Reviews in following order:
Allentown's Own Pennsylvania Dutch Boys were organized as a single unit. On June 14, 1917, the Camp Adjutant gave authorization to three men to start the recruiting campaign. Jay Walker tells the emotion-packed story: "With one of the first assembled Ford Ambulances, the recruiting team toured the streets with their message of patriotism . . . . After a three days' campaign, the recruits gathered in the city square, and amid farewells and parting cheers from family and the general populace, an impromptu parade, along Hamilton Street to the Fairgrounds, ended as the boys marched right into the arms of Uncle Sam."
From their pig-pen barracks, they entered into all activities and were greatly interested in helping to encourage the Big Brother Movement. They were placed in Captain Brinton's Battalion, and went overseas on Christmas night with the Second Contingent. Being a local unit and sponsored by the cream of Allentown's citizenry, it was a natural for them to get the best in drill sergeants, and that was none other than the old Sarg himself, John Parcell. Additional men were needed to bring the Section up to full strength, and luck would have them pick up Bill Bailey, by way of Section 535. It seemed only proper to the editors that they should give this special opening Review with the very first of many drawings done by Bill Bailey, to Section 567. That is the 'Old Sarg," sitting on the box outside of the Section's original base at Marbache, where they joined the French 40th Division at a defensive position in the Vosges Sector. Their leader, Lt. Luther W. Kelley, saw them through some of the toughest battles on the Western Front. They were at Pont-à-Mousson from March to May 1918. Then their division entered the Aisne Defensive operations, May 30 to June 5, and the Marne Defensive, June 6 to July 14. They took part in the Champagne-Marne offensive, July 15 to 18. Heavy fighting in the Aisne-Marne sector July 18, 19 and 20. Following a rest and build up of their division, they entered the Meuse-Argonne offensive in late October, until November 11. They followed their French Division into the Army of Occupation, and were stationed at Kircheimbolden, when relieved and sent to Brest for embarkation on the Great Northern in April 1919.
Section 567 received several citations and many of the men were awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery. Bill Bailey was wounded in the lower jaw by machine gun fire. He won two Divisional citations of the Croix de Guerre, also the Purple Heart. His drawings were to keep alive for fifty years the spirit of the USAACs, through "Ambulance 567" in the Bulletin. Sergeant Parcell, of the Spanish American War Veterans, was with the Section to the end, winning the award of the Croix de Guerre. Thus, Allentown's Own Section upheld the honor of the Service on the highest level.
This could very well be called the pioneer section of the United States Army Ambulance Service. The Stoneman's Fellowship which sponsored this and several other Philadelphia sections, was a fraternal organization doing philanthropic work in the northeast section of the city for many years. They had first-aid classes and furnished ambulance service to their members. When the call was sounded for recruits for the new Ambulance Service, it was natural for this group to join up. A doctor, Arthur W. Yale, used his office for a short time as a recruiting station, but it soon became necessary to move to the Cooper Battalion Hall. The Fellowship unit was divided into three sections upon arrival at Allentown, June 5, 1917, and took up their quarters in Building #7 behind the Grandstand, then Section 1 became Section 55, and later S.S.U. 501 following their assignment at the Front.
Their first Commander was Lt. John B. Bethel, M.C. who left with them on August 6, 1917, on board the S.S. San Jacinto with Colonel Percy L. Jones, and the first contingent of U.S. Ambulance Service men to take up the work of the American Field Service. Lt. Bethel was replaced by Lt. Simmons when all medical officers were recalled for hospital duty, and when Lt. Simmons left for another assignment, Lt. Joseph Nunan took charge.
Section 501 landed at St. Nazaire on August 20, 1917, and after the usual work on the Ford ambulances, they went into active service at the Front with the 129th French Inf. Div., and later with the 70th French Div. Main engagements were as follows:
1. Aisne Sector, Chemin-des-Dames, Oct.-Nov., 1917.
2. Somme Sector, Peronne, Nov.-Dec., 1917.
3. Battle of Montdidier, April, 1918.
4. Vosges Sector, May-June, 1918.
5. Oise Sector, Bailly, July, 1918.
6. Somme-Oise Offensive, August, 1918.
7. Flanders-Belgium Offensive, Oct.-Nov., 1918.
The Section followed their division into Germany with the Army of Occupation. They were stationed at Aachen. Section 501 and Lt. Bethel were cited in orders of the Division for action in the battles of Nov. and Dec., 1917. These were not allowed, as the United States Government had refused foreign awards for service in the French Army. Later Congress repealed this position, but as the Section had been reassigned to another division, nothing was ever completed. There were many awards of the Croix de Guerre to individuals by their second French Division. The Section was relieved and left for the base camp at Brest and sailed on the U.S.S. Pueblo on March 16, 1919. Discharged at Camp Dix, N.J., March 27.
It is interesting to note that the convoy in which Section 501 went overseas, included the ships that carried the first contingent of the United States Ambulance Service, including Colonel Percy L. Jones, M.C., who was appointed Chief of Service and set up Headquarters in Paris, France. Col. Jones and his staff sailed on the S.S. San Jacinto, and other men and officers in this first contingent sailed on the S.S. Antilles. A report from Major P. O. Chaudron confirms the fact that the Antilles went down as a result of a submarine attack on its next round trip passage.
The Second of the famous Stoneman's fellowship units, this group was formed at Philadelphia's Cooper Battalion Hall and was an early arrival at the Fairgrounds in Allentown, Pa., on June 5, 1917. Their commander was Lt. Donald Hathaway. Section 2, which later was to become 502, became a part of Major Metcalfe's contingent which went over to France on January 9, 1918.
This Section had taken an active part in many hikes and spent some time at Guth Station. Their contingent was the third to leave the camp and sailed on the Cunard liner Carmania, going first to Liverpool on Jan. 23, 1918. They spent some time in England before going to St. Nazaire, where they assembled their ambulances. The Section was assigned to serve American divisions while they were working with the French Army.
Their record shows that they first served with the 42nd U.S. Division, the 2nd Division and the 28th Division, all working as part of the French Army operation in the defensive at the Aisne River Sector from May 25 to June 5, 1918. The Section then moved to serve the 26th U.S. Div. and the 79th Div. at Chateau-Thierry June 5 to July 9, 1918. They received a 2nd Div. citation here.
Then they were in the thick of the action in the Aisne-Marne offensive from July 18 to August 6, 1918. It was during this engagement that the Section lost some men, killed and wounded. They went into a rest period for several weeks for car repairs and personnel replacements.
Section 502 was then involved in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, September 26 to October 1, 1918, and in the Woevre Sector offensive, Oct. 8 to 18. The record does not give the army or division identification, but we assume their work was with the American troops.
Their casualties numbered 3 killed and 16 wounded (including gas cases).
The Section was included in the orders of Major General John A. LeJeun, USMC, Commanding, 2nd Division, France, October 11, 1918, as follows:
"Your heroism and the heroism of our comrades who died in battle will live in history forever, and will be emulated by the young men of our country for generations to come."
"To be able to say when this war is finished, 'I served with the 2nd Division at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge' will be the highest honor that can come to any man."
Section 502 went with the 2nd Div. in the Army of Occupation, and in Strasbourg were able to find Kenneth Moore who was captured in an early engagement.
The Section returned to the United States on the S.S. H. R. Mallory, arriving May 18, 1919.
The third section of the original Stoneman's Fellowship Unit, this group signed up at Cooper Battalion Hall in Philadelphia and was sent to Allentown June 5, 1917. When the Stoneman unit was split up into three sections at the camp, this Section 3 was assigned to Battalion 19. Their first billet was in the pig-pens at the Fairgrounds and they apparently liked it so well, no moves are listed except the trip to Guth Station. The Section had a total of three commanding officers: Lt. J. W. Gardam, Lt. Lars Potter and Lt. H. J. Bubb.
Section 503 went to France January 9, 1918 in the third contingent with Major F. T. Metcalfe. They sailed on the Cunard liner, "Carmania," and landed first at Liverpool, England January 23, 1918, and went to St. Nazaire, France, by way of Le Havre, early in February. On March 16, 1918 they left St. Nazaire by auto convoy for the Base camp at Ferriere-en-Gatinais.
The Section's first assignment was evacuation work with Section 539 at Chalon sur Marne. This lasted about four weeks. The Section then was attached to the 132nd Division of the 4th French Army with Postes at Suippes, Bussey and Le Chateau. On May 29, 1918, Section 503 relieved Section 633, in part of the Suippes Sector.
The Section moved with their division to the Forest de Compiegne on August 14, and were stationed at St. Jean-au-Bois. They moved to Francport on the Oise River near Noyon on August 19, 1918. They served their division and helped with the 32nd U.S. Division to the right and General Humbert's Army to the left, before Noyon above Soissons. In the Oise-Aisne attack August 20, they were joined by six cars from Section 535.
On September 16 the Division went en repose at Ivor. The Division went into the front lines following the rest period, beyond Roulers, in the Ypres-Lys offensive, then on to Meulebeke, where their division was relieved by the 37th U.S. Division in late October. A few ambulances served with the U.S. Division for a short time. The Section relieved Section 533 with the 31st French Div. at Maubeuge, March 18, 1919.
The records show that Section 503 was awarded by Marechal Petain on October 25, 1918, as follows: "The Croix de Guerre with Silver Star is awarded to SSU 503 for bravery under attack from July 15 to 18, 1918. Led by the American, Lt. Lars Potter and Second Lt. J. Jourdan de la Bassardiere, the men of this unit evacuated the divisional wounded with utter contempt for danger under particularly difficult circumstances." This was at Aerseele, where 13 individual Croix de Guerres were awarded. Lt. Lars Potter was a former American Field Service man.
The Section was ordered to Ferrieres-en-Gatinais, where they took three separate trains of ambulances to Romorantin, the U.S. Motor Transport Parc. They were then sent to Brest where they sailed May 8, 1919 on the U.S.S. Rhode Island, disembarking at Boston, Mass.
SSU 503 was one of the few sections who published a history of their service in book form, entitled, "Lest We Forget."
This, the first of three sections recruited at the University of Pennsylvania, was mustered in at the Cooper Battalion Hall in Philadelphia and sent to Allentown on June 7, 1917. They were billeted in the Poultry and Pigeons Building which accounts for their "high flying and homing" qualities.
Section 504 had four commanding officers, Lt. George S. Woodard, Lt. Webster, Lt. Kenneth Blanchard and Lt. Clayton McMichael. They were part of the battalion led by Captain P. O. Chaudron, which took drilling honors at Allentown and were awarded by being included in the first contingent to go to France. The contingent left August 6, 1917, but Section 504 missed connections and sailed August 23 on the White Star Line RMS Baltic. They landed in England and went to France on September 16. The Section proceeded directly to the base camp at Sandricourt where they received orders to go to the Front to join the 158th French Div. of the Third Army Corps. At Lanchy in the Noyon Sector, they relieved the American Field Service Section 17 and were in the action immediately.
Their second assignment was with the 170th French Div. at Peronne where they took part in the British drive on Cambrai, about November 20, 1917. On November 28, they returned to their original division, the 158th French Infantry at Rouvel, where they, spent Thanksgiving. On Christmas Day they were at Germaine which was their headquarters for the St. Quentin Front. Their postes were Maissomy, Marteville, Atilly, Savy, Foreste and Ham.
In January the Section moved over to the Verdun Sector and were attached to the 11th French Division known as "Division de Fer" and "La Belle Division de Nancy." This division was made up of the 2nd and 4th Chasseurs, 26th and 29th Infantry, 8th and 10th Engineers. Section 504 remained with the 11th Division until the end of the war. For their work with this division the Section received the Croix de Guerre with Palm, on December 10, 1918.
Following Verdun, they followed their division into battles at Mondidier-Noyon, the Compiegne Sector, the Aisne-Marne offensive, the Somme offensive, the Oise-Aisne offensive, and the Yypres-Lys offensive. It would be hard to find any section which engaged in many more battles.
The Section suffered 1 killed, 2 died from illness, 26 wounded and gassed. 28 individuals were awarded the Croix de Guerre.
504 was one of the early sections to sail for home on April 13, 1919 on the S.S. Mobile.
The Section contributed three men for the Kernell-Fechheimer show, "Let's Go!", one of the men taking a lead part as the Red Cross Nurse.
SSU 505 This Section was sponsored by the Stoneman 's Fellowship, although membership was not a requirement. They were mustered in at the Cooper Battalion Hall in Philadelphia and sent to Allentown in one of the very first groups, arriving there on June 6, 1917. Lt. Webster was their original commander and he was succeeded by Lt. Thomas M. Armstrong, M.C., and in August 1918, when the medical officers were required for hospital work, Lt. Armstrong was replaced by Lt. Leland S. Thompson, a former American Field Service man.
When the Section first arrived in Allentown they were billeted in one of the large exhibition buildings and joined Major Sayres battalion. They left for overseas in the third contingent with Major Metcalfe on Jan. 9, 1918. They landed in Liverpool, England, and went by train to Winchester. On January 29, they crossed to Le Havre, and via freight cars to Le Mans and then on to St. Nazaire. After several weeks of hiking they went to the base camp at Ferrieres on March 17, and after some delays, moved on to the Paris garage at 21 Rue Ganneron to pick up their ambulances. On March 29, as the Section left for the Front, they heard the shells bursting over the Notre Dame area. These were the first shells sent over by the German's Big Bertha gun.
505 went into the Verdun Sector in April and worked at the hospital at Glorieux. They were attached to the 52nd French Division. The first-aid station was named Hamilton Poste, in memory of William Hamilton of SSU 510, who was killed while loading his ambulance. Many trips were made here with badly gassed cases.
The Section was in the thick of the Aisne. Marne offensive which began on July 18. In the Chateau Thierry Sector the Section had a poste at Bonnes. They moved the next day to Le Cherant and on the way they spotted the ambulance belonging to Sec. 502, captured earlier by the Germans. Later the Section moved up to the Belgian Front where they were on November 11. They were saddened at this time with the news of the death of Charles L. Hinchman, due to influenza.
There were 12 individual awards of Croix de Guerre for bravery.
On May 17, 1919, they sailed for home on the S.S. H. R. Mallory.
This was one of the many sections contributed by the City of Philadelphia to serve the French Army. As we later find out in this review, it was the only section reported to have served all armies of the Allies; namely British, French, American and Italian. One of the early volunteer groups, they were mustered into the service at the Cooper Battalion Hall in Philadelphia on May 12, 1917, and were ordered to Allentown as soon as the War Department had signed the lease for the Fairgrounds. The men of Section 6, therefore arrived at the concentration camp even before the Headquarters of the U.S. Army Ambulance Service was moved from Philadelphia to Allentown. The men of this Section did their share of digging latrines and cleaning out the exhibition buildings for use as barracks. Their own billet was in Building #2, marked for chickens.
Section 506, as they were later called, joined the third contingent led by Major Metcalfe, which left Allentown Jan. 9, 1918, and went aboard the S.S. Carmania, They landed in England, January 24 at Liverpool, and after spending nearly two weeks in England, finally crossed the Channel and arrived in France, February 4, 1918. There was a further delay before they reached St. Nazaire, where they worked on cars, and then went by train to the base camp at Ferrieres.
Section 506 received their first assignment with the British Army in the Champagne Sector, June 6 to 11, 1918; with the French 2nd Division, June 12 to 15, 1918; French 1st Division in the Champagne Sector, June 16 to July 14, 1918. One member of the Section was taken prisoner during this defensive action on July 10. From July 15 to 18, the Section served the 8th Division of the Italian Army in the Champagne-Marne Sector, and were with the French troops again in the Aisne-Marne Sector from July 19 to 31, 1918.
At this time, Section 506 wag relieved and sent back to where the 26th U.S. Division was stationed. Here they helped to train the Division's ambulance company, using their Ford Ambulances until the Division Medical Department's own equipment became available. On August 26, they were attached to the 26th U.S. Division and moved across France to the Verdun Sector, where they went into the lines from September 15 to 25, then into the Meuse-Argonne Sector, September 26 to October 21. They took part in the St. Mihiel front from Oct. 7 to 10. They were attached to the 79th U.S. Division in the Verdun Sector from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2. Then the Italian 8th Division came into the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and again Section 506 served from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11.
The Section lost two men killed in action and three wounded. The Section received two unit citations from the French Army. Six individual Croix de Guerre awards were made, and three men received the Italian Croce di Guerra.
The Section moved with the French 2nd Army into Alsace-Lorraine, occupied territory. They were relieved by another Section, left for home on the S.S. H. R. Mallory, and were discharged at Camp Dix, N.J., May 28, 1919.
This was the Section detailed to the Camp Crane Band, following the original band which left with the Italian Contingent. They included some men who had played in the first orchestra. The commanding officer was Lt. Smiley. The Director was Theodore G. Otto, and Charles Lawrence was Drum Major.
The men in most cases were recruits who had come to Allentown to join the Ambulance Service. There was no special sponsor as the men came from all parts of the United States. Many were Allentown boys.
The band was used at all functions at the camp and for parades through the city. They provided much entertainment.
When rumors persisted that Camp Crane would be closed following the Armistice, many of the men joined other branches of the service and the band was forced to be dissolved. Some men were discharged in late December of 1918, and others were transferred to General Hospital #5 at Fort Ontario, Oswego, N.Y.
This group of recruits from Philadelphia were sent to Allentown after being mustered in at the Cooper Battalion Hall as Section 8. On arrival at Concentration Camp, they did not stay together as a section, for most of the men transferred into other sections to bring them up to regulation strength. As a result, the group was dissolved and the section number became an extinct title. Some of the men who went to Allentown as members of Section 508, remained in the U.S. Ambulance Service throughout the period of the war, in Headquarters detachments in Allentown, France and Italy.
The review of this Section must necessarily be divided into two parts. The fact is that there were two sections designated as 509 in the records.
The original Section 509 was a Philadelphia section sponsored by the Packard Motor Company. Made up mostly of mechanics, they were active in the garage detail. The men assembled at the Cooper Battalion Hall where they were sworn in and sent to the Allentown camp in June. Whenever exact dates fail to appear on the reports we use "around June 1," as that was the date when most of the early Sections came from Philadelphia to Allentown.
The Section took part in most of the activities, and because of their special skills, were selected to accompany Col. Percy L. Jones in the first contingent. They sailed on the S.S. Antilles on August 7, 1917. In their convoy were the Finland, Lenape, San Jacinto and Henderson. It was from this report that we first learned of the fate of the Antilles, which was lost to German submarines on a return trip to the United States with a loss of 60 men. Section 509 went to St. Nazaire, assembled their ambulances, and were assigned to the French Fourth Army near Reims. Shortly after this assignment in September 1917, the Section was broken up, some of the men going to the Paris Garage and others being transferred to other sections.
We again have a very clear record of the formation of a new Section 509 at Base Camp in Ferrieres, which was sent out to the Parc at Bar-le-Duc where they received new ambulances or reconditioned old ones, and were assigned a new commander, Lt. Oliver H. Shoup, Jr., a former member of the American Field Service, Section 28. This took place in July 1918, and the nucleus of the new section was a detachment from Section 534.
On their way to the new assignment, Section 509 spent one night evacuating wounded from a hospital at Betz. These men were from the 1st and 2nd U.S. Divisions which had stopped the advance of the Germans at Chateau-Thierry. The Section went on to Villers Cotterets and had postes at Vertes Feuilles and Longpont. They had seen the Scotties, in their kilts, going into the lines to relieve a French division. The postes were moved up to Hartennes, and they evacuated back to Pierrefonds.
The Section was transferred from this sector in the first part of August. They had four men wounded and two badly gassed, during their stay at Villers Cotterets. They moved to the Montdidier Sector where there was a big drive by combined Allied forces in the Somme area. Most of their "blessés" were Moroccans, Zouaves and Senegalese from one of the prize French shock troop divisions.
On August 10, the Section moved to Breteuil and evacuated to Crevecoeur. Their base was at Figueres. They moved on up behind the advancing troops and their new base was at Berlancourt. The Section was kept busy in this sector until September 22, when they moved north again to Zuydcoote, beyond Dunkerque, but remained here only a short time before being ordered to the front in Belgium. Here the Section was very busy evacuating from West Rosbeke, through Ypres. In late October, they moved up to Roulers and on to Iseghern. At an advanced poste in Wacken, they learned of the Armistice.
The Section was relieved at Maubeuge for work in carrying food to the towns and villages. This lasted through the winter, and an order sending the Section to Boulogne looked like they were homeward bound.
Harvard led all colleges and universities in the number of men who volunteered for service in the American Field Service, therefore it was no surprise to have Harvard well represented in the enlistments in the United States Army Ambulance Service. Three Sections arrived early at the Allentown camp and all of them had good records in France.
Section 510 sailed on August 7, 1917 in the first contingent which Colonel Percy L. Jones, Chief of Service, took to France. Their ship was the S.S. San Jacinto. The Section commander was originally Lt. Van Voast. After their arrival in France, they went to the base camp at Sandricourt and Lt. Lawrence J. McGinley, AAS, took command. Section 510 was assigned to relieve one of the early volunteer sections at the Front at La Grange aux Bois in the Argonne. This was in the Summer of 1917. They were attached to the French 25th Infantry Division with whom they served throughout the war, and followed them with the 2nd French Army of Occupation.
During a period when Lt. McGinley was hospitalized, Lt. Keith Vosburg of the American Field Service, filled in as commander until Mc Ginley returned. This was during the heavy fighting in the mid-summer of 1918. The Division action was first in the Argonne-Aisne-Meuse Sector, where the Section worked on both sides of the Meuse River. They were in the defensive engagements at Soissons and later the offensive battles at Aisne Canal. The Section cited in the orders of the French Armies of the North and Northeast, for exceptional bravery in the advance from Grand Rozoy to the Vesle, July 29 to August 5, 1918, under the command of Lt. Vosburg and French Lt. Canlorbe. The Section was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star. Again at Avocourt and Bezonvaux, the Section displayed courage and devotion to duty under very bad conditions.
Section 510 had one man killed in these battles. Individual awards of one DSC by the American Division working with the French 25th, and 6 men received the Croix de Guerre.
Following the Section's service in the Army of Occupation, they were relieved in mid-April and returned home on the S.S. Mobile.
The second Harvard section has sent in a rather sketchy report. We can assume that Sections 510, 511 and 512 all came to Camp Crane at the same time and took part in the same activities. We do have a date of June 15 or 16, 1917, indicating arrival time, and in the case of Section 511, their report shows that they were billeted in the Poultry and Pigeons Building. Their activities at the camp as far as drills and inspections were the same. However the record would indicate that this Section became a part of the Major Devereux Battalion and left Camp Crane for Tobyhanna. They joined the second contingent leaving for France the night of December 25, and went on board the Pastores the next morning. The Section lists two commanding officers, Lt. Hubbard first, and then Lt. Hanna, second. They landed in France in January at Brest and went by train to St. Nazaire.
There is some break between their time of arrival in France and the dates of their engagements at the Front. Defensive Sector at Troyon (Lorraine) shows no date. Then came the Meuse-Argonne offensive with stations at Dommartin,
Oct. 18 to 24, 1918, which was followed by action in the St. Mihiel Sector and the operations north of Verdun, Oct. 25 to November 3, 1918 We can only assume that Section 511 was assigned to American Divisions, as this was the area taken over by the United States First Army on the dates shown.
We regret we have no further details to report on Section 511, except the date of their landing in America on April 20, 1919.
The third section sponsored by Harvard does not state the date of arrival at Allentown, but we assume it was around June 15, 1917, as shown on the report for Section 511 Their commanders are listed as Lt. Moore, MC, and Lt. Keith Vosberg, former American Field Service man. Lt. Vosberg is listed as having commanded the other Harvard Section 510 while their Lieutenant was in the hospital in the Summer of 1918.
Section 512 went to France in the first contingent with Col. Percy L. Jones, on the S.S San Jacinto. August 7, 1917. They were assigned to the French 27th Inf. Div. in the Chemin des Dames offensive of October 1917. Then went into winter quarters with the French Army on the Alsace Front. Section 512 took part in the defensive-offensive action around Mt. Kemmel in Flanders and Northern Sectors in France, May 1918. They were with the 4th French Army in the Aisne-Marne defensive-offensive action in July 1918. Section 512 was assigned to the Italian Army Corps in the French offensive in the Aisne-Ardennes from October 1918 until the end of the war.
Their casualties show three members wounded. A number of individual awards were made of the French Croix de Guerre, and three men of the Section received the Italian Croce di Guerra.
Section 512 joined the Army of Occupation in Belgium until relieved for shipment home on the S.S. Mobile, formerly the Hamburg-American Liner, Cleveland. Their embarkation date was April 13, 1919.
This Section was sponsored by the District of Columbia Chapter of the American Red Cross. It was led by Captain (later Major) J. Ryan Devereux from Washington, D.C., to Allentown, arriving June 8, 1917. Several days later the unit was split into three sections, which became Sections 513, 514 and 515.
The Section was first billeted in the horse cooling stables at the Fairgrounds, and on their return from a long hike, they were moved to the Grandstand Barracks. The Section was commanded by Lt. H. G. Hamilton, and became a member of Major Devereux's Battalion 5 that scent to Tobyhanna.
Section 513 shipped out on the Pastores, December 26, 1917 and landed at Brest on January 10, 1918. They took the train to Paris where they joined with Section 511 and 649 in active work within the jurisdiction of the original American Red Cross Hospital No. 1 at Neuilly-sur-Seine. Here evacuation work was done in connection with the battles at Chateau Thierry, Champagne-Marne Sector and the Aisne-Marne Sector. Then the assignment to the Ypres-Lys Front where they were divided into two groups, one being attached to the French 70th Div., and the other to the French 77th Div. In October 1918, 10 cars of Section 513 were attached to the 11th French Div., and later both groups served the 5th French Div. at the time of the Armistice.
Section 513 did rehabilitation work in Northern France and in Belgium until relieved for the return home. Their records show that one man was wounded severely on a voluntary mission with a Medical Officer not connected with the Section. Six individual awards of the Croix de Guerre were made.
Late in March, they returned to the base camp to turn in their ambulances and sailed for home on April 4, 1919 on the Great Northern.
Section 514 It is with considerable regret that your researcher failed to receive a completed report on Section 514. It is hard to understand why a request for information on this Section would be sent to a man who went over to Italy with Section 573, but that is what happened!
We do know that sometime in March of 1917, a company of Red Cross ambulance drivers was organized in Washington, D.C., to go to France to serve in the American Field Service. Mrs. Mabel Bordman was helping to finance such a unit. We can only assume that this was like many other such Red Cross units which got sidetracked by the declaration of war by the United States on April 6, 1917. There was a Section 14 which came to Allentown with Captain (later Major) J. Ryan Devereux, took part in many hikes and went to Tobyhanna. They shipped out to France but there is no record of further assignments.
As proof, it is interesting to learn that the reason why Major Devereux made the men march from the Delaware Water Gap to Stroudsburg with full packs was due to the fact that the cook in Section 514 hit the Major on the back of the neck with one of those hard Pennsylvania crab apples. All was forgotten by the Major who purchased some coal in Scranton to use in the Sibly stoves in the newly erected Tobyhanna Barracks. (Editor's note: He can confirm all this. He was there.)
One of the "highlights" for Section 514 was their trip from Tobyhanna to Ft. Meyer, Va. for the unsuccessful review for President Wilson (who did not show), and whose place was taken by the Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker. The detail saw the USAAC Football Team go down to defeat at the hands of Georgetown University in a sea of mud.
This was the third section made from the Red Cross unit which was organized in Washington. D.C., and brought to Allentown, Pa. by Major Devereux. They were mustered in during May and went to Allentown early in June. They became a part of Battalion 5 and made many hikes about the countryside until they left for Tobyhanna in October. They left for Hoboken, Christmas night, 1917, and went on hoard the Pastores December 26. Following an uneventful voyage, they landed at Brest January 10, 1918, and took the train to St. Nazaire.
Early in March, Section 515 left in convoy for the Front in the Champagne Sector of the Marne. Their base was at Ludes. The men were assigned to postes de secours near the front lines, where they would pick up the wounded at first-aid stations and take them back to the field or base hospitals, depending upon the seriousness of the wounds. They were attached to the Second French Colonial Division, working in the Reims area from March 1918 to August 6, 1918. These were shock troops and moved quickly from trouble spot to trouble spot. That may account for the changes in dates of the different engagements.
They show that they worked in the Sillery Defensive March 1, 2 and 3; then in the Aisne Defensive Sector May 27 to June 5; Champagne-Marne Defensive June 15 to July 18; Aisne-Marne Offensive July 18 to August 18, Oise-Aisne Offensive September 18 to November 11, 1918. In their engagements, they had none killed, but sixteen wounded or gassed.
Section 515 received a French divisional citation. They moved up with the Army of Occupation to Karlstadt and Erlanbach after the Armistice. Their commander in Germany was Lt. Barrett, a former American Field Service man. Their early leaders are listed at Lt. Low and Lt. Hulbert.
The Section was relieved late in March 1919, and after turning in their ambulances, went to Brest and went on board the Great Northern for home.
One of the stories of interest was the time they were pretty badly shelled on the first night at Ludes. Some of the men had found some cognac and some puppies in the village, which did not contribute to a peaceful first night's sleep.
This was one of the University of Virginia units which joined the Washington, D.C. group in the trip to Allentown, under Captain J. Ryan Devereux. They arrived early in June 1917, and were billeted in the horse cooling stables. Their commanders are listed as Lt. Hurley and Lt. Seidler. The Section was placed in Battalion 5 under (then Major) Devereux, and following Betzwood, Bath, Easton and other points during their hiking days, were marched off to Tobyhanna, Pa., to await shipment overseas.
Section 516 sailed on the Pastores on December 26, arriving at Brest, France on January 10, and went by train to St. Nazaire. Their engagements at the Front were with the famous French Division of Chasseurs de Alpins, known as the Blue Devils. They went first to Alsace in a defensive area, Feb. 11, 1918; Soissons April 12 to April 20, 1918; Somme April 26 to August 7, 1918; Somme Offensive August 8 to 11, 1918; Oise-Aisne Aug. 28 to Sept. 18, 1918; Oise-Sambre Oct. 13 to Nov. 9, 1918. Lt. Rogers of A.F.S. was in command.
The Section received two citations. Their casualties were one killed in action and five wounded. Five individual awards were made of the Croix de Guerre.
The Section went into the Army of Occupation in Belgium until relieved in early March. The French 66th Division of Blue Devils was awarded, on a solemn occasion, a tattered flag of the Napoleonic Wars for having the largest total of prisoners of any French Division. As a result, they were selected as a Guard of Honor for the Kings of England, Belgium and Italy, and President Wilson, upon their arrival in Paris for the Peace Conference.
Section 516 was sent to Brest and embarked for home on April 11, 1919, on the Great Northern.
SSU 517 University of Virginia's second section joined the Devereux sections in Washington, -D.C., arrived in Allentown early in June and were billeted in the horse cooling sheds. They became a part of Battalion 5 and were selected to join the first contingent. They went over on the S.S. San Jacinto on August 7, 1917, and landed in France August 20, going directly to the American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly-sur-Seine. The commander was Lt. Otka P. Dobbs who had been living in Paris, and took part in the taxi driver rush of troops in 1914 to the first Battle of the Marne to stem the German drive on Paris. When the Section received assignment at the Front, Lt. Dobbs was transferred to Headquarters, and the new commander was Jefferson Fletcher.
Section 517 took over a defensive sector from February 10, 1918 to April 3, 1918. Then they went to Mt. Kemmel Sector on May 1 to 15, 1918. The Section moved into Belgium, May 30 to July 6, 1918. They went across France to enter the Argonne Sector, August 18 through the Armistice, November 11, 1918.
The Section records on casualties show one man killed and several wounded. The record -shows unit citations and the award to individuals of the Croix de Guerre. The Section went into the Army of Occupation until May 1919, leaving for home on the President Grant on May 14, 1919.
We regret that every effort to obtain a report from any former member of this section ended in failure. It is of course possible that this might represent one of the numbered sections which was dissolved. All we know is that its origin was Pottsville, Pennsylvania. There is the possibility that this Section merged with the other section from Pottsville, and they went into other branches of the Armed Forces.
This Section was listed as one of the sections which was included in the Italian Contingent, and ordered to France to help in the great offensive of the American Army. We were unable to obtain any response to our inquiries regarding the early days of Section 520, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University, but the record of the Historical Division of the United States Army gave us this information. Section 520 was engaged in the following offensive operations:
September 12 to 16, 1918, St. Mihiel Sector; September 20 to November 11, 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne Sector.
The company of men who were mustered in at Johnstown, Pennsylvania on June 1, 1917, arriving in Allentown on June 8, were first known as Section B, and then split into two sections. They were assigned Numbers 21 and 22 which were later changed to 521 and 522. These instructions were received from the Chief of Service on his arrival in France, advising that 500 had to be added to all section numbers to prevent conflict with the volunteer units already operating in France with numbers from 0 to 45. Sections 521 and 522 entered into the usual camp activities --- kitchen police, drilling and hikes. On October 31, the Section with Battalion X, under command of Captain Dale H. Martin, left Allentown for a 29 days' encampment at Guth Station. On November 11, 1917, while still at Guth Station, the Section was placed in command of Lt. Kidd who was later succeeded by Lt. W. C. Healy. From the time of Section 521's return to Camp Crane on December 8, until the amalgamation on March 1, 1918, Section 522 had gone their own way under Lt. Braytoo. Admitting that something had gone wrong with 522 discipline, the Section was taken over by Lt. Glenn Coulter until the "France-in-six-weeks" rumor took them to Guth Station.
The combined Section 521 was placed in the Italian Contingent, and following weeks of Liberty Loan marches and reviews for the Military Attache of the Italian Embassy, they sailed on June 13, 1918 on the Giuseppe Verdi, landing in Genoa. They worked at the motor assembly parc; on guard duty in Genoa; and enjoyed the beaches near their camp at the Lido. In two months the men of the Section had seen the magnificence of Compasanto; the massiveness of the Righi Fortress; the grandeur of the palaces of Garibaldi and the contrasting squalor of the birthplace of Columbus.
Then came the order in September for Section 521 to leave for France. This transfer entailed one most regrettable necessity--- that of reducing the Section to 32 men, --- which next to the roll call after a battle is the most disagreeable of all Army tasks.
The Section entrained to cross the Alps and through the Modane Tunnel into France. Another day brought them to Rimacourt where they unloaded the ambulances. The next day the Section moved on through Neufchateau, Ligny and turned toward Verdun.
First came the St. Mihiel Battle, then the move to the Meuse-Argonne Sector the night of September 25. They witnessed the dirty, rotten business of war. They served as best they could the common soldier who was the backbone of that frightful scene on the battleground they covered. Then came the work in evacuating the field hospitals and the runs back to the base hospitals.
So passed the days and nights, with little time for rest until the great day of November 11, 1918. Even the next few days were busy with the "mopping up" after the battles. A few of our ambulances were used by medical officers to proceed across the Rhine to Coblenz, to set up billeting areas for the on-coming Army of Occupation.
The Section was cited in both American and Italian orders before being relieved to board the Manchuria for home on April 13, 1919. The last roll call was at Camp Dix, April 26, 1919. The Section had contributed men to the Band, the "Good Bye Bill" show and the Jazz Band.
The first things requested by the French Government after the declaration of war by the United States was for an additional group of men to continue and expand the work being done with the French Armies by the American Field Service and the Norton-Harjes ambulance units. This was agreed upon immediately and colleges and universities were asked to furnish the recruits.
Professor Root of Princeton assumed the task of forming a Princeton section. On June 4, 1917, some 40 applicants were examined and 21 selected and were sworn into the United States Army. This original group attempted drills at Princeton the next day with humorous results. The men chosen were given home leaves and then assembled again on June 9, 1917, for the trip to Allentown.
On arrival there the Section was billeted in the Poultry and Pigeons Exhibition Building at the Fairgrounds. They had several commanding officers before Lt. Lyon who was followed by the man who saw them through the war, "Chief" Butkiewicz, of Norton-Harjes --- Red Cross SSU 24. This was the Section which they relieved. Before leaving Allentown the Section was brought up to full strength and became a part of Captain Paul Chaudron's Battalion and hence were selected for the first overseas contingent. Through some mix-up, the contingent got separated and Section 523 went aboard the S.S. Baltic and holed up (not a nautical term) in the harbor at Halifax, N.S. On September 5th, they set out in convoy for the war. They landed in England and then went over to France on September 17.
After several weeks of wrestling with crates and boxes containing knocked down ambulances, they readied their rolling stock and headed for Paris. They were denied that pleasure and detoured straight for the base camp at Sandricourt. taking over the work of SSU 24 at Bussy, the Section met their French comrades of the 35th French Infantry Division with whom they served throughout the war.
The Section was kept very busy in the following major engagements: Champagne Sector Oct. 18, 1917 to March 4, 1918; Oise Sector March 24 to May 8, 1918; Aisne Sector May 31 to June 4, 1918; Meuse Sector June 30 to Aug. 12, 1918; Somme Sector Aug. 24 to Sept. 21, 1918; Aisne Sector Oct. 15 to Nov. 4, 1918.
While their division was en repose following the Armistice, the men of Section 523 were called out to help in some rescue work at a wreck between a hospital train and a train filled with soldiers going on permission.
The Section left with their Division for Sausheim, Alsace, on December 20, 1918, where they remained until March 2, 1919. The records show that three men were killed and five wounded. The Section received two Croix de Guerre citations and 34 men were awarded the Croix de Guerre for individual bravery.
The Section was one of two ambulance sections who published their own newspapers at the Front. They furnished two men to the "Let's Go!" show, including the director, John Litel.
Section 523 left Brest on March 15, 1919 on the S.S. President Grant, arriving at Newport News and were discharged at Camp Lee April 13, 1919.
Bucknell University sponsored two Sections, 24 and 25, which were mustered in on the campus at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on May 29, 1917. They went to the Allentown Concentration Camp on June 6, and were billeted in the Grandstand Building No. 1 and later in the sheep exhibition stables. Their series of commanding officers included Lt. Whitehouse, Lt. Warren, Lt. Cohen, Lt. Sterns and Lt. Philip Kline. There is no reason given for this number of five officers. Of course it is known that early officers who were medical men were called for active service as medics.
Section 524 was placed in Major Metcalfe's Battalion and following the usual periods of drill and hikes, they became a part of the third contingent. The Section sailed on the Carmania, January 9, 1918, landing in England first and went over to France, February 3rd.
Section 524 served American Divisions in all of their action at the Front. In many cases the United States Division might be a part of a French Army Corps, such as the time the Americans were rushed in to stem the forces of the German Army on the Chateau Thierry highway. The motorized U.S. Third Division reached Chateau Thierry on May 31, 1918. The Second Division which had been in training elsewhere, was rushed into the lines at Lucy-le-Bocage on June 1, 1918. On June 6, the 2nd Division made a series of attacks capturing strong positions at Belleau Wood, Bouresches and Vaux. This was just reviewed as a sample of the battle action in which Section 524 engaged. The Section served the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 77th American Divisions.
The offensive sectors were: Aisne, Aisne-Marne, Champagne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, the defensive sector in the Vosges Mountains was near Gerardmer, The Section suffered casualties of one killed, five wounded, one badly gassed and lost four prisoners of war.
The Section received a citation from the Third Division and three individuals were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Following the Armistice, the Section did rehabilitation work in and around Chateau Thierry. While stationed there, Section 524 entered a team in the Basketball League in Paris. Their team won the finals in Paris, but were prevented from going to the A.E.F. finals because of injuries.
Lt. Kline who had served in one of the early volunteer ambulance units was manager of the "Let's Go!" show.
Section 524 left Brest on May 23, 1919, on the U.S. Cruiser St. Louis.
The Bucknell University unit which was given the number "525" had an excellent record in the war. The interest in the work to be done by the United States Army Ambulance Service was so well understood and was maintained at such a high level that it is easy to appreciate why this Section, along with many others, did such commendable work. Organized on May 29, 1917, the Section went to Allentown on June 9, and was assigned to the Grandstand area for quarters. They took part in the cleaning up job which had to be done in many of the exhibition buildings before they were suitable to be used as barracks. Their first commander was Lt. George H. Clapp, who was one of the original spirits behind the recruiting of these volunteers, and it was he who brought Lt. Whitehouse to Lewisburg to swear in the students.
Section 525 was among the early sections to be selected to make up the first contingent to go to France with the appointed Chief of Service, Colonel Percy L. Jones. They sailed with the Third Battalion in charge of Captain (later Major) Paul O. Chaudron, on the S.S. Antilles, August 7, 1917. Mention has been made several times about the fate of the ship Antilles which was sunk on a return trip to America by a German submarine. Some sections went to the camp at St. Nazaire, while others went into Paris to form a nucleus for staffing the Headquarters, the Paris Repair Parc and eventually the base camp at Sandricourt. This base camp was about 30 miles from Paris on Hamcourt Farm, a 7500 acre estate owned by Mr. Robert W. Goelet of New York, and Mr. Frank Griggs of Paris. Formerly the property of the Marquis de Beauvoir, it was a famous hunting place for the kings and heads of state from many countries.
Getting back to Section 525, it was at Sandricourt that they were placed in command of Lt. H. H. Parsons, a former early volunteer ambulance driver. The Section's active fronts were with the 63rd French Infantry Division, where they relieved Section 22, an American volunteer ambulance unit formed by the Norton-Harjes interests, and later militarized into the U.S. Army. No. 1 assignment was on the Verdun Front; Mesnil les Eparges Sector, Oct. 9 to Nov. 18, 1917. No. 2, the Section was attached to the 63rd French Infantry Division on the Verdun Front; Haudiemont-Fort Vaux Sector, December 15, 1917 to Jan. 28, 1918. No. 3, from March 4 to July 16, 1918, their division was in the Montfaucon-Verdun Front; Hill 304 - LeMort Homme Sector. No. 4, July 28 to Aug. 9, 1918, the Section was in the Marne-Aisne Offensive, Oulchy le Chateau - Fere en Tardenois Sector. No. 5, Aug. 12 to 21, 1918, the 68th Division joined in the Aisne-Oise Offensive, Braisne-Quincy-Vesle Sector where the Section was relieved by Section 505. No. 6, the 68th Division moved to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the Champagne Front, St. Hilaire - Suippes Sector, September 13 to October 1, 1918. No. 7, their division worked on the Thann-Mulhouse Front which was a quiet sector, October 28 to November 17. The Section had been ordered, on November 9, 1918, to transfer to the American- Army in the Offensive on Metz, but this order was countermanded and they remained with the 68th French Infantry Division in their march into the French reoccupied territory in Mulhouse-Colmar area.
The Section casualties listed: 3 killed, 2 wounded and evacuated, with 17 gassed or minor wounds.
Section 525 received a citation in the Orders of the Army with the Croix de Guerre with Palm. Their Lt. H. L. Bibby was included in the above order. One man who later died from wounds, received the French Medaille Militaire, plus the Croix de Guerre with Palm, while a total of 35 men of the Section were awarded Croix de Guerre with Silver or Bronze Star.
The Section left for home on April 13, 1919, on S.S. Mobile and were discharged at Fort Dix, N.J., April 26, 1919.
We regret that no report was received giving details of the action of this section which was enlisted in Columbia, South Carolina. We know that the Section did come to Allentown in June 1917 as part of a large group of volunteers which assembled at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. On arrival in Allentown they were divided into three Sections 26, 27 and 28, and later were numbered 526, 527 and 528. Reports on all of these sections show the transfers to many other branches of the service, and it is possible that this Section 528 was absorbed by 526 or 527 which joined the Italian Contingent. Reports on both 526 and 527 are included under the sections serving in Italy.
This Section came to Allentown with Section 529 from Penn State, arriving on June 9. The two sections went about the regular camp routine and their schedule was very similar throughout Allentown days: hikes, drills, inspections, even the encampment at Guth Station.
Section 530 went over with the Italian Contingent, but was included as one of the fifteen sections to be borrowed by the American Army for use on the French Western Front. We do not have a report on how they went from Genoa to France, whether they drove their ambulances in convoy overland, or loaded them on flat cars for the trip by train.
The Historical Department of the Army Medical Service gives the following report: Section 530 was attached to the American Division in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. They saw service in the theatre of operations at St. Mihiel from September 12 to 16, 1918, and in the Meuse-Argonne from September 26 to November 11, 1918.
(We regret that no detailed report was sent to us covering this section.)
This unit was recruited on the University of Chicago campus, in the Medical Corps, and left for Allentown, Pa. on August 20, 1917. They were assigned to the horse cooling sheds, and following some hikes, they were billeted in one of the large exhibition buildings. Section 531 was commanded by Lt. Chapman. After spending the fall and winter in Allentown, we learn that some forty men were transferred to the Tank Corps which was just developing, and went to a camp where the then Captain Eisenhower was the commander. They were shipped out to France in the late Fall of 1918, and were stationed at Langres until the war ended. The report indicated that the transfer to the Tank Corps was made within Camp Crane. but we can find no confirmation that this branch of the armed service was ever stationed at the Fairgrounds campsite.
Section 531 has no further report.
This unit was recruited at the University of Tennessee in Nashville, and arrived at Allentown on June 10, 1917. They became a part of Captain (later Major) J. Ryan Devereux's contingent, and were commanded first by Lt. David E. Smith, MC. They took part in many hikes and left Camp Crane for Tobyhanna before going overseas.
Section 533 sailed on the S.S. Pastores on December 26, 1917, and landed at Brest, France on January 13, 1918. They entrained for St. Nazaire where they assembled their own ambulances. The Section left in convoy, overland, on January 28, 1918, and were assigned to the 31st French Infantry Division. The Division was in a "quiet" sector at Fellering in Alsace. The Section moved out with their division on May 17, 1918, into the Lorraine Sector at Cercueil, where they remained until June 30. Their Division went into the Aisne Offensive and took part in the battles for the Chemin des Dames, Coucy-les-Chateau and Vesle River, during August and September. They remained with their division in the Aisne Sector until November 4, 1918.
On November 25, 1918, the Division with Section 533 went to Paris where they were encamped at Villejuif. Their division went on guard duty at the Hotel de Ville, and later were part of the Honor Guard for President Wilson, King Albert of Belgium, King George of England, and King Vittorio Emanuel of Italy.
The Section was commanded at this time by Lt. Robert Wilson, A.A.S. On December 24, 1918, they left for the Belgian border and did rehabilitation work around Maubeuge. On March 20, the Section was relieved and left for Versailles, turning in their Ford ambulances at Romorantin before going to the base camp at Ferrieres. From here, the Section went to Brest and sailed for home on the Great Northern, April 12, 1919. They arrived in Hoboken on Easter morning, April 20, and were first sent to Camp Dix, N.J., then on to Ft. Oglethorpe and discharged May 2, 1919.
The Section received the citation of the Croix de Guerre with Silver Star for action in August and September 1918, and six individuals were awarded the Croix de Guerre.
Section 533 was famous for their expression "Dum High," when trouble was experienced. The Section contributed two men for the orchestra in the "Let's Go!" show.
This unit was recruited on Thursday, May 31, 1917 on the campus of Washington and Lee University at Lexington, Va. They were mustered in on June 8, and reached Allentown June 10. The records show they were billeted on the left side of the Fairgrounds, to the right of the YMCA pavilion. (That would put them in the grove of trees, depending on which way you were facing.) In any case they became Section 34, and later 534, which earned many honors on the Western Front. (We regret that there is blank space covering the Section's activities at Camp Crane and their departure time for France.)
A story of a Detachment of Section 534 is picked up at Luneville on April 22nd, in the Nancy Sector. The section base was at this time located at St. Clement, in charge of Lt. Nichol. The detachment was in charge of a sergeant who made all assignments. The advanced posts were Domjevin, and in the Foret de Grand Taille. Later in May, one of their posts was at Laneuville-aux-Bois. Although there was considerable bombing from air-raids, the 12th French Infantry Division which we were serving considered this a defensive sector.
Section 534 had been awarded the French Croix de Guerre citation with the Gilt Star for their operations in the Battle of the Somme, March-April 1918.
The Section again won a citation of the Croix de Guerre with the Silver Star dated May 7, 1918, for their courage displayed under intense fire and violent bombardment at advanced posts on March 27 and April 6, 1918. Six men were listed as wounded in these engagements.
The engagements listed for the Section in records of the U.S. Army Military History Dept. are as follows: Defensive Lorraine Sector April 22 -July 18, 1918; Aisne-Marne, July 23-August 6, 1918; Defensive Ile de France, August 7-17, 1918; Oise-Aisne, August 18 - September 17, 1918; Ypres-Lys October 23 to November 11, 1918.
We regret that no details were received regarding period following the Armistice.