April 21, 1918 – Camp Devens


From everything I’ve read and researched, I believe that about this day in 1918, Private Shetler arrived at Camp Devens, Massachusetts.

Camp Devens was about 30 miles northwest of Boston and was the first of sixteen cantonment (training) camps to get the US Army ready for battle.  It was a huge camp and was built from ground up in a few months in 1917.  Tens of thousands of men came through this camp on their way to France.  Jay was one of them.


Jay would have arrived at Camp Devens only about half way through his basic training.  Per the schedules, he would have had another 2 weeks, 40+ hours per week to complete his required training.  .

There was all kinds of training but primarily, he would have been marching and drilling.  Hours and hours a day drilling.  And Jay hated drilling.

Marching 1

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