The Voyage Home

26th Div. troops arriving in Boston aboard the America, April 1919.

In late March the 26th Division proceeded from the Le Mans area to Brest, where the men boarded troop transports and finally sailed for home. On March 26, 1919 Private First Class Sam Avery made passage from Brest, France back to the United States on the U.S. Navy’s troop transport USS America (ID-3006), returning to Boston on April 4 after a 9-day voyage without the threat of U-boats...


Laigne-en-Belin, France 3/15/1919

Laigne-en-Belin, France


Dear Em,


Got a few minutes and here they are. As far as we know now we will move out of this (grave yard) per schedule or the last of the month. We may, understand for orders can change anytime. See by the papers one of the boys got, that there is a grand welcome for us when we get there. I agree with you also when you say that the papers are full of the 26th. Well the boys sure did do their bit while over here and are entitled to recognition whenever the home folks get the opertunity to do so in the way it is mapped out.


As for me Im just the same and trust that all is well back there. The last mail I got from you was dated Feb. 20-24 and from them was glad to learn that you was going to start writing again. At that rate Id ought to receive some mail from you in about a week.


Things are very disinteresting and time very much lagging nowadays although we drill three hours in the morning, the afternoon given over to sports. Sometimes a game of ball gets exciting but oh the mornings and nights. We just sit and talk of about everything and mostly nothing until around eight or nine oclock and then make up our bunks and turn in.


We have a fire going all the time in the fire place being lucky enough to have one of these in our castle. Some nights there are movies at the Y. and if one is lucky he can gain a place to see, but beleive me one has got to get there early. Had a game of ball this afternoon in which one platoon lost somewhere around 10-4. Got a hit myself though some class what? The old mud flies beleive me for we can play on nothing but mud.


There are five combat divisions to sail before we go although we were in France, yes and in the trenches long before any one of them left the States. One of said divisions the 27th has already landed in N.Y. The second (30th) has sailed, the third or (37th) are embarking now so that leaves us third on the list now. The other two divisions are the 85th and 91st or draft. Poor boys they have been away from home so long you know.


Well our time will come sometime anyway and here is to the day. So hoping to see you all sometime after this reaches you I remain



Samuel E. Avery #69762, Hdq Co. 103rd Inf. A.E.F.


P.S. Best regards to Aunt Madge and the rest.


© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Laigne-en-Belin, France 3/9/1919

Laigne-en-Belin, France


Dear Em,


Just a few lines to let you know Im feeling fine and that we expect to leave France some time in the last of this month. Have received no mail from you for six weeks now although we are still in the same place and will no doubt stay here until our departure for home. The fact that I fail to hear from you latly doesn’t surprise me at all for I know what the papers are printing. I don’t expect to get an answer to this for we have been pretty well assured now of the above news. A letter from Lil of Feb 18 states that she had spoken to you over the phone and that every one is O.K. Although you will not be able to verify this by mail I hope this will be the case when I see you soon after this arrives.


Any way the weather is the same here, namly mud and rain. We are making the best of these days and beleive me it’s a job. This is Sunday and Ive already made my “toilet” (I guess we know something yet), scrubbed out a siut of cloths and now Im starting to answer a few letters. Two or three inspections next week will help break up the grind of drilling.


The only thing that’s interesting to us now is, (what does a ship look like and what does the whistle sound like). Outside of this, America, and the folks at home, we are interested in nothing. Well Em Ill say au revoir and not good bye for I expect to see you soon.


Best wishes and regards to all



Samuel E. Avery #69762, Hdq Co. 103rd Inf. A.E.F.


© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.