During October, 1918, while the Second Engineers were attached to the Thirty-sixth Division, we were ordered to prepare to bridge the canal and River Aisne near Attigny. We held the shore of the canal and the enemy held the strip of land between the canal and river.
It was very important that we obtain all possible information concerning the river and canal. On October 22nd reconnoitering patrols were sent out.
Corporal Earl P. Sooy of Company E was in charge of one patrol.
On October 23rd, leaving the others on our bank of the river to cover him, he made his way out on a demolished bridge and took soundings and measurements of the river and canal at the site of the old bridge. While well out on the old bridge, and as he was making his way back to our bank, he was discovered by the enemy, who opened fire on him with machine guns. They also attacked the covering party.
The covering party withdrew, thinking that Corporal Sooy had made his escape. Such was not the case; Corporal Sooy, so far as is known, is still carried as missing in action. In making his measurements and soundings he had transmitted it back to the others. Although he was lost, practically all the information he obtained was brought back by the others.
—Lieut. Samuel C. Watkins,
Company E, Second Engineers