June 17, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Wrote to Mother + Jane
Rain, no work
Ret’d to Co. B.
1st Sgt. Haley shot Slim Jim.”
Talk about burying the lead.
First, my usual disclaimer: I do not mean to tarnish anyone’s legacy; I am just relating what my grandfather wrote and taking my best guess at whom he was writing about.
The regiment rosters in From Doniphan to Verdun show that Roy P. Haley was a sergeant in the Third Missouri Infantry as of August 4, 1917, long before the Third joined the Sixth Missouri Infantry to form the new 140th Infantry Regiment.
But as of April 1, 1919, two weeks before boarding their ship home, Haley is listed as a private, and is no longer with the regiment. And to spoil an upcoming diary entry: within the next week, Robert reports that Sgt. Haley was “busted.”
As for “Slim Jim,” I can offer only sheer speculation based on the assumption that his name really was “Jim,” and, like Robert and Sgt. Haley, that he was a member of Company B. If either of those assumptions were untrue, there are dozens of possible candidates.
But with those criteria, the possible victims were Private James A. Enochson, Mechanic James A. Hovey (a strong candidate, since he is listed as “wounded”),
Private James L. Kreeger, Private James A. O’Connor, Sergeant James L. White (seems less likely that a sergeant would be referred to by a nickname), Sergeant James F. Wilhite, and Private James Ross (listed as “wounded, died). I sincerely hope it wasn’t Private Ross.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.