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Belleau Wood June 6, 1918 94 years ago today

Started by devildog34 , Jun 06 2012 03:32 AM

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#1 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:32 AM

94 years ago today only moments after 2 companies of 1/5 assaulted Hill 142 (49th and 67th), the remainder of the battalion arrived on the exploding hill top. One of those companies was the 66th Company. The night before the attack was to commence on Hill 142, the 66th and 17th companies were left behind awaiting the French to relieve them before they could move into place for the attack set to occur at 0345. While the battalion stayed in place they were subjected to heavy artillery fire. One of the men of the company, 20 year old Private Stanley Carpenter, an office clerk from Pittsburgh, PA was serving as a runner. He was summoned during the barrage. According to Albert E. Hertzog of Kyle, TX Carpenter was hit by fragments of a shell that exploded nearby. Private Glenn B. Ranney Carpenter was hit in the back by shrapnel just as he started out with the message. We heard him calling out for help. Ranney was with the stretcher team that picked him up and took him to an aid station. Corporal Morris Corrow remembered that Carpenter's mom worked for the Bakewell Co. in Pittsburgh and he used to get more packages than anyone in the company and judging by the box of letters and correpsondence I have I truly believe that this was true. The same shell that exploded near Carpenter killed Sgt. Cleo Davis instantly. According the eyewitness reports this happened very late June 5, 1918 as Davis's official date of death is June 5 although there are numerous discrepencies between muster rolls and records. I go with the records as the most reliable. Nonetheless, Carpenter sometime June 6, 1918 in a field hospital. According to the burial records at the time of his burial he had suffered from broken ribs. He was in a hospital shroud. He died in Field hospital 16 at Juilly at 3:00 AM June 6, 1918. On June 20, 1918 in Pennsylvania, Stanley's mother who wrote constantly to her dear beloved only son recieved the telegram that undoubtedly was her emotional undoing. What followed was an avalanche of correspondence with the Marine Corps as well as Stanley's comrades in the 66th Company who she adopted. When I got this box of letters I was in no way prepared for the overwhelming onslaught of correspondence that is contained. It is evident the Caroline Carpenter kept every correspondence regarding her son and his service. Sadly only a fraction of these letters are from Stanley. It has long been my desire to catalogue these letters and digitize them but the task is daunting. I think I need to complete a few letters a day for about a year. There are well over 400 letters. I have including some of the more poignant reminders of this tremendous story of sorrow for a mother who lost a son who she absolutely worshiped and adored. 94 years later we can still not only remember the sacrifice of a young man's life but the soul-numbing heart break of a mother whose world came apart that day half a world away in a remote rural sector of French farmland.
Semper Fi.

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  • Stanley_Carpenter_1.JPG


#2 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:34 AM

The piece of paper that 94 years ago struck a terror and emptiness into a mothers heart beyond anything I can ever imagine. God bless you Caroline for sacrificing your whole world today 94 years ago.

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  • Stanley_D._Carpenter_66th_Co_0001.jpg


#3 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:40 AM

Stanley's original burial was outside of Juilly where the Field hospital #16 cases who parished were laid to rest. A young French women who somehow got in touch with Stanely's mom took care of the grave for over a year, planting flowers and red poppies on it. In 1919 before Stanley's body was moved to the consolidated cemetery adjacent to the road from Bouresches to Belleau just NE of the NE corner of the woods, she sent Caroline a post card afixed with the poppies adorning Stanley's grave. They are very fragile and probably should be encased in some sort of lamanate for preservation although I feel lamanation and this stuff is taboo, I have no other choice if I am to preserve this for another 94 years. Another poignant reminder.

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  • Stanley_D._Carpenter_66th_Co_0002.jpg


#4 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:40 AM

The accompanying envelop with a postal stamp from Juilly where Stanley was buried.

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#5 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:43 AM

A close up of the letter which I believe is in French it's hard to read

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#6 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:46 AM

Some of Caroline's letters that were returned after Stanley was killed.

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  • Stanley_D._Carpenter_66th_Co_0006.jpg
  • Stanley_D._Carpenter_66th_Co_0007.jpg


#7 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:49 AM

Perhaps the most personal item. I found this and have decided of course to never open it although you can certainly tell it's in there, but this is the EGA that was taken from Stanley's cover, whether it was the overseas cover who knows but it was wrapped and sent to the mother. She simpley wrote on the top, "The Marine emblem from Pa's (her nickname for Stanley) hat." This has remained sealed for almost a century and delicately wrapped.

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  • Stanley_D._Carpenter_66th_Co_0005.jpg


#8 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:51 AM

Here is a picture of Stanley as it appeared in the Mid-Week pictorial's memorial section. There are tons of correspondence between members of the 66th Co. and Caroline well into their time on occupation duty and even after they came home. In reading some of these letters she clearly adopted the men of the 66th perhaps as a way of remaining close to her son.
Semper Fi

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  • Stanley_Carpenter66th.jpg


#9 devildog34

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:55 PM

95 years ago today.  To the boy affectionately known by his heart broken mother as "Pa."  You are remembered on this 95th anniversary of your great sacrifice.

Semper Fi

"To all the world he was a soldier, to us he was all the world."

                                 -epitaph on the headstone of an unknown warrior of the Great War



#10 Adam R

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:53 AM

A tremendous, but very moving, archive. Thanks for sharing it.



#11 Jack's Son

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:13 AM

A rare group of "feelings form the heart". These are the treasures of the past, that bring war into perspective.


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