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olympia leadThe casket of the World War I Unknown Soldier being carried off of the U.S. Olympia in 1921. 

“Known But To God”: The Unknown Soldier and the U.S.S. Olympia 

By Max Kaiserman
via the American Rifleman web site

Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier recently received new SIG Sauer U.S. M17 pistols inlaid with wood from the U.S.S. Olympia. It was selected because she was the honored ship that transported the remains of the World War I Unknown Soldier home from Europe. Today, three American soldiers are interred at the Tomb, one each from World War I, World War II and Korea. (A fourth unknown from the battlefields of Vietnam was later identified and returned to his family).

Aboard the U.S.S. Olympia, a young U.S. Marine Corps captain led the Honor Guard that accompanied the remains of Unknown Soldier back home in 1921—the year the Tomb was dedicated. His name was Graves Erskine. 

General Graves B. Erskine, USMC

Graves Blanchard Erskine was born in Columbia, La., on June 28, 1897. On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war against Germany. Little more than a month later on May 22, 1917, Erskine was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He was 19 and had just completed his degree at Louisiana State University. Like so many young men, Erskine joined the military to fight for his country in what would become known as World War I.

Read the entire article on the American Rifleman web site.

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