The 103rd Infantry and the rest of the 26th Division left the Neufchateau training area on February 5, 1918 and headed for the front in the Chemin des Dames sector of the Aisne line. After briefly billeting in Soissons, the American units moved into the trenches on February 9. This was intended to be a time of final “on the job” training for the New England troops while holding the sector along with the French. What would follow was the baptism of fire for Sam and his men. Following are notes from Sam’s Pocket Diary:
“Feb 5/18 Borded train at 12 noon, train started at 12.45, arrived at Soisson 9 am Feb 6. Hiked to barracks at Crouy arrived at 2 pm. Left Crouy at 8 am 7/18 marched to Hill #60 arriving at 11.30 for mess and rest. Rested in dug out until 4 pm Feb 7 when the signal scouts and intelligencs entered the third line the rest of the company being Billeted in the town of Soysons until 6 pm Feb 9 when the different platoons moved in with their different Battalions. 1st Sgt. Clerk moved in at 10 pm Feb 10 with field desk, typewriter…”
© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.