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George Warren Schantz

Submitted by: Tim Schantz {great nephew}

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George Warren Schantz born around July 4th 1896. George Schantz served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

 

Corporal George Warren Schantz

Our great uncle George was born on Independence Day, 1896 and grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania with our great grandparents, Adam and Lizzie, and his younger brother, Edwin, my grandfather (two other brothers, Llewellyn and William passed away as children). Family lore suggests that he also introduced brother Edwin to my grandmother, Carrie Stahley.

George enlisted at 21 on July 25th, 1917 with Company D, 4th Infantry of the Pennsylvania National Guard. This unit was reorganized at Camp Hancock, Georgia, and George became part of Company C, 109th Machine Gun Battalion of the 28th (Keystone) Battalion.

On May 7th, 1918, he left Camp Upton on Long Island for England, ultimately embarking from Folkstone for the British sector of the Western Front near Boulogne-sur-Mer. Company C and the 109th MGB went into direct action in France on George’s 22nd birthday to the south and west of Reims.

Following virtually continuous action in the Oise-Aisne offensive, the 109th was briefly relieved from the fierce fighting at Fismes and Fismettes and made their way through Champagne to an area south of Clermont-en-Argonne (Lorraine). It was here that great uncle George wrote his last poignant letter to his brother, Edwin, on the 16th of September lamenting the hardships of the campaign, but stoically delighting in a brief reprieve from combat.

As the Keystone Battalion joined the last major offensive of the Great War in the Meuse-Argonne theater beginning on the 26th September, George and his unit progressed northwards through Varennes towards Apremont. It was near here that he made the ultimate sacrifice, killed in action by an enemy shell on the 1st of October, just six weeks before the Armistice. He was first buried in the Commune at Montblainville in an apple orchard adjacent to the cemetery, before being re-interred in the American cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, in anticipation of his final resting place back with his family in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

This September/October, 2018, I had the honor of re-tracing his last journey through the Argonne, including his initial grave site, and paying our family’s respects to our great uncle who gave “his today for our tomorrow” 100 years ago.

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George Warren Schantz 1

George Warren Schantz 2

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