Monday, September 25, 2017

The Attack on Base Hospital No. 5 in WW I-- Part 2

On the night of September 3, 1917 there was an air raid attempt on the coast of England which was turned back by coastal guns.  The next day, a German scouting plane came over Base Hospital No. 5 and it is believed that it might have taken a photograph of the huge U.S. flag by the headquarters and the Germans then decided to make an example of it, even though they knew it was a hospital.

And, this hospital was caring for 2,000 sick and wounded, when the attack came.

Another German raid on England on September 4.  was turned back.At 10:30 the hospital received warning about possible enemy planes.  Anti-aircraft guns at two places in the distance opened fire for a few minutes before the all-clear was sounded.

At 10:55 p.m., without any warning whatever and while all the hospital's lights were on at the 12,000 bed facility, an enemy aeroplane swooped down and started dropping bombs.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Concerning the Attack on Base Hospital No. 5-- Part 1

There is a book published on Base Hospital No. 5 in France during World War I.  It is titles "Concerning Base Hospital No. 5."

It is dedicated to members who made the supreme sacrifice:

Captain Charles R. Rund, Capt. Harry A. Bullock, Lt. William Fitzsimons, Lt. Rae Whidden, Sgt, Walter Sullivan, Pvt. Oscar C. Tugo, Pvt. Rudolph Rubino, Pvt. Colin Powell, bugler, Pvt. Leslie G. Woods and Private John Lydon.

Lt. Fitzsimons, and Privates Tugo, Rubino and Woods were killed in the September 4, 1917, bombing attack.


Iscar C. Tugo, One of First Americans Killed in France in WW I

From the Harvard Collection, Harvard University.


Photo October 18, 1921.

Private Tugo (1893-1917) enlisted in the Army on May 7, 1917, and was killed as a night orderly during the September 4, 1917 attack on Base Hospital No. 5 which also resulted in the death of Lt. William Fitzsimons.  This hospital was under the auspices of Harvard University.

In October 1921, the public space adjoining the Harvard Medical School quadrangle was named in his honor.  He was one of the first enlisted men killed in France.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

World War I Chronology, 100 Years Ago This Month



Two members of the 11th Engineers of teh American Expeditionary Force (AEF) are wounded in action (WIA) by German shellfire at Gouzeaucourt --  the first Americans wounded while serving with a United States on the front lines of battle.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Obituary of Lisa Grimm Oda: A True Child of the 60s

From the September 17, 2017, Chicago Tribune Death Notices.

Born August 4, 1949  Died September 11, 2017.

After reading her obituary, I'd have to say she really lived and fulfilled the life of what we might call a Hippy.

"Always the explorer and adventurer, during the turbulent 60's, Lisa spent time in a commune in Berkeley, CA..  This foretold a lifelong quest to seek truth and wisdom and question the status quo.

"After a few years working for Price Waterhouse in Chicago, she left to embark on her quest to enrich others with her compassion, creativity, ethics, selflessness, thoughtfulness, spirituality, and nurturing spirit and being.

"A very spiritual person, Lisa studied many religions and philosophies, endeavoring to live life in as good a way as possible.  She found aspects of Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism and Native American Spirituality that gave her clarity and truth."

She Must have been Quite An Interesting Person.  A Real Flower Child.

World War I Chronology, 100 Years Ago This Month


Merchant transport Minnehaha is torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland -- 48 men drown.


First Americans Killed Overseas in World War I-- Part 7: Ex- President Theordore Roosevelt's Response to the Attack

Lt. Fitzsimons was not the only American soldier to lose his life that night.

Privates Oscar Tugo, Private Rudolph Rubino and Private Leslie Woods were also killed in the raid.

There is no doubt that the raid was deliberate.  The German fliers even dropped German coins to show the Americans who had bombed them.

On a page one editorial in the Kansas City Star on September 17, 1917, former President Theodore Roosevelt blasted Germany for Fitzsimons' death saying that they had demonstrated "calculated brutality" and "carried on a systematic campaign of murder against hospitals and hospital ships."

After the war, the U.S. government had a program to enable parents and family to visit the graves of their family overseas.  On July 5, 1930, Lt. Fitzsimons' mother, Catherine Fitzsimons, visited his grave at the Somme American Cemetery and Memorial in Picardie, France.


Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons-- Part 6: "Before the Lifeless Remains of Lt. Fitzsimons, I Stood Dazed"

The lieutenant had a calling card on him  reading "Dr. W. T. Fitzsimons, United States Army."  It was ripped by shrapnel from the bomb which is now on display at the memory Hall at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City.

Nurse Louise McCloskey described the aftermath of Fitzsimon's death:  "Words are futile to describe that night, the dead, dying, wounded lying on the floor.  With only a flickering candlelight, someone whispered, 'Lt. Fitzsimons has been killed.'  In the daylight before my misty eyes, coffins were lying side by side holding lifeless bodies of soldiers killed that night.  Before the lifeless remains of Lt. Fitzsimons, I stood dazed."

National World--DaCoot

Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons-- Part 5: Should Not Have Been a Target

William Fitzsimons was the hospital base adjutant and second in overall command. as well as commander of the headquarters company and inline for promotion to captain at the time of his death.

The hospital should not have been a German target that night.  Its lights were on, and they knew it was a hospital.

At 10:30 p.m., September 4, 1917, the hospital received warning that German planes were approaching along the coast.  At 10:50, Fitzsimons was in his tent and heard bomb explosions.  he came out and called to the sentry, Hiram Brower to ask if all was alright.  Brower started to answer when a second explosion occurred.  This one killed Fitzsimons instantly.



Monday, September 18, 2017

Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons-- Part 4: Valuable Target

Fitzsimons returned to Kansas City from Europe on March 27, 1917, and joined the Army Medical Corps and was commissioned a lieutenant.  On April 27, 1917, he entered active duty.

Because of the German Navy's unrestricted warfare against merchant ships, it took three weeks for his ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, reaching Liverpool on August 13, 1917.  Two weeks later, he was at Base Hospital No. 5 at Dennes-Camiers, south of Calais, France.

This was a 12,000 bed facility, but unfortunately it was located close to a munitions storage area and a cement factory, both targets of enemy bombers.

Colonel Robert Patterson, commander of the U.S. hospital, insisted that a large American flag be flown from a very tall flagpole to assert American presence to the Germans.

Quite the Ripe Target for a German Ariel Attack.  --Cooter

Friday, September 15, 2017

Something Fishy in Fox Lake on September 16

Tomorrow, at 9:30 a.m., the Fox Lake Grant Township Area Historical Society will be having a monthly meeting at the Grant Hall Museum at 411 Washington Street in Ingleside, Illinois.

Topic of the meeting will be Commercial Fishing and Seining for Carp.

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the organization, same as the 20th anniversary of the McHenry County Civil War Round Table which I also am a member.

Always something interesting.


Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons-- Part 3: Served in Europe Before U.S. Entry Into the War

Historian James Heiman has written a book "Voices in Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials."  he has a whole chapter on Lt. Fitzsimons.

He was born April 18, 1889 in Burlington, Iowa, the oldest of six children.  Fitzsimons attended St. Mary's College in St. Mary's and then in 1908, transferred to the University of Kansas' School of Medicine, receiving his BA in 1910 and two years later his medical degree.

After a year of internship at St. Mary's Hospital, he spent 14 months studying surgery in New York City.

While still a civilian, he went to England as a Red Cross volunteer, arriving September 13, 1914, just a few weeks after the war started.  From there he went to Belgium to treat wounded civilians and soldiers, returning to the United States on December 10, 1915.


Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons in the Hospital Attack-- Part 2: First American Officer Killed in World War I

I did some more research on yesterday's post.

From the September 3, 2017, Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal "100 years later:  First officer killed in WW I was a doctor in Kansas" by Steve Fry.

Lt. William T. Fitzsimons was a northeastern Kansas surgeon in the U.S. Army, who was killed just three weeks after he arrived in France in 1917.

On September 4, 1917 a German aircraft made a late-night raid over the massive military hospital he was assigned to.

He had stepped to the door of his tent when a bomb landed within a dew feet of him and blew up, killing him instantly.  He was 28 at the time and became the first U.S. officer killed in the war.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

World War I Chronology, Sept. 1917-- Part 1: First Americans Killed


First American killed in France

Germans bomb American  hospital units at Dannes Carriers.  Four were killed and wounding nine Doughboys.

One of the men was the first American officer killed in the conflict, Lt. William Fitzsimons of Kansas.  Also killed were Privates Oscar C. Tugo, Rudolph Rubino and Leslie G, Woods.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

World War I Chronology, September 1917, 100 Years Ago: 1st U.S. Aero Squadron Arrives in France

SEPTEMBER 3--  1st U.S. Aero Squadron arrives in France.  U.S. planes to the rescue.

From Wikipedia.

The 1st U.S. Aero Squadron is the military's oldest flying unit, established 5 March 1913.  Today it still exists as the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron (1RS), USAF and is assigned to the 9th Operations Group based at Beale AFB, California.

It was organized originally for operations along the U.S.-Mexico border during the Pancho Villa days.  Pancho Villa crossed the border and attacked Columbus, New Mexico, on 9 March 1916 and the 1st Aero Squadron was sent to Columbus and took part in the Punitive Expedition.

They were still in Columbus, N.M. when the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917.  They were ordered to Fort Jay, New York, and accompanied the U.S. First Division to Europe by boat, departing 13 August 1917 and arriving in England 1 September.  They crossed the English Channel the next day.

Lafayette, We Are Here.  --Cooter

About That War 100 Years Ago-- Part 5: This Means War!!

Given a free hand by Germany, Austria was determined to punish Serbia, and Russia, similarly encouraged by France, mobilized for defense of their fellow Slavs.

Mobilization, in the eyes of Germany, was tantamount to war, and, when Russia refused to order demobilization, Germany declared war (August 1).  Two days later she declared war on France, and, when the German army invaded Belgium, Great Britain entered the war (August 4).

Before many months, all of Europe, with the exception of Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Scandinavian Peninsula, was involved.

Forsaking the Triple Alliance, Italy remained neutral until 1915, when she joined the Allies, followed by Romania and Portugal (1916) and Greece (1917).  Turkey (1914) and Bulgaria (1915) were brought into the war on the side of the Central Powers.

This Means War.  --DaCoot

"Some Damned Foolish Thing In the Balkans"

German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, giving a speech at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, ably summed up what he thought would start a general war.

"Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal... a single spark will set off an explosion which will consume us all ...  I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where   Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off."

By Jove, I Think He Got It.  --Cooter