September 1, 1918 – Keeping the boys fed

Unit A and the 301st Engineers would be in Saint-Amand from August 1 until mid-September.  They stayed busy:

After two weeks of drill, during which much time was given to reconnaisance, scouting, patrolling, and advance guard work problems in minor tactics were scheduled.  These involved many of the principles in use at the front, yet were based on our own methods.

The regiment was completely outfitted with gas-masks, and after two weeks of hard drilling in this most important defensive operation, all passed through an improvised gas chamber filled with lachrymatory (tear-inducing) gas.  The object of this test was to fit the new masks, their perfection, and to overcome any timidity on the part of the men who had recently joined the regiment too late to pass through the rigorous gas training at Camp Devens.

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

 

And through it all, Sergeant First Class Shetler directed his cooks in preparing 3 meals a day for the men of Unit A.  Bills of Fare (summer) from the Army Cookbook:

1918.09.01

Keep in mind that these are really just suggested Bills of Fare.  Everything depended on what food was actually available.

4 thoughts on “September 1, 1918 – Keeping the boys fed”

  1. Hi James,
    Great stuff, man! I read in Kenamore’s book that the Army “white bread” was “excellent.” (p. 88) Then I read somewhere else (can’t remember where) a similar appreciation of the Army bread. Have you read anything about the bread?

    From Vauquois Hill to Exermont: A History of the Thirty-Fifth Division of the United States Army by Clair Kenamore, St. Louis: Guard Publishing, 1919.
    https://archive.org/details/fromvauquoishill00ken

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    1. Hi….thank you! Bread….buried in a letter Jay sent to my grandmother (posted here on Aug 18) he made the comment: ‘The American soldiers are receiving a very good grade of white bread baked in field bakeries.’ Seems I too have read in other places that the Americans liked the bread very much too. I’ve been focused on Jay and many other individual Dough Boys the past couple years so haven’t seen the book you referenced. I need to update my reading list!

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  2. Kenamore’s book is about 35th ID, so out of your scope. And the only reference he makes to food in the whole book is about the bread and he mentions the men were served a “large hot meal” the eve of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

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  3. I found the quote. Kenamore ends a description of soldiers and the gear prepared for battle with this:
    “A few men had a loaf or half a loaf of the excellent white army bread fresh from the baker. This usually was carried on the rifle with fixed bayonet run through it.” (88-89)
    From Vauquois Hill to Exermont: A History of the Thirty-Fifth Division of the United States Army by Clair Kenamore, St. Louis: Guard Publishing, 1919.
    https://archive.org/details/fromvauquoishill00ken

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