On this date, one hundred years ago today, the men of the 301st Engineers along with two other brigades and several small casual companies were onboard the ship, Calamares and ready to go by 6:30 am.
It would be a very different crossing than the one they made in July 1918. Then, they were on constant lookout for German U-boats that might blast them out of the water at any moment. Smoother sailing going home 11 months later
Their work was done, it was time to go home.
“The Calamares was a comparatively new boat which had been operated by the United Fruit Company between New York and Havana previous to the war. She was not completely fitted as a troopship, the hold being filled with metal bunks in tiers of five. In addition, these bunks had been placed along the promenade deck and were allotted to the junior officers and casuals. Way was made about 8 a.m. and, after the long process of being warped through the lock of the harbor entrance, the 301st Engineers at last closed it overseas history and was “homeward bound.” The regimental band bade farewell to France by playing the “Marseillaise,” causing the long line of French citizens ranged along the dock rails to bare their heads in respect and heartily applaud as the vessel worked its way out to sea.”
– The Three Hundred and First Engineers – A History 1917-1919