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Theodore E. Fournier

Submitted by: Brian A. Huseland {great-nephew}

Theodore E Fournier

Theodore E Fournier was born around 1899. Theodore Fournier 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 great-uncle Theodore Everett Fournier served in the 103rd Infantry, Company C. After his parents told Teddy in his teen years that he was adopted, he left home and enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard, 2nd Infantry, finding comfort in serving his country.

In 1916, they patrolled the U.S.-Mexico border because of Pancho Villa’s raids. In 1917, the boys were drafted into the American Expeditionary Forces, and trained at Camp Cody, NM, as part of the 34th “Sandstorm” Division. However, as some American regiments had encountered heavy losses in Europe, the 34th became a replacement division, and was broken up.

Teddy was shipped out from New York City on June 29th, 1918 on the ship Demosthenes. He carried with him standard issue uniform and equipment, and a precious item: an enlisted men’s prayer book. He arrived in mid-July and was assigned to the 103rd about the time of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. After resting and training the new recruits, the regiment boarded trains for Verdun, France. Teddy’s regiment prepared for the St. Mihiel Offensive as part of the 26th Division, encountering occasional gas and gunfire.

As the Allied troops prepared to go over the top, he was hit by Allied artillery shells that fell short. The shrapnel buried in his left femur bone put him out of combat for the rest of the war, and he was moved from field triage to French hospitals.

In 1919 Teddy sailed back home with hundreds of wounded soldiers and was cared for in Washington, D.C. until finally he stayed at a hospital in Chicago, Illinois on 47th and Drexel. Teddy went through 14 surgeries to extract shrapnel and try to heal his leg.

While recuperating, he fell in love with a Red Cross nurse named Bernice Bronson. Her family doted on Ted and there was talk of engagement plans after he could walk again. Tragically that would not be… as Theodore Everett Fournier died February 4, 1921 on the operating table from surgical shock, having lost too much blood.

Uncle Teddy was buried in Miller, South Dakota, where his family then resided. We still have his dog tags. We have never forgotten his sacrifice.

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