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Remembered Today:

American who died April 8, 1918?


paul guthrie
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The first night of the US Branch tour/seminar is April 8. There will be a special Last Post and branch president will lay the wreath and recite the exhortation. Last Post Committee would like to recognize a US man who died on or near that day. Trouble is we were taking very few casualties at that time. We prefer to recognize a man who died in Belgium.

I have contacted superintendent of Somme American Cemetery and asked him to contact Flanders Field superintendent.

Any other ideas? Thanks.

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I don't think any American units arrived in the Salient until August 1918.

Perhaps there might be an American serving with a Canadian unit who died on this day - but, I must say most of the CEF was south of Arras at this time?

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Paul,

Closest I can find are some guys shown as born in New York USA

Lewis Carroll 13.04.18 1/4 KOYLI

F M Egan 16.04.18 6th Londons

A G Warrington 7.04.18 5/6th Royal Scots

You may be able to confirm if any of them are US citizens.

Regards Ian

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The nearest U.S. troops at this date were the 500 or so medical,engineering and air service personnel who were detailed to the British Army.These soldiers took part in the Battle of the Lys (9th - 27th April 1918),south of Ypres.They are the only U.S. troops entitled to the "Lys" clasp on their victory medals.

I'm unsure of the exact units and casualties at the moment but will leave another post when/if I find out.

Dave.

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Thanks fellows. Last Post Committee wants a man who died in US Army as close to the date as possible. I have asked David Atkindson at Somme American Cemetery, Bony. I know him because that is where Samuell Hill is buried , the Kentucky man with New Zealand Rifle Brigade I wrote about in January ST! I have asked him to forward my email to Flanders Field Cemetery. I think we may find a man who died near that date from 6th Engineers, 3d Division.

Paul 27th began training with Brits July 16 arrived in France May 31, 30th July 25 and May 24. I assume but am not sure the training was in Belgium.

If any of you can find an American who died near or on this day let me know, thanks.

Unless I get something in advance I will find the closest I can at Flanders Cemetery April 8 on the way from Brussels to Ieper.

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I haven't yet come across any casualty figures or names,but I've found out some of the units that had soldiers who were actually in Belgium at this time and were involved in the Lys defence.

They are (elements of)the 16th Engineers, the 1st Gas Regiment(Engineers?) -( I think this is the name they became known as circa. June 1918,at the time of the battle,they were the "2nd Chemical Bn".), and the 28th Aero Squadron.

I'll start digging deeper now and,hopefully,my next post may contain a name.

Dave ;)

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Paul.

Bad news ,I'm afraid. I can't find any reference whatsoever to any of "the 500" becoming casualties. It looks like all those entitled to the "Lys" clasp survived (that battle anyway).

The nearest (in location and date) to Ieper that I can see is "1st Lt. James Pigue, 117th Inf." who was killed in action or died of wounds received in action on 18th July 1918. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge .You probably know of him already though.

Sorry I couldn't give you a positive result,but if anything else springs to mind,I'll let you know.

Dave. :(

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Well Dave thanks, the US had quite a few killed before that after all Belleau Wood, Cantigny and Chateau-Thierry were before then, also Vaux. I have heard zero from the guy who can help the most, superintendent at Bony Cemetery.

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Paul

Go to the web site "The Doughboys and Camp Greene", which contains the diary of a soldier serving with 105th Engineers from North Carolina. The unit appears to have arrived in Belgium on 11th July 1918 and was under fire soon afterwards. I appreciate this does not help directly, but it may help to provide some clues.

Terry Reeves

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Thanks Terry. Will anyone be at Somme American Cemetery Bony? That's where the early casualties I know about are buried. Something is strange here David Atkinson has been most helpful in the past with my project on Samuell Hill by email and at the cemetery but nothing from him this time.

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Are you sure he's there at the moment, Paul? It is January - the battlefields tend to "close" this time of year, and a lot of people who work out here tend to take holidays at this time, as there are so few visitors.

I might be that way again shortly and will call in if you still get no reply.

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Well Dave thanks, the US had quite a few killed before that after all Belleau Wood, Cantigny and Chateau-Thierry were before then, also Vaux.

Ahh! I didn't realise that you were after an American soldier who died anywhere on the western front near this date. I was looking specifically for one who was killed in Belgium.

Now that's clear,how about:

PTE.OSCAR A.JOHNSON from Massachesetts, 104th Infantry, 26th Inf.Div.

KIA France April 14th 1918. Buried St Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt,France.

Dave. :D

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Possibly not KIA, but I've also found :

Pte. ERVIN JACKSON from Alabama, 301st Stevedore Regiment.

Died April 5th 1918 and is buried in Suresnes American Cemetery, France.

I could also supply you with a list of (6) sailors who all died actually on 8th April 1918,though none in action and all still in the U.S.A. ,but I didn't think this is what you're looking for.

Dave.

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Paul, you may be right, especially since David lives in Arizona! There would be little reason to leave there and come here, it was -5 farenheit two nights ago!

Dave, thanks, the Alabama man was very likely a black man who died of a non combat cause. I will give both names to Last Post Committee and use one unless we find one closer still. The sailors are not what we want.

A man who died in Belgium would be good but they want the date more than that, in keeping with what they did for a year last year with a name each night of a man who had died on that date.

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Paul

I don't know if you have come across the following ?

Henry Samuel

Born: Calewick, USA

Enlisted: Porth Glamorgan.

Died of Wounds: 9th April 1918

Pte 47501

17th Bn. Welsh Regiment

However he was buried at Doullens Communal Cemetery, Somme.

His parents according to CWGC kept The Gwalia Restaurant.

Myrtle

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Paul

I thought you would be interested in this soldier who was KIA on 9th April 1918. His profile reflects well the multi cultural society of the USA.

John Terlakis

Pte52548

Born: Feliatra, Greece

Enlisted: Chicago

2/5th Bn: Lancashire Fusiliers

Formerly: 34943 Norfolk Reg.

Again however he is not buried in Belgium but in Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery.

Myrtle

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Thanks Myrtle but I need a man who died in US unifrom. It's interesting that all realize A-H Army was polyglot but not many realize US had 20 or so languages, cannot say how little English the worst of them had. I have determined there were men in British Army who spoke only Welsh and the same had to be true of Gaelic.

I visited a WW1 Romanian Cemetery which had about 50 men, could identify Romanian, Jewish, Magyar, German Ukranian and Serb names!

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Paul, did you ask the curator of the American Cemetery in Waregem?

Jan

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Jan, have emailed superintendent at Bony, Somme American Cemetery and asked him to forward to Flanders Field, have not heard from him, he may be in USA. Logically there should not be a man near this date of death in Waregem. Ideal would be an April 8 date in Belgium, we have over two months yet. Bony is the best bet maybe but Romagne is so big, over 14000, that our man could be there or in one of the others.

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Perhaps on one or other British cemetery? Unfortunatley, most of the American dead were repatriated after the war, so I guess it would be difficult to find out a lot about the fallen. Aren't there official casualty lists or something that are easily accessible?

Jan

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Paul........... GOT YOU ONE!!!!!.......

Pte. Sidney H. Durkee,from Somerville,Massachusetts. He was killed (accidentally) whilst serving with the 101st Infantry, 26th Inf.Division on the 8th April 1918. He is buried in St.Mihiel American Cemetery, France.

I also came across Pte Herbert F.Ackroyd also from Massachusetts,KIA April 13th 1918, 104th Inf.26th Div.,also buried in St Mihiel...

...Pte Carl H.Alsen,from Dorchester, Massachusetts (again), KIA April 12th 1918, same unit and cemetery as above...

...and Pte.Carl Andres, from Wisconsin, 128th Inf., 32nd Inf Div. Killed April 7th 1918.Buried in Oise-Aisne American Cemetery.

By the way, a "Stevedore Regiment". Am I correct in assuming that this would be a WW1 equivalent to the WWII "Red-Ball Express"?

Dave.

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Another three!!! .......

...Pte.William J.B.Guthrie,from Lawrence,Massachusetts. Yet again the 104th Inf.,26th Div. Died of Wounds 8th April 1918. St Mihiel Cemetery....

...Pte. Pietro Iantorno (I bet he wasn't of Irish descent!!!) ,from Thompsonville,Conneticut. 23rd Infantry, 2nd Inf.Div. Died of Wounds 8th April 1918. St.Mihiel Cemetery.

...2nd Lieutenant Wilmer E.Herr,from Flemington, New Jersey. 9th Infantry, 2nd Inf.Div. Killed in Action 8th April 1918.....and once again,buried in St.Mihiel American Cemetery.

....I'm still trying (unsuccessfully at the moment) to find one in Belgium by the way!

Dave.

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Dave, you done good! A man who died in Belgium would be great but we have what we need now.

A man from Alabama in a stevedore regiment would have been in the Services of Supply and almost certainly would have been black.

For a terrific book on the appalling treatment of black soldiers see The Unknown Soldiers by Henri and Barbusse.

Dave, what are you using to get these?

And a stevedore was likely a laborer with regard to unloading ships and maybe trucks and rail cars.

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Paul, I've emailed you seperately,but for the benefit of any other interested parties, I used the references that I mentioned in my posts in "Soldiers and Armies of the Great War" ,topic - "First American Casualties" and cross-referenced them.

Dave.

PS. thanks for the "stevedore" answer, another vision I had of this occupation (don't ask me why) was of a Wild West cattle rustler!!!!! :blink:

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Paul.

I've just finished searching the entire database and found another 7 who died on April 8th 1918.All were buried in either St.Mihiel, Oise-Aisne or Suresnes.As you are happy with what I've found,I didn't go into any further detail.

I can categorically say,therefore, that there are none from this date buried in Belgium.

Phew!, Job done!!!

Dave.

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