History of the 89th "Midwest" Division, 

American Expeditionary Force

1917-1919

Compiled from a combination of sources, primarily from Maj. Masseck's "Brief  History of the 89th Division" and a "History of the 89th Division" by George H. English, Jr.  --Scott K. Williams, July 28, 2001

 

This page on the history of the 89th Division is dedicated to Corp. Charles Melvin Kearey, Co H, 354th Infantry. Corp Kearey was born 11 Nov, 1890 at Maplewood (St. Louis County), Missouri and died on 24 Nov 1981 at Fredericktown, Mo. He was one of ten children born to George Thomas Kearey and Laura Keehne. Corp. Kearey married Anna Nora Sharp of St. Louis in 1928. Kearey and wife had one child, Sharon Kearey, who now lives in Fredricktown, Mo. Kearey  worked as a boilermaker for International and Brown Shoe Company for about 50 years.  Corp. Kearey's nephew, Ed Kearey of San Marcos, California,  kindly loaned his history on the 89th division so it could be scanned and available to all on the world wide web.

 

 

 

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Contents:


Composition of the 89th Division

Numbers in parenthesis are the maximum strength in officers and enlisted men according to the Tables of Organization of Dec 1st, 1918. Seldom, if ever, did organizations reach full strength. Usually they were somewhere from 65% to 85% of authorized strength. Discrepancies in totals are due to omission, within units, of minor headquarters detachments and small attached elements.

89th Division, A.E.F. (28,105)

Division Headquarters (304)

177th Infantry Brigade (8,475)

178th Infantry Brigade (8,475)

164th Field Artillery Brigade (5,069)

340th Machine Gun Battalion, Motorized (395). (Controlled by G-3, usually through Division M.G. Officer)

314th Engineers (1,749) (Controlled by G-1 through Division Engineer)

314th Field Signal Battalion (488) (Controlled by G-3 through Division Signal Officer)

314th Train Headquarters (68) (Controlled by G-1 through C.O. Trains and M.P.) Operations of Military Police, the Supply Train and (to a greater or less degree according to the tactical situation) directs or coordinates actions of other trains.  With medical and ordnance detachments, 3 veterinary field units and mobile veternary section.

89th Military Police Company (205) (Controlled by G-1 through C.O. Trains and M.P.) Previously called 314th Military Police and consisting of two troops, A and B.

314th Motor Supply Train (501) (Controlled by G-1, usually through C. O. Trains and M.P.)

314th Engineer Train (84) (Controlled by G-1, usually through Division Engineer). Consist of One Company.

314th Ammunition Train (1,341) (Controlled by G-1, different sections usually under the Artillery Commander, Munitions Officer, C.O. Trains, M.O.R. under Division Ordnance Officer, ect., according to the tactical situation.)

314th Sanitary Train (951) (Controlled by G-1, through Division Surgeon)


 Rosters for the 89th Division

Military records for the 89th Division were kept with all other A.E.F. records at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Mo. In 1973, a fire at the NPRC on July 12, 1973, destroyed about 80 percent of the records for Army personnel discharged between November 1, 1912, and January 1, 1960. (See exception below.) No complete official rosters are known to exist for the 89th division. Some individual company and regimental rosters are known to exist but for the majority of the Division, nearly all individual records were destroyed. 

How can we identify these men of the 89th Division that served from 1917-1919 ?  Fortunately some published histories that contain rosters exist. For example, George H. English, Jr. (Official Historian of the 89th Division, former Lt. Col. of the 353rd Infantry, and later Adjutant of the 177th Infantry Brigade) in his "History of the 89th Division, U.S.A." included rosters of the dead, missing, gassed, wounded, decorated members of the Division. He also gives a roster for the commissioned officers (ranks from the Lieutenants up to the Generals). But what about the rest, especially the average enlisted man that was not fortunate enough to be noted otherwise ? 

There is one potential source that can give a complete or nearly complete roster of all the Divisions members that went overseas. This source is the troopship manifests. Every soldier that crossed the "big pond" of the Atlantic is named on these presently deteriorating documents, located at the National Archives at 8601 Adelphi Road in College Park, Maryland. These records contain a wealth of genealogical information for World War I researchers. For example, next to each soldier's name is a named "emergency contact", the relationship of that contact (father, mother, sister-in-law, ect.) and their street address.

Amazingly, the manifest are not better indexed. But at the beginning of each manifest, is a listing of all the units on board that ship for the voyage. So by looking at the top one or two pages, one can at least find a divisional designation and sometimes the regiment. 

Unfortunately these records are not microfilmed. Xerox copies of these records can be obtained for about a $1.00 a page. Many of these ships are very large, carrying as many as 5,000-6,000 troops. For instance, copying an entire troopship manifest for the superliner, Mauretania, would cost as much as $100. 

William Deutscher, an Archives Technician for the National Archives, compiled a listing of troopships that transported the 89th Division to Europe. Unfortunately his listing,  for the most part, does not include regimental names. 

Card Number, Ship's Name, Date, 89th Division component. 

142 Adriatic, 12-12-17, 89th Division--Maj. Gen. L. Wood and Staff (this was when Gen. Wood was detailed to go to France as an observer. The rest of the Division stayed at Ft. Funston, Kansas)

176 New York, 1-7-18, 89th Division-- Maj. Howland (apparently also an observer)

550  Caronia, card not dated, 89th Division Headquarters Detachment, HQ Troops, Officers and Enlisted Men. (Maj. George English, Jr. also makes note that the 356th Infantry, 342nd Machine Gun Battalion and part of the 353rd Infantry were aboard this transport, arriving in Liverpool, England on June 16, 1918, 12 days after they left New York.)

533 Mauretania, 6-4-18, 89th Div. Advance Party/Detachment, Officers and Enlisted Men

650 Cretic, 6-28-18, 89th Div. Att. 314th Ammn. Train

641 Persic, 6-30-18, 89th Division  Detachment Officers and Enlisted Men

665  (no ship name),  89th Division, Enlisted Men Att. Cas. Co.254

The camouflaged troopship, Caronia, as it appeared in 1918.

Exception: Millions of records, especially medical records, had been withdrawn from all three groups and loaned to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prior to the fire. The fact that one's records are not in NPRC files at a particular
time does not mean the records were destroyed in the fire. In addition by using alternate sources, NPRC may often be able to reconstruct a veteran's beginning and ending dates of active service, the character of service, rank while in service, time lost while on active duty, and periods of hospitalization. NPRC is usually able to issue NA Form 13038,
"Certification of Military Service," considered the equivalent of a Form DD-214, "Report of Separation From Active Duty," for the purpose of establishing eligibility for veterans benefits. To see if an individual soldier has surviving records write: National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.  See also Facts About the 1973 St. Louis Fire and Lost Records 

See also They Answered the Call Military Service in the United States Army during World War I, 1917-1919.

 


Brief History of the 89th Division U.S.A. 1917-1919

By Maj. C. J. Masseck, 353rd Infantry,

(Under the direction of Lt. Col. Frank Wilbur Smith, Jr., General Staff G-2, Assistant Chief of Staff, 89th Division)

 

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Chapter 1: Camp Funston

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Chapter 2: Training In France

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Chapter 3: In the Trenches

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Chapter 4: St. Mihiel Offensive

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Chapter 5: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive

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Chapter 6: Army of Occupation

Infantry of the 89th Division at Stenay, France, two minutes before the Armistice.

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Summary of Important Facts

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Decorations and Citations of the 89th Division

Pictured above is a stereoview card photograph showing members of the 89th division receiving decorations from Gen. Pershing in 1919.

Decorations and Citations Awarded to Members of the 89th Division American Expeditionary Forces.

(History of the 89th Division, by George H. English, Jr. 1920)

Compiled from announcements in General Orders, 89th Division, records of the Decoration Section, Adjutant General's Office, A.E.F. (corrected to April, 1920), and General Orders of the War Department, Washington, D.C.

Note--Where a higher American decoration was subsequently bestowed for an exploit for which a lower American award had been given originally (as Medal of Honor in place of Distinguished Service Cross (D.S.C.), or D.S.C. in place of Citation), the higher honor takes the place and is in lieu of the lower, which is thereby automatically withdrawn.  In such cases, therefore, the earlier and lower award has been omitted on these lists to avoid duplication.  This principle does not extend to foreign decorations, many of which were presented as a further tribute to the same exploits or services which were likewise recognized by an appropriate American decoration or citation.

In the case of American honors, dates of the exploits are given, except in a few cases where the information was not available.  All exploits dated prior to October 10th, 1918, took place in the St. Mihiel sector.  All subsequent to that time occurred in the Meuse-Argonne operation, except those of members of the 164th Field Artillery Brigade, which were all in the St. Mihiel sector.

Second awards of the Croix de Guerre (made to a few members of the Division and authorizing wearing the decoration with a second palm or star) are not shown because complete and accurate information regarding such awards is not available.

The lists include only honors won while serving with organizations of the 89th Division, and do not include those awarded for exploits with other divisions, even though the recipient, either previously or subsequently, belonged to the 89th.

Every effort has been made for accuracy and completeness, but there were discrepancies in spelling, ect., in the lists from the several sources, and some awards may have been missed because not credited properly to the Division.  Additional awards may be made by the War Department later.  It is therefore too much to hope that this record is entirely complete and without error.

Medal of Honor:

 The Medal of Honor was awarded to those named below by the President, in the name of Congress, for conspicious gallantry and intrepidity, above and beyond the call of duty, in action with the enemy.  It was given only to officers and soldiers of the American Army, and the standard of conduct required to merit its award during the World War is not exceeded by that for any other decoration in the world. It is doubtful whether it is equalled by any, unless the English Victoria Cross.  The cold words of a citation can five little idea of the heroism demanded to earn this honor.

BARGER, CHARLES D.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company L, 354th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Bois-deBantheville, France, 31 October 1918. Entered service at: Stotts City, Mo. Birth: Mount Vernon, Mo. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: Learning that 2 daylight patrols had been caught out in No Man's Land and were unable to return, Pfc. Barger and another stretcher bearer upon their own initiative made 2 trips 500 yards beyond our lines, under constant machinegun fire, and rescued 2 wounded officers. Next of kin: Henry S. McFeron (uncle), Stotts City, Missouri.

BARKELEY, DAVID B.

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company A, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Pouilly, France, 9 November 1918. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex. Birth: Laredo, Tex. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: When information was desired as to the enemy's position on the opposite side of the Meuse River, Pvt. Barkeley, with another soldier, volunteered without hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location. He succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water for his return, but before his goal was reached, he was seized with cramps and drowned. Next of kin: Mrs. Antonio Barkeley (mother), 1121 E. Quincy St., San Antonio, Texas.

CHILES, MARCELLUS H.

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Le Champy Bas, France, 3 November 1918. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Birth: Eureka Springs, Ark. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: When his battalion, of which he had just taken command, was halted by machinegun fire from the front and left flank, he picked up the rifle of a dead soldier and, calling on his men to follow led the advance across a stream, waist deep, in the face of the machinegun fire. Upon reaching the opposite bank this gallant officer was seriously wounded in the abdomen by a sniper, but before permitting himself to be evacuated he made complete arrangements for turning over his command to the next senior officer, and under the inspiration of his fearless leadership his battalion reached its objective. Capt. Chiles died shortly after reaching the hospital. Next of kin: John Horner Chiles (father), 2815 West 37th Ave., Denver, Colorado.

FORREST, ARTHUR J.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 354th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Remonville, France, 1 November 1918. Entered service at: Hannibal, Mo . Birth: St. Louis, Mo. G.O. No.: 50, W.D., 1919. Citation: When the advance of his company was stopped by bursts of fire from a nest of 6 enemy machineguns, without being discovered, he worked his way single-handed to a point within 50 yards of the machinegun nest. Charging, single-handed, he drove out the enemy in disorder, thereby protecting the advance platoon from annihilating fire, and permitting the resumption of the advance of his company. Next of kin: William Forrest (father), 112 South Maple St., Hannibal, Mo.

FUNK, JESSE N.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company L, 354th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Bois-deBantheville, France, 31 October 1918. Entered service at. Calhan, Colo. Born: 20 August 1888, New Hampton, Mo. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: Learning that 2 daylight patrols had been caught out in No Man's Land and were unable to return, Pfc. Funk and another stretcher bearer, upon their own initiative, made 2 trips 500 yards beyond our lines, under constant machinegun fire, and rescued 2 wounded officers. Next of kin: Martin Funk (father), Calhan, Colorado.

FURLONG, HAROLD A.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 353d Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Bantheville, France, 1 November 1918. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Birth: Pontiac, Mich. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919. Citation: Immediately after the opening of the attack in the Bois-de-Bantheville, when his company was held up by severe machinegun fire from the front, which killed his company commander and several soldiers, 1st. Lt. Furlong moved out in advance of the line with great courage and coolness, crossing an open space several hundred yards wide. Taking up a position behind the line of the machineguns, he closed in on them, one at a time, killing a number of the enemy with his rifle, putting 4 machinegun nests out of action, and driving 20 German prisoners into our lines. Next of kin: Arthur D. Furlong (father), 2950 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan.

HATLER, M. WALDO

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Pouilly, France, 8 November 1918. Entered service at: Neosho, Mo. Born: 6 January 1894, Bolivar, Mo. G.O. No.: 74, W.D., 1919. Citation: When volunteers were called for to secure information as to the enemy's position on the opposite bank of the Meuse River, Sgt. Hatler was the first to offer his services for this dangerous mission. Swimming across the river, he succeeded in reaching the German lines, after another soldier, who had started with him, had been seized with cramps and drowned in midstream. Alone he carefully and courageously reconnoitered the enemy's positions, which were held in force, and again successfully swam the river, bringing back information of great value. Next of kin: Troy C. Hatler (father), General Delivery, Neosho, MO.

JOHNSTON, HAROLD I.

Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Private First Class), U.S. Army, Company A, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Pouilly, France, 9 November 1918. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Birth: Kendell, Kans. C O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: When information was desired as to the enemy's position on the opposite side of the Meuse River, Sgt. Johnston, with another soldier, volunteered without hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location of the enemy. He succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water for his return. This was accomplished after a severe struggle which so exhausted him that he had to be assisted from the water, after which he rendered his report of the exploit. Next of kin: Mrs. Belle Renshaw (mother), 1148 Speer Boulevard, Denver, CO.

WICKERSHAM, J. HUNTER

Rank and organization: 2nd Lieutenant, 353rd Infantry.Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, above and beyond the call of duty, in action with the enemy, near Limey, France, 12 September 1918. Advancing with his platoon during the St. Mihiel offensive, Lt. Wickersham was severely wounded in four places by the bursting of a high explosive shell. Before receiving any aid for himself, he dressed the wounds of his orderly, who was wounded at the same time.  He then ordered and accompanied the further advance of his platoon, although weakened by the loss of blood.  His right hand and arm being disabled by wounds, he continued to fire his revolver with his left hand until, exhausted by the loss of blood, he fell and died from wounds before aid could be administered. Next of kin: Mrs. W.E. Damon (mother), 3416 Colfax Ave. B., Denver, CO.

American Distinguished Service Cross

The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to those named below by the President, or in the name of the President by the Commander in Chief, American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, for extraordinary heroism in action with the enemy. The honor is confined to those serving in some capacity with the American Army, including member of Allied forces so serving.

American Distinguished Service Medal

The Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to those named below by the President for exceptionally meritorious service in duty of great responsibility, in time of war.

French Legion of Honor (La Legion D'Honneur)

Awarded by the French to Officers ONLY

COMMANDER (COMMANDEUR)

OFFICER (OFFICIER)

CHEVALIER 

French Military Medal (Medaille Miltaire)

Awarded by the French ONLY to Enlisted Men and Occasionally, as a Mark of Special Honor, to General Officers of Great Distinction.

 

French War Cross (Croix de Guerre)

 

British Knight Commander, Order of St. Michael and St. George

 

Belgian Chevalier of the Order of Leopold (Chevalier De L'Ordere De Leopold)

 

Italian War Cross (Croce di Guerra)

 

Montenegrin Bravery Medal (Medaille de Bravoure)

 

Honor Certificates and Citations 

Awarded to Members of the 89th Division by the Commander In Chief, American Expeditionary Forces, and the Commanding General, 89th Division.

Key to Citations:

a--Certificate for distinguished and exceptional gallantry, awarded by the Commander in Chief, American Expeditionary Forces

b--Certificate for exceptionally meritorious and conspicious services awarded by the Commander in Chief, American Expeditionary Forces.

c--Citation and commendation by the Commanding General, 89th Division, in Division General Orders, for gallantry.

In numerous cases (a) and (c) are for the same exploit. See note at head of Decoration Section regarding citations omitted here because of subsequent award of higher honors for the same exploits.


Roster of Commissioned Officers

Officers serving overseas with the 89th Division

Rank given, with few exceptions, is the highest rank attained while assigned to the Division.  Branch of service in which commissioned is shown by assignment except where otherwise marked.  Organization designated is the one in which the officer served the longest time or with which he was most closely identified. A few names appear of officers assigned to the Division but who did not serve with it.


Battle Maps

Map from English's "History of the 89th Division":

St. Mihiel Offensive Map

The following maps were taken from "United States Army in the World War, 1917-1919", published by the United States Army Center of Military History:

Oct 4 1918 Locations of American, French, and German Divisions

Gained Ground Oct. 4-31 1918

November 1918 Operations

Gained Ground by the 89th Division of Nov 1-2 1918

89th Crossing of Meuse River Nov 9-11, 1918


Other Websites About the 89th Division

 


Have something to contribute to this website ? Please email Scott Williams at verdun@earthlink.net

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