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1st Sgt George Humphrey, 6th Marines, WW-I


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#1 USMCRECON

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 04:18 PM

George Humphrey joined the Marines a coupler years before WW-I broke out and by the time the Marines deployed to France he was a 1st Sgt. In September 1918 the American Expeditionary Forces into the St. Mihiel sector. I Corps, made up of elements of the U.S. Army 2nd, 5th, 82nd, and 90th Infantry Divisions, anchored the eastern flank near the town of Thiacourt. Attached to the 2nd Infantry Division was the 6th Marine Regiment. Among the approximately 7000 Allied casualties of the battle was First Sergeant George H. HUMPHREY of the 6th Marine Regiment. On 15 September, 1918, 1st Sgt Humphrey was with a group of Marines moving along a trail north of Thiacourt when they encountered a relatively large group of German troops and a firefight erupted. As 1st Sgt Humphrey began setting up a defense, he was shot in the head and killed instantly. On the morning of 16 September, some of his fellow Marines buried him on the crest of the hill. When the buried him they did so in full uniform with all of his web gear, boots, etc and placed his helmet over his head. Shortly after the war, Army graves registration details searched for 1st Sgt Humphrey's grave but were unable to locate it.

Fast forward to 91 years to September of 2009 when French relic hunters were searching for artifacts in a wooded area west of the village of Rembercourt-sur-Mad, approximately 17 miles northeast of St. Mihiel. As they searched, they found artifacts and a helmet that they thought belonged to an American from WW-I. As they picked up the helmet, they could see cranial remains be those of an American soldier from World War I. The relic hunters stopped immediately and notified French authorities who, in turn notified the US government. From 20-23 October, a US recovery team excavated the site pointed out by the French and recovered the remains of 1st Sgt George Humphrey. When found he still had his wallet in his pocket, a couple bandoliers of 30-36 ammo, and some French coins in his pocket. About two weeks ago a sister who is still alive accepted the identification of 1st Sgt Humphrey. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery and I'm honored to have been invited to attend.

The top picture below shows a map of the area where 1st Sgt Humphrey was killed, buried, and recovered. The middle picture shows the burial site before recovery operations. At the bottom is 1Sgt Humphrey as he was unearthed.

Humphrey1.jpg

Humphrey2.jpg

Humphrey3.jpg



#2 cwnorma

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:23 PM

Welcome home buddy.

#3 bobgee

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:20 AM

Wow! Amazing recovery, Bill. I had not heard of this last year. I, too, say "Welcome Home, Top!" :salute:
Please keep us posted on future happenings.
Semper Fi......Bob

#4 Brig

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 10:00 AM

welcome home Marine.

you can tell he laid undisturbed. The ammo across his chest exactly where the bandoleer was slung, the coins where his pocket one was. A macabre reminder of the reality of war

#5 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 11:12 AM

Truly amazing. Welcome home 1st Sgt Humphrey :salute:

#6 bobgee

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 12:12 PM

For the record, 1st Sgt Humphrey was the 'topkick' of the 96th Company, 6th Marines when he was KIA.
Semper Fi.....Bobgee

#7 normaninvasion

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 12:12 PM

Good on the French relic hunters for finding this Marine and helping him find his way home. Thanks for the post.

#8 teufelhund

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 12:27 PM

He enlisted in the Corps on Sept 13, 1917
Serial number 4606158
96th Co 6th Regiment
KIA, date not specifiedµ

HUMPHREY, GEORGE H, 1st Sergeant, 6th Regiment, 2nd Div, missing in action, 15 September 1918, St Mihiel Cemetery, commemorated

Two years ago, 3 more doughboys were located by relic hunters,not far away from Humphreew rest place
US autorities have been informed, remains recovered, but so far, a kind of blackout over the event has been imposed.
N'est ce pas Solcarlus who knows much more about this event.
T

Edited by teufelhund, 08 May 2010 - 12:38 PM.


#9 solcarlus

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 12:49 PM

...N'est ce pas Solcarlus who knows much more about this event.
T


Not as much as Guillaume (et son pote)

solcarlus.

#10 Popo367

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 02:06 PM

Continue resting in peace, Marine.

#11 ww1collector

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 02:15 PM

Great story. Dave

#12 USMCRECON

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 05:09 PM

Wow! Amazing recovery, Bill. I had not heard of this last year. I, too, say "Welcome Home, Top!" :salute:
Please keep us posted on future happenings.
Semper Fi......Bob


Nothing can be said publicly about a recovery/identification until the service casualty office, Marines in this case, can present the evidence to the primary next of kin (PNOK). Once they accept the identification (and if they authorize public release) the info is released to the media. The Marine casualty office spoke with the sister about a week and a half ago and she accepted the identification....this one really left very little doubt as to who he was. He still had his wallet and items in it were readable. He had his pipe, tobacco, and other personal items as well, all in an amazing state of preservation.

And thanks for adding the company, Bob. I'd neglected to do so, and for correcting the enlistment date. I was going from memory when I wrote the original post and I remembered (incorrectly) that he'd enlisted a couple years earlier that that. He went from Private to 1st Sgt in about a year...not too shabby!

#13 Saskatoon Light Infantry

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:10 PM

George Humphrey joined the Marines a coupler years before WW-I broke out and by the time the Marines deployed to France he was a 1st Sgt. In September 1918 the American Expeditionary Forces into the St. Mihiel sector. I Corps, made up of elements of the U.S. Army 2nd, 5th, 82nd, and 90th Infantry Divisions, anchored the eastern flank near the town of Thiacourt. Attached to the 2nd Infantry Division was the 6th Marine Regiment. Among the approximately 7000 Allied casualties of the battle was First Sergeant George H. HUMPHREY of the 6th Marine Regiment. On 15 September, 1918, 1st Sgt Humphrey was with a group of Marines moving along a trail north of Thiacourt when they encountered a relatively large group of German troops and a firefight erupted. As 1st Sgt Humphrey began setting up a defense, he was shot in the head and killed instantly. On the morning of 16 September, some of his fellow Marines buried him on the crest of the hill. When the buried him they did so in full uniform with all of his web gear, boots, etc and placed his helmet over his head. Shortly after the war, Army graves registration details searched for 1st Sgt Humphrey's grave but were unable to locate it.

Fast forward to 91 years to September of 2009 when French relic hunters were searching for artifacts in a wooded area west of the village of Rembercourt-sur-Mad, approximately 17 miles northeast of St. Mihiel. As they searched, they found artifacts and a helmet that they thought belonged to an American from WW-I. As they picked up the helmet, they could see cranial remains be those of an American soldier from World War I. The relic hunters stopped immediately and notified French authorities who, in turn notified the US government. From 20-23 October, a US recovery team excavated the site pointed out by the French and recovered the remains of 1st Sgt George Humphrey. When found he still had his wallet in his pocket, a couple bandoliers of 30-36 ammo, and some French coins in his pocket. About two weeks ago a sister who is still alive accepted the identification of 1st Sgt Humphrey. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery and I'm honored to have been invited to attend.

The top picture below shows a map of the area where 1st Sgt Humphrey was killed, buried, and recovered. The middle picture shows the burial site before recovery operations. At the bottom is 1Sgt Humphrey as he was unearthed.

Humphrey1.jpg

Humphrey2.jpg

Humphrey3.jpg




I salute our French comrades and thank them for helping to bring one of our fallen home. Merci ! ! !

#14 Brig

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:17 PM

and glad they didn't pocket any relics first, as if often the case when German KIA are found

I thought it was illegal to metal detect in France? or is it by permit?

#15 teufelhund

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 11:29 PM

and glad they didn't pocket any relics first, as if often the case when German KIA are found

I thought it was illegal to metal detect in France? or is it by permit?


It is illegal to metal detect on archeological & historical sites, even on your own private property.(Law of 1941 adopted by Marshal Petain, yes, yes,) and law on the usage of metal detector

[i]Le Code du Patrimoine reprend les articles la loi 89-900 du 18 décembre 1989 relative à l'utilisation des détecteurs à métaux :
Art.L.542-1. No person may use equipment to detect metal objects, the effect of research of monuments and objects of interest to the prehistory, history, art or archeology without having first obtained a administrative authorization issued based on the applicant's qualification and the nature and modalities of research.(google translation)

The guy who found George Humphrey really has guts to notify the french authorities since he could have been fined ,his car and detector confiscated etc...I dont know him but he really deserves, a gentleman.

Teufelhund

Edited by teufelhund, 08 May 2010 - 11:34 PM.


#16 rvandehoef

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 02:25 AM

Impressive story & photos.

#17 devildog34

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 12:07 AM

Wow! Truly moving! Semper Fi Top, welcome home.

#18 solcarlus

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 11:48 PM

It is illegal to metal detect on archeological & historical sites, even on your own private property.(Law of 1941 adopted by Marshal Petain, yes, yes,) and law on the usage of metal detector

[i]Le Code du Patrimoine reprend les articles la loi 89-900 du 18 décembre 1989 relative à l'utilisation des détecteurs à métaux :
Art.L.542-1. No person may use equipment to detect metal objects, the effect of research of monuments and objects of interest to the prehistory, history, art or archeology without having first obtained a administrative authorization issued based on the applicant's qualification and the nature and modalities of research.(google translation)

The guy who found George Humphrey really has guts to notify the french authorities since he could have been fined ,his car and detector confiscated etc...I dont know him but he really deserves, a gentleman.

Teufelhund


the two explorers passed through an association (thank's GI's) to share their discovery to the authorities.They were present at the removal of the body.In these cases, the authorities are not too curious. Teufel, correct me if my information is incorrect.
Solcarlus.

#19 teufelhund

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 11:32 AM

the two explorers passed through an association (thank's GI's) to share their discovery to the authorities.They were present at the removal of the body.In these cases, the authorities are not too curious. Teufel, correct me if my information is incorrect.
Solcarlus.

Sol,
I am not aware of the real circumstances of this discovery, I was only informed of this event by way of this post, however I might know at least one of the persons involved, but I can assure you, that he shuts his mounth even with me.
Last time I was in the vicinity of the discovery.... 20+ years ago.
Teufelhund

Edited by teufelhund, 11 May 2010 - 11:53 AM.


#20 ClaptonIsGod

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 06:23 PM

:salute:

#21 USMCRECON

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:00 AM

Sol,
I am not aware of the real circumstances of this discovery, I was only informed of this event by way of this post, however I might know at least one of the persons involved, but I can assure you, that he shuts his mounth even with me.
Last time I was in the vicinity of the discovery.... 20+ years ago.
Teufelhund


I apologize but I'm not at liberty to reveal the names or any other information on the French nationals.

Edited by USMCRECON, 12 May 2010 - 05:03 AM.


#22 solcarlus

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:18 AM

Bonjour.

I apologize but I'm not at liberty to reveal the names or any other information on the French nationals.


We know of at least one.

#23 scottplen

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 11:53 AM

WOW!!! May he finally rest in Peace ! :thumbsup:

#24 solcarlus

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 10:45 AM

Bonjour.

Here is an article in the local newspaper last Saturday. I hope we will have information about his funeral from you.

regards solcarlus.

mort0003R.JPG

#25 solcarlus

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 10:49 AM

;)
mort0004R.JPG


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