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History of The Second Engineers 1916-1919

(inc. personal notes of Herley W. Wilson)

  • Roll Of Honor
  • Contents
  • Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • In Mexico

To The Memory Of Those Whose Names Compose The Roll of Honor

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. Burial Locations
Captain Jesse Lowen
Captain George R. Spalding
Captain Myron H. Peck
Captain Frank W. Hulett
First Lieutenant Malcolm Johnston
First Lieutenant Robert W. Nolte
First Lieutenant James Henderson Spafford
Second Lieut. Stephen P. McGroarty
Second Lieut. Charles A. Dean
Master Engineer Hugh G. Middleton
Master Engineer Richard T. Rhodes
First Sergeant Chauncey F. Yingst
Sergeant First Class George A. Hopp
Sergeant First Class Floyd E. Roderick
Sergeant First Class Joseph Geiger
Sergeant First Class Earl S. Finley
Sergeant First Class Alvin W. Dean
Sergeant First Class Edwin D. Waltman
Sergeant First Class Willie H. White
Sergeant First Class Albert G. Justice
Mess Sergeant John W. Hanley
Mess Sergeant Patrick F. Crowley
Supply Sergeant Robert Ronson, Jr.
Sergeant Harry T. Corbin
Sergeant Howard E. Dickerson
Sergeant John W. Raezer
Sergeant Boyd F. Mulligan
Sergeant Marvin N. Howze.
Sergeant Carl Gilbert
Sergeant John V. Showers
Sergeant Patrick Patterson
Sergeant Leo L. Lane
Sergeant William J. Cottingham
Sergeant Fred A. Howard
Sergeant Lyle R. Voorhees
Sergeant Percy D. Cox
Wagoner Thomas Duncan
Wagoner John A. Hamilton
Cook Walter L. Crouch
Corporal Louis M. Holmes
Corporal Mart Gentry
Corporal Charles L. Joy
Corporal George Bell
Corporal Jens C. Anderson
Corporal William Fleming
Corporal Frank Tucker
Corporal Ivie L. Rigdon
Corporal Benjiman J. Hamby
Corporal Fred A. Sell
Corporal Clyde A. Smelzer
Corporal William P. Gallagher
Corporal Louis Cohen
Corporal Stephen P. Grib
Corporal Gust Kolar
Corporal Frank S. Lamb
Corporal John E. High
Corporal Fred M. Allison
Corporal Frank Lillis
Corporal Rudolph C. Mehrtens
Corporal Earl R. Ridd
Corporal Walter Hankins
Corporal Earl P. Sooy
Corporal Andrea Oakly
Corporal Edmund Conway
Corporal Algernon S. Neal
Corporal Joseph H. Beaumer
Corporal Fred J. Grant
Corporal Russel Chambers
Corporal Martin S. Ward
Corporal Thomas Vanhoy
Corporal John O. Jenkins
Private First Class Charles H. Reeder
Private First Class William T. Checkly
Private First Class Mahlen R. Unger
Private First Class Bayard C. DeHart
Private First Class Joseph Bowling
Private First Class Ira H. Justice
Private First Class James Regan
Private First Class Arthur Woodham
Private First Class Frank J. Michael
Private First Class Thomas J. Powers
Private First Class Nikoloj Jaworski
Private First Class Fred B. Jenkins
Private First Class John H. Barnes
Private First Class Thomas J. Connelly
Private First Class Alfred Hutchison
Private First Class Harry E. Killion
Private First Class Joseph L. McAvoy
Private First Class Hiram C. Goodman
Private First Class Lloyd H. Still
Private First Class, Harman R. Tabor
Private First Class Clarence M. Hickman
Private First Class George R. Godwin
Private First Class Harry Allman
Private First Class Frank C. MeDermott
Private First Class Leslie D. Chapin
Private First Class Ernest De Haven
Private First Class Clarence T. Johnson
Private First Class Ray H. Moses
Private First Class Walter J. Theus
Private First Class Frank C. Smith
Private First Class Albert H. Oakley
Private First Class Paul E. Richardson
Private First Class Grandville Ayers
Private First Class Grover Bale
Private First Class Thomas J. Brady
Private First Class Pablito Castinado
Private First Class Eing D. Hughes
Private First Class Richard M. Raymond
Private First Class Roy Crader
Private First Class Carroll Rowe
Private First Class Lee Schofield
Private First Class Noah P. Huffman
Private First Class John Wells
Private First Class Joe R. Pace
Private First Class Eraclio Charvez
Private First Class Lerlow E. Howard
Private First Class Earl R. Williams
Private First Class Benjamin Van Kampen
Private First Class Glen V. Swan
Private First Class Thomas N. Plunkett
Private First Class Reuben S. Peterson
Private First Class Jay Whitney
Private First Class Walter H. Tate
Private First Class Walter Carlquist
Private First Class Charles S. Hart
Private First Class Victor Jaworowski
Bugler Orra L. Snyder
Private Carlton Bowen
Private John C. Cox
Private James E. Caldwell
Private Charles Houston
Private Conway Skillicorn
Private Louis A. Lysak
Private Frank S. Fuller
Private Bertice E. Bottler
Private George W. Manhart
Private Ottis Morris
Private Wayne E. Drake
Private Clemens S. Kreuger
Private Sam Romcivich
Private Harold L. Sharp
Private Rollin G. Freshour
Private Fred Orange
Private John Barbarino
Private Max Belle
Private Joseph Gallegus
Private John F. Kemig
Private George E. Marshall
Private Fred W. Nenneman
Private Antonio Pietromonaco
Private John Thompson
Private William J. Whittaker
Private George L. Tarnes
Private Arthur M. Drury
Private John E. Rabineau
Private Adolph, Tonnetti
Private Albert Debacker
Private Walter W. Figgins
Private John Dale
Private Lloyd E. Hutcheson
Private Floyd H. Wood
Private Earl M. Mortorff
Private Ernest M. Larson
Private Sheldon [sic Shelton] B. Beaty
Private Harvey S. David
Private Thomas F. Goode
Private George J. Hendrickson
Private Louis J. Gasper
Private George F. Parcels
Private Dale Hyland
Private Frank Jamison
Private Oscar Haugen
Private Hale Hunter
Private George J. Sneberger
Private Loren Trotter
Private Charlie J. Willison
Private Archie L. Coy
Private Timothy J. Harrington
Private Daniel Hibbard
Private Fulton C. Smith
Private Orval G. Corbin
Private Philips H. Benton
Private Theophil J. Goranson
Private Lawrence F. House
Private Clarence W. Larson
Private Joseph A. Murphy
Private Edward E. Reutter
Private Herbert E. Shero
Private James J. Sullivan
Private Norman Veith
Private Richard L. Hintz
Private Henry H. Jones
Private Roy C. Kintigh
Private David C. Halker
Private Ernest L. Van Leuven
Private Hillel Botvinik
Private Joseph A. Carretti
Private George T. Hilbert
Private Michael Koranda
Private Rinaldo Caimono
Private James Glenn
Private William T. Phillips
Private Mike Angigliere
Private Willim G. Brouer
Private Otto F. Schoeneman
Private Carn H. Zimmerman
Private Edward W. Childs
Private Carl Westberg
Private John A. Goetz
Private Andrew Korwel
Private Enrico Purgato
Private Thomas W. Kearns
Private. Clarence F. Billips
Private Glen V. Whetstone
Private George Hayhurst
Private Lee G. Winslow
Private John Wales
Private Clifford M. Gallert
Private Thomas A. Umholtz
Private Leo Theisen
Private Francis W. Ciszek
Private Henry J. Wunnenberg
Private William J. Heffron
Private George A. Gresens
Private Thomas F. Furlong
Private Pete Williams
Private William C. Wilson

Herley's Notes:
First Lieutenant Malcolm Johnston—Ida.
Second Lieutenant Stephen P. McGroarty—Both leg shot of [sic] I gave him 1st aid died later
Sergeant First Class George A. Hopp—my Sgt. I helped carry him out
Corporal Edmund Conway—Idaho
Corporal Martin S. Ward—Idaho
Private Lloyd E. Hutcheson—Ida Meridian Legion
Private Thomas S. Goode—Pinky wife Bro
Private Loren Trotter—Ida Caldwell Legion
Brigadier-General James F. McIndoe, Commanding Officer of the Second Engineers from April, 1917, to July, 1918 11
Colonel William A. Mitchell, Commanding Officer of the Second Engineers from July 6th to November 20th, 1918 13
Ruins of the Church in Lucy-le-Bocage 33
Vaux — after the American bombardment 39
Ravine along the southern edge of Belleau Woods 44
Map of the Chateau-Thierry Sector 44 — 45
Map of the Soissons Sector 48 — 49
Ruins of Verte-Feuille Farm 49
Headquarters of the Second Engineers in Vierzy 51
Map of the St. Mihiel Salient Sector 52 — 53
Panorama of the Moselle near the Bois de l'Eveque 56, 57
Repairing roads around crater between Souain and Somme-Py 58
The Py river near Somme-Py 59
Effect of shell fire on light railways 62
Bridge built by the Second Engineers at Somme-Py 63
Map of the Champagne Sector 64 — 65
Mine crater in standard gauge track near Mont St. Remy 65
Light railway bridge built by the Second Engineers in Champagne 66
Bridge drill in Champagne 66
Ruins of the Gendarmerie at Attigny 67
Map of the Meuse-Argonne Sector 68 — 69
Floating foot-bridge thrown across the Meuse by the Second Engineers 71
French prisoners crossing the Meuse, November 11th, 1918 72
Pontoon foot-bridge on the Meuse, near Villemontry, built by the Second Engineers 73
Heavy traffic bridge at Pouilly, built by the Second Engineers 74
A noon day halt on the march to the Rhine 78
Second Engineers passing in review before Secretary Daniels 81
Map of the bridge-head area 83
The Rhine at Engers 84
Headquarters, Second Engineers on the Rhine 85
Pontoon bridge over the Rhine, built by the Second Engineers in 58 1/2 minutes 86
Map showing route followed by the Second Engineers to Europe 112 — 113

To him who wishes to read this book, let it be known that there is no fiction contained herein; neither is there wit nor humor. In so far as it has been possible to obtain it, only the truth is given here — minimized rather than exaggerated. This is a history of the deeds accomplished by the men of the Second Regiment of Engineers of the Second Division, and is written for them that they might carry to their homes the honest records of their proud Regiment. Words are insufficient to express the honor and praise due those who dropped the pick and shovel and took up the rifle and bayonet in Belleau Woods, Vaux, Soissons and Champagne. Space is too limited to name all the heroes here and it is regretted that their praises cannot be sung.

This Regiment has experienced greater losses than that of any other Engineer or Artillery regiment, and greater than that of many Infantry regiments. It has a record of which every member is very proud, but it is felt that if the war were refought, and this Regiment were called upon as before, it would make a better record still. The morale of the Regiment has always been very high, and its esprit-de-corps exceptionally good. It has never failed to accom­plish its assigned missions, and it never lost an inch of ground to the enemy. The deeds of the heroic dead cannot be forgotten, though they sleep in peace. Each in his own conflict with the enemy and death was true to his duty and fought a good fight to the very end.

In the preparation of this work an earnest endeavor has been made to give proper credit to whom it justly belongs. If errors or omissions have been made be lenient in your verdict. Grateful appreciation is extended to those who gave their very able assistance, and to that great body of men who do not wear bars or leaves or eagles on their shoulders whose actions made the book possible.

Regimental Historian.
May 30th, 1919.
Headquarters Second Division (Regular) American Expeditionary Forces.
History of The Second Engineers 1916-1919

In all of the fiercely contested battles in which the 2nd Division participated, the 2nd Engineer Regiment, in addition to cutting lanes through the barbed wire entanglements for the attacking infantry, worked day and night on the roads, thereby making it possible for food and ammunition to be supplied to the troops in the front lines; and at many critical times, it reinforced the regiments of the 3rd and 4th Brigades, and fought by their side.

Finally, in the last battle of the war, it threw two foot bridges across the Meuse in the face of a withering machine gun and heavy artillery fire, thereby enabling the advanced battalions of the Division to cross the river and seize the heights on the east bank.

Throughout the war, this magnificent regiment fulfilled most efficiently and most courageously its dual mission as a working and a fighting force; and its splendid fighting record is shown by its heavy casualties, which were greater than those of any other Engineer Regiment in the A. E. F.

John A. Lejune
Major General, U. S. M. C.
American Award Ceremony on Rhine River December 30, 1918
Gen. Lejeune and members of 2nd Engrs. decorated with Croix de Guerre.
Map showing route followed by the Second Engineers in Europe. Map showing route followed by the Second Engineers in Europe.
Col. William A. Mitchell
In Mexico — General Pershing's Punitive Expedition

The Second Battalion of U.S. Engineers ceased to be on August 1st, 1916, when the Second Regiment of U.S. Engineers was organized with Headquarters at Colonia Dublan, Mexico. Therefore, as a part of General Pershing's punitive expedition, it has the honor of being the only Regiment of the U.S. Army to be organized on foreign soil.

The principal duties of the Regiment while on this expedition were roadwork and bridge building, although some deep wells were bored and several reconnaissances made. The first road was built from Columbus, New Mexico, to El Valle, Mexico, a distance of 170 miles through alkali deserts and swamps. This road was a great help to the handling of supplies. Holt tractors, which were being tested for Army use, were operated by men from the Second Engineers. Reconnaissance parties often came in contact with the enemy, thus adding a little spice to the monotony of engineer work. One day, two engineers were attacked by a large band of the enemy-fully 50 to 1. The commander of this band was the great bandit Cervantes, whose reputation was known to all. While his comrade went for assistance, one of the engineers held the party with his rifle fire. Through his training, he made the party think there were several men firing at them. When the reinforcements arrived, the band had retreated leaving several dead on the ground among whom were General Cervantes and two of his aides.

After a campaign of almost a year in Mexico, the Regiment marched back across the border into Columbus, New Mexico, on February 5th, 1917, with Regimental Colors flying at the post of honor in the rear guard. It was reviewed by General Pershing as it crossed the border. After two days in Columbus, the Regiment moved in trucks to Camp Stewart, El Paso, Texas, where it was welcomed with a dinner and smoker by the Pennsylvania Artillery. After two months in Camp Stewart, the Second Engineers moved to Camp Baker in the same city, where it did engineer work and some training in Pontooning, Railroading, Sapping, etc. While the Regiment was stationed at this place, Lieutenant Colonel James F. McIndoe took command. In May it was reorganized into the Second and Fifth Regiments, the Eighth and Ninth Mounted Battalions, and the Second Engineer Train.

While at Camp Baker, the Second Engineers went through a period of intensive training in Engineer work peculiar to the European War. The most up-to-date revetted trenches, deep dug-outs, and wire entanglements were drilled in, until August 22nd, when the Regiment left El Paso for Washington, D. C., on the first leg of its trip to France.

United States, and John Archer Lejeune. 1919.
A History Of The Second Regiment Of Engineers, United States Army:
From Its Organization In Mexico, 1916, To Its Watch On The Rhine, 1919
[Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified].
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