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Shawnee County Casualties in WWI

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Brief composition & history of the 35th (Sante Fe) Division in US training & in France
Sante Fe Insignia of the 35th Division

The 35th (Santa Fe) Division was formed in the fall of 1917, by combining the Kansas and Missouri National Guard troops. Kansas supplied approximately 8,000 men, Missouri 14,750 with the remainder obtained from draft contingents, bringing the Division to a strength of 27,000. The Division was organized at Camp Doniphan, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in August 1917. During the following spring additional selective service men arrived from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Camp Funston, Kansas and Camp Travis, Texas.

The composition of the 35th Division (authorized strength - 991 officers and 27,114 men) was constituted as follows:

  • 69th Infantry Brigade
    • 137th Infantry Regiment
    • 138th Infantry Regiment
    • 129th Machine-Gun Battalion
  • 70th Infantry Brigade
    • 139th Infantry Regiment
    • 140th Infantry Regiment
    • 130th Machine-Gun Battalion
  • 60th Field Artillery Brigade
    • 128th Field Artillery Regiment (75-mm guns)
    • 129th Field Artillery Regiment (75-mm guns)
    • 130th Field Artillery Regiment (155-mm howitzers)
    • 110th Trench-Mortar Battery
  • Divisional Troops
    • 128th Machine-Gun Battalion
    • 110th Engineer Regiment
    • 110th Field Signal Battalion
    • Headquarters Troop

After assembling and training at Fort Sill, OK, in April 1918 the division began a move through military camps in New York and New Jersey to ports prior to embarkation for Europe. In mid-April the advance detachment sailed from New York, followed by the remainder of the division during the months of April and May. The various units landed at Liverpool and London, England, before sailing for Le Havre in France.
The Division was moved to areas near Epinal and the Vosges mountains in eastern France for further training and front line exposure until it was moved close to St. Mihiel to act as a reserve unit for the first major offensive of the newly constituted American Army, in September, 1918. With the relatively quick victory of the campaign, the 35th Division was moved into place in preparation for the climatic American First Army offensive at Meuse-Argonne, designated to begin on September 26th, 1918.

The following is a summary of the participation of the 35th Division from September 26 until the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, as prepared by the American Battle Monuments Commission:

In preparation for the attack to be launched on September 26, the 35th Division, as part of the American I Corps, relieved the French 73d Division in the Grange-le-Comte Sector, in the vicinity of Vauquois, on September 21.
The division attacked on September 26, and advanced to the line, Cote 218-Hill 202. The attack was renewed on the following day. Leading elements reached the ridge northeast of Charpentry, the northern slope of the ravine near Chaudron Ferme and the ridge north of Baulny.

The attack on the 28th carried the front line of the division into Montrebeau wood and to the east of it. Early on the morning of the 29th, an attack was launched from Montrebeau wood against Exermont. The town was reached, but could not be held. Later in the morning another attack was made. The troops advanced beyond Exermont, but about noon a German counterattack drove them to the south. The ridge northeast of Baulny was held during the night. On the following day the line was strengthened and all attempts of the enemy to advance were repulsed.
During the night of September 30-October 1, the 35th Division was relieved by the 1st Division.

From October 15 to November 7 the division served in the front line east of the Meuse as a part of the French XXXIII and French XVII Corps successively. On the latter date it was relieved by the American 81st Division. On November 8 the 35th Division was designated as reserve of the Second Army.

Total Division losses (wounded, died from wounds and killed in action) for the Meuse-Argonne action between Sept 26 and Oct 1 were 6,006 of all ranks.

Interesting 35th Div. facts:

  • Capt. Harry Truman was an artillery battery commander (129th Field Artillery) in the 35th Division.
  • Lt. Colonel George S. Patton was Tank Commander of the newly formed US Tank Corps supporting the 35th Division in the US Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

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