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Ambulance Company 15,
Amexforces APO 710,
July 28, 1918.
Report Of Operations, Ambulance Co. 15, (Extract) July 9—July 25, 1918.

 
From: The Commanding Officer.
To: Division Headquarters, Second Division, American E. F.
Subject: Report Of Operations.
 
EXTRACT
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8. Jaignes, July 9-July 16, 1918 (Div. Hdqrs. Villiers-Coterets [sic Villers-Cotterêts] forest). On July 9, 1918 at 9.00 P.M. the company moved to Jaignes, a distance of about 25 kilometers, being releived at Villiers-sur-Marne by Amb. Co. 102, 26th Div. At Jaignes the men were cleaned up. Three ambulances were detailed to the 9th Inf. at Cocherel. Three cars were detailed to the 23rd Inf; 2 of these were placed at Montreuil and 1 at St. Aulde. On July 15, 1918 at 11.00 P.M. an enemy aviator dropped a bomb near our Dodge touring car, completely wrecking it and wounding 2 non-commissioned officers who were standing near it.

9. Boneuil, July 17-July 19, 1918 (Div. Hdqrs. Villiers Coterets forest). On July 16, 1918 at 8.30 P.M. the company in convoy with Amb. Co. 23 left Jaignes and proceeded to Boneuil, arriving there about noon on July 17, 1918. Distance covered 75 kilometers. At 9.00 P.M. July 17, 1918, orders were received to put up 2 dressing stations near Maison Neuve on the Soissons—Villiers Coterets road about 8 kilometers from Villiers Coterets. We started out at 11.00 P.M. with 4 officers, 6 ambulances, and 2 dressing station crews and equipment. We were held up in a blockade and did not arrive at Maison Neuve until 7.00 A.M. July 18, 1918, although it is only 18 kilometers. The attack had started at 5.00 A.M. and wounded were already beginning to arrive in large numbers at the dressing station. They continued to ome [sic come] in large numbers all day. We filled our 6 ambulances and started them for Boneuil. The congestion on the Soissons-Villers Coterets road was impassible. It took hours to go a few kilometers and it was the only road available. We had had no chance to go over the country and did not know any other road. It is very easy to get lost on the roads in the woods, so we did not dare send the ambulances by the side roads. There were no detailed maps to be had. The ambulances had such difficult going that the wounded began to pile up at Maison Neuve and we stopped empty supply trucks on their way to Villers Coterets and got them to evacuate the wounded. It was rough going in a truck as the road is made of rough cobble stones and is very uneven. This kept up all night of the 18th and all day of the 19th. In the afternoon of the 19th, the Divisional ammunition and supply trains were turned over to the Medical Department and the wounded were getting evacuated more quickly. Also the American Military Police had taken charge and the congestion and blocking on the road had almost dissappeared. About 2.00 P.M. a 3-ton Packard truck loaded with clothing and supplies appeared from the 15th Field Hospital, and at almost the same time the stretcher bearers from Amb. Co. 15 who had hiked from Boneuil. Orders were received from the Division Surgeon to advance the dressing station to Viersy [sic Vierzy], so the stretcher bearers and dressing station were loaded on 8 ambulances and the big truck of clothing was also taken and with 3 officers we started for Viersy. However on arriving at Vertes-Feuilles farm at the edge of the Villers-Coterets woods where the Regimental Aid Station of the 5th Marines was located, we were stopped by the Division Surgeon, who told us that Viersy was being hotly shelled and that we must put up our station at Vertes-Feuilles. So we unloaded the dressing station, clothing, and men and filled the ambulances and truck with wounded that had accumulated at that point. Soon all wounded were cleaned up from this place. At this time-about 7.00 P.M.—word was received that the division would be releived that night and that we should take our dressing station and men back. We caught a passing truck and loaded on the clothing from Field Hospital 15 and the dressing station and sent it back to Maison Neuve—5 kilometers—and hiked the men that distance— The French Ford Ambulances had arrived by this time and offered to help evacuate our wounded. The company got back to Maison Neuve about 1.00 A.M. July 20, 1918. The dressing station at Maison Neuve was re-opened at about 4.00 A.M. and kept going until noon when we were ordered to move to Vivieres. 3 ambulances which went up to Veirsy during the morning reported that all the aid stations in the vicinity of Veirsy were cleaned out.

10. Vivieres, July 20-July 21, 1918. (Div. Hdqrs. Villers Coterets Woods). We arrived at Vivieres about 4.00 P.M. and pitched shelter tents in the woods near the town. Just at this time we received orders to send our trucks to Field Hospital 23 at Taillefontaine to evacuate wounded, so we unpacked them and sent them over. Next morning, July 21 we received orders to move to Taillefontaine, so we borrowed transportation from Ambulance Company No. 1 and Field Hospital No. 23 and moved over, a distance of 5 kilometers.

11. Taillefontaine, July 21-July 24, 1918 (Div. Hdqrs. Villers Coterets woods). Ambulances and trucks continued to evacuate from Field Hospital No. 23 and Field Hospital No. 15; to Field Hospital No. 1 and Evacuation Hospital No. 5. Stretcher bearers and dressing stations crews in camp. On July 24, 1918 at 1.00 A.M. a shell struck close to Ambulance No. 71879 and wrecked it, wounding the driver and orderly who were sleeping in it. The ambulance at the time was on duty at Vertes Feuilles farm at an aid post. Our transportation is now reduced to 10 ambulances, 2 trucks (3-ton), 1 motorcycle with side car and 1 solo.

12. Fresnoy le Luat, July 24—July 25, 1918 (Div. Hdqrs. Nanteuil). At 4.00 P.M. July 24, 1918 the company moved to Fresnoy le Luat— a distance of 30 kilometers— arriving there about 5.00 P.M. Men pitched shelter tents.

13. Ognes, July 25— (Div. Hdqrs. Nanteuil). At 6.00 P.M. July 25, 1918 the company moved 15 kilometers to Ognes. Men pitched shelter tents. First 2 days spent in cleaning-up and getting equipment in good shape.

 
(Sgd) James W Bruce
James W.Bruce
1st Lieut. M.C. U.S.R.
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Records Of The Second Division (Regular) Volume 8; Operation Reports — War Diaries
Second Division Historical Section, The Army War College, Washington, D. C.
 
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