Submitted by: George Carter Grandson
George Koenig born around 1893, George Koenig served in World War 1 with the the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.
Story of Service
My Grandfather, George Koenig, was very proud of his U.S. Army service in World War I as part of the American Expeditionary Force.
(Note: Most of this information is from the personal diary that he kept while in the Army. Some of his notes are difficult to read or decipher, so this summary is a best effort supplemented by his official U.S. Army Discharge and Enlistment records, as well as the history of the U.S. Army 3rd Division, troopship rosters, newspaper and other historical references.)
He joined the Army on June 24, 1918 at the age of 25 from his home state of Minnesota and, after completing basic training, was soon shipped overseas. He arrived in Le Harve, France on October 4, 1918 and was then sent to Camp Hunt in the Southwest of France. He was stationed at Camp Hunt until November 11, 1918 (Armistice Day).
Beginning on November 11, his unit traversed France from west to east through Bordeaux, Orleans, Tours, St. Dizier, Troys, Tronville, and Rombach near the German border, arriving on November 21, 1918.
He was then transferred to the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Division (famous as the “Rock of the Marne” division for their exploits in the battle at Chateau-Thierry along the Marne River in July, 1918).
3rd Division was now part of the Army of Occupation and, per the terms of the Armistice, was tasked with occupying the Rhineland and also disarming units of the German army that may be encountered in the region. They essentially marched from town to town in the Rhineland for this purpose and eventually crossed the Rhine River. A major concern of the Allies was since only an Armistice had been signed on 11/11/1918 that the Germans might not sign the peace treaty and therefore resume the fighting. The Treaty of Versailles was eventually signed on 6/28/1919. (Even though the United States had signed the Treaty of Versailles, the U.S. Senate refused ratification and a separate peace treaty was eventually signed by Germany and the U.S in 1921. )
From early December 1918 until August 1919 the 3rd division occupied the Rhineland travelling though Germany to the towns of Saarburg, Simmern, Argenthal, Bacharach, Boppard, Koblenz, Andernach, and Karlich.
In February, 1919 he left Karlich, Germany for Field Hospital 7 for treatment of an infection in his leg. He was subsequently transferred to Base Hospital 26 in Allerey, France where he was treated until May 1919. He rejoined his company on May 19, 1919.
His outfit crossed the Rhine River on June 20, 1919 and was in Neuwied, Germany on June 27, 1919. In July they returned to Andernach, Germany. The 3rd Division left Germany and returned to Brest, France in early August 1919.
His unit departed Brest, France on the troopship S.S. Kaiserine Augusta Victoria arriving in New York on August 22, 1919. He was then sent to Camp Merritt, NJ and finally back to Camp Dodge, IA, where he was discharged from the Army on August, 28, 1919 and then returned to his hometown of Plainview, MN.
Detailed Timeline of his service:
• 6/24/1918 – Inducted into the US Army at Wabasha, MN, arrived Camp Grant, IL.
• 7/15/1918 – Left Camp Grant for Camp Robison
• 9/5/1918 – Left Camp Robison for Camp Mills, NY
• 9/7/1918 – Arrived Camp Mills, NY
• 9/16/1918 – Left Camp Mills for debarkation port New York, NY
• 9/17/1918 – Departed USA on SS Empress of Russia
• 9/29/1918 – Arrived Liverpool, England
• 10/1/1918 – Left Liverpool for Southampton
• 10/3/1918 – Left for debarkation port
• 10/4/1918 – Left England, arrived Le Harve, France
• 10/5/1918 – Left Le Harve for Camp Hunt
• 10/7/1918 -- Arrived Camp Hunt in SW France, 60 KM SW of Bordeaux
• 10/27/1918 – On pass
• 11/11/1918 – Armistice Day -- Left Camp Hunt
• 11/11 thru 11/21/1918 – Traversed France from west to east:
o 11/11/1918 – Bordeaux, France
o 11/12/1918 – Orleans and Tours, France
o 11/13/1918 – St. Dizier, France
o 11/14/1918 – Troyes, France
o 11/14 -- 11/16/1918 – Tronville, France
o 11/16 – 11/17/1918 – “Auto Broke” is the notation in the diary. Unsure if this means they were traveling by car, or truck (auto may imply either)
o 11/21/1918 – Rombach, France (near the German border)
• 11/22/1918 – Transferred to 3rd Division, 5th Brigade, 7th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company H, 2nd Platoon, H Squad.
• 11/28/1918 – Thanksgiving. Dinner consisted of corn beef (diary says corn bill, but don’t know what that might mean), cabbage, potatoes, salmon, hard tack and coffee. Supper consisted of corn beef, potatoes, bread, donuts and coffee.
• 12/1/1918 – Berg, Borg Perl, Kier, Germany
• 12/5/1918 – Diary notation says “got up at 4:30, walk all day, got in the next town at 1:30 next morning. No supper, no breakfast” unsure of which town, but all near Luxemburg, Germany
• 12/7/1918 – Saarburg, Germany “made 40 kilometers or 25 miles”
• 12/9/1918 – Simmern and Argenthal, Germany
• 12/10/1918 – Bacharach, Germany (First night on the Rhine)
• 12/15/1918 – Boppard, Germany
• 12/16/1918 – Koblenze, Germany
• 12/17/1918 – Andernach, Germany
• 12/25/1918 – Christmas. Dinner consisted of beef steak, potatoes, tomatoes, bread, butter, donuts, coffee, spinach, apples, and two pair of socks.
• 2/5/1919 – Karlich, Germany
• 2/9/1919 – Left Karlich for Field Hospital 7 for treatment of leg infection.
• 2/23/1919 – Left Field Hospital 7 for Base Hospital 26 in Allerey, France
• 5/19/1919 – Left hospital to return to Company H at Andernach, Germany
• 6/20/1919 – Crossed the Rhine river
• 6/27/1919 – Neuwied, Germany
• 7/22/1919 – Returned to Andernach, Germany
• 8/9/1919 – Left Andernach for Brest, France
• 8/12/1919 – Arrived Brest, France
• 8/13/1919 -- Departed Brest, France on S.S. Kaiserine Augusta Victoria
• 8/22/1919 – Departed ship at New York, NY for Camp Merritt, NJ
• 8/25/1919 – Departed Camp Merritt for Camp Dodge, IA
• 8/27/1919 – Arrived at Camp Dodge, IA
• 8/28/1919 – Discharged from US Army