Co. F 108th Infantry-World War I

By August 5, 1917, 379,000 Guardsmen were drafted individually into Federal service, doubling the size of the U.S. Army. There were 43 army divisions in the American Expeditionary Force of which 18 were National Guard. 29 Divisions saw action of which 12 were National Guard. On 26 July 1918, on the Marne, the 27th Infantry Division was assigned to the British 19th Corp and relieved the French 71st Division. The 27th ID will take part in two Campaignes, Ypres-Lys and the Somme Offensive which was a diversion. Seven soldiers of the 27th ID were awarded the Medal of Honor.

By 10 August the Germans had fallen back and the Allied front was almost the same as it had been in the summer of 1916, before the Battle of the Somme. The 1st and 3rd British armies captured on 27 August a considerable portion of the Hindenburg line which was like a great fortification, and for more than a year had been regarded as impregnable. The Hindenberg line was really only one of a series of twenty lines, each connected with the others by communication and supply trenches. The main lines were solid concrete, separated by unending wire entanglements. At points this barrier of wire extended in solid formation for ten miles.

Now it was the American’s turn. On 29 September after nearly a year of training, the 27th ID was to be blooded in battle as part of the British 4th Army under General Rawlinson and be part of the capture of more than 200 guns and 10,000 prisoners. The 2nd Batallion 108th Infantry relieves the 106th Inf. and Co. F 108th under the command of John S. Thompson readies for combat. Attached to Co. F are one platoon of the Regiment’s machine gun company and two stokes mortar sections.

5:50 AM- Nine British Artillery Brigades open a barrage on the enemy that is in front of the 27th ID. The 108th goes over the top.

The enemy counter barrage falls on the 108th. The 2nd BN. 108th is South of Bony at the right of the Division front.

5:45 PM- Australian forces pass through the 108th lines. Losses for the day for the Division were 5 officers and 32 men KIA, 3 officers and 214 men WIA with 66 men missing.

30 September- The 27th ID is now in support of the Australians. Losses for the day were 11 officers and 156 men KIA, 13 officers and 764 men WIA with 140 men missing.

On 1 Oct. the 27th ID is relieved and returns to the rear. It should be noted here that Captain Thompson was wounded and 1Lt. Delancy King took command of Co F. Major Charles W. Lynn was the Senior Medical Officer attached to the 108th INF.

The next engagement for Co. F will be on 17 Oct. at St. Souplet on the LeSelle River.

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