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[cartoon] THE EVOLUTION OF A ROOKIE
 
[cartoon] THE EVOLUTION OF A ROOKIE
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WAR OPENS ON 'SKEETER AS CARRIER OF MALARIA
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Revision as of 09:23, 25 August 2018

[1st column proofed up to THE EVOLUTION OF A ROOKIE]

THE BAYONET: CAMP LEE, VA., FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 1918. THREE

TORPEDOED SOLDIERS NOW ACTING AS K. P.'S

Nine of Pershing's First Force, With German Names, Returned to America.

RESCUED AFLOAT IN OCEAN

In the Twenty-second Company, Sixth Training Battalion, Depot Brigade, are nine former members of Pershing's expeditionary forces, whose German names--but not addresses--- resulted in their discharge, and after a series of adventures, which included four hours' floating about the Atlantic, landed them at an American port three months and four days after they left the French port.

All nine enlisted last spring in the regular army, with the hope that they would be able to take an active part in helping chastise the Fatherland, which has given them nothing but German nomenclatures and plenty of trouble.

Their return trip reads like a chapter---about the next to the last one--- from the best book of sea tales that was ever written, and covers the following incidents in the order of their importance: Torpedoed on the Antilles, October 17; wrecked in mid-ocean: collided with French patrol boat: collided with American convoy, and, finally, detailed as kitchen police at Camp Lee.

Not according to gray hairs, age or alphabetically, the nine soldiers, all of the 18th Infantry, are Private Henry Ernest, formerly of Company B; Private Fred A. Janssen, Company L; Private August Doxie, Company E; Private John Polyanes, Supply Company; Private Carl Weber, Company B; Corporal Harry Kast, Company G; Private Adolph Meinke, Company G; Private M. W. Miller, Headquarters Company; Private Michael Wix, Company L, and Private Richard Fisher, Company G.

With Private Dovie as their spokesman, the eight others gathered around their listener in the kitchen of Company 22 and supplemented or occasionally denied, but in the main affirmed the following tale which he told:

They left Hoboken June 14, when several shiploads of American soldiers departed for European shores. The trip across was uneventful, and on June 28 they arrived at the French port of debarkation. After spending a day aboard their ships they debarked, and for fourteen days were billeted at this seaport, awaiting orders to move.

Three days later orders came, and with them the cars to transport them. They traveled inland, and at the end of their journey were billeted in a small French village where the natives, at first, were not in the least surprised, for they thought they were a new kind of British troops.

At this village, the name of which they refused to divulge, they spent the next three months training. French and English bayonet drills, battle formations and gas-mask drills occupied the greater part of their training, which, they asserted, was strenuous, with plenty of emphasis. During their stay there, General Pershing, on four or five occasions, inspected their quarters, and, as one of them expressed it, if he hadn't been standing at attention he could have touched him with his rifle. They were also reviewed by President Poincare.

All this time they were within twenty-five miles of the front, and consequently within hearing distance of the big guns along the western front. It was the last of September when they received the orders which started them on their three months' return voyage to the States. They all agreed that they regretted leaving their commands, but immediately started for Paris -- where they spent a day and a half -- and thence to the point of debarkation.

October 14, aboard the Antilles, they sailed. On the morning of the third day out the big liner was torpedoed by a German submarine. With the exception of Private Ernest, who was on guard, the others were asleep, and rudely awakened by the terrible shock which resulted when the torpedo hit squarely amidships. Grabbing life preservers they leaped into the ocean, and four and a half minutes later saw the big ship plunge, stern first, beneath the waves, Sixty-seven Americans were lost, including seventeen American soldiers and five sailors. It was, strictly speaking, the first American loss following this country's entrance into the war.

Before the Antilles went down there had been time for the launching of only two lifeboats, both of which were filled with survivors, including but two of the nine soldiers. The others floated in the ocean supported by their preservers, and four hours later were picked up by American convoy ships and taken back to a French port. Here they remained until December 4, when they boarded the Powhatan, ten days later sailing. Half way across they ran into a terrific storm, which crippled the big boat, forcing them to again put back into port. On the return trip they collided with a Swedish tramp vessel, filled with dynamite, but fortunately their ship was damaged only slightly.

They were transferred again, this time to the George Washington, and once more started towards America, setting sail January 4. In the middle of the ocean they collided with an American transport, filled with troops bound for France. No particular damage was done, and without further experience they finished the journey to an American port, arriving January 18. They were transferred February 12 to Camp Lee for duty, and since their arrival the Depot Brigade has been their home.

Too Long a Shot.

Benjamin Birdie, the famous jockey was taken suddenly ill, and the trainer advised him to visit a doctor in the town.

"He'll put you right in a jiffy," he said.

The same evening he found Benjamin lying curled up in the stables, kicking his legs about in agony.

"Hello, Benny! Have you been to the doctor?"

"Yes."

"Well, didn't he do you any good?"

"I didn't go in. When I got to his house there was a brass plate on his door -- 'Dr. Kurem. Ten to one' -- I wasn't going to monkey with a long shot like that!" -- New York Globe.

[cartoon] THE EVOLUTION OF A ROOKIE

WAR OPENS ON 'SKEETER AS CARRIER OF MALARIA Zone Around