Born April 8, 1887, in Paris, France. Son of Count and Countess Balbiani. Joined American Field Service, October 22, 1914; attached Section One. Commandant Adjoint, April 18, 1915, to December 10, 1915. Enlisted French Aviation, 1916. Trained Plessis-Belleville. Attached Escadrille Gaumont. Killed at Tours, May 21, 1918. Croix de Guerre, two stars and a palm. Buried at Paris, Seine.
ROGER BALBIANI was born in Paris some thirty years ago, and educated at a public school in England and on the continent. Coupled with his unusually genial nature was a certain savoir faire which made him at home in any gathering. He had in addition a care-free, joyous disposition that enabled him to be happy and gay, however trying the circumstances.
"Balbi's" history is that of Section One in the early days of 1914 and 1915: Merville and the British, then Dunkirk, finally the terrible days of the first gas attacks at Elverdinghe, at Popperinghe, and along the Yser. When it was all over an army citation and "Croix" came to "Balbi" as leader of the Section. It was quite typical of his generous nature that later on he tried every means of having his Cross transferred to another man.
After a year with the Field Service, Balbiani achieved his heart's desire, being admitted to the French aviation service. His dash and coolness made him an accomplished pursuit pilot. In 1917 he was sent back to an American flying center, where, he made many loyal friends, but was killed soon after in an accident.
The following are some of Henry Sydnor Harrison's impressions of the man:
"'Seniority' does not always bring the best to the top, but when Balbiani succeeded to the leadership of Section One, I think nobody doubted that the mantle had fallen where it rightfully belonged. His unusual education was of course an advantage: in his contact with the French officers, our superiors, "Balbi" was himself, in every essential, a fine French officer. As to speech alone, I am positive that he was more at home with French than many Frenchmen. It amused him to note the surprised looks of pedestrians to whom he, from his car, shouted some necessary warning or bit of casual repartee. They could not understand how such racy argot came to be issuing from the lips of an American chauffeur. But the gift for leadership in him was beyond these chance accomplishments. "Balbi" was blessed with the power of a personality at once decisive and humanly charming and persuasive. When need was, he could rule like another by the elementary method of the high hand, but his nature expressed itself most willingly through the kinder ---and with him no less effective--- means of suggestion. He abounded in tact and 'sweet reasonableness'; deeper than that, he was instinctively understanding, he had sensibilities of the heart.
"On our first excited day behind Ypres, some one was needed for a trivial duty at the gare of Popperinghe. The writer, a newcomer, was plainly indicated for the inglorious post, but when the chef came to break the unwelcome news to me, I remember that he was as reluctant and gentle as if my disappointment were his own. In fact, this young man had the gentleness which so often stirs the springs of a brave soul, and which, I am inclined to think, is the most endearing of the qualities possessed by the sons of men.
"Like many considerate and intuitive persons, 'Balbi' had also the continuing grace of humor. He loved to take and give a joke; he had himself a subtle wit and I always think of him as merry, and the memory now cannot separate him from his quick and understanding laugh. So he maintained under every circumstance, however difficult, that bearing of 'light humorous courage' which, in respect to a man's address and the manner of his attack upon life, is perhaps the last word of personal distinction.
"He saw me off at the Dunkirk station, the day I left the Service. We spoke and passed, and our courses did not recross; but I have not forgotten his gay hail. Ardent and debonair, he gladly lived, and it can not be doubted that when his 'black minute' came, he met it as freely and laid him down with a will."
Born January 7, 1897, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Son of Professor Walter H. and Esther Connor Nichols. Home, Palo Alto, California. Educated Monrovia and Pasadena schools, and Leland Stanford University, Class of 1919. Joined American Field Service, February 14, 1917; attached Section Fourteen until July 23, 1917. Enlisted French Aviation: trained Avord, Tours, Pau, Plessis- Belleville. Attached Spad Escadrille 85, Sergent. Croix de Guerre, two army citations. Wounded June 1, 1918, in action near Compiègne. Died of wounds, June 2, 1918, hospital, Compiègne. Buried with military honors, Royallieu, Oise. Body transferred to American Cemetery near Ploisy, Aisne.
IT is not the individual that counts, but the cause for which he labors. So Alan Nichols of Palo Alto believed. Though but a boy in years he has left a record stimulating to all who came to know it. He distinguished himself as a soldier, and will always be remembered by his friends for his modest and utterly selfless attitude toward life.
When Alan Nichols enlisted as a volunteer in the first Stanford ambulance unit, the town in which he had lived was decidedly "pacifist" in its viewpoint. The editor of the local daily, reading one of Nichols' letters, asked that he might publish it and others as a patriotic duty. Alan greatly disliked the publicity, but a reluctant consent was granted, and the letters became the feature of the local paper. Thus young Nichols was partly responsible for swinging the locality into close sympathy with the Allies in the hitherto remote war.
Perhaps the feature most striking about Nichols' letters is his impersonal attitude. He seems to sense the insignificance of the individual in such a war --- except his responsibility to other millions. This sounds the keynote of his character, which was sustained during his whole career as a soldier.
Nichols went to France in the February of 1917, with Section Fourteen, recruited at Stanford, his university. After serving almost six months he enlisted in the French air service. He received his preliminary training at Avord, Tours, and Pau, went to Plessis-Belleville, and finally was assigned to chasse flying at the front. After a time, he was sent back to Plessis-Belleville to learn the operation of the new Spad. During the German advance of 1918, Nichols saw continuous combat service over the lines.
One morning early in June, Nichols was wounded while fighting off several German planes which had attacked him simultaneously. Though handling his machine so adroitly that but one bullet hit him, he was wounded in a vital spot. However, he landed his machine within the French lines behind Compiègne and was rushed to a hospital. It was nine hours before he could be placed on the operating table, "owing to the unavoidable confusion attendant upon the German smash," his father says, "A Red Cross man who happened to be there writes us that the boy was game to the last and smilingly thanked the nurse for her kindness as he died."
He was buried with full military honors in the army cemetery at Royallieu. Two French citations were awarded Nichols for his valor; a Croix de Guerre with two palms, representing the two German planes officially credited to him. He was recommended for the Médaille Militaire, but did not receive it, inasmuch as this honor is conferred only upon the living.
A trait that made Nichols an ideal soldier is revealed in a letter after an air battle when he wrote, "Looking back over the day's action, I decided that I was too hasty, too excited, and too wild. I determined to take my time and be sure the next time."
One of Nichols' citations characterized him as "An American citizen who is serving with the French Army for the duration of the war, an energetic pilot, brave, high spirited, a model of calmness and devotion to duty. Very grievously wounded while attacking an enemy plane, he nevertheless retained sufficient coolness and presence of mind to bring his machine back to our lines."
Nichols was a youth of strongly appealing appearance and personality, and after his death, a chum wrote, "And this is the price that we must pay to beat the Hun --- Alan Nichols. A finer, cleaner-lived boy I never knew."
Born September 30, 1898, in Colchester, Connecticut. Son of Guy M. and Mary MacDonald Bigelow. Educated Colchester public schools, Miller Commercial School, New York, and Morse Business College, Hartford. Private secretary in Hartford, later with Stenotype Company, and shorthand court and public reporter, Boston. Joined American Field Service, March 12, 1917; attached Section Seventeen until August 30, 1917. Entered U. S. Aviation; First Lieutenant. Killed in aeroplane accident, near Paris, June 3, 1918. Buried American Cemetery, Suresnes, Seine. Body to be transferred to Linwood Cemetery, Colchester, Connecticut.
HE had the makings of an 'Ace' in him and would have been a top-notcher " Lieutenant Estey, 99th Aero Squadron, wrote of Donald Asa Bigelow. And he would have been a "top-notcher " in his later life as well as flying had he not died in service abroad. Business associates were alive to his abilities. "Anything he attempts will be done in a creditable manner," wrote one, and another, "He was very exceptionally daring and successful in his undertakings." He had made a remarkable success at school, the principal of his business college remarking "Don" as "without exception the smartest and youngest boy who ever graduated from the school." He was succeeding admirably in business as a reporter in Boston until he heard the call to war service. In the Field Service he was no less successful in winning the admiration and regard of his fellows for his quiet dependability and courage. Then one of his comrades in aviation says, " Don was acknowledged one of our finest pilots," and, continuing, "he lived nineteen years, nineteen years of effort, accomplishment, and brightest success. Now he has attained that highest success, beyond which man can not aspire."
Bigelow, the youngest of four brothers, was recalled by one of them as quiet and industrious even when a boy. He loved to hunt and fish, spending much of his life out of doors, and he entered into the gypsy life of the ambulancier as zestfully as he had into his sports. " Don was always writing of the sunny side of the war and not much about what he was doing," says Dennis Bigelow, while Cecil, another brother, writes that "he always wrote very cheerful letters and seemed to be enjoying his experiences," the details of which never appeared in his letters.
He was eager for service, writing in May, 1917, from semi-repos, "Now that we are so near and yet so far, all the fellows are crying for action" --- his cry no less than theirs. The action came. During the summer months, when attack and counter-attack at last, in August, won Mort Homme and Hill 304 for the French, "Big" worked unobtrusively and faithfully, gladly bearing always a little more than his share. When American troops appeared, Don felt that "with Old Glory in the fight, his and every other Yankee's place was fighting beneath her stars and stripes." So he entered aviation.
Richard Varnum of Section 10, who died recently in France, an aviator, and one of his closest friends, said Don was "expert in all the essential acrobatics," and another aviator mentions his "excellent judgment." Don himself said, while training near Paris, shortly before his death, "It is all a big game. I am going out there to fight, and if I am not good enough or am unlucky, I may get 'biffed off'!"
Lieutenant Bigelow, having trained with fast chasse planes, on June 3, 1918, took up an old Sopwith to test its wireless. He attempted to "zoom up" in his customary speedy climb, the heavier machine side-slipped, and he crashed. Bigelow was taken to a Paris hospital, but never recovered consciousness, and died before they could operate. Surrounded by comrades, he was buried with military honors in the hillside cemetery near Paris.
"I do not know much as to the circumstances of his death," a friend wrote, "but a thousand good fellows can testify how well he lived." Those who knew "Don" join wholeheartedly with the brother who said, " . . .It is hard, but we are mighty proud of First Lieutenant Donald Asa Bigelow."
Born November 1, 1891, in Wilmington, North Carolina. Son of Leopold and Johanna Bluethenthal. Educated Phillips Academy, Exeter, and Princeton University, Class of 1913. Business, Tobacco Products Corporation, New York. Joined American Field Service, May 6, 1916; attached Section Three, France and Balkans, until May 11, 1917. Croix de Guerre for conspicuous bravery around Verdun. Enlisted French Aviation, June 7, 1917. Trained Avord and Pau. Breveted September 22, 1917. Leave in America. Attached observation groupe, Escadrille Bréguet 227, March 17, 1918, Sergent. Killed in combat over the lines, near Maignelay, June 5, 1918, region of Amiens. Croix de Guerre with palm. Buried Esquennoy, Oise, north of Breteuil. Body transferred to Wilmington, North Carolina.
WHEN Arthur Bluethenthal joined the Field Service in May, 1916, he could not sign up for the full six months because he had a contract to coach the Princeton football team that fall. So it was arranged with the French authorities to reduce slightly in his case the period of enlistment. But, when the time came for him to return to America, it was his own deliberate choice to obtain a release from his engagements at home and to continue the career which was to lead, from honor to honor and without one regret or looking back, to his death, two years later, in aerial combat above the German lines.
In the fall of 1916 the Field Service was expanding rapidly and "Bluie," as we called him, had come to the fore as a leader. He was the sort of man to whom others instinctively looked for guidance and the sort of man who radiated a spirit of ready and cheerful co-operation, qualities which were of great value, when every liner brought scores of new and undisciplined recruits from America and when the Service was extending its work to Northern Greece and Albania.
"My life does not belong to me now," he wrote on one occasion to a friend in America. "It belongs to France, to the Allies, to the cause to which I have pledged it. And, if I should never come back, I do not want you to feel badly. I am glad I have had a chance to live in times like these and to do my bit for the future of the world. . . . . At home it was a holiday all the time. Here it is the stern facts of life and death. And it is hard to explain the way we feel about it all, especially about France, we who have volunteered to fight for her."
When America entered the war, "Bluie" was serving with Section Three in the Balkans. Returning with his Section to France in May, 1917, he enlisted at once in the Foreign Legion, from which he was transferred to the Air Service. He received his preliminary training at Avord and later instruction at Pau.
After a four weeks' leave, which he spent with his parents in Wilmington, North Carolina, he joined an observation group at the front. In this work he at once made his mark. "You remember," wrote a friend, "Bluie's easy-going, complacent confidence in football days? Well, it is still a part of him when we fly over the German lines. He gets in his plane and goes up and does his work just as calmly as he sits down to breakfast. That sort of nerve helps us all, the old flyers as well as the new."
Towards the end of May, 1918, he was transferred from the French service to the American Naval Aviation. But he refused to leave his comrades while they were engaged in the desperate aerial fighting, which marked the second of the great German drives in 1918. This gallant act was recorded in official dispatches and endeared him to his comrades in a way that only an airman who has flown at the front through an attack can fully appreciate. It was a fateful decision for "Bluie," for his life ended in this battle. He was killed "while directing distant artillery fire" on June 5th and buried with all military honors by his comrades in the cemetery at Esquennoy, near Breteuil, in the Amiens sector."
He was cited posthumously in Army orders. A palm was also added to his Croix de Guerre. And, when news of his death reached Wilmington, where a host of friends had followed his career with increasing pride since first he went away to college, all business houses closed for an hour, all flags were flown at half mast, and a very impressive memorial service was held by the citizens in the Opera House.
"Let us pause a moment," read the proclamation of the mayor, "and do honor to one who has died for us, died in the full strength of young manhood, died in the conflict of battle, and dying has emphasized the creed of the soldier --- better a grave in France than citizenship in a dishonored country."
Born January 31, 1887, in Concord Junction, Massachusetts. Son of Kenneth T. and Adelaide H. MacKenzie. Educated Concord schools. Business, Hood Rubber Company, Stanley Automobile Company, and for himself. Joined American Field Service, November 11, 1916; attached Sections Ten, in Balkans, and Two, in France. Enlisted U. S. Army Ambulance Service, September 26, 1917; attached Section 626. Died in Beauvais, June 14, 1918, of wounds received in action near Montdidier, June 12th. Croix de Guerre, with palm. Buried in Beauvais, Oise. Body transferred to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.
GORDON KENNETH MACKENZIE, of Sections Ten and Two, was one of those genial, adaptable, and utterly unselfish fellows who made the day seem bright, no matter how damp and cold and dark the dugout. "Mac," by reason of his unaffected cheerfulness, was always the life of a section.
Several months before America entered the war, "Mac" joined the ambulance service. The second "Salonica" expedition, Section Ten, was being organized, and he volunteered for service in the Balkans. Once there, his resourcefulness was ever taxed to keep the Section in high spirits in face of the never ending downpour of rain and difficulties besetting the unit. "Mac" made board walks between the tents to keep the Section above the pools of water. He erected a fence and dried the blankets when the sun came out occasionally. From an old gasoline can he made a stove; another he converted into a shower bath. He elected himself Section barber. En route he organized an orchestra, that talent should not perish for want of practice, he himself playing alternately the flute and the saxophone.
"Mac's" unit served six months in Albania, after which he was transferred to France. He joined Section Two, then stationed in the Verdun sector in the thick of the fighting. With this Section, which afterwards was Section 626, U. S. A. A. S., he served for nearly a year in Lorraine, on the Aisne, and on the Oise. In June, 1918, the 48th Zouaves, to which the Section was attached, was thrown into the counter offensive near Montdidier. The toll of wounded was frightful and the ambulances were worked exhaustingly long hours. On June 12th "Mac" was in a hospital courtyard at Neufvy waiting for his car to be loaded, and meantime feeding some wounded Frenchmen. Without warning an obus dropped, exploded, and blew an ambulance to pieces, killing several Frenchmen and wounding MacKenzie.
Though the wound was not fatal in itself, blood poisoning set in, and "Mac's" life slipped away on June 14, 1918, in the Hospital at Beauvais. The nurses who attended him wrote of his patience and endurance, of his consideration for others in the ward, and of the fineness of character revealed even in his weakness.
Everywhere he was a favorite. Learning of his death, a friend in another section wrote, "A man from 'Mac's' section came into the hospital to see me and told me of his death. He said that the unit would lose fifty per cent of its morale by his going. It was 'Mac,' he said, who faced the music always, encouraged the others, and made light of every trouble."
MacKenzie's character is revealed unconsciously in his own letters. This extract, for instance,. written from Albania, where "Mac's" heart strings were jerked by the misery of Albanian natives, usually overlooked by soldiers. "Mac" wrote, "One case especially is that of the 'Little Mother,' as I call her. This little mite of a girl, no bigger than a pint of cider, always comes around with a tiny fourteen months' old babe in her arms. She sits on the stone walk very patiently, waiting for our meal to end to see if she can scare up a stray piece of bread.
"The first time I spotted her I sneaked back and pinched a large piece for her and also prevailed on the cook to give her a pail of left-over soup. I carried the soup for her as far as the main street. Then she took it in one hand, with the babe in the other arm, and toddled out of sight. It's the same old story with me. I just had to sneak around the corner and pull out my dirty handkerchief to wipe a few tears that began to run down my cheeks., I'm certainly a hell of a soldier. I stopped at a little store and bought a little dress that I'm going to give her. I couldn't find anything small enough for the thin little baby, but I'll try again."
FRANK LEAMAN BAYLIES
Born September 23, 1895 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Son of Ex Lieutenant Charles S. Baylies, U. S. A., and Lydia T. Baylies. Educated New Bedford schools and Moses Brown School, Providence, Rhode Island. Business with father as salesman. Joined American Field Service, February 26, 1916 ; attached Section One, later Section Three in Balkans, October, 1916, to May 11, 1917. Croix de Guerre. Enlisted French Aviation, May 21, 1917. Trained Avord, Pau, Cazeaux. Breveted September 20, 1917 Attached Stork Escadrille, Spad 3, December 18, 1917. Promoted successively to Corporal, Sergeant, and proposed for Second Lieutenant. Offered commission in U. S. Aviation as Second Lieutenant, May 13, 1918. Twelve official victories. Légion d' Honneur, Croix de Guerre, seven palms, Médaille Militaire, Aero Club of America's Medal. Killed in action over the German lines, June 17, 1918, near Rollot, Oise, southeast of Montdidier. Buried Courcelles-Epayelles, Oise.
"PILOT BAYLIES killed. Was buried with honors befitting hero," was the message dropped over the French lines by a German plane.
Frank Leaman Baylies, the American "ace of aces," when he was brought down in flames over the German lines between Crèvecoeur and Lassigny in June, 1918, began his war career and won his first decorations with the Field Service. He joined Section One in February, 1916, and, after serving with distinction on the Somme and in the battle of Verdun on the French front, he was one of the men selected to go with Section Three in October, 1916, when it was offered the opportunity of serving with the French Army in the Balkans.
"To know Baylies was to like him," Paul Rockwell cabled the Chicago Daily News when his death was confirmed. "His outstanding qualities were those which real heroes possess. He was quiet, modest, and reticent on the ground. He was dashing, fearless, and indomitable in the air."
Baylies destroyed his first German aeroplane in February, 1918. Five months later, when he departed on his last mission, he had twelve official and five unofficial victories to his credit. No pilot in any army rose more quickly or deservedly to fame. "Baylies seems to add to the daring of a Guynemer the precision of a Dorme. He is a great ace who does honor to America and is a worthy rival of our most famous champions," wrote the aviation expert of Le Petit Journal when the young American's name began to appear almost daily in the communiqués.
Baylies enlisted in the French aviation corps when he returned with Section Three from the Balkans in May, 1917. He received his training in the schools of Avord, Pau, and Cazeaux, where his record foreshadowed his later victories and caused him to be selected for service at the front with the celebrated "Escadrille Cigogne," the squadron which Guynemer commanded until his death, and which included among its members many of the most noted flyers in the French army.
No one was allowed to wear the insignia of this famous squadron until he had brought down three German planes. Baylies lost no time in doing this. From the first his comrades spoke of him as a tireless flyer, who, in addition to his regular patrol work, spent many hours prowling the skies alone in search of aerial duels. "Baylies' fighting tactics," wrote a friend, "were extremely simple. When he saw enemy aeroplanes he immediately attacked regardless of the odds against him or the distance within the enemy lines."
But his was not the reckless fearlessness of a man who did not realize the risk he ran. The testimony of all of his comrades is that his daring was the well-considered , open-eyed courage of a remarkable flyer who counted the cost but never hesitated. In his many aerial duels his plane was not once struck by an opponent's bullet, although, when he first reached the front, he was brought down between the German and French lines by machine gun fire from the ground.
Baylies was awarded the Légion d'Honneur, the Médaille Militaire, and the Croix de Guerre with seven palms. The city of his birth has named a square after him with solemn services. He has a high place in all that has been written about the war in the air and those intrepid airmen "who took their toll" and then made the great sacrifice. Those who mourn him are consoled by the knowledge that he belongs to the noble company which will be remembered in two countries so long as there is any interest in the World War and any reverence for its heroes.
Born October 26, 1892, in Denison, Texas. Son of E. T. and Lilv Bacon Hathaway. Educated Denison and Oklahoma City schools, and New Mexico and Virginia Military Institutes. In business with Southwestern General Electric and Texas Companies, Houston, Texas. Joined American Field Service, March 12, 1917; attached Section Seventeen, to July 7, 1917, as Sous-Chef. Entered U. S. Aviation. Trained Tours. Breveted November 3, 1917. Commissioned First Lieutenant, December 3, 1917. Attached 90th Aero Squadron. Flight Commander. Killed in aeroplane accident, June 25, 1918. Buried at Base Hospital Number One, near Toul. Body transferred to American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, Meurthe-et-Moselle. Ultimately to be transferred to Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.
The French came during the War to recognize, admire, and love as truly American that tall, broad-shouldered, smooth-chinned, slow of speech and quiet type of which Edward Trafton Hathaway was a perfect example.
His splendid build and the sturdiness of character that went with it served him well at New Mexico and Virginia Military Institutes, where he played football for three years. There he was "rated a good athlete and a good student." Colonel Wise, then Commandant of Cadets at the Virginia school, regarded him "as a most efficient soldier . . . . . of fine qualities and bearing."
In 1913 he entered the Southwestern General Electric and subsequently joined the Texas Company of Houston, which he left to go to France.
As Sous-Chef in the field near Verdun, "Hath" was cordially liked by the fellows in Section Seventeen, and was a chum rather than their officer. He perhaps failed to observe the necessary formalities which keep a leader a little apart from the recreations of his men and entered too readily into their fun, but in so doing he became more their intimate and sympathetic friend than he otherwise could have.
For a time he had trouble with his ears, and in July left the Section. After treatment in Paris, "Hath" entered aviation, writing home, "The work will be dangerous, but as far as that goes, all the branches are dangerous in this war and I am going to do my part . . . . . I am going to make you proud of me." Training at Tours he wrote, "I'd rather be a private in aviation and pilot a machine than a captain in infantry, but I'm going to get my 'wings' and a First Lieutenancy or know the reason why!" "Hath" secured his brevet from the French, November 3, 1917, and a month later his American "wings" and commission. Until May, 1918, he remained as instructor at Tours then went to the front with the 90th Aero Squadron, where he became a flight commander.
A comrade called him "above all, a man confident and enthusiastic over his work." His enthusiasm is reflected in his own words: "I am in the highest and best branch of the army. In fact, it is going to win the war," and again, "There are going to be 100,000 men slaughtered before Uncle Sam knows what has happened. Then we are going to settle down and conscientiously whip the Boche to a standstill."
In October he had written, "I like flying very much and am just lucky enough to come through the war all right. If I don't, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that your son was among the first to fight for you and America, and was not a slacker." His "luck" stood by him when his plane was destroyed in collision with another and neither pilot injured, also when his motor failed and he made a forced landing in a plowed field, unhurt. On June 25th, in the freshness of the summer morning, starting out on a mission over the lines, as "Hath" climbed, circling above the field, "in some inexplicable manner," as a brother aviator wrote, " the machine became uncontrollable and fell . . . . . Trafton died instantly without pain, and his observer within an hour."
And it may be that, at the last, his "luck " still held to bring that quick, heroic, painless end to the boy-man who had cried so bravely, "I am going to make you proud of me!
Born November 3, 1895, in Worcester, Massachusetts. Son of Wilber W. and Marina Tucker Hobbs. Educated Worcester Classical High School, Worcester Academy, and Dartmouth College, Class of 1919. Joined American Field Service, May 5, 1917; attached Transport Section 526 until June 8, 1917. Enlisted French Aviation, June 10, 1917. Attached Escadrilles N 153 and N 158, December 11, 1917, to March 16, 1918, as Corporal. Entered U. S. Aviation; attached 103d Pursuit Squadron. Killed by antiaircraft fire over the lines near Ypres on June 26, 1918. Buried in British Military Cemetery, Poperinghe, West Flanders, Belgium.
"DON'T worry," wrote Warren Tucker Hobbs, "Flying is the most fascinating game I ever played. It is even better than hurdling." He loved to play the game, this tall, clean-limbed athlete, and, as a brother flyer said, "The qualities which served him on the track made him a fearless and a skilful pilot." By this same skill and courage in combat, Warren won the confidence of all his comrades, to whom from the start "his ready humor and constant desire to help others endeared him mightily." Which helps to explain how bitterly his loss was felt among his fellows, when, within a month of joining the 103d Pursuit Squadron, he was killed, his machine being struck by an anti-aircraft shell and falling inside the British lines. "The news dazed me for days," said a classmate; "He was one of the finest, dearest chaps I have ever known, and the world has lost a real man."
As a schoolboy Warren won great popularity and prominence through his running. Yet, while "one of the greatest hurdlers and high jumpers any preparatory school ever had . . . . . . in everything he showed an engaging modesty." Entering Dartmouth with the Class of 1919, his athletic success waxed greater, but even without it a man of Warren's character must have won hosts of friends. As it was, he became in two years one of the big figures of his college generation, captaining the college track team as a sophomore. He set up a world's record in indoor hurdling in competition with the best runners in collegiate circles, and was frequently referred to as a it one man track team."
But for Warren Hobbs these games, however engrossing, were secondary to the one big game of living and doing one's part in life according to one's ideals. Warren gave up college soon after war was declared and joined a Dartmouth unit of the American Field Service. Even as he went to the front with Transport Section 526 of the Reserve Mallet, he was planning eagerly to transfer to aviation, and inside of a month secured his release from the Field Service. Two days later he enlisted in the French air service. After the regulation training at Avord, Tours, Pau, and Plessis-Belleville, he served with two Spad Escadrilles, N-153 and N-158, until March, 1918, when he was commissioned a First Lieutenant in American Aviation and went to the 103d Pursuit Squadron. Several times he narrowly escaped death or capture. His first accident came as he was returning on January 30, 1918, from patrol over the German lines. His gasoline gave out, he was forced to land in rough ground and his plane turned over, injuring him quite badly. Immediately upon leaving the hospital he returned to his escadrille, only to have another fall. This time fortunately he received hardly a scratch.
In Flanders, southeast of Ypres, his last adventure came to Warren Hobbs. At half past seven in the evening of June 26 he rose from his field alone, attempting to overtake his patrol which had left some minutes earlier. He flew toward the lines, gaining altitude as he went, but, because his engine was not functioning properly, crossed into German territory still quite low. Then the unusual occurred. His machine was struck by a shell. In the words of a flyer: "An angry black puff sprang out close beside the distant plane, which veered and fell flaming in the British lines." There he is buried in the consecrated ground of Flanders.
Warren's own words, written of men he had seen die in action, apply aptly to him who followed them, "Just the same, you can't help thinking what a wonderful way it is to die; and I know there is nothing too good in the world beyond for a man who dies game, fighting for the right."
Born January 17, 1887, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Son of William P. and Hetty Rogers Goodwin Warner. Educated Cambridge and Thatcher schools, California, Noble and Greenough School, Boston, and Harvard University, Class of 1909. In business, Stone and Webster, Boston; farmed at Littleton, Massachusetts; traveled in tropics. Joined American Field Service, June 2, 1917; attached Transport Sections 184 and 133. Enlisted U. S. Army Motor Transport Corps; commissioned Second Lieutenant Q. M. C. Died of pneumonia, June 29, 1918, American Camp Hospital Number 4, at Joinville-le-Pont, Seine. Buried Suresnes, Seine.
"NOBODY ever saw him down on his luck." This a close friend writes of Goodwin Warner, adding, "It was a source of wonder that he was never heard to complain of his misfortune." For in childhood had begun his weary struggle against a severe chronic asthma. It affected his entire career and caused an amount of actual suffering which few of his friends ever realized, because he hid it. Yet through all his life he retained his "very keen sense of humor and an even disposition which allowed him to take things as he found them." Courage and good nature were two of his many fine qualities and although long periods of illness prevented his joining in the life and activities of his friends, "he made hundreds of them."
After two years in California and two winters in the Maine woods, he went to Noble and Greenough School in Boston and entered Harvard in the Class of 1909, with which he graduated. As a sophomore he recovered from a dangerous attack of pneumonia, "largely," writes a friend, "because of the grit and determination which his chronic sickness had developed." After graduating he entered the office of Stone and Webster, Boston, but unable to stand the confinement of office work, he bought a farm in Littleton, Massachusetts, and began raising apples. About a year before the war he sold his orchards and devoted the intervening time chiefly to travel in the tropics, studying natural history. This was his hobby, his interest being most particularly in ornithology, and he was an authority on New England birds.
With the coming of war Goodwin, anxious to get into the service and not waiting for the departure of the regular organizations, sailed independently for France, joined the American Field Service, and in June, 1917, was sent to Transport Section 184 of the Reserve Mallet, where he became Sous-Chef. In October, having graduated from the French Automobile Officers' School at Meaux, he became Commandant Adjoint of T. M. 133. When the American Army took over the Reserve, Goodwin was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and placed in command of Company 360 of the Motor Transport Corps. The Commanding Officer of the American Mission wrote that he "rendered very valuable and efficient service. During the past critical weeks his efforts and enthusiasm were continued and indefatigable, and won for him the deep appreciation of the French and American officers associated with him, and his promotion to the command of a groupe which was announced during his last illness." For a month or more in memory of him this groupe bore his name.
During the spring of 1918 his company was under excessive strain and although he already felt the touch of the influenza epidemic, Goodwin Warner threw himself into the work with every bit of his energy. As a conscientious leader he stayed for days and nights on the road with his men. He fell sick, pneumonia developed rapidly, and on June 26th he was taken to the hospital at Joinville-le-Pont, east of Paris, where he died two days later.
Commandant Mallet spoke thus at the military funeral: "His fellow officers cannot speak too highly of him as a good and trusty friend; his men have always known him as a kind and reliable leader. As for myself, it is my desire to acknowledge before you all the deep debt of gratitude the French Army owes to Lieutenant Warner, who came to serve our country before his own needed him and who has ever since been performing his military duties with such devotion and efficiency. In the name of the Director of the French Automobile Service, in the name of my Reserve, I wish him a last farewell, and address the expression of our deep sympathy to his family and to those who are mourning to-day an affectionate friend, a promising officer, and a perfect gentleman."
Born July 31, 1895, in Glen Falls, New York. Son of Scott DuMont and Sarah Waite Goodwin. Home, Albany, New York. Educated Phillips Academy, Andover; Yale University, Class of 1916; and Harvard Law School, Class of 1919. Plattsburg, 1916, Marksman. Joined American Field Service, June 25, 1917; attached Section Sixty-nine until October 24, 1917. Enlisted U. S. Aviation, November 5; trained Tours, Saint-Maixent, Gondrecourt, and Châteauroux. Commissioned Second Lieutenant, May 15, 1918. Killed in aeroplane accident, Châteauroux, July 15, 1918. Buried American, Cemetery, Châteauroux, Indre. Body transferred to Rural Cemetery, Albany, New York.
"FIRST or last the war will come very close to most of us, and we wouldn't have it otherwise. My greatest horror would be to have to occupy a place of safety. We who can take an active part are fortunate. If anything should happen to me I would call my family foolish if they were n't glad rather than sad that I had done so well."
George Waite Goodwin wrote this from France to cheer and comfort a girl friend who had lost her husband in the war ten days after her marriage, little thinking perhaps the solace it was to be to his family in the event of his own not-distant death. His attitude toward all the perplexing problems of life was like this,---simple, straightforward, and clear-seeing. "Certainly one could hunt through the histories from the beginning and never find a better time to live or better cause to die for." In the light of his own high-minded patriotism it was not difficult for his family to be courageous even when, a month later, there came the news that he had been killed. It happened on the morning of July 15, 1918, at Châteauroux. One of his friends of school and college days, Lieutenant Norman C. Fitts, who was in training with him at the time, describes the accident with the dramatic brevity of aviators: "There is not much to tell of it. A collision at one hundred meters height in which neither he nor the man who ran into him saw the other until too late." He was buried next day with full military honors in the beautiful American Cemetery of Châteauroux.
Goodwin graduated with honors from Andover in 1912, and, after four happy, conscientious years, from Yale. He spent a year at the Harvard Law School, but interrupted his course to enter the American Field Service on June 25, 1917. He was sent out to Section Sixty-nine and spent the summer near Verdun, evacuating wounded from the famous posts of Bras and Vacherauville. In October he enlisted in the American Air Service. Entering immediately upon his period of apprenticeship he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on May 15, 1918, and had advanced so rapidly in training that in the words of Lieutenant Fitts, "he promised to be the first to get through." For his work at the French aviation school of Châteauroux, upon recommendation of the commander, he received the medal of the Ligue Aéronautique de France as one of the most meritorious pupils.
He had a keen, interested way of looking at events and persons, and was often picturesque in expressing what he saw. In one letter written in the Ambulance service he described how he watched the front line in action through holes in the cloth camouflage by the roadside, and compared himself to a small boy peering through a rip in the tent of "a circus of which I could see only enough to whet my curiosity." The charm of his frank, open personality won friends for him everywhere, one of whom wrote, "He could n't help but be popular with us and he was easily that one of us who was best liked by the French officers and instructors at the school." While at a camp near Tours, shortly after he had enlisted in aviation, he tells in his diary of walking home from Tours with the cool evening breeze blowing against his face and the countryside soft and mellow in the twilight, and of thinking out his duty in regard to the war. That night he wrote, "It is quite fixed now in my mind that if ever I return to the front I will go up against the Germans, no matter how many they may be." It was his tragedy, like that of many others, never to have had the opportunity of meeting the enemy face to face, but a circumstance so trivial cannot dim the luster of his courage, nor the glory of his death.
Born October 26, 1897, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Son of John R. and Grace H. Rogers. Educated Grand Rapids High School, Class of 1916. Joined American Field Service, April 1, 1916; attached Section Eight to September 13, 1916. Ill, typhoid. Returned to America, October, 1916. University of Michigan until February, 1917. To New Mexico recuperating from breakdown. Enlisted as Private, U. S. Infantry, July, at Columbus Barracks. K Company, 38th Regiment, Syracuse, New York. Promoted to Corporal, then Sergeant. Reached France, April, 1918. Killed by shell, in action July 15, 1918, near St. Eugène, east of Châeau-Thierry. Buried American Cemetery, Fère-en-Tardenois, Aisne.
RANDOLPH ROGERS was but eighteen years of age and just completing the last year of his high school course when he enlisted in the American Field Service in April, 1916. Yet he did the work of a man with Section Eight on the Champagne and Verdun fronts during the spring and summer of that year. His commanding officer wrote of him: "He was one of the original members of Section Eight . . . . . and the youngest member at that. He was always one who could be relied upon to do the job given him, no matter how difficult, and to go about it quietly and efficiently. He was deeply interested in his work and all that was going on around him. Later he was badly affected by dysentery, but continued his work. He would lie on his cot and steep until his turn came and then always insisted upon taking his place."
While in Paris on a forty-eight hour leave, July 4, 1916, he was found to be suffering from typhoid fever and was cared for in the American Hospital at Neuilly until September. On returning to this country about October first, he entered the University of Michigan, but in February, 1917, his health again broke down and he was sent to New Mexico to recuperate.
It is a noteworthy fact that on his return to Grand Rapids in June he made no effort to secure a commission or an easy berth on this side of the water, although fully realizing from his past experiences what war meant. Instead, as one of his classmates wrote: "He immediately enlisted as a 'buck private,' for he knew where he could do the most good for Uncle Sam." After five weeks at Columbus Barracks he was sent to Syracuse and there assigned to K Company, 38th Infantry, in which organization he served until his death. He was made corporal in November, 1917, and sergeant in April, 1918, soon after his arrival in France with the 3rd Regular Division of Infantry. After training near Chaumont, the regiment was sent to the front on May 30th, serving on the Marne, west of Château-Thierry, until the German retreat.
Randolph was killed by an exploding shell on the morning of July 15, 1918. A fellow sergeant in K Company wrote: "Our company was located near a small village called St. Eugène, in the vicinity of Château-Thierry and about a mile from the Marne River. At exactly midnight of the 14th of July the Germans commenced a terrific artillery fire directed over the entire sector. At daybreak the whole company came from their dugouts, forming a line to meet the Germans who were expected at any moment. I saw your son come down and fall into line about fifty feet from me, but as the shelling was terrific I did not make an effort to speak to him for some time. After I had helped locate the men I called to him, and receiving no answer, crawled over to where he had been, and they said that a shell had just hit him. He died about three hours later."
Randolph Rogers played his part to the end in the great drama. Unusually well built for his age, with fine features and a charming personality, he immediately won the affection of anyone who had the good fortune to be thrown with him. As a proof of this sentiment, the following letter to his father from a comrade is sufficient:
"I assure you that your sorrow is shared by every soldier who knew your son and that his name will ever be mentioned by what few K Company men are left as the model which we wish our sons to follow if they ever have the misfortune to take part in any war . . . . . One of the bravest men who ever wore the uniform of any country. "
Born December 29, 1890, in Philadelphia. Son of John T. and Anne Ralston Graham. Educated Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia, and University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1914. Engineer on Panama Canal, 1913, later with Pennsylvania Railroad. Joined American Field Service, November 17, 1915; attached Section Two until May 17, 1916. Croix de Guerre. Returned to United States. Entered Fort Niagara Training Camp. Commissioned First Lieutenant. To France, September, 1917, with 18th Infantry. Recommended for Captaincy. Killed in action, July 18, 1918, between Cutry and St. Pierre-Aigle, south of Soissons. Buried there, later transferred to American Cemetery at Ploisy. Now buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
LOATHING the war intensely, frankly fatalistic about its outcome for him, Lieutenant John Ralston Graham was yet of the calibre which voluntarily precipitates itself into the most hazardous and hardworking branch of the service, wins a Croix de Guerre and special recognition for individual merit, and dies on the battlefield, leading his men in an attack. War held no glamour for him. As an ambulance driver in 1915-16, in Bois-le-Prêtre, and in the first battle of Verdun he saw much of its terror and sordidness. He won his Croix de Guerre for bravery in rescuing women and children at Bar-le-Duc, where he drove his ambulance through an especially venomous air raid during the battle of Verdun. Although he returned to the United States at the expiration of his eight months' service with Section Two of the American Field Service, as soon as America declared war, he entered the Fort Niagara officers' training camp, graduating as a Lieutenant, and returned to France early in September, 1917, as one of the first fifty of our men to reach the battlefront. From that time on until his death he was in almost constant action and participated in nearly all the great battles preceding the Soisson's offensive.
As a Lieutenant of Infantry with the Eighteenth Regiment he experienced all of the hardships and horrors that only can fall to the infantryman's lot. His letters tell with marvelous vividness of twenty-one day stretches in the front line trenches, short relief, then immediate return to the fighting. They tell, too, of combat patrols planned and executed by, him, and of attacks in which there were "intervals, minutes mostly, which I don't want ever to recall, when I have been at my lowest, nothing but a, beast, yelling, cursing, crying, alternately --- consumed with but one thought --- to kill, kill, kill."
Though he revolted from it all, he worked untiringly, and his record shows steady advancement. Shortly before his death he was appointed Intelligence Officer, and already he had been recommended for the rank of captain.
He died in the Soissons offensive, which marked the beginning of the end of the War, being killed in the turmoil of battle on July 18, 1918, by a fragment of flying shell. Of his death Reverend Murray Bartlett, Chaplain of the Eighteenth Infantry, wrote, "Indeed you have the consolation that the sacrifice of his splendid young manhood was part of the price paid for one of the critical victories of all history . . . . "
In the same strain a companion wrote, "This war takes the bravest and the best . . . . . Yet, speaking for myself, it seems to me that if my time to go had arrived I should ask nothing better than to fall at the high tide of a charge, leading men on to a victory which has proved to be the turning point of the whole war . . . . . Your son was respected universally as a courageous, capable, and promising officer. He lived up to the confidence reposed in him."
How great is the respect and pride which his memory commands, appears from the letters of his friends, all of whom, without a single exception, express the privilege and honor they felt in sharing his friendship. One writes, " It does n't seem possible that great, big, carefree 'Joe,' whom we all depended on, and looked up to, has been killed. My pride in him is the only thing which could possibly cheer me up. I have lost one of the best friends a fellow could have --- but how proud I am to have had such a wonderful friend."
Another adds, "I am proud and honored to have known Ralston all these years, and to have been one of his best and dearest friends. We all loved him. A brave man, a true gentleman, and a never-failing friend will be our memory of him always."
Born August 20, 1891, in Milton, Massachusetts. Son of I. Tucker and Alice M. Peters Burr. Educated Noble and Greenough School, Boston, Milton Academy, and Harvard University, Class of 1913. Plattsburg Camp. Grenfell Mission. With Kidder, Peabody and Company and Paul Revere Trust Company. Joined American Field Service, February 12, 1916, attached Section Two, as Chef with Section Nine, August, 1916, to January 21, 1917. Returned to America. Enlisted U. S. Marine Corps, June. Commissioned Lieutenant, training at Quantico, Virginia, attached 6th Regiment Marines. Battallion Intelligence Officer. Gassed, Belleau Wood, June, 1918. Killed in action near Vierzy, July 19, 1918. Burial place unknown,
"Il ne faut pas être difficile, c'est la guerre," wrote Carleton Burr while an ambulance driver with the American Field Service; "This philosophy has actually already become a part of my existence, and I assure you that the constant rumble of artillery is more musical to my ear than the sordid drone of the ticker."
While in college he spent a summer with the Grenfell Mission in Newfoundland and Labrador, and after graduating from Harvard in 1913, made a hunting trip in the mountains of Wyoming. Returning to Boston in October, he was associated with several banking houses until 1916. In February, Carleton Burr turned his back on the "droning tickers" and joined the allied armies in France. He enlisted in the American Field Service going to Section Two, near Verdun, where he found the section in the midst of the terrific battle.
Carleton fitted at once into his place. He wished always for the most active work, "and the longer the hours the more he threw himself into the work, but in work or play he always added to his list of friends." "I have come not only to like him personally, which anyone would at first glance, but also to have real esteem for his abilities, and his qualities of mind and character," wrote the chief of the Service at this time, saying that he was "fitted by his tact and his unusual combination of gentleness, energy, and force to meet the very difficult task of handling a group of volunteers."
This, with his loyal service and fine spirit, led to Burr's selection in June as Chef of newly formed Section Nine. August saw them established in the Vosges where "Chubby" wrote of the seeming inactivity: "Patience in times such as this is the hardest virtue to acquire. Luckily nothing but solitary confinement can prevent the forming of friendships. . . ." "At every turn one finds a new situation, a new experience, staring one in the face, which no matter how impossible it may seem at first, can be overcome with a sense of humor." This was the philosophy with which Carleton met the life of the war --- and death.
Returning to America in February, 1917, Burr, after ,some months in business, enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was one of two hundred and fifty men accepted as officers out of four thousand applicants and was sent to Quantico, Virginia, for training. Only six weeks later "Chubby" was assigned a command and sent to France. General Catlin says: "Because of his initiative and daring he was made intelligence officer of the 1st Brigade and achieved some remarkable successes at patrol work." Burr had charge of the snipers which he called a "not particularly healthy duty," but the ability to laugh at ,dangers and discomforts never deserted him. Of his first "hitch" in the trenches he wrote: "Can you imagine living for twenty days in the upper berth of a Pullman, which is dripping water from the roof and is literally infested with rats? Everything, however, you take as a joke." Unconsciously, in speaking of his men, he shows how he had won their admiration and devotion, when he says "The enemy will never get me, for I have the most wonderful crew of youngsters to follow me. They would never leave me, dead or wounded, to the mercy of the Huns."
During the fighting at Belleau Wood in June "Chubby" was gassed and invalided to Angers. Upon leaving the hospital he marched in the parade in Paris on Bastille Day and rejoined his command July 18th, when the new offensive really began.
Next morning, leading his men in a successful wave of the big attack, Carleton Burr was struck in the side by a piece of shrapnel, and fell. "In the land he loved next to his own he will always lie, content that he could give his all to the greatest cause of the age."
Born March 12, 1898, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Son of Reverend Stuart L. and Katharine Rosengarten Tyson. Home, Princeton, New Jersey. Educated school in Oxford, England, and Haverford School, Pennsylvania. Midvale Steel Company, 1915. Joined American Field Service, October 14, 1916; attached Section One until April 14, 1917. Enlisted French Aviation, May 15th. Trained Avord, Pau, and Plessis-Belleville. Breveted October 16, 1917. Attached Spad Escadrille 85, December 19, 1917, Sergent. Killed in action, July 19, 1918, near Dormans. Croix de Guerre, with palm. Buried in France.
WITH a courage and a conviction characteristic of so many of our American soldiers, Stuart Mitchell Tyson gave his life to France and her Cause willingly, consciously, considering it a privilege. It was his final protest against a world wrong --- it was his glorious consecration to the simple faith that Right is Might in a christianized world. Literally, and confidently, he "died to make men free."
Sergeant Tyson was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 12, 1898. He was educated at a school in Oxford, England, and at the Haverford School, Pennsylvania. In 1915 he entered the Midvale Steel Company. A year later he left for France as an ambulance driver, serving with Section One along the Verdun front in the hard winter of 1916-17 when the French division, with which it served, was engaged in the recovery of Vaux and Douaumont. At the end of six months he enlisted in the French Army as an aviator, and after the necessary period of training was breveted, and sent to the front in December, 1917, where he served with the Esquadrille Spad 85 until July 19, 1918, the day of his death. He was killed in action near Château-Thierry, while attacking eight German monoplanes. In recognition of his heroism he received the Croix de Guerre with palm.
The following extracts from letters to his father are characteristic of the spirit of this man. On May 1, 1917 he wrote: "I am delighted with my work here, in the ambulance service, and am wrapped up in the cause of France. I have decided to give myself to her . . . . . Knowing your sentiments on the war, I am sure you will have no objections to my doing what little I can for France. Dear Father, I realize that my chances for getting through are pretty slim, but it is well worth it by my having a chance to help crush those devils."
And just a year later, May 1, 1918, he writes from the Aviation Service, "We have been constantly moving from place to place, and are now right in the thick of the big battle. What a sight it is, seen from the air. The endless train of men and supplies coming up from the rear, the narrow strip of No-Man's Land with its cloud of smoke and fire caused by the never ceasing rain of shells, and above, the German planes circling, in and out of the clouds, like great birds waiting for a chance to strike. Our group has been assigned to shooting up the German column as they march up from the rear. We fly very low, so you can imagine what two machine guns on each aeroplane, flying full in the face of the enemy, can do. It is very exciting work. We are in the trajectory of shells from both sides, with anti-craft guns shooting up. I have had awfully good luck. Not been touched yet, although my machine has been badly hit twice."
An appreciation from his commanding officer attributes to him all of the highest qualifications of a real man and soldier.
"Stephen Tyson was a brave and capable pilot, always ready to do more than his duty, and was beloved by all his comrades in the Esquadrille."
Born June 24, 1897, in Boulder, Colorado. Son of George S. and Nell Evans Carkener. Home, Kansas City, Missouri. Educated grade schools and Country Day School, Kansas City, and Princeton University, Class of 1919. Joined American Field Service, May 26, 1917 ; attached Transport Section 133 to November 17, 1917. December returned to America. Enlisted in U. S. Field Artillery, 76th Regiment, as private. To France, April, 1918. Promoted to Corporal. Killed by shell, July 30, 1918, near Ronchères, northeast of Château-Thierry. Buried Villadale Farm, near Ronchères, Aisne. Body transferred to Belleau Cemetery, Aisne, and to rest ultimately beside his mother in Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.
STUART CARKENER, 2D, said in his last letter to his family, "Whatever you do, don't worry about me, as I can assure you that every time I hear a shell coming my way I soon find some safe ditch." Just four days later, however, when it. became necessary to deliver an important message from an advanced observation post, he did not hesitate to leave his "safe ditch," but struck out calmly across the cornfield where, midway, he was mortally wounded by an exploding shell. The 4th U. S. Infantry had been held up by German machine guns. Corporal Carkener and his two companions had located the nest by successful reconnoissance, and he and one companion decided to risk the journey rearward to carry the information. They left, wrote the sergeant who stayed in charge of the post, with terrible matter-of-factness, "thinking that one of them, possibly, could get through all right! " But neither one arrived!
At Princeton Stuart played on his freshman and varsity soccer teams, and has been described by a classmate who retains a vivid impression of him, as "attractive, popular, and congenial, with a friendly word for everyone."
In May, 1917, he sailed for France in the American Field Service where he served for six months in the camion branch, driving in one of the trains of trucks that delivered shells from the railroads to the batteries before and during the great battle of the Chemin des Dames. His letters were clear and vivid, characterized above all by their refreshing honesty and freedom from heroics. He was always careful to verify everything about which he wrote, and in his desire to prevent his family from worrying he went almost to an extreme in minimizing the danger.
In December, 1917, he returned to the United States and made plans to enter service in our Army. It was his determination to return to France immediately, and he declined to make any effort to enter officers' training camps in this country, for which, by his education and experience, he was well fitted. After looking the situation over he enlisted in the 76th Field Artillery, being advised that this regiment was to be among the next to sail. In April, 1918, he embarked for France a second time. After three weeks of training, his regiment, on the night of July 14th, found itself in a little village not far from Château-Thierry with the German barrage roaring and crackling about their heads. The casualties were great that night owing to the lack of shelter, and Corporal Carkener, for he had received his promotion during the period of training, was obliged to work "as stretcher bearer, trench and grave digger" for twenty hours, during eight of which he wore a gas mask. Then came the Allied advances, of which he wrote, "They mean all sorts of work for us, but as long as they are in the right direction you can bet we don't mind the extra hardship," and at that point we must piece on the story of that heroic sacrifice in the cornfield.
Of the many tributes that have been paid to Carkener, he himself would have probably valued most that which came from his sergeant, a man whom he never would have met but for the accident of war, and who wrote to Stuart's father, "He was a sort of a quiet lad, a very entertaining talker, and he was forever helping some one to figure out problems. Every one in the outfit missed him just because he was a 'regular fellow.' Your son did his bit, Mr. Carkener, and he died with his boots on just like every soldier wants to die."
No true soldier could wish a higher fame than the words above his grave.
"Glorieusement mort au champ d'honneur face à l'ennemi, le 30 juillet 1918, Stuart Carkener II, soldat américain."
Born August 2, 1894, in Brooklyn, New York. Son of Doctor Victor A. and Maria Cochran Robertson. Educated Prospect Heights and Polytechnic Preparatory Schools, and Princeton University, Class of 1915. Joined American Field Service, April 28, 1915; attached Section One to July 18, 19115. Returned to America. Enlisted 7th Regiment, N. Y. N. G., June 27, 1917 ; voluntarily transferred to 165th Infantry for overseas service. Killed in action at the Ourcq River, July 30, 1918, near Villeneuve-sur-Fère. Recommended for Croix de Guerre and D. S. C. Buried American Cemetery, Seringes-et-Nesles, Aisne. Body to be transferred to American Cemetery, Belleau Wood.
"WHEN I needed someone with plenty of grit and bulldog courage, I always picked Malcolm, and he never failed me." Malcolm Troop Robertson earned this voluntary commendation from his platoon commander after ten months of devoted service as a first class private in the "Stokes Mortar" platoon, of the Headquarters Company, 165th Infantry. Sergeant Fitzsimmons writes that, when the regiment first "went in," near Luneville, "Private Robertson, on account of his knowledge of the language, volunteered to stand guard 'with the French sentry' every night during the regiment's stay in the trenches, which was four times his required duty, 'to warn more understandingly and quickly of gas-alarms or attack.'" In Champagne, two weeks before his death, with two "non-coms," Malcolm stood by his gun, when ordered to seek shelter, during a fierce bombardment, and by sending over a perfect barrage of Stokes Mortar shells drove the enemy from our wire." It was for such acts that "his coolness under fire became a byword in the company, and behind his back the boys remarked on his nerve." "The most courageous man in my platoon . . . . at times I took advantage of it .And used him in many a trying situation," Lieutenant McNamara wrote, "and at the Ourcq when I gave him a chance to volunteer, he was right there with his plea of 'take me with you, Lieutenant' . . . . . . and he gave his fine young life to his country."
On that 30th of July, 1918, the 165th, advancing rapidly and out of touch with its artillery supports, was "hung-up" by a strong machine gun nest in the Meurcy farmhouse at the Ourcq River. This had to be silenced before the regiment could move on. A volunteer squad of six men, including Robertson went forward into the open with two mortars to blast away the obstruction. With no time to "dig in," the order to open fire found them in an exposed position. Immediately they were answered by a concentrated shelling from a battery behind the farm. The officer had gone ahead to make observations, the sergeant had retired, wounded, and when there was a suggestion of wavering under the wilting bombardment it was "Robbie" who took charge, as his citation reads, holding the men by the strength and inspiration of his example. They "stuck" and their fire broke up a developing counter-attack, but when the shelling ceased Malcolm was found dead beside his gun, killed by a shell.
At Princeton, too, he had been "on the job," earning his class numerals and a degree although he left to join the Field Service before his graduation. In those dark hours following the battles of the Yser, he served with Section One in the north --- driving among the dunes of Coxyde, under the long-range shells in Dunkirk, and beneath avion bombs at Nieuport. In the autumn he returned to complete his studies, and enlisted in the 7th Regiment of New York when America entered the war. He transferred, as a private, to the 165th Infantry and went again to France with the 42d Division in October, 1917.
His constant eagerness to do the hardest things included no thought of recognition, although he was cited by French and Americans. His almost reckless courage and cool disregard of danger expressed his spirit of patriotism and gave evidence of his desire to give himself completely to the cause for which he was at the last to die. His lieutenant wrote, "I buried Malcolm that evening, and while the Boche were shelling I knelt in prayer at his grave . . . . ... And his next words might almost be Malcolm's own last brave message to his, people, for Lieutenant McNamara said, "What a glorious death! To die for one's country, for right and justice."
Alphabetical Index of Names
Table of Contents: History of the American Field Service in France.