Oliver Reiley

and parts of the Rainbow Division

Aboard the President Grant

18 September 1917

~ contributed by Bill Reiley <wsr@majornet.com>

On September 18, 1917, Oliver Reiley (father of contributor Bill Reiley) and parts of the Rainbow Division were taken to Hoboken, N.J. and put aboard a confiscated German freighter, renamed the President Grant. It had been prepared as a troop ship by placing bunks in the cargo holds.  It was estimated that about 20% of her crew had prior sea duty.  The troops were fed only twice a day to space problems and water sometimes had to be purchased. Much of their spare time was spent in lifeboat drills.  A few days out they had a Measles outbreak and this along with the other obvious problems forced them to turn back arriving back in New York on September 28th.

Abandon Ship Drill on the Grant

Note: This photo came from the The Story of the 168th Infantry, Vol. 1 by John H. Taber, published in Iowa City, IA. 1925, by The State Historical Society of Iowa.)