Saturday, Sept 28
12:30 am to 2:00 am at crossroad under Jerry's barrage - no protection - gas. Reg. HQ on sunken road in 40 foot sap. Strung 3 lines to advance HQ at dead man's corner - thru trench - buried by shell during barrage. Cpl. Reilly hit in leg. Moved to advance HQ about 11:00 pm under machine gun and shell fire.
Sunday, Sept 29
No sleep - rain - stand in trench. Barrage opened at 5:50 - some barrage. Wonderful view of battle. Tanks blown up by own mines. 50 went over, few came back. On S.O.S. visual. Snipers trying to get me on station. Out of luck. One detail to sunken road past dead man's corner for wire under barrage and machine gun fire - some narrow escapes. 3rd Bat. lost - advanced too fast for moppers-up and surrounded. Australians came to rescue. They are some boys. Cpl. Kelso killed. Sgt. Becker, Cpls. Flood and DeRum killed - gas (Cpl Howard D. DeRum of Buffalo was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on this date)
2nd Lt. S.S. Curtis, Divisional Burial Officer, at the grave of Sgt. G. F. Becker,
Co. C, 102nd Field Signal Bn, in the St. Emilie Cmetery, France.
signal corps photo from
PICTORIAL RECORD OF THE 27TH DIVISION, HARPER & BROTHERS, N.Y., 1919
Monday, Sept 30
Rain, no sleep. S.O.S. visual with Walter. Had feeling shell was going to land - so advised Walter. He didn't want to get down off parapet but finally consented. Down about few minutes when shell landed. Would have been blown to pieces. Two narrow escapes from shells also machine guns. Gas
Tuesday, Oct 1
On S.O.S. visual 2 on and 4 off. No chance for sleep. 107 relieved. HQ and signal battalions remained to bury dead and collect salvage. Bloodiest battle field of the war - terrible number of killed.
Men of 27th Division collecting and preparing their dead for burial. Photo taken between Duncan Post and Bony, October, 1918.
signal corps photo
Wednesday, Oct 2
On gas guard 2 on and 4 off, in caved in passage to sap. Got gas about 5:00 am. Didn't put on mask trying to get curtain down. Cleaning up ready to leave. Hardly any sleep - wet and cold. Left at 4:00 pm under shell fire. Camped on hill just back of St. Emilie.
Thursday, Oct 3
5:00 am after sleeping in open with heavy rain, Jerry shells us with long range. Took rug out pretty pronto. Hiked about 12 miles to Doignt - camped there.
Friday, Oct 4
Some new equipment. Gen. O'Ryan's praise. Said 27th Div. would have been sacrificed if necessary to take Hindenburg line in front of St. Catelet as success of other points depended on it. Sacrificed as it was.
Saturday, Oct 5
Detailed setting up kitchen. Received letter #6 from Mom, #1 from Marion, letters from Eddie, Mrs. Barrett, Annie, Lillian Finnblade and B. Valentine.
Sunday, Oct 6
Inspection by Col. DeBevois. Teeth aching.
Monday, Oct 7
Left Doignt 2:00 pm and hiked to Tincourt - 4 miles. In reserve for 30th Div. Jerry still going back - 1500 prisoners.
Tuesday, Oct 8
Inspection of entire regiment by Brig. Gen. Only about half of regiment left. Had tooth taken out without cocaine or anything. Left Tincourt 6:30 pm. Dark as pitch - hiked thru Rossel, Tincourt, and Hargecourt to Bellicourt - 12 miles. Arrived 11:30 pm. Following 30 Div. in reserve.
Wednesday, Oct 9
Just to right of St. Catelet on other side of Hindenburg line. Lots of Jerry dead. Jerry aero dropped his load near us last night. Left 3:00 pm walked 10 miles to Ramecourt.
Thursday, Oct 10
Left camp 2:45 pm walked thru Vaux le Pretre to camp in fields. Jerry's long range in action. Lots of dead Germans. Must be ready at any time to move out in an hour.
Friday, Oct 11
Left camp 7:00 am walked 4 miles thru Premont to camp in fields. Jerry left so quick he didn't do much damage to towns and fields. Raining - left 6:00 pm for line.
Saturday, Oct 12
At Reg. HQ Very quiet. First time reg. not under shell fire.
Sunday, Oct 13
2nd Bat. HQ hit. F. Horan, Henwood and others buried but saved. Packed to go to 2nd Bat. Left at 8:00 pm. Went to 3rd Bat. to sleep overnight. Expected shell thru roof at any time. Bricks flying all around.
Monday, Oct 14
Left 3rd Bat followed line to 2nd Bat. about two miles. Lots of gas. Narrow escape from shells in death valley. Dug in with Sgt. Duble. 5:00 pm went out to find supply dump to get buzzerphone. Road under MG and sniper fire. Went to 3rd Bat. Followed by barrage going back. Caught with 400 yards of shelter. Lucky escape. Barn set fire to by shell fire.
Tuesday, Oct 15
Jerry shelling too heavy - 3 direct hits on house. Moved Bat. to cellar of house in town. Operating fullerphone. Went to first aid station for rations. 30th Div. relieving 2nd Bat. for 1 day.
Wednesday, Oct 16
Left 5:00 am - Jerry shelling road. Run for life. Got a few fellows. Back for supposed to be rest by a big Aussie battery. Jerry shelling it. Dug in.
Thursday, Oct 17
108 over the top, 107 follows direct behind. HQ following. Barrage opened 5:00 am. Lay on ground for 3/4 hour under whiz bang fire within 3 feet. Cpl. Crego 4 feet from me killed by direct hit. 4 direct hits and several wounded. Only God's will that I am still alive. Advanced thru St. Souplet shelling. At railroad for 2 hours under shelling. Advanced to front line to Bat. HQ. In shell hole. Moved back to Jerry dig ins. Jerry saw us and strafed. Gas shell (Read letters in shell hole.) landed. Cleves paralyzed, Cunneen wounded. Sgt. Duble and myself gassed helping them. Went back to dressing station under shelling. Duble to hospital. Only absolutely necessary cases sent to hospital. Doc fixed me up and advised rest. Reported to Sgt. Sherman. He's a prince. Loaned me his shelter half and blanket. reg. in town. Billetted in cellar at St. Souplet.
Friday, Oct 18
Resting up all day. Gas somewhat troublesome. 107 over the top, signals and all. Jerries on KP.
Saturday, Oct 19
Feeling pretty fair. Out salvaging supplies. On guard of GS wagon. Jerry going way back. 2000 prisoners.
Sunday, Oct 20
Letter received Thurs. from Lizzie, Wexler, Eddie, H. Carson, and #8 and 9 from Mom.
Monday, Oct 21
Left St. Souplet 10:30 am. Hiked 6 miles thru Escaufort, and Buigny. Camped in field by railroad. Heavy cold due to gas. Raining.
Tuesday, Oct 22
Hiked thru Premont, Montbrehain, Brancourt, to Bellecourt. Camped in fields 12 miles.
Wednesday, Oct 23
Hiked to Tincourt 15 miles. Camped overnight. Miserable weather. Can barely talk. Refused to go to hospital.
Thursday, Oct 24
Supposed to entrain at 2:00 pm for 2 hour ride. Entrained 7:00 pm riding and stopping all night.
Friday, Oct 25
Detrained 7:00 am Villers Bretonneux. (Where British stopped Germans from reaching Amiens) No dinner - hiked 8 miles to Glisy. Corned Willie for supper. Gave the kitchen some razzing. Fairly good billett.
Saturday, Oct 26
Paid 63 Francs. Ran line to brigade. Retreat - not there, believe me. Good effects of razzing kitchen.
Sunday, Oct 27
Letter #11 to Mom with request for Xmas package. Assistant cook while in back area. Got a heavy cold from gas and sleeping in rain.
Monday, Oct 28
Laying around resting.
Tuesday, Oct 29
Student cook with Johnson. Johnson taken suddenly sick. Went to hospital. Still on the bum myself. Go to first aid every night.
Wednesday, Oct 30
Day off. Turkey surrendered. Armistice starts 11:00 am. Some terms - control of Turkey, they say.
Thursday. Oct 31
On duty with Clayton.
Friday, Nov 1
On duty with Clayton.
Saturday, Nov 2
Day off. Visited Amiens. Wonderful cathedral. Largest I've seen so far. Fine supper for 10F. Soup, fish, steak with potatoes and cauliflower, tomatos, grapes, coffee, Vin Rouge, Vin Blanc.
Sunday, Nov 3
Day on - Clayton taken sick.
Monday, Nov 4
Day off. Austria surrendered. Armistice at 3 pm. Strict terms.
Tuesday, Nov 5
Day on - Clayton too sick to work. Benedetto on duty.
Wednesday, Nov 6
Day off - feeling pretty rotten. Guess the grip has a grip on me. Changes from hot to cold while on duty don't do any good.
Thursday, Nov 7
Day on - Clayton gone to hospital - bad case of grip.
Friday, Nov 8
Hanging around. No ambition to do anything. Have about 25 letters to answer - don't feel like writing - afraid my letters will be pessimistic.
Saturday, Nov 9
Day on - Benedetto going to finish today but will help out any time.
Sunday, Nov 10
Day off - helping Gen and Derby for big mess. Fellows gone to parade in Corbie in honor of our fellows killed in battle. Say it was fine showing.
27th Division passing in review before Generals Read and O'Ryan at Corbie, France, November 10, 1918
signal corps photo
Monday, Nov 11
Day on - just day of doing cooking alone.. Johnnie Miller as student cook under me and I don't know how to cook myself. 71 men to feed. Germany surrendered. Armistice at 11:00 am. Great rejoicing and parades especially French.. Australians raising ruptions.
JUNE 1 - SEPT. 27, 1918
NOV 12, 1918 - APRIL 5, 1919