-de-Argones fighting.
Capt. Hickman was close to Lieut. Trotter when he was fatally injured. Besides speaking feelingly of the lieutenant’s bravery in the face of death, he warmly praised the young Pittsburgher’s courageous behavior while the fierce battle was at its height. Capt. Hickman’s letters were to Robert J. Trotter of Mt. Oliver, brother of the young officer, and Miss Hazel Woodford, 2103 Brownsville road, Carrick, fiancée of the valiant lieutenant.
Although there are several thousand men from the Pittsburgh district in the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry, Lieut. Trotter was one of the very few Pittsburghers who held commissions. The exceptional coolness and bravery of the Mt. Oliver boy when under fire for the first time made a great impression on the company commander, who told me about his death today.
“As soon as Clyde was assigned to my company I realized that I had a fine leader and one whom the boys loved and trusted,” said Capt Hickman. “We were just about to encounter some of the fiercest fighting in our experience when he joined me, and I will never forget his cool and courageous behavior while shells burst furiously all about us.
“It is but the simple truth to say that he was an inspiration to me, and I know that I was better able to undertake the difficult tasks assigned my command after consultation and the expression of his cool and competent views. His military judgment was excellent.
“It was near the town of Mont Faucon on the afternoon of October 9 while we all were preparing to ‘go over the top’ in the terrific fight then raging that Lieut. Trotter and I had our last conference. He spoke in most confident terms and expressed his conviction that we would be successful in the push. A few minutes later we attacked. The enemy’s defense was extremely stubborn. In the midst of the hard fighting Clyde went down with a shell wound.”
Capt. Hickman had just received news of the sudden death of his own wife when the request for details of Lieut. Trotter’s death came from Pittsburgh.
December 23, 1918
PITTSBURGH MUSICIANS IN PRIZE-WINNING BAND OF EIGHTIETH DIVISION
Natty Specially Emblazoned Arm Shields Awarded to Crack Players of Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry Who, Led by Director from Squirrel Hill Section, Won First Honors in Hard Contest from Bands of Other Regiments.
Headquarters Eightieth Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Dec. 21. – (Delayed)- The splendid band of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry, [unreadable] organization, composed of some of Pittsburgh musicians and [unreadable] leader from that city, has been declared the finest in [unreadable] after a contest in which the regimental bands took [unreadable] of the bandmen has received a pearl arm shield emblazoned of the symbolic Blue Ridge Mountains divisional insignia.
This crack organization, which has become the representative band of the Eightieth Division, has been [unreadable] to its proud position under the leadership of Oliver Boyd of Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. All the musicians are from the Pittsburgh area. The contest was a close one and the Three Hundred and Twentieth boys were compelled to exert themselves to their utmost to win over the really excellent band of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment, which was awarded second place.
It must not be thought that the bands have not seen service. All those of the Eightieth Division were close up at the front during the last days of the war and took an active part with the other doughboys. Three members of the prize band of the Three Hundred and Twentieth were gassed, but all have entirely recovered and are now back with their pals.
These sturdy musicians who are wearing the handsome prize arm decorations:
Oliver Boyd, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, leader.
Vita Orlando, North Side, Pittsburgh.
L. L. Mananny, North Side, Pittsburgh.
George Gano, Woodlawn, Pa.
Rudolf Vantura, North Side, Pittsburgh.
George Gelea, South Side, Pittsburgh.
Raymond Hook, North Side, Pittsburgh.
Leo O’Brien, Sharon, Pa.
John Maglieri, Scottdale, Pa.
Roland Pyne, Homewood, Pittsburgh.
Francis Dillon, Sharon, Pa.
William Hoffman, East End, Pittsburgh.
Walter Collman, North Side, Pittsburgh.
Bertrand Johnston, Bloomfield, Pittsburgh.
Wilfred Arvidson, Ridgway, Pa.
Charles Vinnicomb, Greensburg, Pa.
Rodney Hamilton, Homewood, Pittsburgh.
John Berg, McKeesport.
George Belderman, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.
Carl Bemies, McClellandtown, Pa.
Joseph Replogle, Oakland, Pittsburgh.
Harold Millen, North Side, Pittsburgh.
Agatho Witt, East End, Pittsburgh.
Lester Porter, Vandergrift, Pa.
John Weller, East End, Pittsburgh.
R. H. Andrews, Brocton, Pa.
Alvin Beachley, North Side, Pittsburgh.
A. D. Perella, South Side, Pittsburgh.
R. C. Painter, Wilmerding, Pa.
Fred Baiss, New Kensington, Pa.
William Hakin, Brownsville, Pa.
Conforming with an order from the headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces, received some time ago, the prize band, in common with the other detachments of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Regiment, has been keyed up to its highest pitch in expectation of instructions to proceed to Paris in connection with the visit of President Wilson to France. Further orders are expected at any moment.
The regiment has been newly outfitted from shoes up and would make a great impression in a review. The officers think that the reason American troops did not take part in the spectacle marking the arrival of the President is that the kings of England, Belgium and Italy were received without military escorts of their own countries being utilized. This makes the doughboys and their officers all the more impatient for the expected general review. All of the officers are confident that it will be held, but so far there are nor particulars.
December 28, 1918
CAPTAIN, BACK WOUNDED, TELLS OF BRILLIAN BATTLE OF PITTSBURGH SOLDIERS
Officer of 320th Recounts Terrific All-Day Fight with Hun on Hill Near Meuse and of Brilliant Rush at End – Hundreds Fall Cheering in Certain Death Trap.
New York, Dec. 27 – When the “Light Brigade” went to glorious death, it charged to the wild accompaniment of clashing sabers and thudding hoofs. A frenzied drive, a few moments of war’s grandeur, then all was over and an immortal page had been written in history.
In vivid contrast was the gallant action when Company D, of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry, largely composed of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania men, carried Hill No. __ on the bleak morning of October 10, during the battle of the Meuse. While the doughboys held the hill from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. some of them may have thought a bit wistfully that the “light brigade” only had “cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, volleying and thundering.”
Playing on the infantrymen from all sides were the tireless German machine guns. From faraway Boche lines there came shells containing the explosive that tears a hole in the ground big enough to hide a two-family house. Overhead Jerry was flying very low, searching for the alignment of olive-drab figures, prostrated to blend with the brown, frost-killed grass and clots of earth. He was seeking to set the perfect range for the groping batteries. While pursuing this deadly quest, the airmen kept up a running fire, punctuated by aerial torpedoes dropped among the Americans.
Eight hours the Yankee line grimly held the position, waiting and hoping for an infantry attack. Eagerly anxious they were to repay with steel and bullet the grueling punishment so patiently endured.
The attack never materialized, but the Germans were kept in check until the American forces, artillery and men, consolidated in the woods behind, making the hill worthless to either side.
Capt. Harry A. Sabiston, commander of the gallant band, now is a patient at Base Hospital No. 1 in this city. He has a hole in his left hand where a sniper’s bullet carried away a couple of knuckles and two inches of bone. Near the shoulder of his other arm are two deep red scars, the trails of machine-gun bullets. He still coughs a bit from gas. These he considers mere incidents “not worth mentioning,” as he puts it.
“Oh, yes, we were there,” he said today when asked about the battle, “had quite a tea party, and you should have seen.” Then he entered into eulogy of some comrades who had passed the eternal glory over the bloody pathway of the hill.
“The captain does not mention how he consolidated positions, acted as several officers in one and saved many lives by his excellent judgment,” remarked a wounded mate who was sitting near by.
“Oh, bosh.” answered Sabiston, reddening slightly. “I simply did my duty, same as thousands of others. Don’t pull any of that hero stuff. Every man in the company was a fighter from way back. There’s the whole story.”
“That’s about as much of the story as a period,” the other said, “for to tell the truth, Hill No. __ was one of the nerviest stunts of the war. Just to prove it, here are a few of the facts:
“On the previous evening the company lay in the woods, just back from the Brielle Canal road, after a hard day’s fighting. About 6 o’clock in the morning an order came to take the road and the hill and the barrage was laid. As the barrage lifted from the road the boys pushed forward.
“At first it was easy going. The Boche who held the hill were driven out. Those who were left alive fled to their brothers in the woods and heavy underbrush that partly surrounded the position.
“Immediately after the capture Capt. Sabiston place his men to command every approach, molding his formation to take all advantage of the ground with particular care not to disturb natural objects, thus avoiding attracting attention. In a word, he camouflaged his troops by blending them into the landscape. And a darn good joke on the Boche it was, too.
“All of this time the grand march was playing. The enemy threw over everything but the cat. Jerry was on the job all right. He buzzed so low at times that someone winged a flier with a revolver shot, but the captain put a stop to that, fearing that it might help the range prowlers.
“For the first few hours it was just hang on and wait, and waiting is the toughest kind of a game. When you see a comrade, a tentmate [sic] or maybe a brother give one of those pitiful moans, writhe a bit and then turn over and you can’t start right out and get the Boche who did it – well, it’s hell, that’s all. You can see the white face, the open, unseeing eyes making their mute appeal and it simply turns the world into a place not fit to live in. It’s maddening.
“The Capt. Sabiston began to send back his runners. Volunteers they were, as brave lads as the army produced. No one got away for 10 yards, then dropped on his face, the regular procedure. He seemed a likely chap, but a sniper winged him as he started out.
EIGHTH MAN GETS THROUGH
“The eighth man reached his destination. Four were severely wounded; the rest never were heard from.
“It was about 3 o’clock we heard the Yankee guns, or rather Yankee shells, covering our position. The Germans were so enraged at not being able to force the position that they just hung around spitting gun bullets and suffered a considerable loss from the artillery as well as from our own fire.
“But do you think that they would charge us? Oh, no, they knew the tactics of the doughboys steel too well, and when we were ordered to join the main line every man in the command was cussing mad because we did not get a real chance to give it to them.
“And as for the captain, well he’s a good soldier, but there are times, when a man is ready to fight and wants to fight and has purred with joy over the thought of a good fight, and someone tells him it is all over but the shouting. At such times that man is likely to have a word to say within the innermost heart and that word, take it from me, isn’t the maiden’s prayer.”
December 29, 1918
TURKEY AND TRIMMINGS FOR PITTSBURGH BOYS SERVED CHRISTMAS DAY
Men from Western Pennsylvania Have Feast Worth While, Although Thousands of Miles From Home – Football Stars of the 80th Division Score Big Victory – Our Boys Shine in Fray.
With the Pittsburgh District Doughboys of the 319th and 320th Infantry in France, Dec. 26. – (Delayed) – You have read of wonderful Christmas dinners – some where saints and fairies came to warm cheerless houses where cold children were dreaming hopelessly of Santa Claus, to put lights and presents of Christmas trees where there had been no trees before. But you have never read of a more wonderful Christmas dinner than fell straight into the part of the officers and men of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment, who got leave to go into the city of Tonnerre Christmas Day. I know because I was among them and I know something of how they felt.
For days they had been marching in the slush and mud of the route that leads here from the Argonne and the Meuse. They were tired, bedraggled. They had the memories with them of the things they had done on both those fields and they knew that the world knew what they had done and was lauding with them. But the fight was over and the inspiration gone. The other memories were of the morrow (Christmas Day) when they were to start on another 20-mile hike from their last camp to Tonnerre with not the slightest prospect of a more substantial Yule-day celebration than a bivouac on possibly high, dry ground.
The Three Hundred and Nineteenth could not hope to make the city Christmas, so that several of us from Allegheny county obtained leave to go there by other conveyances and, between hopping trucks and walking, we reached town just in time Christmas Day to discover that the crack football team of the Eightieth Division, which includes several Pittsburgh stars, had defeated the First Corps eleven, 10-0. Shapino, the former Pitt star, and Perriotti, Kane, Pa., and Callahan of Greenville, of Duquesne University were big figures in the victory, which was attended by all the officers of the regiments then within 20 miles, and is said to have been accomplished by enthusiasm akin to that of armistice day.
However, all of us were thinking about some sort of a “Christmas feed,” and we were walking through the streets of the city pretty dubiously when I happened to notice a strange and festively familiar looking outfit in khaki marching into a big, pleasant looking house which stood nearby. At the same moment the cheerful, friendly voice of Private Alfred McCann of Sharon, hailed us, and the next moment we were literally shoved through the door of a spacious, brightly lit room. It was gayly [sic] lighted and festooned with seemingly all the Christmas garlands left in France. And down its length ran long, white-spread flower-topped tables that looked literally ready to crack beneath their burden of turkey, fruit cake, oranges, apples, nuts and the other things that would be on your own Christmas table if you could be home and have one.
Five minutes afterward the room was crowded with 100 men from Pittsburgh and vicinity – doughboys who were among the first to reach France, every one of whom has been here a year and a half and more than half of whom have been cited for gallant conduct. There was a tremendous greeting. What a Christmas dinner it was! I had not caught my breath when Sergt. D. M. Hackett, a Wilkinsburg boy, arose near the end and told the soldiers and officers present that The Gazette Times correspondent was present to inform the folks back home of the happy event in France.
The hosts at the banquet all wore the long term service stripes. I found time to write some of their names in my notebook between mouthfuls or turkey and the loud demands of other fellows for news of the folks at home. Among them were:
Edward Mohr, Troy Hill, Pittsburgh.
Ollie McKinney, Garfield avenue, North Side, Pittsburgh.
Skipper McKay, Coraopolis, Pa.
Ernest Richards, Little Washington, Pa.
Fred Maloney, West End, Pittsburgh.
Alvin Sherril, Morewood avenue, Pittsburgh.
Glen Sebring, Beaver, Pa.
Albert Custer, Dormont, Pittsburgh.
Miller Williams, Glenshaw.
W. T. Grimm, Knoxville.
G. A. Beck, Beaver Falls.
Roy Seybert, East Brady.
Edward Moss, Elm Grove, W. Va.
William Bogner, North Side, Pittsburgh.
Clyde Leasure, West Middlesex.
Charles Danley, Uniontown, Pa.
Edward Cavanaugh, Pittsburgh.
James Burns, McKees Rocks.
Charles Russell, Greensburg.
Ruben Smeal, Youngstown, O.
John Humble, Erie.
Reicci Watterson, Beaver.
Wallie Davis, New Castle.
Earl Logsdon, Mt. Washington, Pa.
Thomas Hoover, Finfle street, Pittsburgh.
Archie Lewis, Greensburg.
James Gaghagen, Greensburg.
George Reid, New Castle.
Edward Echart, Connellsville.
Raphael Barto, Conway.
H. E. Giles, Munhall.
Carl Hunkesberry, Aspinwall.
Joe Grindell, Troy Hill, Pittsburgh.
Sergt. Clarence Vance, Butler.
And every last one of them sent home their best wishes which I am trying to convey in this cablegram today. The homefolks may be sure it was a big day for Pittsburgh all around.
Among the crack troops reviewed by President Wilson at Chaumont were the boys of one battalion of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry, who are nearly all from Pittsburgh and vicinity.
December 31, 1918
DOYLE SENDS JOY TO MANY HOMES IN STORY ON OUR BOYS.
Friends Delighted Over Live Personal News of Pittsburghers in the Army Abroad – Sergt. Cavanaugh’s Relatives Get Many Calls.
Appreciation of the cabled story from Charles J. Doyle, Gazette Times correspondent in France, telling of a Christmas dinner at which some Allegheny county soldiers were hosts to some others, and printed in Sunday’s issue, was yesterday expressed by Vincent Cavanaugh, 521 Herron avenue, a clerk in the Health Department, who saw the names of his brother, Sergt. Edward Cavanaugh and an intimate friend, Sergt. David Hackett in the list.
Mr. Cavanaugh said that no less than 50 telephone calls were received at his home after Sunday’s Gazette Times had made its appearance - friends calling him up to tell him and his mother to be sure to read the article. They did read it, and were inexpressibly pleased to learn that Sergt. Cavanaugh was alive and well as late as Christmas Day.
According to Mr. Doyle’s story, members of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment were given leave to go into the city of Tonnerre, France, on Christmas Day.
January 1, 1919
HEART OF TOMMIE HOWELL SENT HIM CHARGING “OVER THE TOP” TO HERO’S GRAVE
Brave Little Washington County Fighter, Not Content to See Pals Attack Without Him, Demands to Go Along and Meets Glorious Death in No-Man’s Land.
With the Eightieth Division in France, Dec, 15. – (By Mail) – Brave little “Tommie” Howell, a Washington county (Pa.) hero of the American Army, did not have to go “over the top” with the dashing doughboys, but little “Tommie,” always smiling and fearless from the heart out, asked his commander if he could “jump off” with the boys near Sommerance on November 1, and a few hours later he gave his early life to his beloved country.
“Tommie,” with five of six other boys of the Pittsburgh section, all members of Company K, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry, were carefully placed in heroes’ graves near the town of Imecourt, where they fell in their glorious service to humanity. Tender hands of fighting comrades were present to make them comfortable while they made the supreme sacrifice.
Little “Tommie” was attached to the supply department of the regiment, and worked under the supply sergeant of Company K. He was one of the first boys I met when I caught up with the regiment, near Triacourt, following their stiff fighting in the Argonne section. The Pittsburghers had been in the lines about 16 days, and were sorely in need of rest. The Three Hundred and Nineteenth boys were billeted in the little village of Charmontois, which did not offer many conveniences, except shelter, but the old barns and various shacks afforded protection from the weather and the boys were very comfortable in their blankets.
“Tommie” was one of the liveliest members of the outfit. I noted his sunny disposition soon after reaching the outfit. With his sergeant, Howell and six or seven other sergeants and corporals, the most of whom live in Knoxville and Carrick, had rigged themselves up in fairly comfortable quarters in a big barn. Sergt. Ralph Miles of Knoxville, the top sergeant of the company, who later was slightly injured in action, provided me with a comfortable cot and a few blankets.
The Washington county lad, full of good-nature and with a feeling of doing more than was expected to him, had made up his mind that he would “jump off” with the boys if they were called upon for another offensive. His duties did not include any front-line action, but “Tommie” thought he ought to go anyhow and he had the courage to accomplish his arm.
After resting in Charmontois for a week the order came suddenly for an advance. The message was received late on an afternoon, but early the next morning the four regiments of infantry were on the march. Hiking toward Les Islettes, a rail center near the Argonne woods, the boys continued for five or six kilometers and reached a dense woods within gun-sound of the front that night. Here they pitched their pup tents and spent two days before getting the order to finish the long march and take their positions in the front line. Accordingly about noon the doughboys resumed their eventful march which was a preliminary to the last drive of the war. Following a rough little road that led through the center of the Argonne woods, the boys trudged about 10 miles and rested near the town of Sommerance, the scene of the offensive.
Pitching their tents again, the tired doughboys lay down to a rest which was rudely interrupted when the Boche apparently located their position and threw over shells with great fury. This attack caused quite a few casualties before the boys got into their front position.
The next night the Americans prepared their big barrage and then at 5 o’clock in the morning of November 1, the earth trembled and the deafening fire of distress began. German prisoners later told of the terrible destruction of this barrage which lasted for about three hours. A short time before dawn, the Pittsburghers “jumped off” and the advance was on.
Little Tommie had won the consent of his commanding officer to take a gun and leap with the others. This he did like the good soldier he was, but he had only gone a short distance when a shell struck him and he sank to the earth.
Sergt. Tremellen, another Knoxville boy with Company K, saw Tommie go down and as quickly as he could went to his pal’s assistance.
“He knew his time had come, but he surely did go like a real soldier,” said Sergt. Tremellen in relating the story.
January 3, 1919
PITTSBURGHERS WIN MEDALS BY HEROISM IN FACE OF TEUTONS
319th Infantry Corporal Shoots Four Huns and Captures Three Others – Stretcher-Bearer of 318th, Fired On, Takes Sniper-Prisoner.
With the Pittsburgh District Troops in France, Dec. 21 (Delayed) – Corp. Ignacio Schliablo of the Brownsville road, and Private Eddie Bann, 928 Reedsdale street, Pittsburgh, soon will be wearing Distinquished Service Crosses, rewards for valor during the fighting in the Argonne – New Year’s gifts from the Army. Gen. Sturgis, new commander of the Eightieth Division, who will confer the medals, informed The Gazette Times correspondent yesterday that he expected to make the presentation within a few days.
Corp. Schliablo won distinction for shooting four Germans and capturing three others, after he had been grazed by a bullet. The feat occurred near Imecourt November 1. Schliablo is a member of Company K, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry, and bears the distinction of having been made a corporal while in action. This honor was conferred upon him by Col. Love, commander of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth, soon after his achievement was reported to the officer.
Eddie Bann, a member of the Three Hundred and Eighteenth, won the cross through an especially daring bit of heroism. He was helping to carry a stretcher on which lay a wounded doughboy when a sniper opened up on them. Bann succeeded in capturing the sniper and then went on rescuing wounded.
Corp. Howard Stevick of McKeesport, who won fame on his native heath as a basketball player, now a member of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth, made an astounding escape from the Huns after being captured. He had one of the most remarkable experiences related by any of the doughboys. Stevick, however, is evidently an unassuming lad, as none of his friends was concerned in procuring the recommendation which was made to get his award of honor.
Many wounded doughboys whose homes are in Pittsburgh are getting back to their units, thankful to be able to return.
The following boys of Company D, Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry, wounded or gassed in the big dives, were back in the ranks in time to eat Christmas dinner with their “buddies”:
Sergt. John Walbum, Latrobe.
Corp. John Douglas, Cokeville.
Corp. George McFarland, Greensburg.
Corp. Joseph Simmons, Warrington avenue, Pittsburg.
Private Cecil Cottrill, Harrisville, W. Va.
William Dunmore, Arnold.
Joseph Carter, Bristol, W.Va.
Raymond Ederlane, Altoona.
James Gilmore, McKeesport.
Daniel Gray, Blairsville.
Guiseppe Devito, Rochester, Pa.
John Kavolsk, New Kensington.
Philip Kusnik, Mulberry.
Alex William Zandier, South Main street, Pittsburgh.
Joseph Mooney, Virginia avenue, Pittsburgh.
Kazmierz Molicki, Braddock.
Stephen Wano, Brazenville.
William Winter, Lovett way, North Side.
Stpiblaus Woyjniak, Mulberry alley, Pittsburgh.
Jacob Mysocki, Penn avenue, Pittsburgh.
Alfred Wrigley, Herron avenue, Pittsburgh
Kwiryn Szmarach, Brereton avenue, Pittsburgh.
Izydor Szmarach, Brereton avenue, Pittsburgh.
The Szmarach brothers, mentioned at the bottom of the list, reside at 3041 Brereton avenue, Pittsburgh. They were wounded in the same fight and returned to camp within one day of each other. Each suffered a bullet wound, Kwiryn Szmarach being shot in the hand and Izydor Szmarach in the nose.
January 4, 1919
HAPPY REUNION FOR HOMEWOOD BOYS STAGED IN HOSPITAL
Sergeants Fred and Tom Eiler Meet in France Under Touching Circumstances After Having Been Separated for Five Years.
Headquarters Eightieth Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Dec. 18 – It must have been a touching reunion in an American base hospital in the French city of Dijon when Sergt. Fred Eiler of 7312 Kelly street, Homewood, Pittsburgh, greeted his injured brother, Sergt. Tom Eiler, an injured patient whom he had not seen for five years.
One cannot describe the joys in the hearts of these boys as they clasped hands in the war atmosphere of this big hospital and both will always regard the week that followed as one of the greatest parts of their lives.
Sergt. Tom, who has just recovered from wounds, has been away from his Pittsburgh home for the past five years, most of which time has been spent in the army. Coming to France as a member of the Seventy-eighth Field Artillery he did very good work until he was hit. Soon after he was placed in the base hospital, little thinking he was soon to see his brother who at that time was only a few miles from the Dijon section.
Sergt. Fred is a later member of Uncle Sam’s great fighting forces, although he has a long period of fine service to show as his record in France. He is attached to the Seventh Aero Squadron, which has its quarters not far from the city of Chaumont. The latter city has been the base of the American Expeditionary Forces for some time.
Some time after his brother was injured, Sergt. Fred received the news, with the additional information that Sergt. Tom was in a hospital at Dijon. Sergt. Fred became excited at once; he must get a leave at all costs, but that was hard to accomplish. Sergt. Fred, however, had a commanding officer with a heart and the result was that the safe and sound member of the family was soon clothed in authority to travel to Dijon.
From Chaumont to Dijon is not a long trip in miles, but generally the tour consumes “beaucoup” hours for the reason that the train service is not quite up to the Twentieth Century Limited standard in this section of France. The coaches are comfortable enough, but connections and that sort of thing are something to write home about.
The Gazette Times correspondent happened to be traveling from Chaumont to Chatillion sur Seine on one of these trains. Six Americans, including the writer, were in one
compartment. I noted the happy countenance of a young soldier who sat in the corner puffing away at an American cigaret [sic]. Nearly all of us seemed to be going to different towns along the route and we fell to discussing our destinations and other personal matters.
I might state here that we had to guess at the towns as we overtook them, as there appeared to be a shortage of railroaders and the subject of tickets was never broached. However, we had an American railroad brakeman in our party and he was able to “steer” us in a typical American way.
It required only a few minutes to find out that there were two besides myself in the compartment from Pittsburgh. The smiling soldier in the corner was Sergt. Fred Eiler and directly opposite me sat Harry Dangerfield, 4737 Bayard street, East End, who, as a Y.M.C.A. worker had done admirable service.
Sergt. Fred was glad to meet someone from near home to tell of his joyful experience of the past week.
“It surely was a great reunion,” said the Homewood boy. “It was the first time my brother and I have seen each other in five years and I know the folks back home will rejoice to know that we got together. Tom is not dangerously wounded by any means and my coming was a tonic to him. Every day during my stay at the hospital I brought ‘beaucoup’ cigarets [sic], beaucoup’ champagne, and ‘beaucoup’ cigars, and the result was a banquet and reunion that lasted a whole week. I tried to get enough to pass around to the other boys near him and before I left everybody in the ward knew everybody else.”
January 6, 1919
PITTSBURGH MAJOR WOUNDED, CAPTURED, WEEK BEFORE PEACE
Shadyside Officer Tells Gazette Times Correspondent He Received Good Treatment from Germans. Now Able to Walk With Canes.
With the Pittsburgh District Troops in France, Jan. 4 – (Delayed) – Maj. Henry D. Parkin, 4735 Bayard street, Shadyside, Pittsburgh, sitting Red Cross Convalescent Hospital No. 3, in Paris today, related to the Gazette Times correspondent the stirring tale of his capture by the Germans and interesting sidelights on conditions existing in the German army before the signing of the armistice. Maj. Parkin, commander of the First Battalion, Three Hundred and Sixteenth Infantry, was wounded at Sedan and was captured by the Germans. Later he was released and allowed to make his way back to France with some of his soldiers who were also prisoners.
Major Henry D. Parkin
He received good treatment from his German captors, said Maj. Parkin. Soon after his capture the enemy began the big retreat. As the major was unable to walk, they carried him in an improvised stretcher and later placed him in a motor truck. They finally reached the military hospital at Treves, in Germany.
On November 22, eleven days after the signing of the armistice, Maj. Parkin said, he and his comrades were released and told to make their way to the French lines. This they accomplished with great difficulty because of their wounds, but after many hardships they finally reached a French division, where friendship and comforts were forthcoming. A few days later the Pittsburghers were placed on a train and sent to the hospital.
Though he still walks with a severe limp, Maj. Parkin’s condition is improving and he expects to be discharged in a month.
While a captive at Treves, Maj. Parkin witnessed a revolt by German soldiers who threw some officers into jail after cutting off their insignia.
Mrs. Frances L. Arensberg, 3739 Shadyside, sister-in-law of Maj. Parkin, received letters from him during his captivity in Treves and since he reached the Red Cross hospital in Paris. To her he described his capture, saying that his soldiers picked him up after he had been wounded and carried to the shelter of a trench, where he and some of his men were captured a short time later by the Boches. In his most recent letter Maj. Parkin said he was able to walk on two cames but could not yet get along without them.
January 9, 1919
HEROIC DEED OF MEDICAL UNIT INSPIRED DOUGHBOYS OF FAMOUS OLD 18TH
Unselfish and Untiring Work of Stretcher-Bearers and First Aid Men Acted as Tonic to Fighters in All Drives.
Headquarters Eightieth Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Dec. 16 – The unselfish and untiring work of the Eightieth Medical detachment during all the drives of the division not only called forth words of praise from the commanding general of the division; it won the heartfelt thanks of the splendid Doughboys who say they were steeled to their task by the stretcher bearers and other first-aid men.
It requires nerves, devotion to duty, dexterity and other qualities to lay down under a three-hour barrage and then when the call comes to “jump off” to go over the top in the same waves with the Doughboys. The word “Doughboy” is specifically allotted to the active man of the infantry, but the latter are willing to have the courageous stretcher bearers included because they have seen them take the same chances as the fighters.
TASTED FIRE OF BATTLE
Boys of the Pittsburgh district predominate in the make-up of the medical units of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth Regiments. The following boys of the Third Battalion, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Mercy Workers, who have tasted the fire of battle, answered roll-call for your correspondent the other day:
Thomas Donlay, McKeesport.
Charles Germas, Knoxville.
Thomas Farrell, Tarentum.
Harry Livingstone, Johnstown.
Preston Fogg, Coraopolis.
Carl Heyne, Braddock.
George Fehl, Tarentum.
David Preece, North Side.
Albert Obenauf, Etna.
John Ludwig, McKees Rocks.
These boys can tell the tales of the was without exaggerating because they felt the whistle of the machine gun bullets time and again – yes some of them more than heard them, a Philadelphia member of the Third Battalion unit giving his life in the Argonne fighting. This lad was struck by a shell when the troopers were coming out after finishing their attack.
Albert Obenauf of Etna received a slight machine gun wound while the Three Hundred and Nineteenth was driving the Germans out of the little town of Imecourt on November 1. Obenauf with John Ludwig of McKees Rocks was performing the noble work of bringing back a wounded sniper when the Etna boy was struck.
EDIE WINS PROMOTION
And the real soldiers named above are only a part of the make up of the divisional detachment, now in charge of a well-known Connellsville physician, Lieut. Col. E. B. Edie who was recently promoted, principally through his fine service in the department. Col. Edie was given honorable mention in divisional orders and when the opportunity came he was placed at the head of all the medical sections of the entire Division.
DEPARTURE SADDENS LEADER
It was very hard on Maj. Gen. A. Cronkhite to part with his endearing hold on the Eightieth. Although the removal was in the nature of a promotion, the commander of the Blue Ridge fighters appeared as though he would have been just as well satisfied if the Corps appointment had been given someone else. In fact the General told The Gazette Times correspondent a few days before the war ended of his great esteem for his boys and expressed the desire to stay with them.
The War Department evidently realized Gen. Cronkhite’s work in assigning him as head of the Army Corps. He has had a long military experience which dates back to his graduation from West Point in 1884. There is no doubt that the achievements of his dashing soldiers in the Eightieth was largely responsible for his promotion.
BIDS FAREWELL TO MEN
Before leaving to take up his new post, Gen. Cronkhite issued a general order bidding farewell to his men. In most of his personal messages to his soldiers, the general’s words have been coughed in pretty sentiment and his last message proved to be particularly pleasing. The thousands of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania boys were much attached to him as they are to Gen. Lloyd M. Brett, who heads the One Hundred and Sixtieth Brigade.
Gen. Cronkhite’s letter follows”
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTIETH DIVISION, AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES,
General Order No. 20.
To the Eightieth Division:
1. Orders from higher authorities relieve me from command of the Eightieth Division, and assign me to duty elsewhere.
2. Having been associated with you from the very beginning of your organization to your completion of service in war, mere bodily separation cannot lessen my pride in what you have accomplished – my gratification as to what you are – and my hope that only good fortune may attend you, whether in the service or out.
3. It is an honor well befitting the near termination of a military career covering 40 years of service, to have been so fortunate as to command such a fine body of officers and men, a command whose loyalty and co-operation could never be questioned – a command whose personal and military reputation is second to none.
4. While I shall always remain a member of the division in spirit, I leave you with the deepest regret, confident that in the future, as in the past:
The Eightieth Division will always move FORWARD.
January 11, 1919
EIGHTIETH DIVISION TROOPS WIN PRAISE OF PERSHING IN REVIEW BEFORE PRESIDENT.
Commander-in-Chief Congratulates Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Fighters for Fine Appearance Presented While Marching Before Nation’s Chief Executive on Christmas Day.
Headquarters Eightieth Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Jan. 8 – (Delayed) – Gen. Pershing has sent a telegram of congratulation to the Eightieth Division because of the splendid showing made by its representatives in the great review arranged for President Wilson. There were about 1,000 sturdy Western Pennsylvanians and West Virginians in the party and the men who gladly gave up their turkey and other Christmas dainties for the privilege of eating bully beef and hiking over a muddy field before the President are rejoicing over the fact that they made good. Gen. Pershing’s telegram follows:
Commanding General Eightieth Division:
As commander-in-chief I wish to congratulate the Division on the splendid showing made by troops representing the Division in the review given for the President of the United States at Hume, France, December 25.
The Pittsburgh district troops who were given the great honor were all members of the First Battalion of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry. The doughboys certainly proved themselves fine representatives of the organization. They were all provided with new uniforms and wore the distinctive Blue Ridge insignia on the shoulder.
I encountered a number of the boys after the review, and they were all elated with their experience. They said they had a hard time finding a suitable drill field near the Army headquarters at Chaumont, where the review took place. Sergt. Ralph Bugher and his crack platoon, which won regimental honors not long ago, were among those that marched before President Wilson. Others from the Pittsburgh district I noted at random were:
Sergt. William Douglas, West End, Pittsburgh.
Sergt. Joseph Keifer, West End, Pittsburgh.
Sergt. Robert Willig, McKees Rocks.
Sergt. Stanislaw Zimowski, Jeannette.
Sergt. Joseph Dougherty, Sheraden, Pittsburgh.
Sergt. Jeremiah Madden, West End, Pittsburgh.
Sergt. William Dillner, Millvale avenue, Pittsburgh.
Sergt. Charles Utze, West End, Pittsburgh.
Sergt. Charles Miller, South Side, Pittsburgh.
Sergt. Clyde Manich, New Kensington.
Sergt. Frank Cznarnewski, South Side, Pittsburgh.
Corp. George Scott, Oil City.
Corp. Fred Trees, Jeannette.
Corp. E.J. McGinness, McKeesport.
Corp. Leroy Casnell, Delmont.
Corp. Mike Shughrue, South Side, Pittsburgh.
Private Pierce Glest, Brookville.
Private Harry Barach, Townsend street, Pittsburgh.
Private Louis Stair, Greensburg.
Private Martin Manion, Pittsburgh.
Maj. Ashby Williams, one of the most popular officers of the entire brigade, was in charge of the division battalion and Col. Peyton, commander of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantry, also marched at the head of his crack troopers. Lieut. Hetzell Pownall, a Cumberland (Md.) boy who worked in Pittsburgh, was commander of Company C, which was part of the battalion. Other companies were A, B and D.
Among those in line, besides the ones mentioned, were Corp. Ignacio Schial Abba of Knoxville, Pittsburgh; Sergt. Walter Barnhart of Latrobe, and Private Eddie Bann of Pittsburgh, all wearing distinguished service crosses conferred on them by Gen. Sturgiss. The presentations, which were marked with pretty ceremonies, took place in a small French village. The three boys were mentioned among members of other divisions who performed especially valorous feats.
When Sergt. Joseph L. Freund of 402 Dewey street, Knoxville, fell in the last drive of the Blue Ridge Division on November 1, the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry lost one of its best soldiers.
WANTED TO STAY IN THE GAME
The story of how the plucks Pittsburgher refused a furlough a short time before the attack opened was related to me by Lieut. Carl Heflin, commander of Freund’s company, who was wounded in the same battle. Lieut. Heflin, according to the story he related to me, while leading Company K, was wounded in the foot by a piece of shrapnel an hour after the offense was launched and had not been aware of the fact that one of his courageous assistants made the supreme sacrifice a few hours later near the town of Imecourt until given the information through the mail by the boys of the company.
“After we came out of the lines following 17 days in the front line trenches,” said Lieut. Heflin, “I was instructed to pick six or seven members of my company who had done exceptionally well and give them furloughs. Sergt. Freund had always been a dandy soldier, and when I told him that he had been given liberty to take leave he gave me quite a surprise by saying that he did not want to go at that time, as he thought we were going over the top soon and that he wanted to be with the boys when they jumped off.”
“Sergt. Ralph Miles, another Knoxville doughboy, also refused a furlough when I told him that he had been given one,” said Lieut. Heflin. “He was injured in the last push. The unselfish attitude of both came back to me strong when I heard that Sergt. Freund had given his life for the cause,” he continued. “He was an admirable boy and one of the most popular of the regiment. Although young, he had all of the qualifications of a leader and had the respect of his officers as well as the boys of the ranks.”
PROVED GOOD SOLDIERS
Sergt. Freund, aged 22, and Miles, aged 25, left for Camp Lee with the first contingent of selectives from Knoxville in September, 1917. Both proved good soldiers and soon earned promotions. The dead soldier was a sergeant in Company K when he met his death, and Sergt. Miles is the top sergeant of the same company, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry. Sergt. Freund, whose home was in the South Side until two years ago, was the son of Andrew Freund of 402 Dewey street, Knoxville. Sergt. Miles is the son of Ezra A. Miles of 229 Jucunda street, Knoxville.
The two soldiers went overseas in May of last year and took part in all the engagements in which the regiment participated. Both earned the rank of sergeant after reaching the war zone. Before entering the Army Sergt. Freund was a draftsman for the John Eichleay, Jr., Company, and Sergt. Miles was night depot agent for the American Express Company at the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad station. The latter was born in Patton, Cambria county, Pa., and is a graduate of the Patton High School. His family moved to Knoxville seven years ago. Sergt. Freund attended St. Peter’s parochial school, South Side.
January 12, 1919
OUR SONS AND BROTHERS “OVER THERE”
STORIES WITH THE INTIMATE PERSONAL TOUCH
Headquarters, Eightieth Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Dec. 18. (By Mail) – Warrant, Pa. should take great pride in her fallen heroes and it is while we are on this subject that some sort of tribute, scant as it can be, should be paid to Lieut. Stephen Hoskins, a strip of a kid who gave his life to his county in the last push of the war.
Lieut. Hoskins had the face and actions of a schoolboy; in fact he was scarcely out of his teens, yet his commendable work and behavior had won him a commission which was bestowed upon the manly little fellow soon after the Blue Ridge boys arrived in Europe.
His pals say he danced a jig on the day the notice of his commission came, and these same fellows will never tire of telling of their esteem for this wonderful little soldier who died a hero’s death.
Private Harry Livingstone of Johnstown, a member of the medical detachment of the Third Battalion, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry, gave me the intimate touches on the sacrifice made by this nervy little officer and this same account should be a source of great comfort to his family and friends.
OFFICERS TAKE CHANCES
Every boy in Lieut. Hoskin’s platoon loved him and it is a fact which is timely here that practically every lieutenant and captain takes the same chances as the men in times of battle. Many of them will take more risks and it was nothing unusual for these sturdy officers to sleep in the same shell holes with their faithful fighters. The bond of friendship between officer and men reaches a very happy stage when they face death together.
Lieut. Hoskins was the type of a boy who loved to mix with his soldiers and always went as far as military discipline would allow. On the front line the man-to-man feeling sweeps aside all military coldness and the result is a melting pot of friendliness so long as orders are carried out.
The boys of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth jumped off near the town of Sommerance just before daybreak on the morning of November 1. Little Hoskins was leading his men with a spirit of dash and brilliance when he received a direct hit from a shell and fell to the ground. Private Livingstone, with the other members of the Medical Corps, had “jumped off” with the boys, and Livingstone happened to be close to Hoskins when he fell. Rushing to the aid of the little leader, Livingstone quickly discovered that Hoskins could not recover and proceeded to make him as comfortable as possible.
As courageous as ever, the young officer made an effort to talk and did say a few words to Livingstone. Evidently he knew he could not get well, but he showed great fortitude. After Livingstone had undone his belt he looked up at the mercy worker and said he felt much better with that relief.
* * *
TALE OF THREE BROTHERS
This is the tale of the Kennys of Beltzhoover and Mt. Oliver – “Tom,” “Mike,” and “Jim” – three brother-fighters who, now that they have been spared, are bent on having one of the happiest reunions imaginable.
Sergt. “Tom” Kenny of Mt. Oliver is the hero of the tale – a fine soldier who engineered some very risky things in order that he might stay with his comrades in the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment.
About the time the war finished Sergt. “Tom” went down with sickness, probably due to all the hardships he had undergone as line sergeant in Company K. He tried to fight off the malady, but after treatment he was sent to another hospital, south of Paris, suffering from pneumonia. His ticket read that he was to be confined three weeks.
Now if there is anything a doughboy hates worse than being removed from his regiment it would be very difficult to find, and a long hospital trip very often means the patient is listed as a “casual” after recovery. So Sergt. “Tom” was sad while en route to the institution over the poor prospects of getting back with his Pittsburgh pals.
It was while in this state of mind that Kenny pulled from his pocket his hospital card, which he gave the “once over.” There in front of him were the words “three weeks,” but the writing did not defy erasure.
ONE WAY TO ESCAPE
The Mt. Oliver fighter pondered for a moment on the thought of reducing the time limit. He figured that if he could get away after a week’s treatment he would be able to work his way back to the Three Hundred and Nineteenth. So without further ado or authority he erased the word “three” and replaced it with “one” and gave himself over to treatment.
This was extremely dangerous in his condition as he doubtless required more attention, but any soldier who has been in from line action will laugh at other dangers and Kenny thought the goal was worth the attempt.
The week’s rest proved of great benefit to the boy, but he was not in shape to depart when he quietly made his way from the hospital with his pack. He figured that the Three Hundred and Nineteenth was probably 100 miles away, but was determined to get under way quickly or risk the chance of being assigned to another outfit.
Trudging down the road in this weak condition, Sergt. Tom had gone only a short distance when he espied a Yankee soldier host in the highway. Tom had decided not to make any inquiries about the Eightieth Division while in the shadow of the hospital, but he was ready now to stop anybody who might know the destination of his pals.
AN UNEXPECTED MEETING
Those who have never been through it cannot appreciate the task of finding one’s division after being taken away, and it seems that the Eightieth had moved in the period that Kenny was confined. So naturally he was thrown upon his own resources to locate his buddies. This he proceeded to do at the first opportunity.
The Americans approaching Kenny along the quiet country road were in marching formation. The Pittsburgher realized there was a possible chance some of them had heard something of the Eightieth so he headed toward one of the squads with his question.
Sergt. Tom had barely uttered his request when from one of the inside lines a whoop of joy was sounded and the owner of the joyous voice in unrestrained ecstasy broke ranks and threw himself about the neck and face of the convalescent fighter.
It was Private Mike Kenny, Tom’s brother, whom he had not seen since Mike left Pittsburgh for France almost a year ago.
It is rather remarkable that this dramatic meeting with his brother did not give Sergt. Tom a setback, but on the contrary it may have been a tonic to his health. However, the circumstances are so extraordinary that only those who have been in shell-swept France with almost 2,000,000 American soldiers can get even a vague idea of this reunion.
One might travel for weeks throughout the mighty divisions of the great American army and not see the face of an acquaintance, much less a brother. The magnitude of the Army is only realized through close association and it is doubtful if any two members of the same family have been linked together under such dramatic conditions on French soil.
Private Mike’s impulsive greeting for his brother was a manifestation of manly feelings which had sensed war hardships and had improved by the sacrifices. The soul of every American soldier in France has been guided by thoughts of home, and the sight of a face of a brother or even an intimate acquaintance stirs the depths of the heart into joy expressions such as manifested by Private Kenny. The military bearing which governs the boys as they trudge manfully on their long hikes cracked like a thin shell in the face of this reunion.
OFFICER ENJOYS INCIDENT
Private Kenny was a good soldier and he showed the stuff of which good soldiers are made when his feelings forced him to sweep aside that which was makes necessary to indulge in the real blessings of life. The officer in charge of the soldiers viewed and enjoyed the touching meeting to the bottom of his heart.
Private Mike is a member of the One Hundred and Eleventh Engineers. He has often taken pleasure in the thought that is would soon be possible for him to meet his two brothers of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth, but naturally he figured it would take some time to bring it about. Small wonder he was overjoyed at the fortunate meeting along the French countryside.
Sergt. Tom Kenny reached his regiment right side up and was warmly greeted by his mates, who take pleasure in his sunny disposition. Across the rolling country a few short miles is Private James Kenny, who went to the front and served his country as a member of Company H.
* * *
WORK UNDER FIRE
The folks back home, I feel quite sure, would find it almost impossible to get even a vague conception of how it feels to be in constant attendance over wounded soldiers for four whole days and four whole nights without even a chance to sit down, much less get a wink of sleep.
If you can get a slight idea of what this means, then try to imagine yourself in a shack first aid station with high explosive shells ploughing up the fields about you. Finally one of them makes a direct his on the shed while you are dressing a patient and you are blown 15 feet and into a dazed condition.
Regardless of the highly desirable laws of the medical profession, there is no ethical violation in letting a man’s home friends know when he performs unusual acts of mercy for months without any thought of his own life. The unselfish youth touched on in this story went over the top and gave medical comfort to the member of the Old Eighteenth of Pittsburgh, and despite his fearful experiences, he now shows the ruddy glow of youthful vigor and has suffered little physically except for hanging-on gas effects.
STRENUOUS FIVE MONTHS
The surviving members of the Old Eighteenth, now the One Hundred and Eleventh Infantry, will gladly testify to the great merit of their regimental surgeon, Capt. Charles S. Hendricks of the West Penn Hospital, formerly a football and baseball star at Allegheny College, Meadville, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the son of one of the leading citizens of Bolivar, Pa.
Capt. Hendricks has just received a short leave of absence, after five months on front line action, which required physical stamina to a marked degree, as well as a spirit of bravery which won the admiration of the courageous boys with whom he was associated.
After finishing up his course at Allegheny College, where he starred on the diamond and the gridiron, young Hendricks entered the medical department of the University of Pittsburgh and finished his course. From there he went as interne at the West Penn Hospital.
In the meantime, however, the new doctor had affiliated himself with the Eighteenth Regiment, which had its barracks in Oakland and was a part of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Hendricks’ course was finished when the Eighteenth and other units of the Keystone Guard were ordered to Camp Hancock. That was one year ago last September.
GETS INTO ACTION
The young physician had secured his final papers and went to camp. In April of this year the Twenty-eighth was ordered to France, and what is has since accomplished surely would fill many of the most illuminating pages of the history of the world’s war.
The Keystone State fighters had hardly got settled over here when they were thrown into action in the Marne sector. Their undaunted powers of fighting were soon recognized by both the French and American officers. They were shock troops in a true sense, and when they finished their work around the Chateau-Thierry they saw more action in Belleau Woods, and then cracked the Germans at Fismes.
It was as Fismes where Capt. Hendricks suffered severely from gas attacks while attending the wounded doughboys. Then they went over the top he was with them and naturally he has war in its terrifying aspects. The Pittsburgh physician found it necessary to use his gas mask often, but despite this precautionary measure he was subjected to the grave dangers of the suffocating waves. His nerve-wracking grind of four days and four nights giving succor to the wounded took place northeast of Fismes, where the old Eighteenth rendered valiant service.
Other members of the Keystone Division have nothing but highest praise for the nervy physician who acted as much like a soldier as a healer of wounds. How he came through it all is remarkable, but he says he feels fine and eagerly awaits his journey to Germany with the Twenty-eighth which begins soon.
BRAVE CITY MEN
Dr. Hendricks, with others, hardly knew how to act when arriving at a French city to spend a short furlough. Seeing nothing but ruins and desolation wher’er [sic] they gazed over the war-swept countryside, they had a difficult time trying to accustom themselves to the conveniences and comforts of civilization.
The Pittsburgher declares that words cannot describe the admiration he felt for the fighting Pennsylvanians who, without murmur or regret, took up some of the worst fighting the American Army has seen. He paid glowing tribute to several Pittsburgh officers who went out of business life and distinguished themselves on the field of battle.
Capt. Robert Cain, commander of Company H, One Hundred and Eleventh Infantry, a business man of Bloomfield, was spoken of very highly by Dr. Hendricks, who said he thought the Bloomfield fighter was slated for some signal honor in recognition for his fine work in action. Capt. Cain is among those listed for home and he may be in Pittsburgh by the time this appears in print.
The Twenty-eighth has been made a part of the Army of Occupation and will soon be in Luxembourg. Capt. Hendricks was anxious to get back with his outfit after being away only two days, as he said he felt more contented when with the old Eighteenth.
Besides being well known in Pittsburgh, he has many friends throughout all the Western Pennsylvania colleges, such as Grove City, Westminster, Allegheny, etc.
* * *
CRAFTON BOY DOES WELL
Everybody in Crafton is intensely interested in the spic and span fighters who came to France to uphold the ideals of freedom. A fine example of the type sent by the pretty town of Honus Wagner’s home city is furnished in Sergt. John Passavant, who, as a member of Company I, Three Hundred and Nineteen Infantry, saw plenty of action and acquitted himself in a creditable manner.
Sergt. Passavant is a husky boy who loves his home, but once in the army he proved a fine soldier, his work winning the approval of his officers. Sergt. John was employed in the composing room of the Gazette Times and is always glad when a letter comes from one of the “gang.” It appears that his working pals stuck up a printed sign reminding the boys to write Passavant and the result has please the soldier.
The is little doubt that the athletic endeavors of the progressive Pittsburgh district had much to do with the fine soldiery shown in the boys who hail from Father Pitt’s home and the neighboring towns. Time and again I have encountered slick looking fighters who have taken part in some form of strenuous sport competition.
While talking with Sergt. Passavant I also had a few words with Corp. Tom Friel, manager of the Natrona baseball club; Sergt. John Cochran of Harmonville, near the Harmony Line, who play in the fast Central League before injuring his arm, and Private John Rushe of Glassport, one of the stars of S.J. Genet football eleven.
The boys mentioned were all in the same company of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth. Scattered throughout the two Western Pennsylvania regiments are hundreds of others who rank with the best in the sport world and who found that the training in this connection was of great benefit in discharging their hard tasks in France.
It would be great delight, indeed, to have a big book of the humorous anecdotes “pulled” by the American soldiers in France. No matter how dark the outlook some doughboy would come through with a rich remark, and even after being captured these same fellows “kidded” the German officers in a very amusing manner when the poor benighted servants of the Kaiser tried to elicit information.
The Eightieth Division is not without its humorists by any means. In fact there are hundreds of boys who help to make camp life happier by their funny outbursts.
In the training areas it is the custom to establish guards at the entrance to all towns to prevent soldiers from wandering off without a pass for a leave of absence. The sentry stands at the entrance of the village and demands a pass from everybody.
For the purpose of getting some supplies two members of the medical unit of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth were sent to a neighboring town the other day. They were equipped with a two-wheeled cart and a tired jade. The outfit was capable of something like three miles an hour provided no stiff grades were encountered and the occupants, especially the driver, were forced to sit on the ragged edge if they cared to sit down at all. On the whole the vehicle would make an Irish jaunting car look like the favorite in a speed meet.
I overtook this entourage while starting off on a hike of three or four miles. As it offered a place for my typewriter I flagged her down and climbed aboard. We were reaching the outskirts of the village when the sentry stepped in front of our entry with a gun and asked for a pass. The driver didn’t have the slightest inkling that he would thus be challenged and did not get a pass. He was rather rankled at the sentry, whose duty it was to prevent soldiers from taking temporary French leave.
But the guard was insistent. “You’ll have to have a pass to get out of town,” he said. “Them’s my order and I guess I’ll have to carry them out.”
“Use your head, use your head!” exclaimed the driver in disgust. “Where d’ye think I’m goin’ with this boat and nag – on a joy ride?”
That was enough for the guard.
* * *
FORMER BASEBALL STARS
Joe Harris, the Cleveland first baseman, who is a member of Headquarters Company with the Three Hundred and Twentieth Regiment, appears to be in fine physical condition after his experiences with Uncle Sam’s force. Harris looking forward to the day when he can get into a uniform that requires no puttees.
Joe’s home is in Coulter, a short distance from Pittsburgh, where he is a great favorite. He started his baseball career in McKeesport a few years band and his great success under Lee Fohl has been a source of pleasure to his friends.
John Miljus, the Pittsburgh boy, who had just joined the Brooklyn Dodgers before the war broke out, is another athlete who has a longing for diamond warfare. John and Joe are bunkies. The former is a pitcher and started out with the Pittsburgh Collegians.
Many of the boys of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth refer frequently to the Collegians. Tom Friel, the Natrona manager, now with the Three Hundred and Nineteenth, wants to challenge this gang as soon as he gets back.
Most of the Pittsburghers are of the opinion that baseball would be big in France, partly on account of the spirit of the French and largely on account of the ideal locations for diamonds.
“Guess I’ll try to get Dick Guy to arrange a big trip over here,” said the Natrona manager after reviewing the situation.
In a talk with Sergt. Stanislaus Zimawski of Company A, Three Hundred and Twentieth, I was reminded of the thousands of great Polish citizens of Allegheny and the adjacent counties.
Sergt. Zimawski, a splendid specimen of the American soldier, lives in Jeannette. He came out of the bad mixups unharmed, but it only requires a short gaze into his eyes and face of character to see the traits of a fighter. Stanislaus, a true Yankee of Polish extraction, has just reached manhood and, though he has all the appearances of a boy, he is overflowing with manliness. Straight as an arrow, his fine physique is to be admired and his officers are proud of him.
The older generation of Poles of the Pittsburgh district are the fathers and mothers of many boys in the Eightieth Division and their sons are find soldiers. They had a two-fold purpose of pushing toward victory, and while their boys were at the front their people buying bonds back home.
John C. Victory, a powder worker of Emporium, Pa. How’s that for a combination against the Kaiser?
Corp. John is one of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth boys who helped to put the Old Dutch Cleanser on the Kaiser and John is proud to have been among those at the finish.
Yes, siree, John knows all about powder and he’s a fighter from away back, according to his mates in Company L, of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth.
The Pennsylvania outfits were on their 100-mile hike when I met John. The regiments had reached a point near the town of Revigny and were ordered to rest for a day while awaiting further marching orders. So Corp. John and Private William Williams, a Farrell youngster with the same regiment, were taking a little 10-mile hike to the city of Bar de Duc to spend the day. A mere 20 miles is nothing to a doughboy, especially when he has no pack and the pair was traveling light when I met them from the opposite direction.
It was up to Corp. Victory to uphold the standard of Emporium and this he did to the queen’s taste.
* * *
SOUVENIRS ARE LOST
Private William Winter, Company D, Three Hundred and Twentieth, the North Side boy who was struck in the forehead by a German sniper’s shot, wanted to save his steel helmet and overseas cap for a souvenir, but both were taken up when he entered the hospital and he did not get them back.
Private Winter, however, has something else he values more highly than all the iron crosses that could be piled in a wagon. He has his good health, although it seems little short of a miracle that saved him. The brand of the Hun bullet is still plain to be seen on the boy’s forehead, but he is as good as ever in every other respect.
The bullet penetrated the steel helmet and the overseas cap which was under the protective headgear. It then took a course along the side of the Pittsburgher’s forehead, inflicting an injury which required hospital attention.
Sergt. Ralph Miles of Knoxville and several of his platoon were commenting on the horrors of shell fire while lying in a hole awaiting the signal to go over the top. The sound of these terrible missiles can be heard as they approach, and the thought that on is to be struck creeps into one’s feelings.
Miles and his crew were at a loss to describe the sound until Miles remarked:
“I’ll tell what it’s like, fellows: They sound like a flat-wheeled Carrick car coming around a sharp corner on a steep grade. You don’t know whether the car will make the stop or not, and that’s the same with the shell; you don’t know whether it’s going to stop at your hole or not. Believe me, when I get back and hear one of those little cars coming around a sharp curve, I’ll feel like dropping in the ditch.”
“Those cars would be music to me right now,” remarked Sergt. Tom Kenney of Mt. Oliver.
January 19, 1919
NURSING IN FRANCE MORE ATTRACTIVE THAN SOCIETY TO THIS PITTSBURGH WOMAN
Mrs. William Bacon Schiller Works Every Day in Hospital – Many of Her Patients Heroes of Old Eighteenth Who Fell in Terrific Combats.
Paris, Jan. 17. – (Delayed) – Fifteen months of tireless work nursing American doughboys finds one of Pittsburgh’s most prominent women, Mrs. William Bacon Schiller, still smiling at her post in France. But her labors of mercy are almost finished now, and she is planning to leave for home in a few weeks.
That was and suffering bring out the finest qualities is strikingly shown in the case of Mrs. Schiller. She is the wife of the president of the National Tube Company, a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation.
About 18 months ago Uncle Sam issued an urgent call for volunteer nurses. Among the patriotic women and girls who heard and heeded that call was Mrs. Schiller. Although she always had been accustomed to every comfort that ample means and an assured social position could give, this mother of three fine boys volunteered and was accepted.
Mrs. Schiller knew nothing about nursing when she placed herself at the disposal of her country. In fact, she knew practically nothing about hospital work. But all this has been changed, and when I saw her today in her strikingly becoming nurse’s garb, almost engulfed in bandages, dressings and other surgical paraphernalia, it was quite evident that her capability had been developed into splendid harmony with her devotion.
She was busily engaged arranging medicines for the morning round of the hospital as I entered and we had our talk while she worked. I tried to induce Mrs. Schiller to tell me some of her remarkable experiences during her long term in France, but she evaded any personal touches and insisted on dwelling exclusively on the great work done by others.
Mrs. Schiller, I learned, has been “on the job” for six days a week since she came to France, sometimes seven, but she evidently feels fully repaid by the appreciation shown by the gallant Yankees. She spoke of having attended a number of Pittsburghers, mostly members of the Eightieth Division. While she avoids allusions to her own part of the work being done at the hospital, she is ready enough to talk of “the boys.”
A visitor to the hospital who sees Mrs. Schiller as she goes about her work, looking in every way the typical Red Cross nurse, finds it hard to realize that she has a son old enough to be in the service. This is the case, however, Morgan Schiller being an ensign in the Naval Aviation Corps. The mother had hopes that her boy would be sent to France and they could enjoy a happy reunion, but he was instead detailed to Seattle.
The hospital where Mrs. Schiller has been giving her time and labor is one of the finest operated by the American Red Cross in France. It is known as No. 1, and is located about three miles from the center of Paris. It is an imposing structure, designed to house a magnificent college, but had not been completed when the war started, and the building was turned over to the Red Cross.
While walking along a corridor of the big building I noticed a ward furnished by the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. One of the many comfortable cots was donated by Mrs. Henry W. Oliver of Pittsburgh, whose name appears on a neat plate above the bed. Lying on this cot was a smiling doughboy, Private Harry Seymour, who told me he was a farmer from New York state. He has been occupying this cot since October 28. He received a severe shell wound in the leg, but has so far recovered that he is able to walk on crutches.
Although the government changed the designation of the old Eighteenth Regiment, N.G.P., to the One Hundred and Eleventh Infantry, there is a sentiment and pride in the old organization that leads to the use of the old name by the thousands of Pittsburghers over there who have followed the career of the regiment during the past year. The old Eighteenth say great fighting at a number of critical points, and the importance of the achievements of the Pittsburghers and the whole Twenty-Eighth Division is partly indicated by the long list of heroes who gave their lives in France under the Stars and Stripes and the flags of the Allies.
IN DESPERATE FIGHTS
Among the good people of France, particularly the surviving defenders, the memory of the Pittsburgh fighters will be forever recalled by the names of Chateau Thierry, Fismes, St. Mihiel and the Argonne Forest, all desperate conflicts where the sterling Keystone State guardsmen contended and fell in valorous exploits. At present the infantry and artillery are divided by hundreds of miles. The doughboys are, with the division headquarters, billeted near Toul, 200 miles east of Paris, while the artillery, which recently operated in the Belgian sector, has been moved to the area between Paris and the seacoast.
About a month ago the Twenty-eighth Division was ordered into Germany to form part of the army of the occupation. One regiment was already on its way to Luxemburg when the first orders were countermanded and it was brought back.
Sergt. Allen McCombs, 927 Beech avenue, North Side, Pittsburgh, an athletic youngster who was a member of the old Eighteenth, is a fine specimen of the type of soldiers that constituted the regiment. Almost fully recovered from a machine gun wound in the leg, Sergt. McCombs and I met in the beautiful Red Cross hospital where, he said, “a man couldn’t be sick if he wanted to and didn’t want to leave when he got well.”
BROUGHT DOWN BY A BULLET
Sergt. McCombs is a graduate of the Scottdale High School, where he played on the football eleven. After leaving school he took a position with the Pennsylvania Railroad and joined the Eighteenth as soon as he was old enough. He was leading a platoon of Company I in rushing a nest of machine guns during the terrible fighting in the Argonne woods when he went down with a bullet in his leg.
“But one day’s treatment since I was struck is worth all the hardships we went through,” said the sergeant, who has all sorts of vivid tales of the actions of his division. When he recovered sufficiently he was given clerical work in the hospital, where he seems to be a prime favorite with patients and nurses. In the parlance of the doughboys, the handsome soldier “has it pretty soft.”
Private John Danknichy, aged 21, a flaxen-haired Slavish boy of McKees Rocks and Esplen, is another who is manfully upholding the traditions of the old Eighteenth. He is recovering from a severe machine gun wound in the thigh received near the Aisne River. It was an exceedingly ugly wound. When located by the stretcher bearers it was found difficult to get him to a first-aid station, but because of the seriousness of the case they started back through a heavy shell fire. For a time he lay between life and death, but the wound is now healing and he is able to walk with a cane. John was an employee of the Pressed Steel Car Company.
January 22, 1919
BRADDOCK SOLDIER RESCUED BY COMRADE FROM “NO MAN’S LAND” – RESCUER LATER KILLED.
Michael McDonough, Home on Furlough, Tells of Bravery of George Flynn, Former Fireman and Life Guard, and of His Own Experience.
Michael J. McDonough, a member of the Twelfth Machine Gun Battalion, who was severely wounded by shrapnel and machine gun bullets and then rescued from “No Man’s Land” by his friend and comrade, and who spent three months in a hospital in France, has reached his home in Braddock for a visit of a few weeks. He will return to New York for treatment for his wounds before he will be discharged. The comrade and friends who saved McDonough’s life was George Flynn, a former member of the Braddock Fire Department. Flynn enlisted with McDonough and was killed in the battle of the Argonne on October 7.
Flynn and McDonough left November 7, 1917 for France. They were almost immediately sent to the fighting lines and were in continuous action for about three months. The two were together until August 8, 1918, when a German shell killed 20 soldiers near them. McDonough received a piece of shrapnel in an ankle and, as he lay exposed, several bullets from German machine guns got him in the leg.
Flynn, discovering that McDonough was lying out in the path of the German fire, rushed out and dragged him 200 yards to a dugout. The next morning Flynn placed his friend in an ambulance and that was the last McDonough ever say of Flynn.
McDonough received a dose of mustard gas, is suffering from shell shock and one of his ear drums is ruptured. He says he is gals to be back alive, but would go through it all again for the same cause. “The only time I feel sad,” he remarked, “is when I think of George Flynn.”
Flynn was one of the strongest swimmers in Western Pennsylvania. He was guard at the Braddock swimming place for two years and during that time is said to have saved the lives of 58 children.
After spending several days at his home in Perrysville, Corp. William L. Weiss of Company G, Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry, who was twice wounded in action in France, once while he was fighting on the British front last August and again in the desperate fighting in the Argonne forest in November, has returned to Green Huts Hospital in New York, where he will stay until he was fully recovered from the effects of his last wound.
January 23, 1919
HEROIC PITTSBURGH SOLDIERS LAND AT NEW YORK
All to Arrive Proudly Show Wound Stripes. Pennsylvanians With Records for Bravery in Battle Part of 8,942 Here. 3 Vessels in Port. Millvale Trooper Tells How He Saved Lad from German Bayonet.
1,558 Sick and Hurt.
New York, Jan. 22. – A long list of Pennsylvania boys who helped to smash the German drive for Paris and who outfought the Kaiser’s pet Prussian Guards returned here aboard the United States naval transport Manchura, which docked at Hoboken this afternoon. They were a part of Casual Company 126, which was commanded by Lieut. A. R. Ebberts of 1206 Herbert street, Pittsburgh. Everyone of them wore one or more wound stripes and all have seen at least nine months service overseas.
Capt. Russell Meall, Ninth Infantry, Second Division, whose home is in Uniontown, Pa., was one of the first men to dash down the gangplank. He fought in the Spanish war and took part in the Phillipine [sic] campaign. He comes from a fighting family for his ancestors fought in the Civil War and the Revolution. When he gets back to the Brunswick Hotel he will be ready for peace and quiet.
HOW PRUSSIANS WERE MAULED.
Capt. Beall was injured and gassed in the battle of Chateau-Thierry last July. It was his division which tore through the Prussian Guards.
“They were all right enough fighters and had been well trained, but they lacked the initiative and pep of the Americans.” He said, referring to the Prussian Guards.
“They had been fed upon the stuff that the Americans were no good, and would not fight. Well the Ninth and Twenty-third Regiments and the Fifth and Sixth Marines let them know who was who, and incidentally spoiled their trip to Paris. It was just a case of kill them or get killed yourself, and you can bet they died. They came over in droves and they laid in piles after it was over.”
MILLVALE MAN TO THE RESCUE.
Charles E. Connor, Jr., of No. 210 Tenth street, Aspinwall, a member of the One Hundred and Seventh Field Artillery, Twenty-eighth Division, was another in the company who fought against the Prussian Guards. Connor is a regimental supply sergeant and his fellow fighters said that he had been recommended for a citation.
Another Pennsvlvania man in the outfit was Corp. Alphonse Lang of 110 Park street, Millvale, Company G, Sixteenth Infantry. He was wounded in both legs and the head at St. Mihiel and Verdun.
“One day when I was on patrol duty I saw a big round-bellied German in a hand-to-hand fight with a 16-year-old American boy,” he said. “The German was gradually getting the best of the kid, who was putting up a great scrap, but I figured he’s lose out, so I sneaked back of the clump of brush and went toward them. When I was within a few feet of them I heard the kid give a yell and then I saw the end of the German’s bayonet, all red with blood. I jumped out and there was a regular battle. It was a case of either he or I, and I decided it would not be me. I finally bayoneted him and carried the kid back to the lines. He recovered.”
Following are some of the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania men who were on the Manchuria:
Bernard Rigby of Company I, 358th Infantry, 2628 Bedford avenue, Pittsburgh
Sergt. S. W. Glass, New Kensington
Lieut. P. G. Polk, Danville
Dr. Charles D. Bierer, Uniontown
William McDonald, 3108 Second avenue, Pittsburgh
James Dargenzo, Fourth avenue, New Kensington
Harold C. McCall, 310 West North Street, Butler
Charles A. Dadaro, 4682 Lorigan street, Pittsburgh
Chester Friedman, Hoboken
George Koulinsky, Braddock
Charles R. Hall, 90 Strauss street, Pittsburgh
William Himmelrich, 349 Thirty-Ninth street, Pittsburgh
Michael Fero, Charleroi
Joseph E. Hardy, 1210 Beaver avenue, Pittsburgh
Corp. Edward F. Dehler, 1154 Voskamp street, Pittsburgh
William P. Kell, 800 Oakwood street, Pittsburgh
Sergt. Glass of New Kensington was formerly attached to Hampton’s old Battery B and was with the unit until he met with an accident coming out of the Argonne forest. The battery is now in Belgium.
January 24, 1919
CAPT. VAN VLECK AND OTHER PENNSYLVANIA MEN PROMOTED FOR VALOR ON FIRING LINE.
Former Popular Officer of Old Eighteenth National Guard Regiment is Rewarded for Faithful Services – Lieut. Col. Thompson Also Moved Up.
Headquarters Eightieth Division, American Expeditionary Forces, Jan. 23. – Capt Lyle E. Van Vleck of Pittsburgh, formerly a popular officer of the Eighteenth Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania, now an officer in the One Hundred and Eleventh Infantry, has just been promoted to the Personnel Division of the American Expeditionary Forces at Chaumont and is on his way to take up his new duties.
It is probably that this new work would carry an advancement in rank for Capt. Van Vleck were it not for the recent order halting all promotions. He undoubtedly has earned it.
In Pittsburgh Capt. Van Vleck made his home with the former United States District Attorney E. Lowry Humes at Wightman and Solway streets. Before going to the border two years ago he was state superintendent of highways of Erie county. A native of Corry, Pa., he was one of the best-known men in that part of the state.
After a long term in the National Guard Capt. Van. Vleck, then a lieutenant, went to the border, under Brig. Gen. Albert J. Logan of Pittsburgh, during the trouble with Mexico. On his return to Pittsburgh, he joined the old Eighteenth Regiment, and he received his captaincy for his good work over here.
Lieut. Col. “Joe” Thompson, former Pitt football star and coach, has been appointed athletic director for the entire Second Army. He came over with the One Hundred and Tenth Infantry, a former Pennsylvania National Guard Regiment, and rendered such good service in the front lines that he was made lieutenant colonel of the regiment.
The athletic soldier now is at the head of a sport system for the more than 100,000 men composing the Second Army. The appointment gives general satisfaction, and it is felt that a more competent man could not be selected. The Yanks always are keen for a man in such a position who has actually braved the same dangers with them. This Lieut. Col. Thompson did.
Capt. Ewing Raffery of Pittsburgh, the former Princeton athletic star, has been named as theatrical director of the Twenty-eighth Division. He is now at the head of a real “big show,” which recently started for a tour of the provinces in which the A.E.F is stationed. Capt. Rafferty’s Pittsburgh friends, especially those in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, will, I am sure, be pleased to hear that the production is making a great impression everywhere.
The French government has awarded the Croix de Guerre to the surviving doughboys of two platoons of the old Eighteenth Regiment which were attached to a French regiment soon after the division landed in France. The valiant fighting of the Pittsburghers won the whole-hearted admiration of their French comrades and commanders, and the award of the medals is the result. Approximately 25 awards were made.
January 25, 1919
FIGHTING TENTH’S LOSS VIRTUALLY 100 PER CENT. FIGHTING CASUALTY LIST GIVES 3,500 OF 3,600 IN FIGHT
Capt. J. Ed. Boyle of Pennsylvania’s Famous Regiment Back in America.
Carries 14 Wounded. Officer Rushed to Hospital as Soon as Transport Reaches Port.
Capt. J. Ed Boyle of Beaver Falls, who landed in New York yesterday and was hurried to a Hoboken hospital to have battle wounds treated.
NEW YORK, Jan. 24. – Capt. J. Ed. Boyle of Beaver Falls, Pa., veteran fighter of the old Tenth Regiment of Pennsylvania, returned here today aboard the United States naval transport Suriname. He was sent to St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken, suffering from 14 wounds he received in the Argonne Woods battle September 26. He was in command of the machine gun company of the One Hundred and Tenth Regiment, made up of National Guardsmen of the old Tenth and was taking the company into position when a high explosive shell broke, killing several of his men and wounding him and others.
When Capt. Boyle came down the gang plank he was cheered by the crowds. He was taken to the hospital in a motor car. Before being driven away he recognized Mrs. Boyle, County Commissioner A. C. Gumbert of Allegheny county, Mrs. Gumbert and Private William B. Gumbert is the crowd. Boyle shouted for them to follow him to the hospital, where there was a reunion later.
OLD TENTH SUFFERS HEAVILY
“The old Tenth, which is now the One Hundred and Tenth, practically had 100 per cent casualties,” said Capt. Boyle. “It went over with 3,600 men and it had 3,500 casualties. The regiment was cited several times, three times at least that I know of. I do not want any praise for myself, but I want the regiment to get all the commendation it can. It had a great bunch of fighters; the best fighters anywhere.”
Capt. Boyle fought in the Spanish war, took part in the Philippine campaign, and was on the Mexican border.
One of the first things he did when he became a patient at St. Mary’s Hospital was to seek a pass to get out. A regulation medical inspection interfered, however, and he was unsuccessful. He probably will be sent home in about a week.
Pennsylvania troops who saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war returned here yesterday on the naval transport Orizaba. They all came back as casualties.
Nearly all of them were either recovering from gunshot wounds or gas. Most of them went through the fighting at St. Mihiel, Chateau-Thierry and the Argonne Forest and helped check the German drive for Paris.
John H. Wallace of 126 South Sixteenth street, Pittsburgh, Company L, One Hundred and Tenth Infantry, gassed at Fismes September 5, was among the returning men.
Ralph W. Javens of Baden, Pa., among the sick and wounded men, told the first story brought to this side of the ocean of a railway wreck at Chateau-Roux, near Paris, early last fall, when 143 French and American troops were killed and 86 injured.
“We were being transferred over the main-line tracks,” he said. “A Paris limited got tangled up with us and we went to smithereens. Six of my ribs were broken.
ANOTHER “LOST BATTALION”
The story of a new “lost battalion” was related by Clay Smith of Forbes Road, Pa. He was attached to Company C, One Hundred and Third Field Signal Corps, Twenty-Eighth Division, and fought at Chateau-Thierry. He said:
“About a dozen of us were cut off from the rest of our company and for 12 hours we put up a fight against the Germans who surrounded us. It was just by luck that we finally discovered an opening and beat it successfully.”
Other Western Pennsylvania men to return were:
Luigi Vitaro of Blythedale, Pa.
Martin J. Milonstal, 2501 Mission street, Pittsburgh.
Paul Tamper, 1093 Wheeler street, Pittsburgh.
Joseph R. Kuhl, 522 East Fourteenth street, Erie.
Ralph R. Hart, 2039 Liberty avenue, Pittsburgh.
Howard M. McKerry, 7205 Witherspoon street, Pittsburgh.
Herman C. Olsen, Erie.
Walter E. Norris, 1212 Randolph street, New Castle.
Herman R. Sauerer, 1 Gregory street, Pittsburgh.
Thomas H. Renier, 7152 Reynolds street, Pittsburgh.
Samuel A. Robinowitz, 649 Preble avenue, Pittsburgh.
Harry Fine, 2146 Webster avenue, Pittsburgh.
Vito Sherrino, 1918 Losten street, Pittsburgh.
January 29, 1919
CRACK PRUSSIAN GUARD SMASHED BY 28TH DIVISION
OFFICER TELLS OF DRIVE MADE BY 18TH MEN
Capt. Robert Pollock in Parkview Hospital Describes Prince’s Defeat.
Regiment Tunneled from House to House in Fismette to Oust Huns.
SUNK U-BOAT AT SEA
“When the Twenty-eighth Division of the United States Army met the Twenty-Eighth Division, German Imperial Army,” was the subject of a thrilling story of the former Pennsylvania National Guardsmen, and principally of the One Hundred and Eleventh Infantry, the old Eighteenth Regiment of Pittsburgh, related yesterday by Capt. Robert Pollock, commander of a machine gun company of the One Hundred and Eleventh who is now a patient at the United States General Hospital No. 24, Parkview, recovering from a dangerous wound inflicted by a Boche machine gunner.
The flower of the German Army, commanded by the former Crown Prince, was met, defeated and put to rout by the Pennsylvania division, declared Capt. Pollock.
How the transport carrying the troops overseas rammed a submarine; how the One Hundred and Third Engineers, more of “Pennsylvania’s Own,” built a bridge across the Vesle under heavy machine gun fire, and how the doughboy virtually tunneled his way from house to house in Fismettes with his hands to rid the town of Boche machine gunners who occupied practically every window, are a few of the incidents related by Capt. Pollock in his description of the part played by the Old Eighteenth, which is practically a complete history of the regiment from the time it left Camp Hancock until he was carried off the field of battle on September 6.
LEFT EARLY IN MORNING
Capt. Pollock said:
“We left Camp Hancock April 28, 1918, and went to Hoboken. There we were in barracks for a few days and on the night of May 4, silently, we filed onto the White Star liner Olympic, one of the biggest transports afloat. There were 7,000 of us aboard when, in the dim light of the early dawn of May 5, the transport pulled away from its slip and started on the perilous journey to France.
“Just about that time the German submarines were becoming active off the Atlantic coast. We had no protecting destroyers at our side; we had no defense other than the guns, fore and aft. We were alone, not even another transport with us. This was because of the Olympic’s speed, she was too fast for the ordinary convoy, and we had to take our chances alone.
“Everything was mighty quiet until the following Friday morning. But on May 10, when we were slumbering the shock came.
TRANSPORT RAMMED U-BOAT
“I was confident we had been torpedoed. I heard other men from nearby bunks scrambling about, dressing. Everybody, I guess, was awakened by the crash. Then came another thunderous roar, and another, and another. It was the aft guns booming. I was sure we had been torpedoed and figured our gunners were taking a crack at the undersea boat in hopes of making it pay dearly for sinking us. But still the signal to take to the boats did not come, and I was puzzled. I sat there waiting. Soon some person stumbled past my room. I inquired what the trouble was.
“I learned that the Olympic, while steering a zigzag course, rammed a submarine. We had just swung one way or another when the watch on the bridge discovered the undersea boat. He didn’t hesitate for a second – just gave the order for full speed ahead and trusted to God that we wouldn’t miss, and we didn’t. What was left of the submarine after the collision the gunners destroyed with the few shots I had heard.
TRAINED WITH THE BRITISH
“We had no trouble after that and landed May 13, on the coast of France just eight days after we had slipped away from Hoboken.
“After arriving in France we were thrown in behind the British lines for training. This was at St. Omer. Later the division was scattered about. I, with 14 other officers and 33 non-coms, was sent to Camiers, where there was one of the best machine gun schools I think ever existed. I was taught the use of the Vickers machine gun, which we expected to use.
“After remaining in Camiers for a month I was ordered back to my company, which was then stationed at St. Denis, near Paris, as a reserve unit to be used in case the German smash, which was expected daily, might break through and envelop Paris. We were to be among those making the last stand in the defense of Paris.
PREPARED FOR BIG DRIVE
“On July 1 I caught up with my company. It had been moved from St. Denis and was then at a point near Chateau-Thierry. We took up reserve quarters near by, to be ready in case the Germans should break through, for it was confidently expected that if a break should be effected the Germans would sweep down the Marne valley toward Paris. This drive was expected to start July 4. Then we were sent back to another point for a couple of days, after which were ordered into Grand Forest – and it was a grand forest. We had been notified July 3, early in the morning, that we were to move forward for action, and the boys were ready an hour afterward, so anxious were they to get started. They really wanted to fight and the delay we had met was displeasing to them, to say the least.
MADE MANY FORCED MARCHES
“But on July 10, their spirits again arose. It had been learned – I don’t know how – that the German attack would be launched July 15 – the anniversary of the independence of France. And believe me, for the next six nights we marched, continually. Forced marches were nothing. We weren’t always going forward, in fact they were moving us this way and that, not knowing just where the blow was going to be struck. We only marched 14 kilometers forward in those six days, but we marched many more if the distance we actually walked was computed.
“Finally we got in position behind the Marines and the Seventh Infantry at Chateau-Thierry, and that’s just where the big punch stared. We got into position at 11 p.m., on the night of July 16, after having marched from 6 o’clock that morning. Then we ate a big, hot supper, for we knew it would be the last we would get for a couple of days – probably the last some of us would ever get, which was true. We loaded up with “tin willie” (corned beef) and hard bread, and set sail. We were going to relieve the Seventh Infantry, but we never had a chance. The Gremans, after they were stopped, started backwards so much faster than they had advanced that there was no chance to relieve any person, it was just one continual grind forward, in pursuit of the much scared Prussians, the flower of the German Army.
VICTORY MADE MEN HAPPY
“You have all heard about the gallantry of Capt. John H. Shenkel and Capt. Cedric C. Benz and their men at Hill 204, well, that was the real thing for us. When we saw how our boys met and licked those touted Prussian Guards of the Crown Prince’s army, that made us chuckle with glee. Our spirits went up several hundred degrees and we were prepared to emulate the two officers and their men.
“We got into real action at Fismes – or, I might say, we went into Fismes expecting action. However, the scrap was nearly all over there, but the Germans were throwing high explosives and gas into the town at a tremendous rate. Our job was to hold the town until our next push started, and we didn’t have to hold long. Our own engineers were rushed up and those boys, with comrades dropping off about as rapidly as you could count them, threw a pontoon bridge across the Vesle River in no time. Machine gun bullets weren’t being sprinkled on them there, they were being rained on them, and rained hard. Their casualties were enormous, as the reports probably indicated. But they built the bridge, and we crossed, and we were rained with machine gun fire, gas and high explosives. The machine gunners followed the infantry, our guns were too heavy to keep pace with the doughboys.
DOUGHBOYS CLEAN UP TOWN
“It was in this scrap that Capt. Arch Williams was wounded and Capt. John Clarke of Wilkinsburg, and Capt. Orville R. Thompson of Pittsburgh, killed. We were advancing on Fismettes when they fell.
“When we got into Fismettes the real fighting started. German machine gunners occupied every window in every house in town. We had to clear those houses before we could clean out the town, and our men were dropping like flies. We had virtually no protection from that awful rain of fire from the machine guns. The doughboys, though, went forward, and they mopped up. They went into the first house in one block and you didn’t see them again till they came out of the last house in the block. They dug through the walls from one house to another, and every time they left a house the Kaiser’s army was minus several more men.
NO QUARTER ASKED OR GIVEN
“They asked no mercy and they showed none. They dug through those walls, often with their bare hands, and they tore at those machine gun men like tigers. No wonder the German defense cracked; no wonder that it fled before those American doughboys. Many of our men went down, to, but they got a couple for every one that went down. There wasn’t a live German left in town when they got through.
“One incident which occurred there is mighty strange. We found only one inhabitant, aside from the German soldiers, in the town. This was a woman, a woman aged about 50. She said she had stayed in town to protect her property. She started to tell some awful tales, but we hadn’t time to listen and sent her back to regimental headquarters. Subsequently the property which she had been watching was destroyed, we destroyed it. That was when the Germans recaptured the town and we had to shell them out.
OFFICERS ARE WOUNDED
“After we drove them out again, however, we went forward, moving toward our third objective; we had gained our first and second. The third was the plateau between the Vesle and the Aisne, northeast of Fismette. We were well up on this place when I was hit. Lieut. Daniel W. Brooks of Swissvale was killed at the same time. He was one of those fine fellows every person likes. When I fell I didn’t lie long. They came along, picked me up and started me for the hospital, and the last I saw of my men when, led by Lieut. Edward Z. Wainwright, they were moving over the brow of the hill on to their objective.
Among the many strange things about the battles that the old Eighteenth participated in was that it once faced the Eighteenth Regiment of the German army. This sounded so “fishy” the Captain said, that Capt. Robert Cain of Pittsburgh, cut the shoulder straps from a captain of the regiment, who had been killed and sent them back to his wife.
When asked about the assertion that Americans were sent into action against the well trained Germans, ignorant of how to handle a rifle, Capt. Pollock replied, “I heard nothing of that until I reached here. Of course I cannot say anything about the Argonne forest, I was not there, but as to the action up to the times I was wounded, I can say the men were trained.”
Capt. Pollock enlisted in Company C, Eighteenth Regiment, in November, 1904. When the National Guard was called upon during the Mexican border trouble in 1916, Capt. Pollock was transferred to a machine gun company.
February 1, 1919
SCORELESS FOOTBAL GAME PLAYED BY RIVAL TEAMS OF 319TH INFANTRY AT VILLIERS
Pittsburgh Troops in Small French Towns Where No Entertainment is Provided Pass Time in Staging Exciting Athletic Contests Which Would Delight Fans at Forbes Field
Headquarters Eightieth Division, Jan. 21 – After being stationed for two months in little French villages that have no facilities for recreation and entertainment the Pittsburgh doughboys of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth and Three Hundred and Twentieth Infantries have taken the matter into their own hands. Yesterday two companies of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth staged a gridiron battle that would have tickled Pittsburgh fans if it had been played with the same vim and vigor at Forbes Field.
The hard fight, which was between Company I and Company K, ended in a scoreless tie. On account of the two outfits being located in the same town the rivalry was intense and the rooting strenuous. As a result the soldiers will undoubtedly discuss the game for weeks, and these arguments will, partly at least. Take their minds off thoughts that lead to homesickness.
On the previous day the Headquarters Company of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth had a thrilling soccer game with Company A for the championship of the town of Cruzy la Chattel. The Headquarters Company won by a score of 2 to 0. The lineups showed many boys who starred in the teams of the Pittsburgh district, McKeesport, Treveskyn, Sturgeon, Donora, Mt. Washington, and Crafton being among the places represented, as well as the city itself.
The exciting clash yesterday took place on a snow-covered field in the town of Villiers. The feeling among the doughboys of the two companies was at fever heat when the elevens marched on the field. Company I was the favorite, partly because its team was a bit heavier, and there was much confidence expressed by its supporters, who were anxious to get their centimes down on the outcome of the battle.
This team surely made a striking picture as it appeared on the field. The boys never had been given any sort of athletic equipment and even the football was bought with their own money. The players wanted to play in some sort of jerseys, and so, as the genuine article was not available, they washed up old undershirts. When the eleven men appeared for action in this apparel the effect from a distance was that of regulation jerseys.
Fullback Cy Young of Company K, the former McKeesport Olympic star, looked formidable as his team took the field. Big Cy played a whirlwind game, but the shining star of the battle was little Bobby Logan, a Clearfield lad, who played end for Company K. Bobby is a quiet doughboy, but he seemed to be in on every play and was largely responsible for holding the heavy Company I eleven.
Quarterback Chalk Rush of Glassport, who also played with the McKeesport Olympics, led the Company I stars.
The animated picture was given an added touch by the presence of two of the reigning belles of the village. At each of the little vine blanc shops where the boys get refreshments they are served by petite “mademoiselles.” Company I patronized one shop and Company K another. When the doughboys lined up on the two sides of the field to cheer their respective teams each group of rooters was accompanied by its own pretty “mademoiselle,” all dressed up in her Sunday clothes.
The play was exceptionally rough, but it was also exceptionally clean, and the drawn battle proved so exciting and enjoyable that a play-off may be arranged in the near future.
The lineup, mostly Allegheny county boys, follows:
Company L. Company K.
Haking L.E Logan
Rurdyz L.T Thompson
Routt L.G Brunner
Deveren C. Washowelski
Coogan R.G. Ramsey
Schwartz R.T Ziegler
Roy R.E Doyle
Rush Q Wise
Lendensky L.H. Steuf
Saneski R.H Miles
Downing F Young
Substitutions – Fish for Rush, Fired for Roy, Crouch for Doyle, Doyle for Steuf, Taylor for Crouch. Time – Ten-minute periods. Referee – Chaplain Leo of Williams and Mary College. Umpire – Doyle, The Gazette Times correspondent. Lineman – Maisne.
Headquarters Co. Company A
Demmer G Lezmy
Malaski R.B Freidl
Daniels L.B Bartlett
Scott C.H Boyle
McFarland L.H Murford
Baird R.H Reinher
Campbell O.R Allen
Murhammer I.R Poland
Callahan C Halleran
McGraw I.L Gleason
Rebold O.L Mulvihill
Goals – McGraw, Callahan. Referee – Corp. Smith, Three Hundred and Fifth Engineers
February 2, 1919
OUR SONS AND BROTHERS “OVER THERE”
STORIES WITH THE INTIMATE PERSONAL TOUCH
Headquarters of Eightieth Division, Jan. 15. – (By Mail, Passed without Deletions) – Members of the Three Hundred and Fifth ammunition train of the crack Eightieth Division, made up almost entirely of sturdy lads from Allegheny and Mercer counties, always will carry a fond recollection of their 62 days at the front. These boys may often jump high in their sleep while dreaming of a shell bursting in front of them on the road or near their pitched tents, but it will be a most pleasant awakening for them to again cuddle up in the warm blankets and realize they are more than 3,000 miles from the nerve-wracking whizz bangs.
This tale has to do with Company G, principally, I have spent a wonderful evening and night with the more than 100 boys of this company last week in the little town of Villers les Hauts, which is in the Eightieth Division training area about 145 miles southeast of Paris.
Just as the evening shades were falling on the quiet town I reached the spot on Shank’s ponies. The village from the outskirts almost seemed as noiseless as the pretty graveyard that surrounded the beautiful church, but in less than 10 minutes I rejoiced in the refreshing touch of a hose of noisy Yankees who had just heard the evening mess call and were lining up in front of the company kitchen.
WELCOME A HEARTY ONE
Coming out of one of the little buildings was a clean-cut figure who carried a very familiar stride. A moment later Top Sergeant “Bill” Cave, leader of the greatest jazz orchestra that ever mixed the classics with ragtime, recognized me, and in less time than it takes to tell it I was introduced to the company cook and a meal that that would make a tramp take a bath.
The darkness of the unlighted village had no effect whatever on the spirits of this lively circle of Western Pennsylvanians. In that mess line, besides Top Sergeant Cave, Raymond Pierotti, star athlete of Duquesne University; “Tink” Royley, well-known football player and coach, were approximately 50 boys from Mercer county, who had been through the 62 days’ grind and seemed better men as a result.
Here’s the squad:
Top Sergt. William Cave, Sharon
Sergt. Louis Goldberg, Sharon
Sergt. James Phillips, Sharpsville
Sergt. Raymond Kane, Sharpsville
Sergt. Francis McCarthy, Sharon
Sergt. Charles Miller, Sharon
Sergt. Archie Reid, Sharon
Sergt. Warren Gardner, Greenville
Sergt. Carl Glatzau, Greenville
Sergt. Jacob Growley, Greenville
Sergt. Emmett Haas, Greenville
Sergt. John Reznor, Greenville
Corp. Francis Brannon, Sharpsville
Corp. Frank Donnelly, Sharon
Corp. Fred Defibaugh, Sharon
Corp. Walter Farringer, Sharon
Corp. Cliff Homer, Sharon
Corp. Lawrence Kelly, Wheatland
Corp. Lafe Murstein, Sharon
Corp. Pat Regan, Sharon
Corp. Frank White, Sharon
Corp. Charles Woods, Sharpsville
Corp. Luther Anderson, Greenville
Corp. John Myers, Greenville
Corp. Leonard Roberts, Greenville
Corp. William Whitlatch, Greenville
Private William Fromm, Greenville
Private Edward Moran, Sharon
Private John McCallen, Sharon
Private Henry Woge, Sharon
Private James Hanrahan, Sharon
Private Raymond Pierotti, Greenville
Private “Tink” Rowley, Greenville
Wagoner Harry McNamara, Sharon
Wagoner Louis Manuta, Sharpsville
Wagoner Carl Snyderwine, Sharon
Wagoner Frank Stright, Sharon
Wagoner Harry Thomas, Sharon
Wagoner Floyd Bortz, Greenville
Mechanic David Johnson, Sharon
Mechanic Ennie Flocco, Sharon
Horseshoer William Hughes, Sharon
Cook George Spear, Sharon
Cook Earl Ross, Sharon
Bugler William Buckalew, Sharon
GOOD STORIES COMING
Sixty-two successive days at the front are bound to be associated with thrilling events, and the study lads of the Three Hundred and Fifth Ammunition Train surely did get their share of the thrills. They will have a lot of tales to tell their families and friends when they reach home, so this little yarn will divert into a description of what they are doing to amuse themselves while spending the days in a French village.
Wholesome entertainment, or rather the lack of it, is one of the serious problems that confronts the Yankee soldiers while at rest. Very few of the little towns wherein the troops are billeted have any form of amusement whatever and not many of the overseas entertainers had reached the Eightieth Division area by New Year’s. This is not stated with any bitterness, as it would require an army of performers to cover all the camps in such a short time.
Knowing the musical resourcefulness of “Bill” Cave, I realized that if there was any chance for the lively stuff his outfit would have it. I might state here that Sergt. Cave is that type of pianist that forgets to bring his music half the time and when he neglects the copy the result is generally a scream.
“BILL” ON THE JOB
A few years back he organized five or six like himself and instead of being an orchestra they were a headline act. They would play all night long, with or without pay, and were always at their work the next morning. Wash-Jeff alumni have had the joymakers as a feature act in their recent banquets, and quite a few will be interested to know that “Bill” is still abusing the ivories whenever the company can dig up anything from Napoleonic period piano to an up-to-date pipe organ.
The Three Hundred and Fifth Ammunition Train was attached to divisions other than the Eightieth during the big offensives, and they had only been in Villiers les Hauts a few days before I caught up with them. As soon as they got settled right, a squad of the soldiers began to scour the town for a piano, as the nights were lonely without some sort of entertainment. They were unsuccessful, however, but I found them with an orchestra in full blast. And such an orchestra it was.
Cave, himself, tried to dig up some musical instruments to help break the monotony of camp life, but he, too, failed. While in this quandary over recreation, Chief Mechanic Dave Johnson approached the sergeant and told him he would have a dance orchestra ready that nigh if “Bill” could get the “Mademoiselles” out and hire a hall.
REAL JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Sergt. Cave hustled around and secured the best room in town and, after we had partaken of our supper, the entire company started out to enjoy the dance.
This Johnson fellow may have been “some” mechanic, but the orchestra he foisted on the soldiers and the petite French dames that night showed that he had something more than mechanical skills. The “Mademoiselles” had begun to arrive and the troopers were there in plentiful numbers when I reach the hall. A few minutes later the orchestra, hidden away in an obscure corner, opened up a barrage of curious but well-timed ragtime and the Yanks went “Over the top” with the “Mademoiselles” in one-step fashion.
The dance was a hit, but the orchestra was a knockout. Standing before eight champagne bottles, each of which held its distinctive measure of champagne, vin, rouge or water, was Chief Mechanic Johnson. The bottles hung on separate ropes from a piece of bamboo and Johnson was all over them like a vaudeville star attacking a xylophone.
The bugler was keeping the pace on an old cornet, while another peppery soldier was getting wonderful music out of two pairs of bones. The fourth member of the orchestra had a pretty tough job; he was trying to go along on an old German accordion which the boys were taking along for a souvenir.
FRENCH GIRLS GOOD DANCERS
At the end of the first dance the festivities were halted for a few minutes while Mechanic Johnson ducked away to his tool box. The accordion had cracked under the strain and Johnson said he could fix it “tout de suite” – which the Yank translates to mean “pretty d--- quick.” Johnson was back in a jiffy with some belt lacing and adhesive tape. The wind instrument was under way again in five minutes and it was a case of “On with the dance.”
It was great to see how quickly the “Mademoiselles” got into the one-step and fox-trot stride, but it was hard to keep from dancing while Johnson’s orchestra was under way. The latter was a picture as he stood before those bottles and pounded good music off the glassy surface, and he did it without a smile, which made it all the funnier. Talk about encores – they never did get that first dance finished.
The Germans had a fine chance against that kind of spirit.
February 3, 1919
REAL FIGHTING PARSON WHO HEADS CO. K, 319TH INFANTRY ENJOYS REGARD OF HIS MEN
Western Pennsylvania Doughboys Would Like Nothing Better Than to Entertain Their Athletic Captain, The Rev. T. W. Hooper of Virginia, After They Get Back From Battlegrounds of Europe.
Headquarters, Eightieth Division, Jan. 15. – (By Mail) – I am sure that the parents and friends of the 500 doughboys of Allegheny and adjacent counties who went “over the top” behind Parson Hooper in the last great push of the World War would warmly enjoy meeting this God-fearing, courageous minister of the gospel. They would rejoice to see the man who had the confidence of every boy in the entire battalion because he shared their joys and sorrows, their hunger and hardship, in the same dugouts while the fury of the battle raged.
The Rev. T. W. Hooper of the Presbyterian Church of Culpepper, Va., who have up his pastorate to lead a company of infantrymen, is a sturdy, muscular little fellow in the thirties who can turn a handspring just a little better than any other member of the Third Battalion.
The fact that he can turn a handspring and did it in the presence of his doughboys while the lads were holding an informal athletic meet is one reason why he is intensely popular with every man in his commany.
POPULAR WITH DOUGHBOYS
But his cool, calculating nerve in the face of terrifying shell and machine gun fire, combined with his consideration for the fighters under him, are the traits which have endeared him down deep in the hearts of Pittsburgh soldiers.
Listen to Top Sergt. Ralph Miles, a Knoxville boy with Company K, as he speaks of his fighting commander:
“If Capt. Hooper ever comes to Pittsburgh we’re going to show him a good time, for our people will surely be glad to meet the man who led us with success. I say ‘Cap’ in some pretty tight places, but he never flinched and I know his cool way of handling matters was an inspiration for the rest of us fellows who were proud to have such a leader as he.”
“That goes for me,” spoke up Sergt. Jeff Haworth, a very bright chap from Bellevue, who proved one of the great soldiers of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry. The fighters were having a little fanning bee in Company K orderly room when the subject of their popular commander was touched on.
“Yes, what Sergt. Miles says is the truth, and you can’t make it any too strong,” remarked Sergt. Tom Kenny, another leader in the Third Battalion platoons. The same words of praise would come from any man in the Third Battalion.
ALL STRONG FOR CAPTAIN
Private Harry Markowitz of the North Side, Pittsburgh; Austin Murphy, Monessen; Private John Kermes, Millvale; Private Mike Rusake, New Brighton; Private Bobby Logan, Clearfield; Private Hyman Epstein, Tyrone; Private Andy Alezewski, Erie; Private Paolo Salvatore, Greensburgh – yes, you could go on from one end of the Third Battalion to the other and find men of various nationalities and religions, yet all were unanimous in saying they are proud to have fought and suffered hardship behind a man of the character of Capt. Hooper.
“Cap” Hooper – that’s the way the boys refer to him when talking among themselves, though it is much more affectionate than military – probably would have been a major but for the order which halted promotions. The fact is that Capt. Hooper was in the role of a major during most of the fighting participated in by the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment. He was placed in charge of the Third Battalion soon after the Three Hundred and Nineteenth got into action and the work of the battalion under his direction reflects great credit on the courage, military knowledge and resourcefulness of the gritty person.
Pasted Graphic 2
CLOSE TO INJURY OR DEATH
Capt. Hooper came out of the severe fighting without any wounds, but he was very close to death or severe injury on many occasions. A machine gun bullet that grazed his neck and cracked against the steel helmet work by the soldier-parson reminded him of his predicament at one time, but he displayed little nervousness as he picked up the steel bullet and showed it to those about him.
So the Pittsburgh doughboys in the Three Hundred and Nineteenth look forward to the day when they can see their leader in Pittsburgh in civilian clothes. They will call him “Cap” then without fear of violating military ethics and the parson will enjoy it more than his boys.
February 5, 1919
HOME BOYS GET PICTURE MADE
Members of Three Hundred Nineteenth Infantry Glad to Pose for Photo
YANKS IN GOOD TRIM
Headquarters, Eightieth Division, Jan. 18. – (By Mail) – Although the plucky members of the Eightieth Division had their full share of the hard fighting that marked the last days of the great war there were in such excellent condition that they recuperated quickly when they reached rest billets. A few days after the signing of the armistice a camera man of the Signal Corps, A. E. F., United States Army, visited Florent, an Argonne Forest town, and Nineteenth Infantry was stationed, and made the accompanying photograph for me.
The eagerness with which the Western Pennsylvania doughboys gathered when it was noised about that a picture was to be taken for publication “back home” proved that they were as full of “pep” as ever. They had completed a march of approximately 26 miles just a short time before, but nobody who heard about the photographer’s visit in time failed to “get in the bunch.” They had been out of line only a short time, but every looked snappy and happy. A French officer and some of the village women were asked to pose to give local color.
Here are the names of the home boys in the picture. Pick ‘em out yourself.
E.V Garrety, Erie
V. G Zeigler, Millvale
Edward G. Keener, McKees Rocks
John T. Mitchell, Duquesne
Oliver Stewart, McKeesport
G. R. Morgan, South Side, Pittsburgh
C. W. Walters, South Side, Pittsburgh
Harry Markowitz, Woods Run, Pittsburgh
M. Olah, Duquesne
J. R. Maxim, Homestead
O.E. Dano, South Side, Pittsburgh
F. J. Reitlinger, Millvale
William Goodline, Wall borough
H. R Brhee, East Pittsburgh
Andy Tresemona, Clarksburg, W. Va.
E. J. Maushart, Aspinwall
John Cochrane, Harmarville
R.P. Logan, Clearfield
James Laughlin, Homestead
H. H. Epstein, Tyrone
W. Steup, Bellevue
C. G. Seidell, Dravosburg
D. J. Rex, Jr., Ingram
Eugene Hildebrand, Wilmerding
C. R. Franklin, Wilmerding
H. T. Ramsey, Jr., Bellevue
G. W. Schafer, Carnegie
Z. Szymanowski, Erie
C. C. Delcora, Wilmerding
J. Nichols, Brownsville
J. M. Kennedy, Bellevernon
H. N. Datley, South Side, Pittsburgh
W. Wyderkienric, Donora
M. J. Work, Sheffield
D. W. Lecky, West Newton
J. R. Ritchey, Hyndman
J. J. Roth, Uniontown
J. W. Mott, Bruceton, Pa.
Leslie E. Powell, Omaha, Neb.
Joseph Ruszkowski, Sharpsburg
W. M. Nicholas, Juley Mills, W. Va.
George Young, East McKeesport
Joseph Keeley, Chester
James Parsons, Charleston, W.Va.
F. J. Finn, Bedford
Albert Spanish, Bellevernon
Jules Delfosse, Sturgeon
Tony Lopardo, East End, Pittsburgh
Richard Smedley, Fort Royal, Va.
William Rosenberg, McKeesport
Orlando Heydier, Nobelstown
Andy Lasko, Hawk Run
Malachi Tiernan, Oakland, Pittsburgh
Elmer J. Winter, Pittsburgh
William Beck, Coraopolis
Clarence Bach, 621 Avery St., North Side, Pittsburgh
Austin Murphy, Bellevue
John Wisniewiski, McKeesport
Schuyler Taylor, Pittsburgh
John Sulkowski, Carnegie
Sylvester Dietric, Carrick
Salvatore Trozzo, Pittsburgh
R. C. Klaus, Pittsburgh
Louis A. Heile, Meadville
John McGuirk, Carrick
Frank Miller, Homestead
Remo Luzzo, Dubois
Steven Stotalki, Portview
Joseph Dick, Wilmerding
Gilbert Snyder, Fair Haven
L. H. Dressler, Braddock
W. J. Griffith, West Newton
Andrew Bicsey, McKeesport
Albert Myer, Gallitzin
Lorenzo Demarcho, Lawler
William Connell, Dunbar
Walter Steup, Bellevernon
Thomas Bronck, Willock
Raleigh Evans, Onanwik, Va.
Herbert Baker, Dunbar
Alvin Smith, Dravosburg
Joseph Trepasso, Farrell
Jack Fye, Sharpsville
Paul Currier, Mercer
Jack Millsop, Sharon
John Sprook, Latrobe
Mike Androwski, Wilmerding
J. M. Tokarcik, Clearfield
Hugh Williams, Carnegie
Thomas Jolly, Uniontown
Steve Doyle, Sharon
Mongi Rinaldo, Ambridge
Peter Schessler, Pittsburgh
Frank Orleski, Pittsburgh
Pat Ward, Duquesne
Center of picture – Lieut Piot, Fortieth Company, R.T.C. French Army, and young women residents of Florent
Feb. 6, 1919
KLEPFER’S MEN STURDY CROWD OF DOUGHBOYS
Snipers, Observers, Scouts From Western Pennsylvania in Good Trim.
LEADER IS POPULAR
Headquarters Eightieth Division, Jan. 20 (By Mail) The French countryside was so quiet it seemed almost painful as I left the village of Villiers le Bois for the town of Arthonay on foot. A terrific January wind was blowing across the open fields. It was not a cold breeze by any means, but as I was walking into it the kilometer posts seemed very scarce indeed.
Arthonay was only four kilometers away and I figured I would have a better chance of catching a ride after setting out on the main road in the latter town. I had gone not over half the distance when I notice a whole platoon of doughboys marching in the same direction about a quarter of a mile down the road. Realizing it would make the walk less monotonous if I hiked with them I overtook the platoon just as they were stopping to take a little rifle practice along the road.
An athletic sergeant had just informed the men that a drill was in order and some of them started to [unreadable].
Eddie Klepfer’s Outfit
“Ah, where do ya get that stuff; don’t you know the war’s over,” spluttered one doughboy in disgust.
“If I ever have a boy and he starts to pick up a gun or step out with his left foot I’m goin’ to shoot him.”
The clean-cut sergeant laughed and started to prepare for the drill, when I asked him what outfit they belonged to.
“We’re the Second Battalion, S.O.S., and Lieut. Klepfer is our commanding officer,” was the reply.
Sure enough it was “Eddie” Klepfer’s entire platoon out for a little workout and they soon removed the lonesomeness of the French countryside for me with their quips and typical American slang.
Most of them from Allegheny county, they surely shaped up like a great gang as they tried to talk the sergeant out of the rifle drill. Every mother’s son of them was hale and hearty, with the flush of health showing in his wind-blown cheeks. Used as snipers, observers and scouts in times of battle, these same boys had been through various actions of the Eightieth Division and were happy in the thought that they might soon be on the way home.
When I told them I was going to let the people back home know how well they were looking they voiced pleased sentiments, so its up to me to make good.
Many Towns Represented
Here are the boys with their home addresses:
Sergt. Hilbert Dahl, Verona
Sergt. Thomas Harrocks, Swissvale
Sergt. Theopolis Parvin, Wilkinsburg
Corp. Joseph Veith, West View
Corp. Greenberry Craig, Uniontown
Corp. Frank Dyer, Elizabeth
Corp. John Smith, Natrona
Private Andrew Visley, Duquesne
Private Joseph Yesko, Munhall
Private Edward Harnes, Greensburg
Private Harry Marker, Wilkinsburg
Private Charles Seibel, Fair Haven
Private Joseph Adams, Glassmere
Private Joseph Friend, Ivydale, W. Va.
Private George Bennett, East Millsboro, Fayette county
Private Charlie Lehns, Glassport
Private William Miller, Parnassus
Private Frances Acre, Brackenridge
Private William Chestnut, Tarentum
Private Floyd Felix, Johnstown
Six other Allegheny countians and members of the Third Battalion, S.O.S, had been wounded in action, but all had recovered, according to their pals, who gave me their names as follows:
Corp. Paul Welsh, Wilkinsburg
Corp. Ernst Miller, Tarentum
Corp. John Harr, Coraopolis
Private Thomas Barnes, Wilkinsburg
Private Floyd Wright, North Side
Private E. R. Rupert, Tarentum
Officers are Athletes
The athletic sergeant in charge of the men at this time, Sergt Thomas Harrocks of Swissvale, is one of the best-known swimmers in the United States and is especially well known throughout the Pittsburgh district, where he has won many prizes in the water. First Sergt. Hilbert Dahl of Verona, is a product of State College.
Some of The Gazette Times readers who do not follow the sports pages closely may not know that Lieut. “Eddie” Klepfer, officer in charge of the platoon, is a Warren (Pa.) boy who has won fame on the diamond. “Eddie” is one of the crack pitchers of the Cleveland American League club and expects to return there when he is relieved of his duties.
Lieut. Klepfer was wounded by being struck with two machine gun bullets. He was away on a leave at Nice when I visited his gang, but an aid told me he was still carrying the marks of one of the bullets which grazed his shoulder and tore its way through the skin. The other bullet was spent when it reached the athlete.
Klepfer was honored with a commission on this side and every man in the Eightieth who has had any dealing with him, particularly his doughboys and brother officers of the Second Battalion of the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Infantry, is delighted to have him as a friend, as he had proved a real man and a dandy leader.
Pasted Graphic 1
Feb. 8, 1919
DRAFTED AT 15, TURTLE CREEK BOY BACK HERO
Gassed and Wounded During Argonne Battle While Carrying Dispatches
Smiles over Hurts.
Baltimore, Feb. 7. – Drafted when he was aged only 15, sent into battle as a battalion dispatch bearer, or “one-minute man,” coming out with part of one leg shot away as one of the two survivors of the original 16 runners who entered the battle, Private Elmer Goyer of Pittsburgh, now at the base hospital at Camp Meade, has a war story that makes even the tales of last spring look like “old stuff.”
The fact that he was drafted into the service was because he had given his age as 21 in the industrial enterprise where he was employed at the time the registration took place and passed as 21 in order that he might hold his position. He has had an interesting life from the time he was aged 9.
“My home is in Turtle Creek, near Pittsburgh, Pa., and I have an aunt living there by the name of Mrs. E. H. Cunningham at 2 Oxford street,” he said today. “I never knew my father, as he died when I was aged only 6 months. My mother died when I was 9 years old and after that I went to live with my aunt. At 11 years of age I went to work in a glass factory at Charleroi, Pa., and later took a position with the Union News Company as a candy butcher. I sold papers and candy on the trains on the Big Four line that ran out of Chicago.
REJECTED BY NAVY
“When I was 15 I tried to enlist in the Navy, but was turned down because of my height and weight. I weighed only 95 pounds. Three years ago I entered the employ of the Westinghouse Electric Company. My duties pertained to wiring. When the war broke out I wanted to get into action. Having given my age as 21 years, I had to register under the draft, and I was glad of it when I was drafted on April 5 last. I was sent to Camp Lee, Va., for training and was assigned to Company E, Three Hundred and Eighteenth Infantry, Eightieth Division. Our unit was sent overseas on May 22.”
Goyer fought in the famous Nieppe woods, where the British had lost so many men a short time before. Here he was in the front lines for nine days, evacuated back to a rest camp for two weeks and again returned to the front, and on the second trip in that sector stayed up near the fireworks for 19 days. Then the orders came for him to go to Verdun, and the detachment, after being relieved by British troops, left for farther east, riding through Paris in 10 minutes.
CARRIES MESSAGE TO FRONT LINE.
On the Argonne front the Americans stormed the Hindenburg line on September 26 and made telling advances. Goyer was detailed as one of the 16 battalion “runners.” These men were nicknamed “one-minute men,” because they were supposed to live only one minute. On the morning of October 4 Goyer was handed orders to deliver to a lieutenant in the front line, which by this time had been far advanced.
As he was running over the field in the midst of shell and machine gun fire he was gassed. He sank down, weak and “half joed,” as he described it, but crawled from shell crated to crater, hoping to deliver the vital message. He succeeded, and was on his way back when he was stuck by a machine gun bullet. This tore through his leg and he fell to the ground. But he never lost consciousness and crawled to a furrow, which shielded him from Hun fire.
Red Cross field workers found him and he was sent to New Chateau Base Hospital No. 46. He sailed for American on Thanksgiving Day on the transport Tenadore.
On the way into New York harbor Goyer threw his crutches into the water and has used none since, even during dressings at the base hospital here. He has stitches in his right leg below the knee, and though the side of his leg is shot away he packs it with bandages and then wraps it with his spiral leggings, making what he calls a “camouflaged stilt.”
February 10, 1919
LOCAL CAPTAIN BACK WEARING FRENCH CROSS
9,170 Troops Reach New York and Newport News on Three Transports.
New York, Feb. 9 – Forty veterans of the desperate fighting around Chateau-Thierry, where, as Gen. Catlin said, “with the help of God and a few Marines” the Germans were finally hurled from the throat of Paris, arrived today on board the armored cruiser North Carolina. They were in charge of Capt. William A. Duckham of Pittsburgh, himself the wearer of a French War Cross and a wound chevron. The detachment included Sergt. G. Callopy of Spring City, Pa., who has been awarded the French War Cross and recommended for the American medal of honor, and Sergts. William E. Mitchell, Joseph Rankin and Walter Hillman of the Fifth and Sixth Marine regiments, which won successive citations from Chateau-Thierry to Sedan. Every man brought back in the detachment has been from 12 to 18 months’ service in France. All have been through hard fighting. Capt. Duckham’s own company, the Forty-fifth, of the Fifth Regiment alone received before the armistice 670 replacement, in addition to its original 200 men.
“The French were practically routed at Chateau-Thierry,” said Capt. Duckham. “As they fell back we became the front line and we stopped them. Of the 8,000 men in two regiments who went into the fighting 1,900 came out.”
Sergt. Callopy’s story of how he won the War Cross and citation was:
“On June 20 the Forty-seventh Company of the Fifth Marines went over the top with the Sixteenth and Twentieth companies to take machine gun nests which had been holding us up for a day. But we failed to take them and dropped back to our old holes. On the 25th the Forty-seventh received orders to take those machine guns at all costs. We formed in six waves and got within 50 yards of the Boche before being stopped by the rifle, grenade and machine gun fire. After careful reconnoitering we rushed the Boche defense. My company captured 300 men, 25 machine guns and four trench mortars in that little 200-yard space and cleared the Boche from Belleau wood.”
Sergt William E. Mitchell, who comes from Monongahela, Pa., was with the same marine outfit. He participated in the same desperate fighting and also wears the French was cross.
There were nearly 1,400 other officers and men on the warship.
The troops brought home included, besides Marines, 18 officers and 812 men of the One Hundred and Tenth and Twelfth Battalions of the Twentieth Engineers, a California organization commanded by Maj. Frank H. Barnes of San Francisco; four officers and 17 men of the Air Service, 20 casual officers, 161 civilians and three Y.M.C.A secretaries.
The engineers were of a command which rebuilt a span of a bridge in the Vosges nine times under fire, “but otherwise had no chance to do spectacular stunts.”
118 KEYSTONERS ON CRUISER
The units returning on the North Carolina included two officers and 116 men of the Eleventh, and 15 officers and 726 men of the Twelfth Battalion, Twentieth Engineers; three officers and 146 men of the Four Hundred and Sixty-ninth Casual Company, Georgians; two officers and 116 men of the Three Hundred and Thirty-third Casual Company, Pennsylvanians; two officers and 178 Air Service Casuals trained at Camps Kearney and Meade.
SIX MORE PITTSBURGHERS.
The following Western Pennsylvania soldiers arrived on the North Carolina:
Lieut. Howard J. Burtt, 118 Richey avenue, Pittsburg.
Louis O’Donnell (Y.M.C.A. secretary), 19 Jarvilla st, Pittsburgh.
Moses F. Adams, Rankin.
Hugh Tate, 7207 Hamilton avenue, Pittsburgh.
John W. Baird, Greenville.
Edward Hiffensteel, Bloomsburg.
Edward J. O’Rourke, Pittsburgh.
Charles A. Lewis, Braddock.
Michael Hefferman, Pittsburgh.
Bruce Crumm, Altoona.
Thompson Cromer, Pittsburgh.
John E. Wilfong, Montrose.
Bruce E. Benson, Uniontown.
Ralph C. Davis, West Bridgeewater.
J. J. Maloney, MacDonald.
Clement M. Cherry, Sharpsburg.
Lawrence Dunn, Warren.
Stanley Bright, Parnassus.
On board the France were the Three Hundred and Seventieth Infantry complete; Third Battalion of the Three Hundred and Sixty-ninth Infantry; the Machine Gun Company of the Three Hundred and Sixty-eighth Infantry; 276 casual officers and 300 casual enlisted men all of them, except some of the officers, were Negroes.
February 14, 1919
TWO PITTSBURGH SOLDIERS WIN DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS FOR BRAVE DEEDS AT FISMETTE
Capt. Robert S. Cain Directs Automatic Rifle in Maintaining Liaison During Advance – Sergt. MacBeth Braves Machine Gun Fire to Deliver Message.
Extraordinary heroism in action near Fismette August 10, 1918, gained for Capt. Robert S. Cain of 4063 Penn avenue, and Sergt. Edwin MacBeth, son of Mr. and Mrs. James MacBeth of 1141 Greenfield avenue, Distinguished Services Crosses, according to official information received in Pittsburgh last night.
Capt. Cain arrived home recently to recuperate from wounds. The citation order in his case reads:
“Armed with an automatic rifle, Capt. Cain personally led the advance elements of the line in driving the enemy, from the forest north of the Vesle River, thereby maintaining liaison at great personal risk.”
The citation order for Sergt. MacBeth is recorded as follows:
“Sergt. MacBeth and another soldier voluntarily went through heavy machine-gun fire to carry an important message to an advance unit. Attracted by the cries of a wounded soldier while they were returning, they went to his assistance and were endeavoring to rescue him when Sergt. MacBeth’s companion was fatally wounded. Being unable to bring in the two wounded men by himself the soldier returned to the line and secured assistance.” (The companion of Sergt. MacBeth mentioned above has been identified as Sergt. Alfred Stevenson, whose home was in Linwood, Pa. He later died of his wounds.)
Sergt. MacBeth was a prominent school athlete before enlisting. He attended the Fifth Avenue High School and was active in football, basketball and other sports. He enlisted shortly after the declaration of war and in July, 1917, was sent to Camp Hancock. He served there as hand-grenade instructor and in May, 1918, sailed overseas with the Twenty-eighth Division. He took part in the battle of the Marne July 4, and at Fismette, in which battle he was cited for bravery. In the Argonne forest battle September 19 he was gassed, and is now in the base hospital in Nantes, France, recovering.
Suggested and transcribed by list member, Lynn B