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In the Flash Ranging Service Observations of an American Soldier During His Service With the A.E.F. in France   By:

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.


Observations of an American Soldier During His Service With the A. E. F. in France

In the Flash Ranging Service


Private Edward Alva Trueblood


Press of THE NEWS PUBLISHING COMPANY Sacramento, California 1919


"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

This book is a record of the personal observations of a private soldier in the Flash Ranging Service of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. It not only relates his experiences while in France, but also tells of going over and returning. In brief, it is a soldier's story from the time he left America to help crush the autocracy of Germany, until he returned again after fighting was over.


Chapter Page

I. Going Over 1

II. Our First Glimpse of France 10

III. From Brest to Langres 18

IV. Nearing the Front 29

V. Preparation for Battle 37

VI. The Great St. Mihiel Drive 42

VII. Gassed 54

VIII. Hospital Experiences 63

IX. Home Again 72

In the Flash Ranging Service

By Private Edward Alva Trueblood

Chapter I.

Going Over.

When the sun arose on the 22nd of June, 1918, three great transports were lying out in the stream of New York harbor. They were filled with American soldiers for duties overseas. They were well camouflaged and well convoyed. The previous afternoon they had pulled away from a Jersey City pier, where they had taken on their human cargoes, and they were undoubtedly under sealed orders. They had slipped away quietly from the piers without attracting undue attention, and while they moved to the location where they anchored for the night, not a soldier's uniform could have been detected from shore even after the most scrutinizing search with the best binoculars obtainable. The departure was made without a word of warning and not a fond good bye. It was accomplished with a methodical silence that called for admiration. It is the way Uncle Sam does things during war times.

Just before 9 o'clock on that beautiful June morning, simultaneously but without communicating with each other, each of those transports began to weigh anchor, and except for the click, click, click of the machinery all was silent. Precisely at 9:05, without the blast of a whistle, the sound of a gong, or the hoisting of a signal flag on the mast, but like so many automatic machines, these vessels turned their prows to the sea and began their long voyage.

Among those who sailed on one of the vessels of this transport fleet were the members of the Twenty ninth Engineers, A. E. F., of which I was a member, being attached to Company C. Our departure was an occasion never to be forgotten... Continue reading book >>

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