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A Tradition of Service Logo 75Sam Mazzara

Submitted by: Sam Mazzara {Grandson}

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Sam Mazzara was born around 1896. Sam Mazzara served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Sam Mazzara was born on March 6, 1896 in Monte San Guiliano Sicily. He immigrated to the United States in April of 1913 and lived in Detroit. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and inducted on Sept. 22, 1917 in Detroit. He was assigned to the 85th Infantry Division (the Custer Division), 339th Infantry Regiment Company H and took his basic training at Camp Custer in Battle Creek, MI.

After basic training, he was assigned as a cook. This regiment was destined to be known as the Polar Bears (as well as Detroit's Own) and fight in Russia in a little known piece of the United States World War I history.

On July 14, 1918, he left Camp Custer with his unit. They were ordered overseas for duty. He arrived at Camp Mills, Long Island on July 15th, 1918. From there, his unit departed for England on July 21, 1918 and arrived in Liverpool, England on Aug. 3, 1918. They thought they were going to fight in Europe, however, once they reached England, they were told they were going to Russia at the request of the British government.

Once there, he went to Camp Aldershot at Stoney Castle for further training and re-equipping. On Aug. 25, 1918, the Division traveled by train to Newcastle on Tyne to board transport ships to Russia. They left England on Aug. 26th for Russia.

They arrived in Archangel, Russia on Sept 5, 1918. They were then sent, on Sept. 14th, to Onega arriving on the 15th of Sept. He was involved in the battle of Bolshie Ozerki on March 23 and 24, 1919. On June 3rd, 1919 he departed Onega for the port of Economia. On June 15, 1919, he left Economia aboard the H.M.T. Porto. Their destination was the Shetland Islands where they received their next set of orders.

They were transported to Camp Pontanezen in Brest, France and arrived there on June 24, 1919. There they were re-supplied with fresh clothes and had a week of rest before they boarded the U.S.S. President Grant on June 29, 1919 for the trip back to the United States.

The President Grant docked in Boston, Mass. on July 12, 1919 and the Division was assigned to Camp Devons. They departed Camp Devons by train on Tues. July 15, 1919 and arrived in Detroit the next day at the Michigan Central Depot. He spent the rest of the day (July 16th) in Detroit. The next morning (July 17th) he took a train back to Camp Custer to be mustered out of the service. He was officially discharged on July 19, 1919 and returned to Detroit. He was awarded the WWI Victory Medal.

He married and raised 2 sons (both served in the Korean War), and had 6 grandchildren.5adbd4f4512c1 Grandpa Mazzara Draft Registration Card

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