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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum

Re: Roster of 371st Infantry Regiment, WW1

Here is some further information on Lt. Dr. Urbane F. Bass of Fredericksburg, Va;

First Lieutenant, Medical Corps, attached to 372nd Inf., 93rd Div.

Distingushed Service Cross; near Mothois, France October 1-6, 1918

Citation: "For extraordinary heroism in action near Monthois, France, Oct. 1-6, 1918. During the attack on Monthois he administered first aid in the open under prolonged and intense shell fire until he was severly wounded and carried from the field."
References: W.D. No. 948, p.728: H.A., p.41: V.M.H., Vol. XXVL p.7; A.G.O.R.; A.N.J., Vol. 56, p. 914: G.O. 13, 1919

Source: Publications of the Virginia War History Commission

A Heroic Colored Physician

There was a heroic calmness, according to Ralph W. Tyler, in the death of Lt. Urban F. Bass, of Fredericksburg, Va., colored, serving as a physician with one of the colored regiments, and it is deserving of more than just a passing notice. He was directing the affairs of his temporary aid station just behind the crest of a hill, while the battle was raging, when a shell from the enemy's guns combed the hill and struck among the group of workers being directed by him, tearing off both legs of the physician. Lt. Bass, with remarkable fortitude, as calmly instructed his hospital corps how to give him first aid as if he was back writing a prescription for one of his patients banck in his Virginia office.

He died a few moments later, from blood hemorage. Thus went a most promising colored physician who, although beyond the draft age, volunteered his services; left behind a slendid practice, wife and children, to serve his country in France, and by doing so helped to advance the interests of his race in America.

Source: Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the Great War, p., 270-271.

The following is a quote from Dr. Bass that was published in the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star; April 6, 1917
From a letter written to Secretary of War Baker:

"Realizing that patriotism and loyalty should be paramount in the breasts of all American citezens at this time, and feeling (although a negro) that loyalty for my country and the desire to serve her in this critical period, I am herewith offering my services for the army Medical Corps, should there be a need for a colored physician for that branch of service."

He was survived by his wife Maude and four children.

His widow Maude never remarried and in 1986 at the age of 100, she passed on the glory and was buried beside her beloved husband.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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