Mule Rearing The pilots Riveters doughboys with mules pilots in dress uniforms gas masks African American Officers African American Soldiers 1

Clair Leo Shipler

Submitted by: Stephen Moore {great nephew)

no photo 300

Clair Leo Shipler born around 1896. Clair Shipler served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

 

Sergeant, U.S. Army

59th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

St. Mihiel Offensive

For the St. Mihiel Campaign, the division moved into an area south of Verdun as part of the 1st American Army. Gen. Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), had gotten the French and British to agree that the AEF would fight under its own organizational elements.

One of the first missions assigned to the AEF was the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient. The 4th Division, assigned to V Corps, was on the western face of the salient. The plan was for V Corps to push generally southeast and to meet IV Corps who was pushing northwest, thereby trapping the Germans in the St. Mihiel area.

The 59th Infantry Regiment moved into an area previously occupied by the French, deploying along a 9 kilometer front. On 12 September, the first patrols were sent forward by the 59th. The 4th Division attack began on 14 September with the 8th Brigade capturing the town of Manheulles. All along the front, the American forces pressed forward and closed the St. Mihiel salient.

 

The Meuse-Argonne Campaign

On 26 September, the last great battle of World War I, the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, began. Moving under the cover of darkness for secrecy, the Americans had moved into their sector of the front following the completion of their mission in the St. Mihiel area. Three U.S. Army corps were assigned sectors along the U.S. part of the front. III Corps held the extreme right (eastern) part of the front with V Corps to their left. The 4th Division was assigned to III Corps. The III Corps sector had the 33rd Division on the right, the 80th Division had the center, and the 4th was assigned the left, with the 79th Division of V Corps on their left.

The 7th Brigade was moved to the line in the trenches around Hill 304. The division plan called for one brigade to fight until exhausted and then send the other brigade forward to press the attack. The attack of 26 September was made through a narrow valley. The 7th Brigade moved through the valley and, while taking large numbers of German prisoners, reached the second line of defenses by 09:00 near the town of Cuisy. The Germans provided a formidable opposition, but the 39th Infantry overcame them and moved through Septsarges. During this first day, the 7th Brigade had captured 1700 prisoners, and more than 40 guns. Division Headquarters was moved forward to Cuisy.

On 27 September the attack resumed with an artillery barrage. The 39th Infantry followed the barrage until they encountered withering machine gun fire from the Bois des Ogons where they were held up. The 8th Brigade was brought forward on 29 September to take the place of the 39th on the line. The 8th Brigade moved through the Bois de Brieulles but met increasing machine gun fire from the Bois des Ogons. Very little progress was made over the next four days as the terrible condition of the roads at the rear hampered re-supply and reinforcement efforts. By 3 October, Phase I of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive was over.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive—Phase II

Through the strenuous efforts of the supply and ammunition trains, enough materiel had been acquired to resume the attack by 3 October. The division plan was to fight its way through the many forests surrounding the city of Brieulles and capture the city. On the morning of 4 October, the 8th Brigade moved out of the foxholes and moved across open ground under the cover of heavy fog. As the fog lifted the Germans opened fired from the front, the left and the right. The 58th fought forward wearing gas masks since many of the projectiles contained gas, finally managing to gain a foothold in the Bois de Fays. The line was able to advance no further for the next 4 days enduring constant shelling and German night patrols attempting to infiltrate their lines. Forward movement was again ordered on 9 October with the 7th Brigade attacking. The 8th Brigade was withdrawn for rest. The 39th Infantry was designated as the assaulting unit. The order to attack came just at sundown. With difficulty, the men stumbled forward in darkness wearing gas masks and under fire. Little progress could be made. The 39th withdrew to resume the attack at 07:00 on 10 October. 2/39th led the way and incurred heavy losses. Many of the officers in the 39th were killed or wounded, including all of the majors.

Another attack was ordered and by 17:30 2/39th had fought through the Bois de Peut de Faux. The men dug in for the night. Early on the morning of the 11th, the entire regimental staff of the 39th was gassed and LTC Troy Middleton, 47th Infantry was ordered to take command of the 39th. Attacking on the morning of 11 October, the 7th Brigade pushed through the Bois de Foret. The orders for 12 October were to clean out the last pockets of German resistance in the Bois de Foret. Patrols were sent out to the north side of Hill 299. On 13 October, 4th Division units were relieved by the 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division.

On 10 October MG John L. Hines was selected to command III Corps. MG George H. Cameron was returned to the 4th Division as its commander. The 4th was withdrawn from the front on 19 October. During their 24 days of combat they had paid a heavy price with 244 officers and 7,168 men killed or wounded. They had fought their way over 13 kilometers and captured 2,731 enemy prisoners. The division relocated to Lucey as part of Second Army. MG Cameron received a new assignment to return to the U.S. to train new divisions on 22 October. Command passed temporarily to BG Benjamin, Commander, 7th Brigade before MG Mark L. Hersey arrived to assume command on 31 October. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_Infantry_Division_%28United_States%29#The_Meuse-Argonne_Campaign

About Family Ties Button

Stories of Service Button 250

 

submitservice revise

Documenting Doughboys 260

donateartifact revise

RollofHonorSideButton

genealogicalresources revise

Navy Log Button 250

"Pershing" Donors

Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo


Starr Foundation Logo