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Hobbs, M. K. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 27, Number 10 (Aug. 1926)

The military service record and honor roll,   pp. 342-343


Page 342


The Military Service Record and Honor Roll
This stately foyer at the entrance
of the Memorial Union Building
will be known as Memorial Hall.
Here will be made visible and
specific the University's tribute
to her former students and faculty
members  who  served in the
nation's wars. In bronze panels
will be cast the names of those
who died in service.
In a record book placed in a
niche in the hall will be told the
story of all others for whom the
University is able to secure any
report of military service. The
Records Office is busy now
gathering alumni war records.
The Honor roll will be publicly
presented at the Union corner-
stone laying ceremony.
   (The following paragraphs were written
for the   University's Military Service
Record by William K. Adams, B.A. '215,
lieutenant in the 148th U. S. Infantry in
the World War, as recollections of the
Ypres-Lys Offensive of October 31   to
November 4, 1918, in which offensive he
participated.
   They tell the thrilling story of one
 alumnus' war experience and will recall
to those alumni who were in the service
familiar names and typical war incidents.
   Two other letters, one from William
 Penn Powers, '6o, and the other from
 Rinehart 7. Swenson, 'V8, recording their
 war experiences, follow William K.
 Adams' story*.
   Hundreds of letters and war anecdotes
 of this kind, together with pictures, maps,
 and official documents, are being collected
 and preserved by Prof. Carl Russell Fish
 and Porter Butts of the Alumni Records
 Office in their work of compiling the Uni-
 versity's service record. Alumni and their
 friends are invited to send in similar ma-
 terial in addition to the regular question-
 naire blanks which have been mailed out.
   There is a keen realization at the Uni-
 versity of the value of this historical and
 biographical information to the friends,
 relatives and buddies of alumni who
 served, particularly as the war period
 grows more distant and the available
 authentic war stories and records more
 scarce.-The Editor.)
 A Few Recollections of the
       Ypres-Lys Offensive
 A    Olsene, Belgium, just before day-
    break, (October 31st, 1918, hell broke
 loose for five minutes-on the enemy.
 Then we went over. In the confusion at
 the "jump-off," I, who was liaison officer
 of the 2nd Battalion, 148th Infantry,
 and one of my runners, Private Antonio
 Gambesi, Co. "G," 148th Infantry, got
 separated from our unit. In going for-
 ward to find them, we came upon two
 Germans, whom we covered, disarmed,
 and took prisoners. From one of these,
a second lieutenant of a machine gun
company, I took a marked map, a copy
.of his recent orders, and other papers of
apparent military value, which I for-
warded to our Regimental Intelligence
Section. Having sent these prisoners
back under guard, very soon thereafter,
we came upon five or six other Germans,
whom we also covered and took prison-
ers. One of these fellows then went back
with me to the adjacent farmyard from
which they had just issued, and brought
out a "drove" of his comrades, whom we
summarily rounded up, disarmed, and
took prisoners. In this haul, we got
twenty-eight men, for which I hold
Brigade receipt. That these men were
extremely willing to be taken prisoners,
is evidenced by the fact that Private
Gambesi and I were the only Americans
in the immediate vicinity. This I learned
by having had to hunt for some minutes
for a man to send back with them as
guard.
   The following morning we were again
 on our way before dawn. By fast walk-
 ing, and with no opposition ahead, we
 reached our second objective by 7 A. M.
 Here, in accordance with orders, we re-
 mained until I I:3o A. M. During this
 stop, many of our boys were objects of
 Belgian hospitality, receiving from these
 grateful people a substantial whole grain
 bread, cheese, milk, etc. At 11:3o A. M.
 we continued our advance to the Escaut
 River, our final objective, which we
 reached at the town of Heurne, by 4
 P. M. of that day. From here, our unit
 marched to the small chateau south of
 Heuvel, which we made our head-
 quarters.
   It was now imperative that we re-
 established liaison with the French on
 our left. A sergeant and I, accordingly,
 started off up the road to the northeast,
 our most direct route. It was still clear
 daylight. Scarcely had we advanced
 fifty meters up this road, when an
 enemy machine gun from the opposite
 bank of the Escaut opened a persistent
fire on us. We dropped, wormed our way
in a furrow to a nearby turnip patch,
in which, by alternately crawling and
rushing short distances, we successfully
evaded the hostile fire, and shortly
thereafter, accomplished our mission.
  The same night it .was necessary to
locate a suitable place for a bridge-
crossing on the Escaut. Major Nathan
H. Jones, of the I I2th Engineers (now a
lieutentant colonel), and I made the
reconnaissance. Upon entering the town
of Heuvel, we continued down the main
street, which led to the River, and slid
down the ten foot embankment to look
over the ground. From our new position,
we could see, against the sky-line on the
opposite bank, some 30oor 4o yards
distant, dark forms moving slowly to
and fro. Watching them quietly for
some minutes, we saw them carry up
machine guns under their coats, and set
them up. I noted the location of the
emplacements, and, thirty     minutes
later, after we had withdrawn, our ma-
chine guns opened fire on them. Two
days later, a pontoon bridge was thrown
across from the spot we had recon-
noitered.
  The next day I was detailed by our
Batallion commander, Captain Hance,
to the unit on our right, 3rd Battalion,
i48th   Infantry, Major William    L.
Marlin (now a lieutenant colonel) com--
manding, to insure communication be-
tween the two headquarters. When I
reported to Major Marlin at his head-
quarters in the southern limits of Heurne,
the enemy was making it hot for us. The
Major's headquarters, by the way, were
in no "cave" or dugout, but rather very
much in the open, where the Major
himself might see the progress of his
troops. His motto that day was this,
"The bosche cannot withstand our
determined effort to cross." He was
right. Though our progress was slow,
due to the enemy barrage through which
our men must pass to cross the River,
they were getting over, despite-the fact
Jlugust, r926
342


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