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.St. Louis.
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World War I         Roland St. Louis  (1894 – 1918)

Marine Sgt Roland Gerry St Louis, age 24,  was killed in action July 19, 1918 in Vierzy, France on the second day of the Aisne-Marne offensive near Soissons.   In this major offensive, the Germans were driven back, and eventually surrendered on Nov. 11, 1918.     Sgt. St. Louis had also fought in Toulon, in the Aisne defensive, and he was in the battle of Chateau Thierry, where the German advance on Paris was stopped.    The newspapers headlines read,    "Germans stopped at Chateau Thierry with Help of God and a Few Marines".

 The Croix de Guerre, silver star; citation AEF; and Fourragere were awarded.    His Citation reads "On July 19, 1918 at Vierzy, France he displayed absolute courage and zeal.  Was killed while voluntarily guiding the 1st BN., to a more sheltered position".

 Sgt Roland St. Louis was buried in the Oise-Aisne Cemetery in France among six thousand and twelve American soldiers killed in that area during World War I.

Roland St. Louis was born on Feb 18, 1894,  son of Alex St. Louis and Rosanna Therien St. Louis (1869-1899).  According to his Service Record he enlisted June 17, 1915 and served with the  49th Co, 5th Regt, U.S. Marine Corps, 2nd Div.  His home residence was 103 Picar St., Oconto, WI.
 His maternal grandparents, Joseph and Josephte Curotte Therien, had immigrated from Chateauguay, Quebec to Oconto in 1863.      His maternal uncles were the Rev. Joseph Therien, of Niagara and Oliver Therien of Chicago.   His maternal aunts were Josephine Therien White of Iron Mountain, MI,  Marie Delia Therien Lafave, and Ellen LePage Montpas.

 Joseph Therien, Sr.  died in 1906, and Josephte Therien in 1928,  in Oconto.

My mother, Marie White Bluem, told me of the family grief at the death of young Roland St. Louis, her cousin.   I  hope to  find an obituary or other local newspaper accounts

Sources:  Gold Star List World War I,   Oise-Aisne Cemetery,  Family notes,  World War I history, and the Service Record of Sgt. St. Louis, made available by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center,  Madison, Wisconsin


From the Marine Corp site, regarding the fighting at Chateau Thierry, 35 miles from Paris:   copied Nov 25, 2003:

The occasion was the third great German breakthrough of 1918, when the 4th Marine Brigade and its parent 2d Infantry Division were thrown in to help stem the tide in the Belleau wood sector. The 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, had just arrived at its position when an automobile skidded to a stop and a French officer dashed out and approached the commanding officer. He explained that a general retreat was in progress and that orders were for the Marines to withdraw. The Marine officer exclaimed in amazement, "Retreat Hell! We just got here.

And the Marines proceeded to prove their point. The battalion deployed and took up firing positions. As the Germans approached, they came under rifle fire which was accurate at ranges beyond their comprehension. Not in vain had the Marine Corps long stressed in its training the sound principles of marksmanship. The deadly fire took the heart out of the German troops and the attack was stopped.