April 30, 1918 - Full diary entry:“Lots of the boys are seasick but I feel good so far. Elinore says I must name baby if it is a girl.Muster today. Sea rough.”In naming their children, Robert and Elinore deviated from the pattern and repeated names their parents and earlier generations had used. Elinore’s German family … Continue reading What’s in a Name?
April 29, 1918 - Full diary entry:“Fourth day at sea, weather continues fair.Two more ships join our squadron. We are nearing the danger zone, but no one seems to worry.”Before the Allied forces began extensively using the convoy system when shipping men and supplies across the Atlantic, German U-Boats were taking a huge toll and … Continue reading Looks like we got ourselves a convoy.
April 28, 1918 - Full diary entry:“Nothing exciting today. Weather continues nice. Meals very poor.Hate Englishmen and England. If Germany is whipped I bet Eng. and U.S. will have another war. No church.I hope Ruth and Bess are better.”Wow. Really don’t know what to say about this; I’m certain there was bound to be some … Continue reading Robert is not an Anglophile.
April 27, 1918 - Full diary entry:“One more ship joined us today. Life boat drill.Am not sick. I wonder what Elinore is doing tonight.Meals are very poor.”From War in Words by Daniel W. Phillips:For the first few days out we were escorted by American destroyers and battle ships. Then we were left alone with but … Continue reading The Romance of an Ocean Voyage is Short Lived.
April 26, 1918 - Full diary entry:“One more transport with us today. Am assigned to a life boat. Sea getting rough tonight.Transferred to bunk in steerage. Feel a little sea sick.”Well, he’ll always have memories of those two nights in the 2nd-class cabin.More from From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry:For … Continue reading Life at Sea
April 25, 1918 - Full diary entry:“Slept fine all night. On guard tonight.The weather is fine and I think we will leave today. Will I ever come back or will I be killed?Poor Nora, what will become of you? 7 ships + one cruiser left N.Y. City 10 a.m.”The following is from From Doniphan to … Continue reading Underway
April 24, 1918 - Letter from Robert to his mother:Co. B 140th InfantryAmer. Expeditionary ForcesDear MotherYou will notice I have a new address Amer. Exped. Forces. We left Camp Mills early this morning. I am writing this aboard ship but do not know when we will leave.I am not allowed to put the date, name … Continue reading Aboard the Adriatic
April 24, 1918 - Full diary entry:“Leave Camp Mills 6a.m.Loaded on English S.S. Adriatic.There are 12 ships going across. 33,000 men.Assigned state room 2nd class.”Robert certainly could have had a less comfortable trans-Atlantic voyage. The Adriatic was one of the largest and finest passenger ships of the era. This is from the US Army WWI Transport … Continue reading Bon Voyage
April 23, 1918 - Full diary entry:“Burned my clothes in the fire. Will have to get another suit.On K.P.I hate to go and leave my dear Elinore.Received Special Delivery letter from Elinore also $5.00.”So now he has no suit, no bed, no gear… and he’s still not leaving camp today. At least he has five … Continue reading Special Delivery
April 22, 1918 - Full diary entry:“Issued steel helmets. No work.Burned straw bunks and loaded barrack bags on freight train.No mail yet. Wrote cards saying I had arrived “over there” safely.”I just have to laugh a little, although I suppose it wasn’t at all funny for Robert. “Here’s your helmet, now please burn your bed and load all … Continue reading Packing up