Archive for the ‘WWI’ Category

Kitchen Police

December 10, 2012

kp duty - potato peeler


(This poem presumably written by a soldier is valuable as indicating the saving sense of humor possessed by our men and which carries them through the difficult days of the training period and sustains them in the sterner and more trying days that follow.)


Sitting here in the kitchen, peeling a bucket of spuds,
Wearing a dirty apron to cover my blue serge duds,
A hundred thousand in the bank, “Society man” — that’s me;
Just because I was late at roll call, they gave me a week’s K.P.

Sitting here in the kitchen, with slops all over my jeans;
Picking rocks and splinters out of a barrel of beans,
My thoughts have gone a-wandering to what I used to be
Before I missed that last post car and they gave me a week’s K.P.

I think of the nights I squandered, doing the barroom stunt;
Gee! what a sissy I was — what a hopeless, hopeless runt!
Oh, I was there with the girls, boys, and they called me a “lady’s man.”
What would they say if they saw me now, scraping a greasy pan.

The mess sergeant’s a slaver; he gives a man no rest.
The first cook is a villain, but I have the second best.
Oh, sure, boys, I enlisted to march away to war,
But they’ve got me here in the kitchen, doing the company chores.

A week policing the kitchen, watching the biscuits browned —
Me, who used to order two thousand men around.
I wonder what those two thousand would say if they saw me now
Washing a hundred dishes, ready for 6 o’clock chow?

Two months ago, in a greenhouse, I held Anita’s hand,
Told her that I had enlisted to fight for my native land.
She leaned her head on my shoulder, said she’d be proud of me;
She’d be proud, all right, if she saw me now, doing a week’s K.P.

Dumping the slush in the hogpan, scrubbing the kitchen floor,
Swabbing a slimy mush-pan until my hands are sore,
Fixing the hash for supper, putting ice in the tea —
Archibald Percival Knutty, “society man” — that’s me!

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 25, 1918

Tin Soldiers, Toy Soldiers, Wartime Toys

December 8, 2012

Tin Soldier Cut-Outs - Edwardsville Intelligencer IL 06 Dec 1941

He was only a little tine soldier then,
To be used as a battering ram;
Today he’s the pride of a nation wide —
He’s the nephew of Uncle Sam.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Dec 6, 1941

Toyville Army 1 - Oakland Tribune CA 12 May 1918

THE Toyville army, marching
Into billets ‘neath a chair,
Discovered two tin soldier spies
Beneath the carpet there.

Toyville Army 2 - Oakland Tribune CA 12 May 1918

The captain sternly marched them out,
Their case and fate to settle.
They stood at ease with steady knees,
For they were men of mettle!

Toyville Army 3 - Oakland Tribune CA 12 May 1918

I’m glad Ted chanced to pass just then
And took a hand. He thrust
The two spies in his pocket,
To the captain’s great disgust!

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) May 12, 1918

Toyville Army 1 - Oakland Tribune CA 19 May 1918

THE Toyville army bravely marched
Across high table land,
Upon the table edge, some one
Forgot the right command!

Toyville Army 2 - Oakland Tribune CA 19 May 1918

No welcome “Halt!” to bid them stay,
So like the gallant host of yore,
Theirs not to question, but obey,
They fell in companies to the floor.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) May 19, 1918

Wartime Christmas - Reno Evening Gazette NV - 16 Nov 1942

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Nov 16, 1942


Little Tin Soldier, how stiff you stand
With your sword buckled on and your gun in your hand.
Would you hear aright should your captain say,
“Fall out, dismissed, well done — let’s play!”

Or would the Something that comes with drill
O’ershadow you, follow you, hinder you still —
And you hear like the beat of a distant tattoo,
“Count off, front and rear, one two .  .  .  one two?”

Time was, I am sure, though you look so grim
There’s a gleam in your eye, though ’tis often dim,
When your memory quickens and troubles you
As you quick-step, march — one two, one two.

Little Tin Soldier, how stiff you stand
With your sword buckled on and your gun in your hand.
Would you hear aright if I said what is true,
“I love you, my darling — I do, I do?”

— Ann Drew.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jul 4, 1926

Be a Tin Soldier - Billings Gazette MT 08 Jul 1945

Billigns Gazette (Billings, Montana) Jul 8, 1945

Don’t Shirk

November 25, 2012

Image from The Great Humanitarian


War’s wanton waste
Needs be replaced
By work — unflagging work!
Now the hour of haste,
Don’t shirk!

The starved seek food,
Not platitude.
Help banish gloom and murk!
List the hymn of gratitude,
Don’t shirk!

Somewhere men freeze,
Would take thy ease
And with the idle lurk?
Help now! Each moment seize,
Don’t shirk!

Uplift this world of ours again,
Be one of God’s real noblemen!
Let dreamers rant and smirk,
Of grit and pluck they are no ken,
Don’t shirk!

Each motto be: “I’ll help too.
Help to see the right go through,”
Such the Master’s work.
Then shall all men say of you:
“No shirk!”

— J.B. Foster in N.Y. Sun.

Olean Evening Times (Olean, New York) Dec 15, 1919


November 11, 2012

Image from


By Berton Braley

Once on a time we marched gaily away from you.
Sailed overseas to the fields that were red,
Fought in the trenches — and waited for pay from you;
Starved for you, froze for you, suffered and bled.
Some of us stayed there, under the clover now
Sleep after deeds that were brave and sublime,
Do not forget, though the slaughter is over now,
We went through hell for you, once on a time!

True, all we fought for has not yet been realized,
“Statesmen and diplomats” plotted and schemed,
Scoffing at hopes that they thought were “Idealized”
Fools who could not understand what we dreamed;
Still, though the “leaders of thought” proved perfidious,
Dragging our visions through muck and through slime,
We freed mankind from a menace more hideous,
We saved the world for you, once on a time!

Four years have gone since the cannon ceased hammering,
Four years have passed since the conflict was won,
Aye, and in spite of all cynical clamoring,
It was a task that was splendidly done;
Peace is about us, the peace that we bought for you,
Bought with the splendor of youth in its prime.
Let not your memory lose what we wrought for you,
We won a war for you — once on a time!

(Copyright, 1922, NEA Service)

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Nov 11, 1922

Let Us Play the Game to Win

June 6, 2012



(This poem was written last spring when young Winchester was only fourteen years old. He is the son of Lucius W. Winchester, 170 Oakdale avenue.)

Dire war has come upon us, with its struggling and its strife,
And the weeping of the widows, and the loss of human life;
But above the roar of battle, o’er the tumult and the din
I can hear a voice entreating,
“Let us play the game to win!”

Yes, I know we did not want it, but now that it is here,
Let us welcome it with shouting, let us greet it with a cheer,
And through the heat of battle, ‘midst the suffering and the sin,
Let us fight for all we’re worth —
Let us play the game to win!

And in the awful struggle, with the slaughter at its height,
We will show the German kaiser that Americans can fight!
We will rush to help our country, and we’ll die ere we give in;
We’ll show them we’re not quitters —
For we play the game to win!

Yes, war is now upon us, with its suffering and its pain,
And the weeping of the loved ones o’er the bodies of the slain.
Though we know well that War is Hell, since now that we are in,
Let’s fight for right with all our might —
Let’s play the game to win!

And when the struggle’s over, and when the fight is won,
And with carnage, pain and strife, all the nations shall be done,
Let us say it with a fervor, let us say it with a grin,
“Why, we couldn’t help but win it —
For we played the game to win!”

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Aug 29, 1918

Doughnuts for Doughboys

June 1, 2012


Of course you’re planning a party for the boy home on a furlough and you will want to serve the food he likes best. Put doughnuts at the top of the list for at canteens they are first choice.

Here are doughnuts that will top any your doughboy ever tasted. Light as a feather, moist, tender, deliciously spicy pumpkin doughnuts. Sugar a few for the folks with a sweet tooth and serve wedges of cheese for added goodness. Make them often for the family, too.

Try this new way of frying doughnuts. See how light and tender they are — how delicate tasting. There’s no unpleasant smell or smoke, and foods fried the

Spry way are so digestible even the children can eat them. Will they love that pumpkin flavor, too!

Evening Standard (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) Oct 23, 1942

The doughnut has been removed from the list of indigestibles by the Chicago school of domestic science. Those who have been forced to take to their beds after eating them in the past, will now be able to partake in safety.

The Daily Herald (Chicago, Illinois) Jul 1, 1910

New York Times – Chicago Tribune Leased Wire.

CHICAGO. May 7. — Any housewife who things she may have unexpected guests — say, about 600 of them and mostly male — will do well to cut out and paste in her cook book “Ma” Burdick’s tested recipe for doughnuts.

“Pa” and “Ma” Burdick, the doughnut king and queen of the Salvation Army, reached Chicago yesterday, after nearly two years of service overseas — two years of work for the American doughboys.

“What’s the most important thing in making doughnuts?” “Ma” was asked.

“Speed, she replied. Then she gave her recipe.

“It’s for six hundred,” she said, “but I guess you can divide it.”

Here it is:

Salvation Doughnuts.
Twelve quarts of flour.
Six quarts sugar.
Twenty-four tablespoonsful baking powder.
Three teaspoonsful salt.
Three quarts milk.
Fry in deep fat.

“The secret’s in the mixing,” said “Ma.”

“Ma” Burdick’s “shrapnel cake” was another favorite with the boys.

Here is the recipe:

Shrapnel Cake.
(Three pieces.)
Two large cups sugar.
One cup molasses.
Two cups milk.
One cup strong black coffee.
Three heaping teaspoonsful cinnamon.
One heaping teaspoonful cloves.
One teaspoonful salt.
One teaspoonful baking powder.
Two large cups raisins (the shrapnel).
Flour to make a stiff batter.

The famous flapjacks were made in the following manner:

Fifty Flapjacks

One quart flour.
Two heaping teaspoons baking powder.
One teaspoon salt.
Milk to make a soft batter. Beat until light.

San Antonio Evening News (San Antonio, Texas) May 7, 1919

Hot, tasty doughnuts and a cup of steaming, fresh coffee really hit the spot these damp, cold days in England .   .   . and especially for two Iowa doughboys who know the Red Cross Iowa clubmobile was made possible through contributions by residents of their own state.

Once a week the club-kitchen on wheels drops in at an aerial reconnaissance station with “doughnuts for doughboys.” When it does, Cpl. Clyde Olsen, left, and Pfc. Carl C. Larsen, right, of Forest City, Ia., are among the first to welcome it and its two comely attendants, Miss Leo Lindsley of Fallons, Neb., and Mrs. Georgette Hayes of Middletown, N.J.

Corporal Olsen, a radio operator with a Station Complement squadron, assisted his father on his farm near Missouri Valley, Ia., before he entered the army May 29, 1942. He is the husband of Lucille Craig Olsen, 1 11 Stutsman street, Council Bluffs, and a son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Olson, RFD No. 2, Missouri Valley.

Council Bluffs Nonpareil (Council Bluffs, Iowa) Nov 17, 1943

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Sep 21, 1927

* * * * *

* * * * *

The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) Oct 11, 1926

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By the way, it’s National Doughnut Day.

Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam

May 14, 2012

Image from Wind Turbine Syndrome


(Tune, “Baby Mine.”) [also called “Crawdad Song“]

Hark! I hear our Chief a-coming,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam;
And the bells are all a-ringing,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Comes a shout from o’er the main,
Glorious Chief is the refrain,
And they shout it once again,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Uncle Sam.

We will lift a million praises,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Till the vault of heaven raises,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Till the world rings out the note
As if from a single throat,
“May your flag forever float,”
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
“May your flag forever float,”
Uncle Sam.

When we hear our country calling,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
From the ranks will none be falling,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Rich and poor, like soldiers true,
We will all be proud of you,
Chief who dares to think and do,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Chief who dares to think and do,
Uncle Sam.

You have writ a golden page,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
In this busy, bustling age,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
And the nation’s grand advance
You will mightily enhance,
Giving every man a chance,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Giving every man a chance,
Uncle Sam.

A good, solid working place,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Counting neither caste nor race,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Your bright flag we’ll ever see
Floating o’er this land so free,
Glorious home of liberty,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Glorious home of liberty,
Uncle Sam.

Foe to none on land or sea,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Save to foes of liberty,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Smite der kaiser’s warlike mien,
Smash his hellish submarine,
Give this world a brighter sheen,
Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam,
Give this world a brighter sheen,
Uncle Sam.

— B.J. Price, a Former Oshkosh Man.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 18, 1917

Image from The Long and Short of it All

The Finger-Print Poet

November 12, 2011


A MURDER in the tenderloin,
An eminent statesman’s views,
A scandal breaks in the avenue,
It’s news, all news, big news!
A hurried dash for a subway train,
Some feverish pencil jots—
The public must have its morning thrill
Over its coffee pots.

A lone man battling Russian snows,
Another, the desert’s thirst—
Each fired by thoughts of a record “beat”
If he gets on the wire first,
With a story the harried cable clerk
Shall hurl on—dot by dash—
The public reads of the wide, wide world
Along with its breakfast hash.

Battle of typewriters, driven hard,
And crash of the linotypes,
Maddening click of the telegraph,
And the fog from the reeking pipes!
The grueling race by flesh and blood
‘Gainst Time’s unflagging legs—
The public must have its news served hot
And fresh as its breakfast eggs.

One last wild rush, and the presses start
Their rumble and roar overhead;
A stretch, a yawn and a heartfelt sigh—
The paper’s been “put to bed.”
Few of us know what each line has cost,
Nor ask how the price is paid—
We only know that the public wants
Its news with its marmalade.

(Copyright, 1919, by Bell Syndicate, Inc.)

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Nov 2, 1919

The Mysterious Poet

James Stuart Montgomery!! He is the poet of the finger-prints. He revealed his identity to New York publishers simultaneously with an effort to trace his finger-prints in the War Department at Washington.

The mysterious Finger-Print poet was born in Rome, Ga., in 1890. He was educated at the University of Georgia and the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1911. In 1917 he attended the first officers’ training camp at Fort Niagara, N.Y., and was commissioned a first lieutenant. After being assigned to the 316th Infantry, 79th Division, he was promoted to captain and appointed personnel officer and assistant to the regimental adjutant.

On September 30, 1918, he was wounded while serving with his regiment at Montafuson, where some of the fiercest fighting of the famous Meuse-Argonne offensive took place. After some time in a base hospital he was invalided home.

Before entering the army Captain Montgomery wrote verses occasonally merely for his own amusement. In France it helped to while away the time.

Some of his best verse, including “Je Ne Me Fiche” and Her Glove,” was written while he was in a military hospital in France. He is now living in Strafford, Pa.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Nov 2, 1919

Her Glove

It was a waltz — a wild Hungarian air,
A mad, uprushing storm of vivid tone,
That on its own exulting passion seemed to bear
Us up to Paradise — us two alone.
That waltz. ‘Twas one that cried aloud and throbbed
Of loves in their own fires purified,
And rose and fell and laughed and sighed and sobbed
It self to amorous dreaminess — and died.

Still through our veins that molten music rain,
Bathing each sense in rosy, leaping flame;
And I was man as Adam was a man,
She, woman, without reticence or shame.
The star sewn purple of the night above —
Her softness yet a presence on my arm —
With eager fingers stripped she off her glove,
That I might kiss the rose leaf of her palm.

For one eternal instant I have known
The heights and depths of all-consuming love.
She was his promised bride — and he, mine own
Familiar friend. And this — it is a glove.

(Copyright, 1919, by Bell Syndicate, Inc.)

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Oct 26, 1919

Je Ne Me Fiche (I Should Worry)

If you should raise the dander of
The highest high commander of
Your outfit by some petty little sin,
He may fret and cuss and shout,
As he bawls you inside out —
Just wait until he bawls you outside in —
Quite neatly and completely outside in.

When the Q.M. commissary,
In its waggish way and merry,
Announces that the grub has given out,
You are saved, beyond all question,
From the pangs of indigestion,
You never will be troubled with the gout —
The illfulness and pillfulness of gout.

If you lose an ear or arm, sir,
You’ve another. What’s the harm, sir?
And even if they amputate your pegs,
Why, they’re making ’em of cork, sir —
That can dance and walk, sir —
Oh, quite the very latest thing in legs —
The raciest and paciest of legs.

You may even lose your head, sir;
Yet, when all is don and said, sir,
There wasn’t so much in it, let us hope.
If a shell should come and spill you,
Or the gentle Fritzies kill you,
They can’t do more than make you into soap —
The jelliest and smelliest of soap.

(Copyright, 1919, by Bell Syndicate, Inc.)

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Oct 11, 1919

Armistice Day

November 11, 2011

On November 11th, 1918 when the Armistice was declared ending the first World War, America was once again the Victor. She proved to the world that the right way of life triumphs against evil. She proved that her sons were ready and able to stand up against those who believed in world domination and oppression.

Let us, then, on this Armistice Day pray that their deeds may always be remembered. Let us pray and give thanks for their God given courage that helped to make our great America the guardian of the world.

Bessemer Herald (Bessemer, Michigan) Nov 11, 1948

Image from LIFE magazine – Caption:

Shirtless American sailor relax on and around several torpedos on the deck of an unidentified ship during the Pacific Conflict, 1943. On one torpedo is written ‘Armistice Day – Hell!’



To save from the ash can a burning Old World
And keep flying sparks from the roof of the New,
Our brave Uncle Sam with his colors unfurled
Just smothered it out with live red, white and blue.

Warm RED flowed the blood of his sturdy young sons,
Whose WHITE bled-out faces were lost in the grime,
While tested BLUE steel in projectiles and guns
Completed the job in new world-record time!

In rev’rence we bow on this ARMISTICE DAY,
Before the same altar their sacrifice blessed,
With a priceless return of Hope’s peaceful array
In which the whole earth joins their own hallowed rest.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Nov 11, 1927

Bayard News (Bayard, Iowa) Nov 12, 1942

Letters Home: The 332nd Infantry

May 26, 2010

Camp Sherman (Image from

More Young Men Go To Camp Today

Nineteen Of Registered Men Leave For Training At Chillicothe.


Capt. A. Martin Graham Goes Part Way With Group On Trip.

New Castle’s latest contribution to Camp Sherman left this morning as scheduled. The nineteen young men accepted for service were on hand promptly this morning at the city building. They left that building shortly after 8:15 a.m. escorted by the Croton school drum corps directed by Prof. Hoffmuster, members of the G.A.R., the Lawerence Rifles, Mayor Newell and Councilmen Burns and Whaley and other citizens of the community.

They were taken to the P.& L.E. station, where a good sized crowd was on hand to bid them farewell. Their train left at 8:48 p.m.

The men were in charged of Leslie S. Moore, who had as his aides Edgar Thompson and John McNulty. Attorney A.M. Graham accompanied the boys a part of the way to see that they got the proper start.

The Croton drum corps had fifteen members out, the younger boys having been ordered to stay at home by the leader, owing to the expectation that the extreme cold weather of yesterday would still continue this morning.

The boys leaving this morning were:

Edward Anderson
Harold S. Johnston
Andrew J. Quinn
John Schrader
Howard Kirkwood
Leslie S. Moore
John P.G. Hirschinger
Pietro Scalero
J. Allen McNulty
Joseph Dawson
Harry Penrose
George Slack
Edgar Thompson
Wm. Joseph Heinrich
Joseph Embleton
Bernard Rosenblum
Russell W. Hiles
Walter Gunter
Simeon Cumberledge.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Feb 6, 1918

Soldiers Send Notes Of Thanks
Comfort Packet Committee Receives Responses From the Various Recipients Daily


Dear Madam:

Through your kindness I received a Comfort Packet before leaving home, and not until I arrived in camp did I realize what a valuable gift I had received.
Every article is of use to a soldier, and is certainly appreciated by all. Conditions here are very good (in my opinion) and the training received here will be of great benefit both at present and in the future.

Thanking you and your co-workers for your kindness, I remain,

Yours truly,
Walter Gunter,
Med. Detachment,
332nd Infantry,
Camp Sherman.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Mar 8, 1918

From Enoch Gunter.
Enoch Gunter of Mill street, received this from his son, Walter:
Italy, July 30, 1918.

Dear Dad:

In the land of song! And it is really the most beautiful place one could imagine. Had a fine trip through the Alps and saw some of the most famous resorts in the world. The scenery is so wonderful that one would have to see it to really know how beautiful it is. At the base of the mountains they farm and raise fine garden products and fruit and farther up the mountainside wheat is the principal crop; then there is space where there is no vegetation, till finally the mountain peaks disappear into the clouds.

The railroad through the mountains runs through more than thirty tunnels, one of them seven miles long. We saw two of the largest cities of Italy and the reception the Italians gave up was fine.

Sunday night I slept in an old palace and it is surely a fine place. Last night I spent in a school house; it is a fine building and we are quartered here for the time being.

Yesterday I visited a monument where there are three thousand skulls and bones of all the men killed in the last battle of 1876. The battle was fought within a mile of this place and these bones were placed in this monument and it is interesting to see them. There are many old castles around here and if possible I intend to visit them. Will write again soon.

Your loving son, WALTER.

Walter Gunter,
Med. Dept. 332nd Inf.,
American E.F. in Italy.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 29, 1918


Mr. and Mrs. J.W. McNulty of Volant have received the following letter from their son, Jay A. McNulty:

Back in Austria,
Jan. 26, 1919.

Dear Father and Mother:

I am out of Montenegro again, but most of the fellows are still there. I was taken sick on an outpost and laid around for a week or more, then I was taken down where the climate is more mild.

The lack of food and exposure finally got to me, although it was a long time coming. We have been getting all we can eat for a week or more. I am beginning to feel a lot better, or else I would not be writing to you that I have not been well. Will be O.K. soon, especially if I continue to eat good. We are getting more and better food now than we have had for seven months. In one of your letters you asked me what we had for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Well, for Thanksgiving breakfast I had colored water and one-half slice of black bread with brown bugs in it, and for dinner about four tablespoonsful of macaroni cooked in water, and a little piece of black bread, and no supper at all. Christmas was just a repetition of Thanksgiving, only we had three meals instead of two. But I just want to tell you what we had for dinner today: Potatoes and gravy, brown bread without any bugs, bacon, coffee, and all of it that we could eat. Now, isn’t that fine? My, how we did enjoy it.

I received your letters of December 20 and 26. Am sorry that you are not getting my letters. I write to you quite often. Hope you are getting my letters by now. I will be glad to get back to the good old States again. Since coming across seas I have seen soldiers of every creed and color. Men from every part of the world. This was has certainly been a ponderous affair. Well, by-by for this time.

Your loving son,

Jay A. McNulty, 332nd Inf., A.E.F.,
Italy, 901 C.A.P.O.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Mar 8, 1919

Make Exceptionally Fine Record In Austrian Defeat And In Diplomatic Campaign.
Losses Small In Battle — Best Trained Regiment In War — What Colonel Says.

The 332nd Infantry of which so many New Castle boys, who trained at Camp Sherman, O., are members, accomplished everything that it was called upon to do in the Italian offensive that put Austria out of the world war, as may be seen by the laudatory letter addressed to the members of its regiment by its colonel William Wallace.

A copy of this letter of commendation, which tells the history of the work of the regiment, the only Americans in Italy was received by Mrs. Ben McCann, whose husband, a well known employee of the New Castle post office, is a member of the regiment. The letter of commendation follows:

Colonel William Wallace - Italy

Above picture and others can be found at this Italian website.

Headquarters 332nd Infantry,
Treviso, Italy,
Dec. 6, 1918.

From Col. William Wallace, 332nd Infantry.
To the officers and enlisted men of the 332nd Infantry:
Subject: The 332nd Infantry, U.S.A. in Italy.

The Italian campaign of the 332nd Infantry has been exceedingly creditable. The government, state and friends of the regiment have reason to be greatly pleased and the soldiers composing it to be rather proud of themselves and of each other for the rather excellent manner in which they have adjusted themselves to unaccustomed conditions and borne themselves through many trying experiences.

The regiment had two missions. One of fight if occasion arose. The other, to act as a propagandist or diplomatic agent.

As to the fighting. Some regretted not being thrown into battle immediately on arrival. This could not be. There was no fighting taking place, the activity on the Italian front consisting solely in the exchange of occasional artillery compliments. Moreover, we were not sufficiently trained. So the time that might have been wasted in boresome guard duty in unhealthy trenches was spent in better fitting us to fight. The result was that no other regiment ever underwent so thorough a course of battle tactics as did this under the tutelage of Major Allegretti’s 23rd Assault Battalion of Ardittles. It was as near the real thing as training can be made. And for those who still cherish regret for lost time, it may be said that there seemed to be more warlike activity around the training camps of the 332nd Infantry than at any other place on the Italian front. The instruction was ideal and marred only by the deplorable accident which killed six and injured 50.

Owing to the time, the place and the occasion, these comrades of ours are, and should be, held as reverently in our memories as though their death and wounding had occurred in combat with the enemy.

In order to hold a place for the regiment when the advance should take place and actual fighting begin, one battalion was sent to take over a section of the Piave trenches. It received high praise from all superiors for its conduct there. Three weeks later the rest of the regiment was moved to Treviso, to be put in readiness for the expected offensive. Ten days’ hard marching followed. No doubt it hurt, but if it had not been exacted, the regiment, despite its previous training, would never have reached the Tagliamento with any integrity left. As it was, when the order to move against the Austrians came, and crossing the Piave, the hard marches that ensued were accomplished in a manner that would have been creditable to veterans. We were honored by being made, during the advance, the advance guard of the 31st Italian division (Major Gen. DeAngells) of the Tenth Italian army (Gen. Cav??). This is, we were an American regiment in the Italian division of a British army, and in a position showing utmost confidence by both our allies. That the regiment did not fail this confidence, the attached letters of approval by our generals fully show.

During the advance, Austrian rear guard action by means of machine gun patrols and nests were momentarily expected, and in all probability, heavier and more determined stands at river crossings. But the Austrians seemed bent only on getting away and paused only to break all bridges to delay our march. Not until the Tagliamento was reached, on November 3, was it possible to catch up. Here (at Ponte della Delizia) the enemy made a slight opposition to our crossing. The second battalion was ordered to clear the way. During the night it fled across a single plank foot bridge and deployed in position to the gravel bed of the river. About four platoons of other battalions had forded the river during the day and were in position farther to the right. Sixteen machine guns were in place in the line. The third battalion awaited on the bank up the river and the first battalion stood in readiness as reserve, both to be called upon to re-enforce the attack if by any chance it should be checked. At 5 a.m. the attacking line advanced. The Austrian machine guns and riflemen fired upon our advancing line. The line, however, moved steadily forward and in about 20 minutes charged, going over the top in a line as perfect as at drill, and with a cheer that could have been heard a mile, took the position and started the pursuit.

Only one man was killed and six wounded. The Austrain fire had swept the ground only a short distance to the rear of the advancing single line. The second battalion was halted at Codroipo, four miles to the front, and the only engagement of the campaign was completed. Small as it was it showed your metal and it proved pure gold.

Corp. Charles A. Kell, the American killed, was probably the last man of any allied nation to lay down his life for our just cause on the Italian front.

At 11:19 a.m. the armistice was signed and the war, one of whose great purposes was the restoration of Italy’s integrity, was won. Italy’s ancient foe was humbled beyond possibility of recovery, her lost provinces reconquered, and, let up hope, her people again cemented together in bonds of lasting loyalty to her good king and government.

To have had your part in all this and played that part well is great credit to yourselves and a good heritage of honor for your children.

As for the diplomatic part of the mission. That was of deepest concern. In a land where the language was unspoken by us, where many ideas, customs and manners differed radically from our own, where the people were sensitive and likely to be jarred by our American brusqueness, for 4,000 of us to live and march among them for four months without a note of friction, is simply marvelous. What praise you may get for having “the fighting spirit” is as nothing in comparison to the credit due all for the self-restraint that imposed upon yourselves a more tempered conduct than we are likely to employ even at home.

In the reorganization of the regiment back in France when it was ordered to Italy, it was asked that it might be made up not only of soldiers but gentlemen, without any of the latter’s bad habits, such as late rising and certain prejudices against work. This was a joke — a dream — then, but a realty now.

You have more than fulfilled expectations.

Thank you,

Colonel 332nd Infantry,

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jan 27, 1919

Plans For Demonstration Are About Complete — Big Dinner At Armory — Decorations To Be Presented To Regiment By Italian Government —

Harry Penrose Is Last To Arrive Of Local Contingent — News Of Local Boys Who Arrived On Canopic

News Correspondent.

NEW YORK, April 16. — Plans for the parade of the 332nd regiment in this city are about completed. The parade will move at 10 o’clock on Monday morning, from Washington Square, proceeding up Fifth avenue to 102nd street, a distance of about 94 blocks or nearly five miles.

At this point the regiment will swing into Central Park, where General Emilio Guglielmotti, respresenting the Italian government will carry out the program of decorating the regiment. The program here will be quite formal.

From Central Park the 332nd boys will go to the Sixty-ninth regiment armory on Lexington avenue, as guests of the mayor’s committee at dinner. Governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, along with Mayor Hylan of New York, the Italian ambassador, Italian and other foreign consuls and notables will review the parade.

The Italian societies will occupy a reviewing grandstand at 92nd street, and will fall in line at this point, going to Central Park to take part in the ceremonies.

The parade and ceremonies are being arranged by the members of the mayor’s welcoming committee. Italian organizations of New York are taking great interest in the program.

New Castle and Lawrence County boys are rather eager to have the New York parade over with, as they are anxious to get back to Pennsylvania and New Castle.

The third ship which sailed from Italy, which carries some of the regiment, the Dante Alighieri, is expected to arrive in port Thursday. No message had been received until 11 o’clock this morning as to its time of making port.

Penrose Comes on Third Ship.

Among those who arrived on the Canopic and who were very evident among the returned vets were Bernard Rosenblum, Joe Dawson, John Hershinger, Walter Gunter, Jerry McNulty, William Robison, former New Castle boy, Joh Hares, Pvt. Hanselman and Arthur Flack.

Harry Penrose, prominent New Castle boy did not get in on either of the first two ships. He is due to arrive on the Dante Alighieri which docks today or tomorrow. His father, H.S. Penrose will be at the pier in time to greet him.

Rosenblum is still up to his old tricks. While waiting in the messline on the pier, he tossed a roll of tinfoil at the News man and hit his commanding officer in the eye.

“We’ll shoot you at sunrise for that, Rosenblum” said his C.O. “Bunny” is the pep of his company and carried his mandolin all through the campaign. Besides that he bought another in Genoa which he brought back with him. He says the local boys had it easy compared to what the boys in France went through, but it was pretty rough in spots.

“Bunny” is tired of parading and want to get home as soon as possible.

Hares Had Tonsillitis.

Job Hares had a slight touch of the tonsillitis on the trip home but is alright now. He says he is coming straight home to New Castle.

William Robison is a former New Castle boy who says he has a warm spot in his heart for New Castle and would like to come back and see the old town again.

Walter Gunter, who was with the medical detachment of his regiment saw about all of Italy there was to see. He was detached from the regiment and stationed at Dalmatia for three months. Besides, he was on a trip for supplies which took 44[?] days.

Arthur Flack says he is anxious to get back to the quietness of Volant again. He is one of a family of 5 sons serving in the army. One gave his life for his country.

Joe Dawson is very popular with his outfit. He says is glad he is on his last lap home now. He claims that the boys never saw white bread while they were in Italy and although the food was coarse, the boys got fat on it.

McNulty and Hershinger are two others who are glad to be back in their native heath again, and aren’t crying about hard luck.

The officers of the 332nd claim that the men received good food while they were in Italy with the exception of the time they were at the front, and then they were after the Austrians so hard that the field kitchens did not have time to catch up to them.

Hard Trip Home.

The Canopic had a hard time weathering the trip back. She was forced to spend five days at Gibralter for coaling and were unable to get attention at first, as there was a strike on. The ship listed [?] all the way over and it was with difficulty that she was tied up to the deck.

Major Gen. Emilioy[?], Guglielmotti, Italian military attache at Washington and Lieut. Camillo de Carlo, were the first to board the Canopic and greet Lieut. Col. Elverson, who was in command of the detachment.

Col. Elverson denied the stories that had circulated about the boys receiving poor food and complimented the men of the regiment for their splendid morale in teh face of the hardships which they had to face.

Major Gen. Guglielmotti will go to Camp Sherman when the regiment is mustered out to do them the honors for the Italian Government.

Lieut. Floyd Miller of Springfield, O., who is in command of F. company in which most of the New Castle boys who arrived yesterday belong, complimented the local boys in his outfit and said they were there at all times.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Apr 16, 1919


Read more about the 332nd Infantry:

Title: In Italy with the 332nd Infantry
Author: Joseph L. Lettau
Publisher: J.L. Lettau, 1921 (Google book LINK)