My Grandfather’s World War I Log Book – Part 13 –
France September 30 – October 2, 1918
“Finished bridging mine hole over road”
My comments: My grandfather was with the U.S. Army 111th Engineers battalion. In this excerpt from his Log Book, they get shelled as they repair roads and fill mine holes in support of the Argonne offensive in France. For American troops, this was the largest battle in all of World War I.
Photo of drawing of U.S. Engineers filling in a mine crater on the road to Varennes 1918. (Photo from National Archives)
My comment: This could even be a drawing of my grandfather’s 111th Engineers at work as described in his Log Book excerpts from September 29th (huge mine hole in road described in Part 12) and September 30th below.
Excerpts from Log Book*:
Bridging Mine Hole & Showered with Shells from the Germans
“Sept 30th: Finished bridging mine hole over road, using material taken from German dug-outs. Was complimented by Col. Baker on our work. 1st Division going up the front to relieve the 35th. As usual, we had a French battery behind us, so we were showered with quite a few shells from Jerry [the Germans]. Received some mail today, first since we left Argancon. Bulgaria threw in the sponge today. Who is left?”
American troops advancing through the ruins of Varennes 9-26-1918 (the day my grandfather was there)
(Photo by Sgt. A.C. Duff, National Archives)
First time in 20 days we slept in the same place twice
“Oct 1st: First time in 20 days we slept in the same place twice. Still doing good work repairing the roads & keeping them open.”
Shell put a hole through the Captain’s mess kit
“Oct 2nd: Started the day out by getting up at 2 A.M. as we were being shelled. Worked on road toward Bareuner. Capt. Moon returned this morning. Some of Jerry’s planes flew over us at supper time and we all took a shot at them with our rifles. The aircraft & machine guns blazed away at them & shells were falling fast around us. One of them put a hole through the Captain’s mess kit. They finally got away.”
German AEG G.IV bomber c. 1918 (photo from Australia military archives)
Next post will be — “War may be over by Xmas yet”
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*Quotes are from my grandfather Sergeant 1st Class Lou Sheckard’s World War I handwritten Log Book. He describes his experience with the U.S. Army 111th Engineers from March 1, 1917 to June 15, 1919. To learn how I discovered this 100-year-old family treasure, click here.
Peter Finkle bio: Husband, Father, Writer | Herbal Health Researcher | Co-Founder: Vets Vites dietary supplements
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