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Harvey Ephraim Ott

Submitted by: Edward Morgan {great nephew}

no photo

Harvey Ephraim Ott was born around 1897. Harvey Ott served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service


Newspaper article, Phoenixville Daily Republican, June 7, 1921:

Like a gift from the dead, there has recently come to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Ott of 367 Second avenue, the French Chauchat gun which their son Harvey Ott, and two companions were using when they fell, bravely fighting for their country, on a hilltop of France in September 1918.

In a letter received by Mr. and Mrs. Ott some time ago the writer, W. C. Neville, of the Headquarters of the United States Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., quotes from a letter of Lt. Colonel A. W. Williams, of the Medical Corps of the United States Army, regarding the finding of Private Ott's body.

On November 12th 1918 the remains of Private Harvey E. Ott and those of two other men were found near Jaulny, on the Touix front, the finding being entirely by accident as an inspection was being made after the signing of the Armistice.

The body of Private Ott was found with that of two other men on open ground at the top of a hill about one hundred feet high and very hard to climb. The bodies had been there since September 12th, two months before being found and nothing remained by the skeletons, nothing being left but the uniforms, identification tags and the French Chauchat gun.

The gun still rested against the shoulder of Private Ott standing on its tripod, with his finger still on the trigger. One cartridge still remained in the magazine of the gun. After being found, the bodies were taken in charge by a burial squad and laid to rest in French soil. In closing his letter, the writer pays a splendid tribute to the bravery and devotion to duty of Private Ott even to the end and hopes that he will be given a recommendation for a posthumous award of the Distinguished Service Cross.

This letter was followed by another in which Major Lester B. Rogers, who was with Lt. Col. Williams when the bodies were found, is quoted saying Private Ott had climbed the hill with his companions and crossed the Hindenburg line at the top and with entire disregard of personal danger, had advanced 200 yards into exposed enemy territory on the brow of the hill with no protection whatever, and had killed seven of the enemy before being overcome.

The gun was secured by Major Rogers of the U. S. Army Medical Corps now in the War Risk Bureau of the Public Health Department, Washington D.C. and was taken to his home at Columbus, Ga. Being sent later to Mr. & Mrs. Ott who guard it as well as the letters as priceless relics of their son's bravery.

The gun is a heavy one, weighing about forty pounds and shows the effects of the battles through which it passed. Part of one rod of the tripod on which it rested has been shot away and a piece of steel has been torn out of the barrel by a bullet. As soon as the gun has been rendered safe by the removal of the one bullet left in the magazine and has been cleaned, Mr. Ott will place it on exhibition.

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