Rock Springs, WY Man Fired First American Shot in World War 1
via the SweetwaterNOW (WY) web site
SWEETWATER COUNTY — On Sunday morning, June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir apparent to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, setting off the Great War, later called World War I.
On one side were the Central Powers, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire; on the other was the Allies – at that time Great Britain, France, and Russia, among others.
The United States would not enter the war on the side of the Allies for nearly three more years, and when it did, the first shot an American serviceman fired at an enemy in that colossal conflict was not in the trenches in France or on the battlefields of the eastern front, but in the harbor of a Pacific island over 6,000 miles from his birthplace.
The staff of the Sweetwater County Museum reported on Saturday that Corporal Michael Chockie, United States Marine Corps, the man who fired that shot, was a native of Rock Springs, Wyoming, the son of Austrian immigrants.
The German merchant raider Cormoran, armed with eight 4.1-inch guns, put into Apra Harbor, Guam, on December 14, 1914. Guam was American territory and the United States was still neutral. Nearly out of coal, the Cormoran and her crew were interned by American naval authorities and remained in Apra for the next two years.
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