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State Side Training Camps and Sailing to France


As the fall of 1917 was turning toward winter Mr. Edington felt the call to serve his country. On November 24, 1917 he applied for duty in the Carriage Division Ordnance Department of the Army. I have a letter dated November 28, 1917 that states that the necessary steps are being taken to have Mr. Edington enlisted into this department. The letter is from the War Department, Office of the Chief of Ordnance, Carriage Division 1703 New York Ave. NW. Washington. Signed by Jack A. Rainier, 1st Lieut. Ord., Dept., U. S. R.

Fifteen days later on 13 December 1917, Mr. Edington passed his Exam at Grand Rapids Michigan. I have the Western Union Telegram he had sent to Miss Lena Howard that states he passed his exam and will arrive Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. on the 14th December. Lena Howard and Guy Edington were married on 30 October 1919.

According to an index card I received from the Michigan State Archives Mr. Edington enlisted into the National Army at Rock Island Arsenal on 14 December 1917. Private Edington then proceeded to Camp Dodge, Iowa where he was a member of the 2nd Provisional Company, Motor Truck Ordnance Department. While at Camp Dodge Pvt. Edington had sent several post cards to Miss Lena Howard of R. F. D. No. 7, Ionia, Michigan, one post card dated 12 January 1918 gives Pvt. Edington's address as;

Pvt. Guy Edington
2nd Prov. Co.
A. O. B. D. F.
(American Ordnance Base Depot, France)
Camp Dodge, Iowa.

Follow this link to see Photo's of Camp Dodge

Private Edington was transferred to Camp Merritt, New Jersey prior to his transfer to France. It is unknown exactly when he went to Camp Merritt, but it must have been sometime after 12 January 1918 and when he sailed to France on 14 March 1918. Private Edington reported to Co. B, 1st Provisional Ordnance Battalion. Camp Merritt was a major embarkation port for the American Expedition Forces going overseas. It is unclear how long he was at Camp Merritt and it may have been a mobilizing point for the 1st Provisional Ordnance Battalion prior to sailing to France. This unit does not show up on any of the units listed on the Camp Merritt page, but Pvt. Edington was attached to the 56th Regiment Coast Artillery while in France. The 56th Regiment was part of the 31st Heavy Artillery Brigade and they were listed on the Camp Merritt Units. (see Non-Divisional Units: Headquarters 31st Heavy Artillery Brigade) The 1st Prov. Ord. Bn. consisted of 22 Officers and 739 enlisted men. I obtained this information from a list of ships sailing by date from the National Archives in Washington D.C. The ship they sailed on was the USS Henry R. Mallory. Other units sailing on the Henry R. Mallory were 2 Officers 37 enlisted men of the 303rd Motorcycle Co., 3 Officers 75 men of the 317th, 318th, 319th Fire Hose & Truck Cos., 21 Casual Officers and 559 replacement enlisted men. It is unknown where the Henry R. Mallory sailed from but the most likely port is Hoboken. In the coming months I will be tracking down passenger manifests for the 14 March 1918 sailing of the Henry R. Mallory. Also I will try to locate the deck logs to see where they sailed from and what the destination was.


Date this page was last updated 15 December 1999

If you have research comments or additional information on this page e-mail them to: Joe Hartwell

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