November 18, 1918 – A hero’s welcome from village to village

1918.11.18.jpg

On this date in 1918, Company A marched into the French town of Fleville where they would join up with the other Companies of the 301st Engineers who were marching in a different column.  Under reorganization, the Regiment was now part of the American Third Army.

“Through villages bedecked with evergreen garlands and bright with the tricolor and the “Stars and Stripes”, the march continued, while crisp cold days with cloudless skies belied the usual tales of European winter.  In northern France, burdened by German occupation for four long years, the remaining civilians were almost hysterical with joy and gratitude for their delivery and told with flashing eyes of German selfishness and theft.”

– A Short History of the 301st Engineers

“The townspeople of the first little hamlet (Fleville) gave us a very friendly reception, the children waving French and Lorraine flags and carrying flowers and the parish priest greeting us with an address of welcome.”

Our Memoirs: Company A, 301st Engineers

As they marched toward Germany, here are some of the scenes they would have viewed.  After 4 years of war, it was nearly total destruction everywhere they went.

1918.11.18b

1918.11.18.d

It is estimated that more the 1.5 billion mortars were fired during the war:

1918.11.18c

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