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Troopships
Up Levitan Aquitania Olympic Delta Vater Ascanious H.M.S. Delta Phens Vedic Empress of Britan H.M.S. Kasmir Saxon H.M.S. Bohemia Scotian U.S.S Ulysses U.S.S. Pastores

DEPARTURE

Toward the last of May, telegrams from the War Department ordering the transfer to the Depot Brigade of all surplus officers and the establishing of a school for intensive training of field and staff officers were interpreted as indicating an early departure of the (Division overseas.)

Finally, on July 22nd, a War Department telegram was received containing instructions for the movement of the Division to the Port of Embarkation with special instruction for the Advance Detachment and Billeting Party of 52 officers and men and the advance school detachment of 110 officers and 107 men to be sent at the earliest possible date. The train carrying these two detachments left Camp Dodge the night of July 28th. They were sent to Camp Upton, Long Island, New York, where equipment was checked and completed. On August 3d, the Advance School Detachment sailed on the "Leviathan," formerly the "Vaterland," and arrived at Brest, August 11th. From Brest they proceeded to Chatillon-sur-Seine to the 3d Corps Schools. The Advance Detachment and Billeting Party sailed on the Cunard Liner "Aquitania," August 6th, arriving in Liverpool, August 12th. Following four days spent in rest camps at Liverpool and Southampton, the detachment lauded at Cherbourg, August 16th and through a misunderstanding on the part of the R. T. 0. at that port proceeded to Tonnerre, Cote d’Or, intended for the Headquarters of the 81st Division. After two days at Tonnerre, the party wont on to Semur, Cote d' Or,  the 21st Training Area, and established headquarters there August 20th.

Other organizations followed their turn, spending from four to seven days in Camp Upton or Camp Mills, being inspected and  equipped; and units landing in England spent from one to five days in rest camps before proceeding to France. On August 9th, the 349th Infantry sailed on the White Star Liner "Olympic," arriving at Southampton, August 16th. Parts of the regiment left that same day for Le Havre, the remaining units following the 17th and 18th. The next units to leave the United States were Regimental Headquarters, Headquarters, Company, the 1st Battalion, Medical Detachment, Machine Gun Company and Supply Company of the 350th Infantry, which sailed on H. M. .S. Delta," August 11th, arriving at Tilbury-on-Thames, August 25, and at Cherbourg, August 29th. On August 15th, Regimental I Headquarters, the 1st Battalion headquarters, Company "M," Supply Co. and Medical Detachment of the 352d Infantry and the 337th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from New York on the "Ascanius" of the Blue Funnel Line, arriving at Liverpool August 28th and at Cherbourg, September 1st.

The same day, August 14th, the 339th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from Philadelphia on the "Phens" of the Blue Funnel Line, arriving in Liverpool, August 27th and at Le Ilavre, August 30th. The 3d Battalion and Company  of the 350th Infantry with the 338th Machine Gun Battalion sailed August 15th from Hoboken on H.M.S. "Kashmir." The remainder of the 350th Infantry sailed the following day on the "Messanabie" and arrived at Liverpool with the H.M.S. "Kashmir" August 28th. Troops aboard these ships debarked at Cherbourg, September 1st. In the same convoy with the "Ascanius" was the U. S. S. "Ulysses," which sailed from Philadelphia, August 15th, carrying the 2d Battalion and the 3d Battalion, less Company "M" of the 352d Infantry, landing at Liverpool, August 28th and at Le Havre two days later. Company "M" sailed from Philadelphia on the "City of Exter". August 14th, arriving at Manchester the 29th and at Le Havre the 31st. The "Ulysses" carried also the 3d Battalion of the 351st Infantry which debarked in Cherbourg from Southampton, September 6th. The remainder of the 351st Infantry sailed August 16th, on the ships "Saxon" and "Scotian," arriving at Liverpool, August 28th. The French port for these troops was Cherbourg. August 18th, the 313th Ammunition Train and 313th Sanitary Train sailed on the "Vedic," arriving at Liverpool, August 31st and at Le Havre, September 5th. The 313th Field Signal Battalion sailed August 17th on H. M. S. "Bohemia," which arrived in Liverpool, August 31st. The French port for the signal battalion was Le Havre. Division Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment and Headquarters Troop embarked at Quebec, August 15th and sailed August 21st on H. M. S. "Demosthenes," from Sydney (Nova Scotia), arriving at Liverpool, August 31st and at Le Hayre, September 4th. The 313th Supply Train sailed August 24th on H. M. S. "Empress of Britain," arriving at Liverpool, September 24th, and at Le Havre, September 7th. The sailing dates of the 163d Field Artillery Brigade and the 313th Trench Mortar Battery are not available at this time, but these units never joined the division in France.

The majority of soldiers sailed from either New York or Newport News, Virginia.  The preparation for embarkation must have been traumatic in itself; the final checking of equipment, every man having his hair cropped, the probable sleepless night experienced by everyone on the night before departure. An Army pack in those days contained a blanket, shelter half with pole and pin, condiment can, bacon can, two suits of underwear, 1 pair of O.D. breeches, 1 O.D. shirt, four pair of socks, 1 slicker, 1 overcoat, 1 mess kit, 1entrenching tool and toilet articles consisting of one razor, one comb, a tooth brush, soap, talcum powder and towels, personal effects such as stationary, cigarettes, and tobacco.

One can imagine what it must have been like for an Iowa farm boy to see convoys of Ocean Liners filled with it's human cargo and war freight, watching as their gangplanks was drawn in, the cables loosen; and the ships slipping slowly out of the harbour. At this time of the war, there probably were no longer any bands , no whistles, no cheering; as the ships steamed out into the ocean. The men aboard the ships were generally quiet and in their eyes was a far away look, for they knew that for many of them it was a one way trip. But who if he had the chance would turn back, as this was an era of patriotism.

The air below decks of a troop ship in August must have suffocating, hence it was with scant good grace that the men received and obeyed the orders to go below at sunset. They longed to remain on deck and enjoy the cool breeze that swept landward with the company of evening, Everyone would crowd to the rail or clamber on the Forecastle to get a last view of their homeland. What a Doughboy's thoughts as he stood gazing, perhaps for the last time back upon the fast fading outline of America. Maybe a vision of a dear old silver hair mother claimed his thoughts.Perhaps he was thinking of the rolling hills of the farm back in the midwest, which must have seemed an eternity away by now.

Once past the three mile limit the ships entered the war zone; for German Submarines had been doing their dastardly work along the coast for some time. Life boat and abandon ship drill were held each day until the ship, if she were struck, could be deserted in a few minutes.

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SUMMARY LISTING

SHIP

UNITS

SAILED

ARRIVED

PORT

Leviathan

Advance School Detachment

8/3/1917

8/11/1917

Brest

Aquitania Advance Billeting Party 8/6/1917 8/12/1917 Liverpool
Olympic 349th 8/9/1917 8/16/1917 Southampton
H.M.S. Delta

Regimental Headquarters,        Headquarters Company , First Battalion ,  Medical Detachment,     Machine Gun Company, 350th Supply Company

8/11/1917 8/25/1917 Tillbury-on-Thames

Ascanius

Regimental Headquarters, 1st Battilion Headquarters Company "M" ,  Supply Co. ,  352d Medical Detachment , 337th Machine Gun Battalion

8/15/1917

8/28/1917

Liverpool

Phens 339th Machine Gun Battilion 8/14/1917 8/27/1917 Liverpool
H.M.S. Kasmir

3rd Battalion - Company "G" of          the 350th Infantry, 338th Machine Gun Battalion

8/15/1917 8/28/1917 Liverpool
Messanabie Remainder of 350th Infantry 8/16/1917 8/28/1917 Liverpool
U.S.S. Ulysses

2nd & 3rd Battalion  (less company "M" of the 352d)  

8/15/1917 8/28/1917 Liverpool
City of Exter Compnay "M" 8/14/1917 8/29/1917 Manchester
Saxon
Scotian
Vedic

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USS Mallory - Interesting site!

Last updated: 10/17/99