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THE 88th DIVISION

WORLD WAR of 1914 - 1918

Following the passage of the Selective Service Act and the registration of approximately 10,000,000 men on June 5, 1917, the problem of housing had been solved, but only on paper. The War Department called for sixteen National Army cantonments having a capacity of roughly 40,000 men each, grounds for drill, maneuvers and target ranges which would be adequate for the traing needs of such an encampment.

A single track electric railway ran between Des Moines and Perry, Iowa, inadequate for heavy freight traffic and geared more for civilian passengers.

By November 24th the buildings that were authorized for Camp Dodge were completed, which included a base hospital with two officers' quarters, 129 individual heating plants, a 131,052 foot-long sewer system, water mains 170,355 feet-long, pumping stations, and a million-gallon water reservoir. The Civic Center, centrally located in the camp, was erected with the purpose of attending to the welfare of the soldiers, containing theatre with the seating capacity of 3,000. Within this complex was a Y.M.C.A., a hostess house, a Lutheran Brotherhood building, a Knights of Columbus auditorium, and a library which was erected by the American Library Association.

In compliance with the War Department's order, the 88th Division commenced on August 25, 1917, with Major General Edward H. PLUMMER assuming command.

Major General PLUMMER was directed to organize the 88th as follows:

Division Headquarters

Headquarters Troop

337th Machine Gun Battalion, Maj. Wm. J. O'LOUGHLIN

175th Infantry Brigade, Bri. Gen Charles C. BALLOU (never joined the brigade)

349th Infantry, Maj. Peter J. HENNESSEY, Col. George E. HOULE, Lt. Col. John J. RYAN
MOTTO: "Liberty & Rights"   Campaign Credit: Alsace, France

350th Infantry, Maj. Horace N. MUNRO, Lt. Col. Rush S. WELLS
MOTTO: "Fidelity & Service"   Campagin Credit: Alsace, France

338th Machine Gun Battalion, Maj. George R. SOMERVILLE

176th Infantry Brigade, Brig. Gen Wm. D. BEACH

351st Infantry, Maj. R. B. ELLIS, Lt. Col. James F. McKINLEY
MOTTO: "Toujours Pret" (Always Ready)   Campagin Credit: Alsace, France

352D Infantry, Maj. Henry A. MEYER, Col. Clyde E. HAWKINS

339th Machine Gun Battalion, Maj. Thos. H. CUNNINGHAM

163D Field Artillery Brigade, Brig. Gen. Stephen M. FOOTE

337th Field Artillery, Col. George R. GREENE
MOTTO: "Cedo nulil" (I Yield to None)   Campagin Credit: Steamer without inscription

338th Field Artillery, Lt. Col Francis W. HONEYCUTT
MOTTO: "Deo et Patria" (God & Country)   Campagin Credit: Steamer without inscription

339th Field Artillery, Col. Samuel C. VESTAL
MOTTO: "Expugnare" (To Conquer)   Campagin Credit: Steamer without inscription

313th Trench Mortar Battery

313th Engineers, Lt. Col. Robert P. HOWELL

313th Train Headquarters & Military Police

313th Ammunition Train, Lt. Co. Robert R. WALLACH
MOTTO: "Haec Manus ob Partiam" (This Hand for my Country)   Campagin Credit: Alsace, France

313th Supply Train, Co. James P. HARBESON (division trains)

313th Sanitary Train

163D Depot Brigade, Brig. Gen. Robert N. GETTY, Brig. Gen. Harrison J. PRICE, Col. Girard STURTEVANT

Al incoming drafted men came through the Depot Brigade before being permanently assigned to the division. Here, as applicable, the men saw specialists such as chemists, psychologists, doctors, and so on. The Depot Brigade also took care of men physically unfit for combatant branches of the service prior the discharge.

The Division had been organized by September 5, 1917, almost complete in officers but without enlisted personnel. On September 5th the first drafted men began to arrive at Camp Dodge, coming from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and central Illinois. They came without any concept of military life.

Initial training focused on physical drill.

On July 22, 1918, the War Department sent a telegram containing instruction for the movement of the Division to the Port of Embarkation. Two detachments left Camp Dodge on the night of July 28, headed for Camp Upton locted at Long Island, New york. On August 3rd, the Advance School Detachment sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving at Brest on August 11th, and from there proceeded to Chatillion-sur-Seine, site of the 3d Corps School. The Advance Detachment and Billeting Party sailed about the Cunard Liner "Aquitania" on August 6th, arriving in Liverpool, England on August 12th. After a four days rest, they landed at Cherbourg, France on August 16th, and proceeded to Semur, Cote d'Or where they established their headquarters.

The 349th Infanty sailed on the White Star Liner "Olympic" on August 9th, arriving at Southampton England on August 16th, then proceeding on to Le Havre.

The Regiment Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the 1st Battalion, Medical Department, and the 350th Machine Gun Company and 350th Supply Companysailed aboard the H.M.S. "Delta" on August 11th, arriving at Tilbury- on-Thames August 25th, and Cherbourg on August 29th. On August 15th, the 1st Batllion Headquarters, Company M of the Supply Company, the Medical Detachment of the 352D Infantry, and the 337th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from New York aboard the "Ascanius" of the Blue Funnel Line, arriving at Liverpool on August 28th, and at Cherborg on September 1st.

The 339th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from Philadelphia on August 14th aboard the Blue Funnel Line "Phens", arriving in Liverpool on August 27th, and at Le Havre on August 30th.

On August 15th, the 3D Battalion and Company G of the 350th Infantry, and the 338th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from Hoboken aboard the H.M.S. "Kashmir." The remainder of the 350th Infantry sailed the same day aboard the "Messanabie." The "Messanabie" and H.M.S. "Kasmir" arrived at Liverpoor on August 28th, and arrived at Cherbourg on September 1st.

The U.S.S. "Ulysses" sailed in a convoy with "Ascanius" from Philadelphia with the 2nd Battalion and the the 3D Battalion of the 351st Infantry [minus Co. M of the 352D Infantry], landing at Liverpool on August 28th and on to Le Havre on August 30. Company M of the 352D Infantry sailed from Philadelphia aboard the "City of Exeter" on August 14th, arriving in Manchester, England on the 29th and then at Le Havre August 31st.

The remainder of the 88th Division embarked as follows:

The remainder of the 351st Infantry sailed aboard the "Saxon" and the "Scotian", arriving at Liverpool August 28th, then proceeded on to Cherborg. The 313th Ammuniton Train and the 313 Sanitary Train sailed August 18th aboard the "Vedic", arriving in Liverpool August 31st and at Le Havre September 5th. The 313th Field Signal Battalion saided August 17 aboard H.M.S. "Bohemia", arriving in Liverpool August 31st before proceeding to Le Havre. Division Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment and Headquarters Troop saide from Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, August 21st aboard H.M.S. "Demosthenes" and arrived at Liverpool August 21st and then at Le Havre September 4th. The 313th Supply Train sailed aboard H.M.S. "Empress of Britain" on August 23th, arriving at Liverpool September 4th and at Le Havre on September 7th.

The 163D Field Artillery Brigade and the 313th Trench Mortar Battery arrived in France [date not provided], but those units did not join the 88th in France. The 163D Field Artillery Brigade went into training at Clermont, Ferrand, and Bordeaus, France, destined to never be sent to the front, and returned to the United States soon after the armistice was signed.

The entire front was approximetely 19 kilometers long with "No Man's Lan" ranging in width from a kilometer at some points to less than 300 meters at others. This territory had been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting however both sides had come to a standstill - facing one another and content to maintain a defensive stance by the time of the arrival of the 88th. The German troops were Divisions of the Army Detachment "B" under the command of General V. GUNDELL who maintained headquarters at Colmar, the 30th Bavarian Reserve Division under the command of Lieutenant General BERG, and the 44th Landwehr Divison under the command of General D. Inf. KRAUSE.

When the 88th arrived, the entire sector was traversed with abandoned trenches partially filled with water, caved-in revetments, and a labyrinth of barbed wire. No Man's Land was a maze of shell holes and old fortifications, overgrown with brush and weeds. Upon their arrival, the entire 313th Engineer Regiment went to work rehabiliting and strengthening the essential parts of the trench system. The infantry cleaned up the sector and made the dugouts and trenches habitable.

The first casualties in action occurred during the night of October 12th-13th when the Germans launched a raid on the 2D Batallion of the 350th Infantry. During the attack, Captain Peter V. BRETHORST, Sergenat J. A. HORA, Privates Fred G. EKSTROM and Clinton F. LESAN of Company F; Privates Willie LEROY, Fred R. CRESWELL, and Pat MORRIS of Company G were fatally wounded when they were struck by sharpnel. Eight enlisted men along with Captain Henry A. HOUSE of Company E and Captain Orren E. SAFFORD of Company G were captured in No Man's Land. Approximately eighteen Americans and three Frenchmen were wounded.

On October 18th the Germans attempted a raid on the 351st Infantry stationed in Schnoholz Woods, located on a steep hill. The German raid was completely repulsed within twenty minutes. During this action Private Edgar L. McCORD of Company I was killed at his post, and Private Harley MILLER, also of Company I, was wounded.

The 88th was retired from front line duty in November. The morale of the troops was excellent, and their fighting ability had been amply demonstrated in four raids against the enemy.

The Armistice went into effect at 11 o'clock on November 11th, 1918. The 88th Division was demoblized in June of 1919, Camp Dodge.

SOLDIER'S NAME RANK BIRTH & DEATH COMMENTS
349th INFANTRY COMPANY H    
ANDERSON, John Private   Mount Ayr IA
349th INFANTRY COMPANY M    
WOODS, Harry F. Private   Mount Ayr IA
351st INFANTRY HEADQUARTERS COMPANY    
ANDERSON, Carl Private   Residence:
Mount Ayr IA
351st INFANTRY COMPANY B
Baker Company
   
WARRIOR,
Allen Kills
Private 1st Class b. 1898, Oglala SD
suffered lung damage from mustard gas attack on battlefield
d. Jul 1952
interred Oglala SD
351st SUPPLY COMPANY      
BUNNER, Captain
Charles Oscar
Captain 01 Feb 1873, IN
06 Dec 1952
Leesburg FL
Residence:
Evansville IN
STUCK, John M. Private   Residence:
Mount Ayr IA
TREICHLER, Cyril H. Private 28 Feb 1890
03 Oct 1972
Oliver Cemetery
Ellston IA
Residence:
Kellerton IA
MACHINE GUN COMPANY COMPANY A    
BAYLESS, Earl Private
1st Class
Seattle WA Residence:
Kellerton IA
LEO, Bryan M. Private
1st Class
  Residence:
Diagonal IA
RUSK, Earl H. Corporal 23 Dec 1896
08 Nov 1956
Rose Hill Cemetery
Mount Ayr IA
Residence:
Mount Ayr IA
WILLY, Capt.
Walter M.
    Residence:
Flandreaus SD
351st INFANTRY COMPANY E    
BAKER, Harold D. Cook 14 Mar 1896
24 Jun 1981
St. Paul's Cemetery
Crawford Co. IA
Residence:
Knowlton IA
BALL, Carl V. Private 1893-1952
Tingley Cemetery
Residence:
RFD 4 Diagonal IA
BALLARD, Lee E. Private died in Colorado? Residence:
Mount Ayr IA
BLACK, Glen J. Private
1st Class
  Residence:
Diagonal IA
BORRUSCH, Clyde William Private 36 May 1890
30 Jul 1989Tingley Cemetery
Residence:
Tingley IA
BURCH, Hiram Adelbert Private 26 Jan 1896
12 Sep 1989
Graceland Cemetery
Creston IA
Residence:
Diagonal IA
COFFEY, Alva John Corporal 1891-1976
Greenwood Cemetery
Bend OR
Residence:
Knowlton IA
HALL, Roy R. Private   Residence:
Kellerton IA
HAYES, Grant L. Bd Sgt   Residence:
Mount Ayr IA
HUGGINS, Asa W. Private
1st Class
1891-1976
Rose Hill Cemetery
Mount Ayr IA
Residence:
Mount Ayr IA
HUNT, Raymond R. Private
1st Class
  Residence:
Beaconsfield IA
JACOBS, William M. Private   Residence:
Mount Ayr IA
MICHAEL, Ennis Private   Residence:
Kellerton IA
MILLIKIN, Jesse Joshua Private 18 Jul 1891
24 Nov 1958
Golden Gate National Cemetery
San Bruno CA
Residence:
Diagonal IA
MURPHY, Fred Private 02 Sep 1892
30 Jan 1955
Oakland Cemetery
Ringgold Co. IA
Residence:
Diagonal IA
SCOTT, Charles T. Private
1st Class
22 Feb 1896
04 Jun 1982
Benton Cemetery
Ringgold Co. IA
Residence:
Benton IA
STEPHENS, Thomas J. Private   Residence:
Benton IA
TICKNOR, James L. Private 30 Dec 1888
27 Jun 1962
Union Cemetery
Diagonal IA
Residence:
Knowlton IA
MACHINE GUN COMPANY COMPANY F    
NEWTON, Alvin O. Private 1895-1979
Maple Row Cemetery
Kellerton IA
Residence:
Kellerton IA
313RD ENGINEER REGIMENT COMPANY D    
KING, Merrill Stahl Sergeant
1st Class
18 May 1893
04 Jul 1968
Bethel Cemetery
Diagonal IA
Residence:
Mount Ayr IA
313RD FIELD SIGNAL BATTALION COMPANY A    
TILLOTSON,
Albert M.
Corporal   Residence:
Tingley IA
313RD AMMUNITION TRAIN COMPANY E    
PAYTON, Lewis L. Sergeant   Residence:
Kellerton IA
313RD SUPPLY TRAIN COMPANY B    
FRAZEE, Herman Private 1898
21 May 1935
Graceland Cemetery
Creston IA
Knowlton, IA

 

An 88th Division Cemetery, Alsace, France

SOURCE:  Official History of The 88th Division in the World War of 1914-1918. Pp. 27-29, 35-37, 41-42, 49-50, 162-67, 171-73. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co. New York. 1919

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2009

For more information about Iowa and Iowans during World War I, visit Iowa In The Great War, a special project of IAGenWeb.

 


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