Features appear in each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage showcasing a variety of subjects from various periods and geographic locations in Pennsylvania.

In 1917, when America entered World War I, the 28th Infantry Division was the nation’s oldest National Guard unit. Organized by Pennsylvania in 1878, the division was made up of units that had already earned battle streamers for contributions in conflicts from the American Revolution to the Civil War. Arriving in France in late Spring 1918, the 28th immediately began developing a reputation for successfully accomplishing difficult tasks. From July 15, 1918, to the end of hostilities on November 11, 1918, the 28th participated in no less than eight major operations. The division’s fighting ability and tenacity became widely recognized at the highest echelons of the military. When Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), visited the division’s 109th Regiment, 55th Brigade, to commend them for a defensive stand, he referred to them in a speech as “men of iron.” As the 28th continued to take and hold ground against the best the Germans could field against them in subsequent operations, Pershing began calling them the “Iron Division.”

 

Men of Iron, a National Guard Heritage Series painting by Don Troiani, depicts a heroic stand by the 28th Division’s 109th Infantry Regiment against attacking German troops during the Champagne-Marne Offensive in July 1918.

Men of Iron, a National Guard Heritage Series painting by Don Troiani, depicts a heroic stand by the 28th Division’s 109th Infantry Regiment against attacking German troops during the Champagne-Marne Offensive in July 1918.
Courtesy National Guard Bureau

Upon America’s entrance in the Great War in April 1917, both the Allies (France, Britain, Russia and Italy) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey and Bulgaria) were running out of manpower. The United States’ available active Army (128,000 men) and National Guard (131,000 men) were too small and ill-equipped to make any immediate difference. Germany realized, however, that if the Allies were allowed time to capitalize on America’s potential supply of manpower, the chances of German victory would be greatly diminished. Accordingly, the Central Powers immediately began planning for a series of offensives in early 1918 on the Western Front. They also enabled exiled Bolshevik revolutionist Vladimir Lenin to return to Russia, leading to the October Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918, removing Russia from the war. This allowed for the transfer of 45 additional German divisions to the Western Front, which they would use to reinforce their offensives aimed at crippling the French and British armies in the west before America could make her full strength a factor.

The Allies, therefore, were anxious to get American troops, particularly additional infantrymen, into combat quickly. But it took time to reorganize the American army into a modern structure capable of simultaneously deploying fighting organizations and training the vast influx (eventually more than 4.5 million) of volunteer and draftee soldiers. Nevertheless, the first American divisions began deploying to France by the fall of 1917, and by the end of that year two regular Army Infantry Divisions (1st and 2nd with the 5th Marine Brigade attached) and three National Guard Infantry Divisions (26th, 41st and 42nd) were “Over There.”

As the German offensives in the early spring of 1918 pushed large salient into the Allied lines, revised American plans called for the infantry elements of six divisions of the next U.S. Corps to be quickly shipped to France: three in April 1918 and three in May 1918. The 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, was one of the latter.

The majority of soldiers who sailed as part of the 28th Division in May 1918 had been members of the 7th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, while it was federalized for service near El Paso, Texas, in support of the Mexican Punitive Expedition from June 1916 until mustered out of federal service at Philadelphia in February 1917. With the U.S. declaration of war in April 1917, the 7th Division was again ordered to federal service and sent to Camp Hancock near Augusta, Georgia, for its initial mobilization activities. Upon arrival in Georgia, the units making up the 7th Division were restructured into the Army’s newly approved “square” division organization, and the 7th Division was redesignated as the 28th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Keystone Division.

Each of the four infantry regiments was composed of three infantry battalions and one machine-gun company, providing a total of approximately 12,248 riflemen and 712 machine-gun crewmen to the division. The three separate machine-gun battalions added another 1,904 machine-gun crew-men. There were 4,829 artillerymen in the field artillery brigade organization, and the engineer regiment had 1,712 personnel. The various headquarters, supply, support and communications elements brought the total authorized strength for the division to just over 28,000. There were sufficient American-made rifles for the soldiers, but the majority of the machine guns, artillery pieces and other heavy equipment would have to come from British and French sources after arrival overseas.

The division trained at Camp Hancock from August 19, 1917, to April 20, 1918. During that time, the 110th Infantry Regiment was able to complete small arms training against targets up to 300 yards for 90 percent of its soldiers. Its sister regiment, the 109th, however, managed to process only 75 percent of its soldiers through that same course. The 112th Infantry, on the other hand, had most of its soldiers qualified to 600 yards. Perhaps not surprisingly, the 109th Machine Gun Battalion reported that it had accomplished no rifle marksmanship training and only “preliminary” pistol training.

Even though much rudimentary training was still incomplete, orders directed advance elements of the division to depart Camp Hancock on April 21, 1918, for Camp Upton, New York, where final preparations for overseas deployment would be accomplished. After only a short stay at Camp Upton, the division headquarters and its subordinate infantry units departed on May 3-7, 1918, from Hoboken for England.

 

The 28th Division trained at Camp Hancock, Georgia, between August 1917 and April 1918. Library of Congress

The 28th Division trained at Camp Hancock, Georgia, between August 1917 and April 1918. Library of Congress

By May 17 the division was in France, attached for training to the British 34th Infantry Division at Lumbres training area east of Boulogne. The American and British high commands had agreed to a three-phase training program for the arriving American Expeditionary Forces.

Period A would involve preliminary training out of the line for a minimum of four weeks. This included ordinary drill, musketry, physical training and countergas training; specialist training in the use of machine guns, Lewis guns, light trench mortars, bombs (grenades) and rifle bombs; and technical training for engineers and signal and medical personnel.

In Period B, American troops would begin their attachment to British troops in the line by sending up commissioned and noncommissioned officers for about 48 hours to study their British counterparts’ work. Then the enlisted men would be sent up and mixed with British companies and platoons for training. Finally, they would form “platoons attached to a British company, as complete companies attached to a British battalion, and as complete battalions attached to a British brigade” for a period of at least three weeks.

Period C would entail three to four weeks of advanced training by regiments in a back area, including the maneuvering of battalions and regiments. Operations larger than those by a single regiment were not to be undertaken. After Period C had been completed regiments would be ready to go into the line and take over a sector as part of a British division, which was expected to withdraw one of its organic brigades to make room for the U.S. unit.

On May 29 British General HQs reported the training status of “11,597 Infantry Rifles (about 11½ battalions) and 2,306 Machine Gunners (about 13 companies)” belonging to the 28th Division with the statement, “None of the above troops are fit for the line at present.” The HQ published training orders calling for Period A for the 28th Division to end June 30, Period B on July 30, and Period C not earlier than August 15. Lt. Philip C. Shoemaker of Bellefonte, Centre County, who served in Company A, 107th Machine Gun Battalion, described his experience in a letter to his mother on May 25, 1918:

I am now attending a M[achine] G[un] school somewhere in beautiful France. It is to last for two weeks, then I go back to instruct the Co. We are under British instructors here. We are living in tents but I have my cot and bedding roll so I am most comfortable. . . . The enlisted men all seem glad to be here; as long as they get something to eat they are happy.

As the 28th Division was just beginning its British-led training, however, the Germans launched a devastating offensive that drove a bulge in the Allied lines in the Château-Thierry region. Given the dire situation, AEF commander Pershing put the majority of available U.S. forces, including the 28th Infantry Division, at the disposal of Gen. Ferdinand Foch, commander-in-chief of the Allied Armies, despite being philosophically set against doing so. As a result, on June 5 the 28th Division was ordered detached from the British Second Army. On June 12 it began marching and rail movements to shift it southeast to the French sector. “Left machine gun school Saturday,” Lieutenant Shoemaker wrote to his mother on June 13. “We are semi-barbarians, it will take some time after the war before we can settle down.”

By June 17 the 28th had closed into the French Sixth Army area. Its first task upon arrival was to turn in all of its American rifles and Stokes mortars and then draw and issue French rifles, machine guns and carts, squad automatic rifles, and 37-mm guns to ease the logistical burden of the French units to which it was now attached. This meant, of course, that the Pennsylvanians now needed training on proper operation and maintenance of their new French weaponry.

While the 28th Division was still in the midst of that training, increasing German pressure on the French Army caused the division’s 55th Brigade to be attached to the depleted French 125th Division and the 56th Brigade to the now weak French 39th Division. From June to mid-July both brigades remained in the Château-Thierry region and continued training while simultaneously occupying secondary trench positions. Although not on the front lines, the 28th nonetheless had 190 casualties during this period: 31 killed, 4 dead from wounds, and 155 wounded.

Then, early on July 15, the Germans launched a devastating attack in the Château-Thierry region in an attempt to further their gains made in May.

 

Champagne-Marne Defensive, July 15-18

The German infantry attack was preceded by an extensive artillery barrage, followed by a dense smoke screen to mask their movement across the Marne River. Hardest hit during the attack were the 55th Brigade units positioned forward within the French 125th Division. Four rifle companies, two from the 109th Regiment and two from the 110th Regiment, were attached for front-line orientation to French regiments. Company L of the 109th was assigned to the French 131st Regiment north of Varennes and M Company with the French 113th Regiment northeast of Courthiézy. Companies B and C of the 110th Regiment also were attached to the French 113th Regiment, but near Sauvigny. Sgt. Edward J. Radcliffe, chief scout in the 109th Infantry recalled the day in his diary:

At noon mess at battalion, on 15 July, we learned that our forward units had heroically engaged the enemy’s point consisting of the Imperial Guard itself, backed up by 15 German Divisions, 6 on their front and 9 in reserve including the 4th and 5th Prussian Guards, rated as the best Storm Troopers of the German Army.

The French units initially had strict orders to hold the line at all costs. As the German attack progressed, however, the French regiments retreated. Lack of coordination, command and control issues and the language barrier all played a role in leaving the unsuspecting 28th Division personnel alone in their positions. Outflanked, the 55th Brigade companies fought heroically, and the survivors eventually made their way back to the second line of defense. In the process, the 109th Regiment casualties were 109 killed, 23 dead from wounds, and 336 wounded; the 110th suffered 84 killed,  7 dead from wounds, and 111 wounded; and the 108th Machine Gun Battalion had 7 killed, 2 dead from wounds, and 17 wounded.

Soldiers from the 28th examine captured weapons after German withdrawal from Épaux-Bézu, France, July 23, 1918. Pennsylvania State Archives/RG-19.51

Soldiers from the 28th examine captured weapons after German withdrawal from Épaux-Bézu, France, July 23, 1918. Pennsylvania State Archives/RG-19.51

The 56th Brigade fared better. Attached to the French 39th Division, it occupied the second position south of Château-Thierry. During the German attack of July 15 the brigade’s position took enemy artillery fire but suffered no appreciable damage, and elements of the brigade subsequently participated in several local counterattacks. During these actions, the 56th Brigade’s casualties were 18 killed, 8 dead from wounds, and 253 wounded. Casualties in the remainder of the 28th Division’s units during the three-day defensive battle, mostly in the engineer regiment, were 17 killed, 4 dead from wounds, and 237 wounded.

Assisted by the actions of American units across the battlefront, the Allies halted the German’s Champagne-Marne Offensive; it proved to be the last great attack by the Germans. The Allies soon began their own offensives, and the Keystone Division would play a significant role in three operations.

 

Aisne-Marne Offensive, July 18-August 6

The 28th Division began the Allied Aisne-Marne Offensive with both its brigades under operational control of the division’s headquarters for the first time, occupying a reserve position as part of the French III Corps of the French Ninth Army. As the offensive unfolded, however, the 56th Brigade was once again detached on July 22. This time it was sent to reinforce the efforts of the American I Corps. Upon arrival it was further attached to the American 26th (“Yankee”) Infantry Division from New England and participated in offensive operations with that division until July 25.

The 28th entering Bézu-Saint-Germain in France after the Germans evacuated, July 24, 1918.

The 28th entering Bézu-Saint-Germain in France after the Germans evacuated, July 24, 1918.
Pennsylvania State Archives/RG-19.51

By July 28 the 56th Brigade had returned to 28th Division control. The 28th relieved the French 39th Division in a line from Courmont to La Cense and attacked across the Ourcq River, but with minimal success. Harold W. Pierce of Hershey, Dauphin County, who served in A Company, 112th Regiment, 56th Brigade, described several days’ events during the Aisne-Marne Offensive. On July 29 he wrote this entry in his diary:

Members of the 103rd Engineer Regiment recover a sunken boat that had been part of a pontoon bridge on the Marne River at Jaulgonne, France, July 29, 1918.

Members of the 103rd Engineer Regiment recover a sunken boat that had been part of a pontoon bridge on the Marne River at Jaulgonne, France, July 29, 1918.
Pennsylvania State Archives/RG-19.51

We move to another forest closer to the front. A small town is shelled as we pass through. There has been heavy fighting along the Ourcq near Sergne. Cierges and Serings where the Germans stopped and tried and take the offensive from the Americans. The 109th and 110th are on the front and have taken very heavy casualties. Today as we went forward stretcher bearers were carrying badly wounded men back. The weather is unbearably hot, and the men in the lines have stripped to shirts, some even have thrown away all equipment but a rifle, bayonet and gas mask.

A truck train of the 28th Division passing through Dravegny, France, August 5, 1918. Pennsylvania State Archives/MG-156

A truck train of the 28th Division passing through Dravegny, France, August 5, 1918. Pennsylvania State Archives/MG-156

“In the same woods in reserve,” Pierce wrote the following day. “The 55th Brigade had a hard time on the Ourcq. The Prussian Guard tried to attack and there was hand to hand fighting, but the Jerries could not stand the bayonet. We hear today they were trying to use tanks.”

On July 31 the 28th was relieved by the U.S. 32nd Division, which similarly proved unable to establish a bridgehead across the Vesle River. Pierce’s account continued on August 1:

Kelly is a runner for “B” Company and I sneak off to the front to see what is going on. Still hot. Men of the 32nd Division have even thrown away their leggings. They are really going in there to fight. But the line has quieted a little and Jerry is on the run again, it seems. The 32nd is pushing ahead. We visit the grave of LTC Fetzer, one of the 110th [Infantry Regiment], and six men killed with him by a shell that struck their headquarters. The 110th are said to have lost over one third of their men in that battle. Signal Corps men in a hole beside the road want us to be careful. We remain with them and they point out infantry crossing an open field a mile ahead in combat groups. We hear bursts of machine gun fire and occasionally a whispering in the air as a spent bullet passes. We are close enough. It is much more interesting to watch a battle than to be in one.

Casualties in the 28th Division’s units during the 19-day offensive were 1,969: 300 killed, 76 dead from wounds, and 1,593 wounded.

 

 

 

Active Defense Vicinity Fismes, August 7-17

Pierce’s watching days were few, because on August 6-7 the 28th once again replaced the 32nd Division along the front lines in the vicinity of the Vesle River and southwest of the town of Fismes. On August 7 elements of the 28th crossed the Vesle in the Fismes area, and on August 8 the line was pushed forward into Fismette, a suburb of Fismes. On August 9-10 PFC William S. Mertz of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, serving in I Company, 111th Infantry Regiment, 56th Brigade, remarked about the movements of his unit in the Fismes area:

Men of the 28th camping in the woods near Fismes, France, to avoid detection by German reconnaissance aircraft in August 1918. National Archives

Men of the 28th camping in the woods near Fismes, France, to avoid detection by German reconnaissance aircraft in August 1918. National Archives

Our unit was moving towards Fismes under terrific shelling and enormous gas which caused us nine more casualties. Shortly after midnight on the 10th we advanced up to the town of Fismes, received there to cross the Vesle River and reinforce the second battalion of our regiment. While passing through Fismes on the way to the bridge we encountered a terrific barrage. The killing of one of our men and wounding of 17 others was the result. Only 17 of our company succeeded in crossing the bridge that morning, and they were immediately thrown into the second battalion, where they fought for four days and nights helping to break up three German [counter]attacks.  On one of the attacks the enemy used flamethrowers, throwing any number of grenades or  “potato mashers” as they were called.

The 56th Brigade lost Fismette but managed to retain Fismes. On August 13 the 111th Infantry was relieved by the 109th Regiment, 55th Brigade. That same day, as part of a larger reorganization of the French Sixth Army area, the 28th Division was shifted to the east, relieving the French 164th Division and turning over that part of its sector west of Fismes to the American 77th Division. Ten days of aggressive “defensive” activities cost the 28th Division another 1,910 casualties: 268 killed, 63 dead from wounds, and 1,579 wounded.

 

Oise-Aisne Offensive, August 18-September 10

The Allies resumed their broad front offensive operations on August 18. In the early days of the Allies’ Oise-Aisne Offensive, however, there was relatively little activity on the front of the 28th Division. A local attack on August 22 cleared Fismette of the enemy, but once again they recaptured the town on August 27. Efforts to clean out the enemy south of the river to the east of Fismes were also unsuccessful. As a result of other successful Allied attacks in the northwest, however, the Germans executed a withdrawal in front of the French Sixth Army during the night of September 3-4. The 28th Division pursued on the afternoon of September 4, crossing the Vesle River and establishing a line on the southern edge of the plateau between the Vesle and Aisne rivers. Separate attacks on September 5 and 6 only advanced on the plateau about 1,500 meters. The 28th Division was relieved on this line during the night of September  7-8 by the French 62nd Division and over the next two days shifted behind a screen of French troops to begin preparations to take part in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Total 28th Division casualties during the 23-day offensive operation were 3,331: 381 killed, 172 dead from wounds, and 2,778 wounded.

 

Meuse-Argonne Offensive, September 26-October 10

When the Meuse-Argonne Offensive opened, the 28th Division attacked as the center division of the U.S. I Corps. On the right of the division the 55th Brigade advanced 3 miles; on the left the 56th Brigade, in the eastern edge of the Argonne Forest, gained only 1¼ miles.

A wounded soldier of Company K, 110th Infantry, receiving first-aid treatment from a comrade at Varennes-en-Argonne, France, September 26, 1918. National Archives

A wounded soldier of Company K, 110th Infantry, receiving first-aid treatment from a comrade at Varennes-en-Argonne, France, September 26, 1918. National Archives

In his diary, Pierce of the 112th Regiment, 56th Brigade, recorded his experiences of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive after midnight on September 26, 1918. As the 112th Regiment moved to the front line he was already exhausted from running messages from the battalion commander to his sister battalions. Pierce sat down for a short rest, fell asleep, and missed the battalion movement. When he awoke, the sun was up and he scrambled to locate his unit.

Members of Company K, 110th Infantry, passing through Varennes-en-Argonne after its capture on September 26, 1918. Pennsylvania State Archives/RG-19.51

Members of Company K, 110th Infantry, passing through Varennes-en-Argonne after its capture on September 26, 1918. Pennsylvania State Archives/RG-19.51

A mile or so ahead the battalion deploys in an open field to the right of the forest and there remains on the ground. Some officer had a bright idea that Scouts are to be sent in front and lead companies staying about 200 yards of the first combat group. I am picked and with another scout take positions in front of A Co. I feel like a sore thumb sticking way out in front of everyone. Over our heads Boche shells race and bust near a wagon train about a mile behind us. A man from the 109th Infantry Regiment escorts a German prisoner through the line and when asked where he got him he says, go up and get one of your own, there are plenty of them up there.

Soldiers in Battery A, 108th Field Artillery, under attack by enemy gas shells, fire toward Chatel-Chéhéry, October 3, 1918. National Archives

Soldiers in Battery A, 108th Field Artillery, under attack by enemy gas shells, fire toward Chatel-Chéhéry, October 3, 1918. National Archives

On September 27 the 55th Brigade captured Montblainville and established its line to the north of the town; the 56th Brigade, however, was unable to advance. On September 28 the 55th Brigade reached Apremont and established a line of resistance on the east, north and west of the town. On the left the 56th Brigade, hindered by rough terrain and German machine guns in the forest, managed only small gains. The attack continued on September 29, but the 28th’s front line was not materially advanced. Nonetheless, by the night of September 29-30 the line of the 28th was considerably in advance of the front lines of both the divisions to its flanks. Accordingly, the Corps HQ ordered the organization of a defensive line, which was completed on September 30, while preparations were made for a further advance. On October 1 a heavy German counterattack against the 55th Brigade was repulsed, and follow-up attacks by both brigades shifted the front line farther forward.

No attacks in force were made on October 2-3, although there were local actions and extensive patrolling. On October 4 the 55th Brigade established its line east of the Aire River; the 56th Brigade made small gains. On October 5 the 55th Brigade held the line of the Aire near Apremont. October 6 was spent preparing for a corps-level attack to be launched on the following day. During the night of October 6-7, the 103rd Engineers built a bridge across the Aire, and the 3rd Battalion of the 109th Infantry moved across and took up a position along the railroad to cover the crossing of the 110th Infantry for the attack. The attacking forces of the 110th Infantry crossed the river before midnight, October 6, and took up positions south of the bridge and under cover of the riverbank. The attack commenced as scheduled at 5 a.m. on October 7 and, despite heavy enemy fire, eventually forced the withdrawal of major elements of two German divisions. The 28th attempted to continue its advance on October 8, but renewed German resistance held the brigades to only minor gains.

The 28th Division was relieved by the 82nd Division on October 9 and over the next three days relocated to a reserve position, having taken 4,162 total casualties (808 killed, 294 dead from wounds, 3,060 wounded) in the 23 days of preparation and heavy combat.

 

Thiaucourt Sector and Woevre Operation, October 17-November 11

The last major operations carried out by the 28th Infantry Division prior to the Armistice occurred from October 17 to November 11, 1918. With the German Army clearly retreating, the Allies wanted to keep the pressure on. As part of the IV U.S. Corps, the 28th Division participated in attacks on October 24, November 4, November 9 and the morning of November 11. Further operations were halted by the Armistice. These final actions resulted in another 1,082 casualties: 111 killed, 51 dead from wounds, and 920 wounded.

At the conclusion of hostilities on November 11 and for the remainder of their time in France prior to its redeployment to the United States in April 1919, the 28th, like all other American units, took part in a variety of activities. Chief among them were all types of intradivisional and interdivisional sporting events, such as American football games and track and field meets. In addition, they participated in a number of parades, as well as exhibitions such as horse shows.

The Pennsylvanians who made up the 28th Division in 1917 followed in the hallowed footsteps of their predecessors in local and commonwealth militia and volunteer regiments that served in every American war since the late 17th century. Their accomplishments in France in 1918, even as approximately one of every three became a casualty, clearly validate their right to be known as the “Iron Division.”

 

Philadelphians Capt. Ralph W. Knowles, Lt. James Spillen, Lt. Frank Teirry and Lt. M. R. McAdoo Jr. of the 103rd Trench Mortar Battery in a trench at Epinouville, France, October 5, 1918. Pennsylvania State Archives/RG-19.51

Philadelphians Capt. Ralph W. Knowles, Lt. James Spillen, Lt. Frank Teirry and Lt. M. R. McAdoo Jr. of the 103rd Trench Mortar Battery in a trench at Epinouville, France, October 5, 1918. Pennsylvania State Archives/RG-19.51

 

Organization of the 28th Infantry Division 1917

55th Infantry Brigade
109th Infantry Regiment
110th Infantry Regiment
108th Machine Gun Battalion

56th Infantry Brigade
111th Infantry Regiment
112th Infantry Regiment
109th Machine Gun Battalion

53rd Field Artillery Brigade
107th Field Artillery Regiment (75-mm guns)
108th Field Artillery Regiment (155-mm howitzers)
109th Field Artillery Regiment (75-mm guns)
103rd Trench Mortar Battery

Divisional Troops
107th Machine Gun Battalion
103rd Field Signal Battalion
103rd Engineer Regiment
Headquarters Troop
Trains

 

 

More on the 28th Infantry Division in the Great War . . .

For background on the origins of the 28th Infantry Division and its participation in missions both internal and external to Pennsylvania from the Colonial period to the end of World War I, see Pennsylvania in the World War: An Illustrated History of the Twenty-Eighth Division (States Publications Society, 1921). The two-volume set is of particular value for its outlining of the various units and their reorganization and redesignation over time up to the division’s deployment to France in 1918.

28th Infantry Division Summary of Operations in the World War by the American Battle Monuments Commission (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1944) is practically a day-to-day account of the 28th by unit in all the major operations undertaken from July to November 1918.

Volumes 1 and 3 to 6 of United States Army in the World War, 1917–1919 (Center of Military History, 1988–90) outline the organization and equipment of U.S. infantry divisions, their training in France, the division to which each corps was assigned, and day-to-day unit movements during each operation.

The insightful article “The Keystone Division in the Great War” in Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives 10, no. 2 (Summer 1978), 83-99, describes the difficulties the 28th encountered in its first exposure to combat, particularly in July 15–17, 1918.

The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Cumberland County, holds a collection of surveys completed by World War I veterans, as well as journals and diaries of soldiers, that provide detailed information on military life and eyewitness accounts of the operations of the 28th during the war. For more information, visit ahec.armywarcollege.edu.

 

LTC Brent C. Bankus, USA (Ret.), is currently chief of the Oral History Branch at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center’s Military History Institute, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Cumberland County. He was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-111th Infantry, 56th Brigade, 28th Infantry Division, from June 1986 to August 1989.

LTC James O. Kievit, USA (Ret.), recently retired as professor of National Security Leadership at the Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College. He resides in Carlisle and has coauthored monographs and articles on both historical military operations and future concepts.