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Albert Robert Laske

Submitted by: Jean Burns {granddaughter}

Albert Robert Laske mugAlbert Robert Laske born around 1894. Albert Laske 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

 

Feb. 1918, Albert "Bert" (24 yrs. old) received induction orders to enter the Army, during World War I. He is to serve in the 25th Spruce Squadron, Vancouver Barracks, in Vancouver Washington. This Squadron is to harvest wood that will be used to build the planes they need for the war. In Dec.

1918, Bert is discharged honorable and thanked for his service, but since the war is ending, his service is no longer needed.

About the 25th Spruce Squadron: “The states of Oregon and Washington form the backdrop for one of the most interesting dramas of the First World War. When the U.S. entered the War, it was quickly discovered that the nation had no capacity to build warplanes in quantity. Even though the U.S. had invented the airplane, by 1917 the European powers had already spent years developing it for warfare, and deploying it in deadly combat. Those nations were trying to produce enough machines to keep the skies occupied over the front lines in France.

The lumber industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States was supplying the Allies with spruce timber, vital to the construction of wing spars and other parts. As 1917 continued into 1918, the logging industry lost many men to the draft, and labor strife increased. These labor shortages caused the flow of aircraft spruce to nearly dry up.. . . In addition, Army men built and worked in a special wood production plant at Vancouver Barracks. This "cut-up" plant provided wood ready for the airplane manufacturers, since most mills in the Pacific Northwest were not equipped to meet airplane specifications.

Finally, many Army men in the field built roads and railroads to reach the spruce stands along the Pacific coast. They even operated the railroads, and drove the log transport trucks. In the past, commercial loggers had paid little attention to these trees, and the stands were not accessible to existing roads” “

The U.S. Army Spruce Squadron in the First World War,” sawnsongrp.com/spruce.html (The Swanson’s On the Road), updated July 4, 2016, August 3, 2016.

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