Due to a shortage of steel during the war, the United States Shipping Board (USSB) contracted for about 700 steam-powered cargo ships to have hulls made from wood. Shipyards on the Sabine River in Texas took on some of these contracts. So the big news in Orange, Texas in May, 1918 was the launching of the City of Bonham, which was the first of 12 very large wooden cargo ships ordered by the USSB. The Bonham was built according to A.M. Daughtery’s plans and was exactly like his ships War Marvel and War Mystery, both of which had been built in Orange for the British Cunard Line. With a displacement of 4,700 tons, they were the largest wooden cargo ships that would ever be built, although by war’s end wooden ships as big as 7,300 tons had been ordered.
Although the Secretary of War had pledged to bring all of the dead home back in 1917, in 1919 all space on ships was needed to bring the living home. A rousing disagreement then started up over what to do. Many felt that the dead should be buried in beautiful cemeteries in Europe, figuratively resting amongst their comrades. Congressional debate went back and forth with the final result being a Solomonic policy: the next of kin could choose whether to have their fallen buried in one of the new cemeteries in Europe, or they could have the remains returned to the U.S. and buried at the government’s expense. The result was that 30,922 were buried in the cemeteries and about 44,000 remains were repatriated.
Although the 369th Regiment Armory still stands at 142d St. and Fifth Ave. in New York, the regiment itself was disbanded in 1946 and its heritage passed to other units, now the 369th Sustainment Brigade, NY National Guard. The original 369th Infantry, widely known as “The Harlem Hell Fighters”, served with the French in WW1, and has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM).
Coming up are:
Tuesday September 7th WW1 Changed Us 7:00 PM CDT
Monday September 13th The Confidence Men 7:00 PM CDT
Registration is necessary. Go to https://my.theworldwar.org/events?view=list&span=month&k=public%20programs
Recently we posted about Dennis Cross, his blog and his new book version on the blog. You can read this post by clicking here.
Dennis has released the second volume of his work, which covers the months from June 1914 through April 1917. You can get these books from Amazon and they’re free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member.
“Retreat? Hell, we just got here.” So said Capt. Lloyd Williams, Virginia Tech Class of 1909, who was commanding the 51st Co., 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment (2/5 Marines) at Belleau Wood. You can read more about this incident by clicking here.
Formed in 1917, the 2/5 Marines went on to become the most decorated battalion in USMC history. They are on active duty as a part of the 1st Marine Division.
On Thursday August 5th at &:00 PM CDT: Pershing Lecture Series presentation Embattled Weimar
This event is free but requires registration. You can do so by clicking on this link.
Sorry for the short fuse on this one: Sunday, July 11th at 2:00 PM CDT Wemyss’ War
Sunday July 25th 2:00 PM CDT The 2nd in the T.E. Lawrence Series of Panel Discussions
You can register for these by clicking here.
If you’re a long time follower of this blog, you may remember Dennis Cross’ frequent re- posts from his blog “Centennial Countdown to the Great War”. This was a condensed news report covering events every month from 1911 to 1920, as viewed from a 21st Century perspective.