Category: mondaymemories

‘In the Forest of Argonnes to hold a First Aid…

‘In the Forest of Argonnes to hold a First Aid
Station. City of stone dugouts. Cooked dinner and established ourselves in a
dugout. Dugout full of rats, lice and dirty. Left to put up tents on the side
of a hill. Not supposed to do that. Hear a gun once in a while. Will sleep fine
in our tents.’

September 1918, American ambulance driver all set for
the Meuse-Argonne offensive – Diary of J. Reah Hollinger – Franklin &
Marshall College
– Photo: 1918, France, American soldiers in tents – Archives du Ministère
de la culture, France. Great YouTube video:

Meuse-Argonne Offensive,
September 26 to November 11, 1918, 82nd Division
 

(Note: the awesome scene @4.34!)

“Monday September 23 1918 – We pass the …

“Monday September 23 1918 – We pass the time mostly by overhauling
the cars but some hardy sons go
swimming, others go AWOL to Dunkirk, and the rest of us curse the ever present
sand.”

American ambulance driver en repos in
Loon-Plage, near dunkirk, France. See Google map The Compensations of war – Photo:
WW1 American soldiers en repos at the beach.Tennessee Virtual Archives 

                                              …

                                                
“What
an existence, what an existence!”

‘On
my way, a company of French soldiers was silently moving along on their way to
the trenches. They looked like shadowy, muffled ghosts moving slowly onward to
some strange doom. Possibly some of them were thinking “What
an existence, what an existence!” Like tired ghosts in blue-gray shrouds,
they moved onward in silence to disappear into the shadows of the night.
Perhaps the following night some of them, clothes muddy and torn, and covered
with blood, would be carried back in American ambulances to the under-ground operating-rooms
or to the distant hospital and the tumult of the shells above their heads would
be no tumult, and their torn and tired bodies would feel no pain.’

WW1
American ambulance driver’s diary in France – History of the American FIeld Service in France – Photo: September 17 1918 French
soldiers and American ambulances in the distance (photo #2) in gloomy Vouziers, a town under fire,
Aisne, France – La Contemporaine

“September 17 1918 – Due to the increase…

“September 17 1918 – Due to the increased
number of German “visitors”
in town I moved my stretcher to a cave protected by a wall. I believe strongly in the proverb “God helps those who
help themselves” and if God pulls me thru this war I want to help all I can.
At times, I am a fatalist and I believe that Fate needs more help than God does.”

American ambulance driver’s diary in Crouy, Aisne, FranceThe Compensations of War  – Photo: September 16 1918, the
actual American ambulances shelter and parking in Crouy, Aisne, France — La
Contemporaine.

                “Close up, men, close up…

                “Close up, men,
close up! The eyes of your commanding officer are upon you!”

That hike was the most
memorable in the company’s experience. Either the map was incorrect or the
colonel’s judgment was in error, but very soon, it became evident that we were
lost. But we pushed ahead. The sun rose, and that day became as warm as ever it
is in France. Marching under heavy packs, without breakfast, we looked eagerly
forward to dinner. In the middle of the afternoon, when high hills had been
climbed and twenty miles or more covered on empty stomachs, we stopped at a little
mountain town. Close by was a murmuring brook. We walked over to this and took
what we call a “French bath”. Also while resting, we ate a most delicious meal of
hardtacks and some corned beef. Feeling greatly refreshed, we slung our packs
and proceeded on our way.

September
1918, France, American ambulance driver whose section just arrived in France
and is hiking from the Belfort sector up to the VosgesAmbulance Company
113, 29th Division
– Photo: 1918, France, American Ambulance company on the move –  Bentley Historical Library

                                              …

                                                                  A Musical face-off

1918, American
ambulance drivers in France From the fabulous Amherst Black CatsTwitter“In this photo,
Heine Hinch, the only Black Cat to be wounded, is shown towering over Black Cat
Ralph Whipple in some kind of bugle contest.”

Also this book: The Black Cats of Amherst

“Monday, September 2 1918 – go to U. S. …

“Monday, September 2 1918 – go to U. S.
Commissary at Vic-sur-Aisne for supplies. No tobacco. Fine sing this evening.”

American ambulance driver’s log in Aisne sector – Record of S. S. U. 585 – Summer 1918, France, American
soldiers playing guitar, mandolin, singing and smoking! Missouri Over There Archives

“Monday, September 2 1918 – Just a week ago to…

“Monday,
September 2 1918 – Just a week ago today, we left Italy. We passed Torino and
then started our climb over the Italian Alps. The road wound in and out the
valleys, and finally, in hair-pin turns, climbs to the very peak, rising 900 feet
every mile. We reached the snow-clad summit in time for supper in an old French inn.
All the way up we passed the tiny postes de secours of which I have so often read. At the top, there
was a beautiful lake in which ice was floating about. The next day we coasted
down 6,400 feet into France. The first French town we hit was Modane.”

American
ambulance driver driving from Torino Italy to Mouilly, France – Photo:
1918, American and French soldiers in the Alps at the Italian/French border – Text and
photo: WWI National Museum and MemorialWorld War I in the mountains On the Italian Front

“September 2 1918,  Labor Day – Sun out …

“September 2
1918,  Labor Day – Sun out for
breakfast: bean, bread, and coffee. Inspection at 10.00 must shave and clean
gun – Hope to get some letters – What are you doing at home sweet home today?
Oh! There is no place like IT! Believe me!

                                                    I – WANT – SOME
–  MAIL!

HELL heaven
or Hoboken by X-Mas! La guerre finis!”

American
soldier’s diary in the Aisne/Marne
sector, France – National WWI Museum and Memorial – WW1, France, American soldier in a
billet, writing a letter. Here, the US Centennial Commission’s very interesting podcast “

Highlights:
Labor Day 1918″

‘Litter-bearers brought in one American soldie…

‘Litter-bearers brought in one American soldier who had a bullet from a
machine gun lodged in his thigh. He told me that after being struck, his wound bled profusely, and he
began to have an intense thirst. Laboriously, he wormed his way along until he
saw a crater that held a small pool of muddy water. He drank the water then the he fell back, exhausted.

He lay there for 24 hours
before he was found. Maggots found his wound and swarmed into it with avidity.

When I cut away the cloth of his breeches, I could not see his wound. It was
black with burrowed maggots. In some alarm I cleansed the wound and destroyed
the maggots, and then stared at the flesh in amazement. It was glisteningly
pink and clean, with firm, healthy granulation tissue and not even the
suspicion of infection.

This was my first experience with maggot therapy. The principle in itself is not new. Ambroise Paré commented on it in
1557; it was known to Baron D. J. Larrey, Napoleon’s famous military surgeon and to Dr. J. F. Zacharias, a surgeon,
who during the Civil War, actually employed maggots
in caring for the wounds of
Rebel soldiers.’

August 1918, France, American surgeon “Harry L Smith,

Memoirs
of an Ambulance c

Memoirs
of an Ambulance Company Officer 
– Photo: 1918, France, American surgeon performing surgery in a field operating room.