GEORGE A. MORRICE
Friday, Mar. 22
Went from work to enlistment office, 65th St. and Broadway and enlisted.
Saturday, Mar. 23
Left Jones and Baker ( employer)
Monday, Mar. 25
Reported at recruiting office 6th Ave and 42nd St. and passed examination.
Tuesday, Mar. 26
Reported at Ft. Slocum
Wednesday, Mar. 27
Passed examination, knocked (inoculated) and sworn in.
Thursday, Mar. 28
Outfitted and assigned to 2nd Co. at Ft. Slocum, N.Y.
71st Infantry collar disk
Photo courtsey of G.A.Morrice's family
Insured for $10,000 $6.50 per month
Sunday, Mar. 30
Mom and Pop, Annie and Bill visited me.
Civilians visiting at camp. Photo courtesy of G.A. Morrice's family.
Thursday, Apr. 4
Passed outgoing examination, 3 knocks and 2 vacs.
Left Fort Slocum at 9 AM
Arrived Jersey City 12:30 pm. Left 12:30 am. Arrived Philadelphia 3:30 pm, Baltimore 6:00 pm, Washington 10:00 pm (Red Cross good to us).
Saturday, Apr. 6
Richmond 3:00 am, Charlotte N.C. 9:00 am, Rocky Mt. S.C. 2:00 pm, Columbia 4:00 pm, arrived at Spartanburg 11:00 pm.
Sunday, Apr. 7
Knocked. Assigned to E Company, Recruit Detachment. Quarantined for 15 days. Passed examination.
Sunday, Apr. 21
12:00 pm out of quarantine. Passed G.O. Examination. (G.O. is probably General Orders. Enlisted men were required to know the general orders for interior and exterior guard duty.)
Wednesday, Apr. 17
Knocked and vaccinated.
Friday, Apr. 26
Assigned as Private in 3rd Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, N.Y.N.G., 102nd Field Signal Corps.
Photo courtesy of G.A.M. Family
Monday, Apr. 29
Began training in telegraphy, semaphor and wig-wag.
Tuesday, Apr. 30
Friday, May 3
Paid $12.40 (Privates were paid $30 per month. Out of that came insurance premium, allotment to send home and deductions for uniform and equipment replacements.)
Monday, May 6
Received orders to prepare to leave.
Friday, May 10
Left Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg S.C. at 2:45 pm. Passed through Charlotte, N.C. and arrived at Richmond, Va at 2:00 pm May 11.
Sidetracked for orders. General opinion is we are headed for Newport News, but no one knows definitely. Under sealed orders. Had three accidents up to time of arriving in Richmond. First, body of kitchen car not fastened to trucks.
Discovered just in time. Took three hours to repair. Second, broken coupling. Had to get new car. Third, platform ripped off car. Changed car. So far, two men gone AWOL, Left Richmond 5:00 pm. Reached Camp Hill, Newport News, Va. at 9:00 pm. Assigned to barracks. Double-decker wooden barracks. Fine accommodations.
Sunday, May 12
Arm inspection for 10 days
Monday, May 13
Physical Examination by Major
Tuesday, May 14
Show down ( shake down) inspection for complete equipment. Inspected by Lt. Motley. Physical exams, inspections and show downs every day. Wrote last letter home to Mr. Norton. (Jones and Baker)
Wednesday, May 15
Went on hike through Newport News. Very pretty place. Several steamers laying out in Chesapeake Bay. Passed hundreds of tractors, guns and autos ready for shipment. Had final overseas examination. Passed OK. All night outfitting.
Thursday, May 16
Been up all night getting equipment. 8:30 am barracks bags taken away. 7:00 pm final inspection. Rolls all packed. Have to sleep on bare spring beds. Raising Cain for last night on American soil.
Friday, May 17
Up at 4:00 am. Policed all barracks. Started 6:45, reached pier 7:45. Three mile hike and we sure did sweat in our packs. Aboard Pochahantas at 11:30. Left pier at 4:00 pm and anchored in Chesapeake Bay. Meals fine. What was the German Princess Irene (below, seized from the North German Lloyd Lines in 1917 and renamed Pochahantas) and 10 Battleships in the bay.
Saturday, May 18
Very foggy. Laying outside three mile limit waiting for convoy. Had two narrow escapes from collisions. Both times a ship passed within a few yards of us. Gun crew ready for target practice, but stopped by fog.
Sunday, May 19
Started at 12 midnight with fog still heavy. Convoy keeping close together. Can hear fog whistles but unable to see boats. Passed 24 tramp outside N.Y. Turned to be a beautiful day. Sea fairly calm, except at night. Slept on deck.
Monday, May 20
Have to wear life belts all the time. Life boat drill morning and night. Rumors of submarines last night. Destroyers circled around fleet. Slept on deck. Boat fairly steady. Very hot day. 3,000 men on board - pretty well crowded.
Ready for the "abandon ship" drill: U.S. soldiers with life belts adjusted
Tuesday, May 21
Weather fair. Always wear web belt with canteen full and also life preservers. Passed two ships bound for states. Met Harold Booth, old pal from Brooklyn and also Olson. Passet knows Tom Doud and Bob Lindsey.
Wednesday, May 22
Flotilla consists of 8 transports, 3 destroyers and 1 cruiser. Two men lost overboard. 1 from SS President Grant and 1 from SS Minnewaska. This boat is armed with 4 6-inch guns and 2 1-pounders.
Thursday, May 23
Slight rain storm and heavy seas. Lots of fellows sick especially in #2 hold. Passed another steamer bound for States with wounded. See sharks pretty often.
Friday, May 24
Sea still rough. Still in a circle of water. Have no idea where we are or where we are going to but we're on our way. Passed a school of porpoises chased by sharks.
Saturday, May 25
On guard 9:00 to 1:00 morning and night. Raining during morning trick. Had target practice. Good gun crew. Cold as the devil and windy on night trick. Sailor fell off shroud and broke leg and arm.
Sunday, May 26
Fine day. Passed another ship bound for States. About 4:30 pm a life boat suddenly came to surface about 100 yards in front of our ship. Every ship, almost, fired at it. It is claimed to have been a camouflaged submarine. Passed within 50 feet of our ship. Cruiser fired at it directly in line with us and shell burst within 30 feet of our bow. Some passed over us and burst on other side. Believe sub escaped.
Monday, May 27
Very fine day. No alarms. Lookout doubled. Now in the most dangerous zone. SS Calaveras and Ducadi Abruzzi in fleet. Will meet up with more destroyers tonight. Have to sleep on deck from now to end of trip and deck sure is hard. Full moon looked fine.
Tuesday, May 28
Two destroyers came during night and a bunch this morning. Now have 14 destroyers. Cruiser gone back to States. 5:00 pm. Had two engagements with submarines. Submarine came up right in front of SS President Grant. Must have been an error as it dove immediately. Two destroyers caught up to it, one on each side, and dropped depth bombs right alongside of it. It immediately sank out of sight and so we know it was sunk. Depth bombs will sink subs within 200 yards of firing point.
Wednesday, May 29
Pretty smooth, fine day. Signed payroll. Are splitting up into 3 fleets. Pres. Grant and two other ships with four destroyers left us. They are supposed to be bound for England. No hope of our going to England.
Thursday, May 30
Decoration Day ( The day we hoped to march down 5th Ave.). This sure was some day. Some dinner - chicken, pie and oranges. Other two meals were good too. Got our first real taste of war. A fleet of submarines has been following us. We are in the Bay of Biscay and sighted land about 2:15 pm. About 2:30 a submarine rose on our starboard side and fired a torpedo at this ship. Barely missed us. Italian ships fired on it and naval officers claimed it was sunk by first shot. It is so entered in log. Several other submarines appeared in the rear of the fleet and all the ships fired at them. It is believed some of them were sunk. At least one because a shot landed right where the periscope was and the water that shot up appeared black. The others had been whitish. The destroyers are real good. Some French submarine chasers, mine sweepers and an American converted yacht came out to help us. A bunch, we could not count them - they flew so fast, of French aeroplanes circled over us giving locations of submarines. Battle lasted almost an hour. The land sure looked good to us. Very pretty. Lots of light houses. Pilot came aboard about 7:00 pm to guide us through channel. Rest of bay is mined. Passed through first lock. This is a wonderful harbor. An engineering wonder. Town is Saint Nazarre, the southermost port in France, 300 miles from Paris. Pretty place.
Friday, May 31BACK
On May 29, a British transport was sunk where we had our engagement. American transport sunk last Sunday - 56 lost. Disembarked at 6:00 am. Marched through town. At camp No. 1. Some barracks. Double deck wooden beds - pretty crude, no floor.
JUNE 1 - SEPT 27