Stephen Taber, a contact made through the Western Front Association – East Coast Branch in the United States, has written this latest guest post about the diary of his second cousin, who served with the United States 42nd Division—The Rainbow Division. The edited diary has just been published by McFarland.
Second Lieutenant Christopher Timothy, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 168th Infantry. He died of wounds on July 28, 1918 having been hit by machine gun fire near the River Ourcq. He is buried in Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Belleau, France.
The ‘Rainbow’ Division, the 42nd, secured its name from a comment made by its future chief of staff—then Major Douglas MacArthur—that because of its composition of elements of National Guard units from 26 states it “would stretch over the whole country like a rainbow“.
One of the Division’s junior officer was Lieutenant John Taber, my second cousin. He had published a two-volume history of his regiment, the 168th (Iowa), in 1925 but he had related only a few accounts of his personal war experience to me before he died. One was that he could still smell over three hundred dead horses. Another was nearly bumping into President Wilson in a revolving door in Paris. Continue reading
The biographies of the three men buried in Tennessee are now complete.
The grave of Private Thomas Camp, Chattanooga National Cemetery
Private Thomas Camp served in England with 23rd Reserve Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was sent home suffering from tuberculosis and died on 2 May 1921 in the United States Public Health Service Hospital at Whipple Barracks, Arizona. He is buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Sapper Lee Arvel Moss served in France and Flanders with 4thBattalion, Canadian Railway Troops. He died of tuberculosis at Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec on 19 August 1919 and is buried in Short Creek Church Cemetery, near Athens.
Corporal William Vannah Taylor was born in Louisiana and served with 3rdCanadian Engineers Reserve Battalion in England. He died of nephritis in Memphis on 25 August 1919 and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery Midtown.
The letters written by Lieutenant Colonel S W W Blacker in October 1915 have now been published; you can read them all in chronological order at the link below. The A-Z of personalities has been amended to include those who will appear in November’s letters.