July 28, 1918 – Across the Channel

One last sea crossing to be made.  They’re getting closer to their final destination but these waters aren’t safe either.  U-boats prowl, mines are waiting.  They make the crossing under cover of darkness.

1918.07.28
An American ship used to ferry troops across the Channel.  Not sure if Jay was on an American or English ferry though.  

 

The next morning (28th) the regiment left the rest camp and again entrained, this time for Southampton.  After a short ride the men landed in the busy Channel port and here marched to the docks only to be informed that they would have to wait there until dark before embarking on the swift Channel boats.  Packs were unslung and the men fell out, but were ordered to remain in the immediate vicinity.  They undoubtedly remained in the vicinity, but it was in the vicinity of a large canteen which ably supplied their most pressing needs.  The day passed swiftly, and late in the afternoon the regiment was embarked on two of the steamers at the dock and the men were ordered to don the much abused and worn-out life preservers.  Shortly after seven, our convoy of small but exceedingly fast boats made their way down the winding passage of Southampton Harbor and started across the Channel.  Strange to say, it was not rough, and, although the air was cold, many preferred to stay on the deck to going below where it was warm.  In the darkness that was a protection against submarines, though a cover under which collisions were likely, the convoy churned out through the night and at daybreak entered the harbor of Le Havre.

–  The Three Hundred and First Engineers – A History 1917-1920

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