AfriGeneas Military Research Forum
372nd Infantry - Final Combat Casualty of WW1
On this day in 1918, Pvt. Herman Hayes became the 372nd Infantry's final combat casualty of the Great War. He was mortally wounded on the night of the 10th while part of a raiding party charged with capturing a group of Germans who had been seen on the Allied side of the lines.
The Germans had sent a handful of troops ahead of a larger force in an effort to draw the American raiding party into an ambush. The men of the 372nd sucessfuly captured the group, after which their Lt. was informed by one of the Huns that there were more Germans nearby who also wished to surrender. He unwittingly led his group of 22 enlisted men forward with the english speaking Hun in the lead.
The raiding party soon found themselves surrounded by the larger force of Germans. Upon realizing what had happened the men of the 372nd immediately engaged the Germans. However, they were soon forced to surrender, having had several of their number, including Pvt. Hayes, wounded. Fortunately the Armistice took effect the next morning, and the captured man were soon returned to the regiment.
This is but one of several instances where one of the untrained 19 year olds whom Col. Tupes insisted were better than the regiment's previous contingent of black National Guard officers led his men into a 'kamerad trap'.
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