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Diary kept by Walter Myers
Full transcription of diary:
Walter L Myers
5th Balloon Co.
[Faded and difficult to read]
[Acquisition number on page 2]
Diary of Walter Myers
5th Balloon Company
Amer. Exped. Force
[Doodle on page 4 with no intent]
Apr. 22. Unit on board the U.S.S. Siboney
" 23. Left for France
24. Met six transports and a battleship
25. Passed a freight boat
During night one of boats broke down and was forced to turn back
30. Mustered for pay day
May 4. Eight Torpedo boat destroyers joined us. Cruiser left us and returned to the States
5. Submarine scare. Gun fired and a depth bomb used
6. Arrived in Brest A French dirigible was patrolling the water
7. Got off the boat at 2 A.M. Marched 4 mile to Camp Pantanaugen [? Unsure]
8. Drilled like hell
9. Every body sick. Kids climb wall to sell booze.
10. Left Brest for Tours
11. Arrived at Beaumont barracks in Tours
12. Mothers day
13. Drilled in A.M. Inspected in P.M.
May 14. Was issued gas mask.
15. Left Tours for Castiguiden [? Unsure] Stopped over night at Redon
16. Arrived in Guer 11:05 AM
17. Rested all day
18. First day on the Balloon. Ball game in P.M.
19 Stayed in Camp all day.
20 Hauled gas tanks
22 Hauled gravel
23 Entered the Chart Room
24. Had a trade [? unsure] test at Balloon Field.
26. Inspection in A.M.
27 Went on a "hike" thru Beignom, St. Malo.
28 Officers quarters burned Bender [? Unsure] on the Bugle "Grand"
30. Memorial Day. Stayed in Bed until I felt like getting up.
31. Inflated new Goodrich balloon.
June 4, 100 refugees in camp from Paris.
10. Issued Revolvers
16. Machine gunners back from Bordeaux
18 Rec'd 1st pay in France
24 Started to wear respirator 1 hour each day
25 Birth day
July 3. Second pay day.
" 4. Played Co. "C" a ball game. Score 17:8 our favor
9. Articles of ware read to us
25. Left Coetguidan for the Front. Had dinner with the "Y" at Guer.
26. Passed the edge of Paris
27. Arrived at Toul
Aug 8. Trench lines moved. Co. D of 2nd to Chateau Theirry
10. Gas alarm. 3 times from 12-6A.M. Beaucoup Hot Cakes
11. 2 Boche bombs overhead.
12. German Balloon broke loose Headed to Toul.
14. Ninth C Arrived
19 Tocks [?Unsure] meet at "Giravel Sas"
21. "Boche' plane brought down.
22. Left Camp at 2AM for Gronville
25. Shelled for first time.
28. Saw our 1st Balloon burned by a Rumpler plane.
29. Photo plane near balloon. Observers jumped.
31 Signed Pay Roll
Sept 9. Left at 6 A.M. for Deauward.
10. Balloon Filled.
12. St. Michel drive started "Some" Barrage
14. Balloon Burned
16. Pershing & Baker passed through. Hospital shelled. 4 killed and 8 injured
20. Balloon Broke loose. Shells & wind.
21. Went to Nancy. Bot.[sic] myself a leather case.
22. Left present location. [Next line potentially illegible] Smith's drive hit [???] myself
25. Drill Aw Hell! [illegible] the front
26. Big drive started
2[mark-out 8]9 I got my souvenirs at Varinnes[Unsure]
Oct 1. So went to to hunt [mark-out Boch] our plane which was brought down
Oct 6. Pay day at Tourgoenes[Unsure]
Oct 8. 11 new men in Co.
9. D. Anderson back from Hospital. Hat been over France
10. Barney Back. 7 days off.
13. Read German note of reply to our peace terms.
13. Barney Court Martialed. Tore down wireless.
17. Left Aigeville[Unsure] for new location North of Aprewood
18. Put up Wireless. Several mines exploded. Near camp
20 Shelled. Ordered to Cross roads.
21. Left for Chatel Chihaury[Unsure] Curves there at 3P.M.
22. Bust[Unsure] up wireless. Told of being sent to Radio school
23. Balloon burned at 300 Meters
25. Hamilton was injured by fuse exploding. Shelled last night. Hunted a dug out.
26. Sgt Cain back from U.S.R.
27. Signed pay book. Lt Smith made Captain
28. Worked on Trucks
29 Still on the Trucks. Winch busted. Balloon pulled down by Spider.
Shells are flying between two batteries and over my head. 23.78 flew right into the trenches. A lay[Unsure] % went A.W.O.L Yellow. N.A.men.
30. Balloon was attacked by three Fokker planes. About hundred holes in it. But it didn't catch fire. Sgt Cain & Lt Phelps made the jump. I got 5 shots at the plane with my Carbine.
31. Were told we were going to make a long move and to get rid of Personal
The big drive started last night at 12: and the heaviest barrage I ever saw. We are going to move up to-day to follow the advance.
However thought we did not move. [mark-out]
Nov. 9 Arrived in Besoce[Unsure] after traveling 5 days. Have been doing the runner act. Lately. There are hundreds of refugees in town here. Some are dying. They are from Lille and other towns. (An old woman died of fright. Went thru St Pressemont La Buhase Foche etc. [Partial illegible]
Nov 11 Last day of war. Lost our Balloon. Burst by an allied plane with German aviator. Was order to rear. Went to Augeville.
On the road two days.
Nov 13. To-night the paper said the war is won. And gave terms of Armistice. Great hope. I have a hell of a bunch of cooties am going to try and get rid of them today.
Well I kinda[Unsure] left out a few days. We have been doing nothing. Was on guard duty day before yesterday
[Blank space of reversed ink]
The "Y" gave us a vaudeville today. Pretty good stuff.
Had some apples today. Rumors of going to the Rhine.
Am still at Camp Braincord[Unsure] at Augeville.
Am writing a log of letters to [Illegible]
November 27. Am staying in "ville sur Consances" [Unsure]
Had a good back the day before yesterday.
We landed here the 24.
Start the drill 5 hrs a day to-morrow.
Tomorrow [Used ditto marks] is Thanksgiving.
Guess I will quit the damn diary as am too busy and forget it half the time
Was on guard. Still in Ville sur Consances[Unsure] Drilling 5 hours a day
Will have an inspection Dec 1.
------ Menu -----
Some good Butter
Some white Bread
Some Coffee with MILK & SUGAR
SUM-PIE.[sic] Peach & Chocolate preferred
SUM-CAKE.[sic] Angel or devil cake
Som good Chocolate malted mil
Some creamed spuds. NOT dehydrated
Some peas 'Bout a bushel
Some a them cookies
Some apple dumplings
A lot of fried oysters
a lot of cocoa
Grape Nuts. Oatmeal
A chew of Mail Pouch
instead of as usual cigar.
When this cruel war was over and we've laid aside our hate.
And were crossed the bounding willows [UNSURE] to our loved U. States.
When we sleep in the pajamas, not socks sweaters and pants
I'll think about the billets where I froze in Sunny France
When I sit all snug and cozy And it isn't any dream
And I hear the radiator hissing merrily with steam
When the house is warm and comfy, here's an idea I'll advance
I'll recall the heating systems that were all in vogue in France
When I want the open fireplace eating up the seasoned logs
I recall those snappy sticks we cut from sodden Argonne logs
When I hear the fire crackle as I watch it jump and dance
I recall those smoky bonfires that we froze beside in France
When I get into the bed at night, beneath the quilted spread
That tucks in the bottom and reaches to the head
Whether other help me warm it or I sleep alone by chance
I'll recall the army blanket that I froze beneath in France
When I read the evening sports & news and the copper market spurts
I'll recall those army day when all we read was undershirts
And when it tells of burglar hunts it'll put me in a trance.
For I'll think about the cootie hunts we used to stage in France
O' arising in the morning from a decent Christian bed
with teeth that do not chatter till they loosen in my head
I'll slip into a shower bath and think there is a chance.
The I'll laugh about those baths we used to have in France
When I'm shaving in the morning and the running water steams
I'll think of freezing shaves abroad as an odd fantastic dreams
But when I see that shaving pad there isn't any chance
That I'll forget that mug of yellow mud beneath my bunks in France
On a balmy sunny afternoon when I go for a promenade
Around the downtown district or a shady boulevard
When I see those nifty headgears, a Stetson or two by chance
I'll recall that iron bonnet that I used to wear in France.
When I hear and auto coming, a rumbling in the street
And he sounds his warning claxon lest danger he should meet
I'll draw up quite abruptly and think there is a chance
Then I'll fumble for that gas mask I used to pack in France
When I wander down old Broadway and I'm loaded down with Booze
And I step across the gutters and get mud on my shoes
I'll never get excited or start to rave and prance
For in mud I used to eat in [illegible] in ice cold sunny France
Clyde R Champion
207 Tyler St,
E 2113 Ninth St
[Mark-out] Golden Valley
802 College Avenue
James C Johnson
Brook B Sharp
[BLANK SPACE and Page]
[BACK Inner Cover]
[Doodle with no intent]
Feat [Unsure] Co. No.
32540 [Check mark] 3
32519 [Check mark] 2
32515 [Check mark] 1
US. No Co No.
31755 [Check mark]
From the service of Private Walter Myers, 5th Balloon Company, Air Service, AEF.
Myers, Walter L.
World War I