Pvt. Sarsfield A. Naughton

Image and information contributed by his daughter Louise Naughton Shaw, of Denver, CO ( born in St. Louis).

 Pvt. Sarsfield A. Naughton,  Enlisted, April 22, 1917 at St. Louis, MO. Assigned to Headquarters Troop Cavalry, 2nd Division, U.S. Army 10/1/17 to 8/14/19"

Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions: Chateau-Thierry 6/1-7i/18, Cisne-Marne Off 7/18-21/18, Morbache 8/8-18/18, St. Mihiel Off- 9/12-18/18, Meuse-Argonne Off- 11/1-11/11/18, Champagne sec from 10/1/18-10/11/18

Awards, Badges, Decorations, Medals/Citations: (Incorrect as he received the Victory medal, French Croix de guerre established in 1915 and awarded to all ranks for individual feats of arms. It was awarded to the 2nd Division by the French for victory in one of the battles.) Victory Button Issued: Bronze. Received horsemanship loving cup. Blue ribbon, 100 marks and 10 days leave in Paris from Gen. Legeume, Commander. of the 2nd Division, Army of Occupation. After the war got a degree from St. Louis University.

Account given by Louise's brother, William S. Naughton : "As a child I used to wear his helmet and gas mask. I remember one time pulling the canister from the gas mask bag and finding a small tube of ointment. When I showed this to Dad he laughed. He went the entire time in the service not knowing he had this ointment which was to prevent the mask goggles from steaming up. Dad said on several occasions he would have to ride for hours, when on gas alert, not able to see because his mask lens were fogged. He received a good whiff of gas one morning taking his mask off to see if it was safe. This later led to him having teeth problems. He was a dispatch rider carrying orders from the command posts behind the lines to the commands on the front lines. He rode at night on roads being bombed or under attack and into forward trench locations. Dad said that one night he became lost and riding through a grave yard  when he saw a soldier lying behind a grave stone. When he asked where the front lines were the soldier said, ""right here; those are Germans over there we are shooting at and if you want to stay alive get off that damn horse.""

"One night, in a forward area, Dad stopped and had a meal with soldiers sitting in a circle around a camp fire. Dad always described the whistle a shell made and from the sound you knew whether it was going to hit near you. This one was going to hit near where he was sitting. It hit into the ground, in the fire around which they were sitting. Dad said he died right then but after a few seconds realized it was a dud and did not explode. Everyone got out of the area as fast as possible. Another time his horse was shot through the stomach. He had to keep riding to clear the combat area so he took some cotton from his first aid kit and stuffed it into the bullet hold. The horse lasted another hour or so before dying. On another occasion his squad was marching captured Germans to a stockade in the rear lines. Just before dawn he saw an American soldier take the overcoat from a marching prisoner. Dad said he told the American the sun would be up in a few minutes and he would be throwing the coat away but where the German was going he would need it for warmth for a long time. Later, after the prisoners were placed in the stockade and he was walking by the fence a voice called out, ""hi, Yank."" Dad went up to the fence and the German thanked him for saving his overcoat. Turned out the fellow had been born and raised in St. Louis. Dad said it was one of the most fun conversations he had during the war as this fellow and he talked about all the places they knew in St. Louis and the girls they had dated. Seems this fellow and his German parents were visiting Germany when the war started and the Germans would not let him go home and drafted him into the Army."

 "Following the armistice Dad served in the army of occupation for about nine months. I believe he was in Frankfurt, Germany. During the war he was stationed near Paris for a short time. In Germany he lived with a German family and always said he liked the Germans more than the French.

Home