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Clayton Final Wheeler

Submitted by: Brian McCutcheon {Grandson}

Clayton Final Wheeler

Clayton Final Wheeler was born around 1890. Clayton Wheeler 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

 

My grandfather was a member of the Michigan National Guard and served in B Company, 16th Engineers (Railroad). His unit was one of the first units to enter France and one of the last to depart. He left Michigan from the Michigan Central Terminal in Detroit. From there the unit went to New York awaiting transport to France. His unit entered France at Bordeaux.

During his time in France he served in multiple regions. At one time early in his deployment, his unit was attached to and under the command of the British, at a location near the English Channel. The Service Bars on his WW1 Victory Medal, which is in my possession show he served in the Lys Campaign, the Meuse Argonne and the Defensive Sector.

The majority of his time in France was spent in Camp Williams. Camp Williams which was located just outside of the village of Is Sur Tille, which is a short drive from Dijon. Camp Williams was the largest US Army Logistics Base in France during WW1. His uniform is now on display in the town museum.

Fortunately, my Grandfather returned home safely in 1919. However, when he returned, he learned that his Mother had died during the Influenza Pandemic of 1919. HIs Mother came from a French family and he had hoped to demonstrate to her that he had learned how to speak some French.

In 2017, I received an invitation from the Mayor of Is Sur Tille, Mr. Thierry Darphin, to come to Is Sur Tille, to participate in the commemoration of America's entry into the war on 24 September. I gratefully accepted the invitation and witnessed a very large celebration, involving over 100 re-enactors, a parade and very meaningful and heartfelt speeches.

Joining us all in the celebration was Ms. Arin Keyser, First Secretary of the US Embassy in Paris. I was very touched by the sentiments so dramatically expressed by the citizens of the town and that region of France and will remember that day for as long as I live.

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