World War I Corporal Samuel E. Duffield — Hometown Heroes
World War I
Samuel E. Duffield
KIA October 3, 1918
Corporal Duffield was wounded so severely in the battle of Mont Blanc Ridge, France, that he died the same day and was buried near the scene of the battle.
Sam was a member of Company D, Ninth Infantry, Second Division, which opposed the Imperial German Army. The result of this battle was the expulsion of the Germans from the Champagne Region.
“Sam was among the first, in fact the first, from this community to enlist in his country’s service after the US entered the war. He enlisted in April 1917, being then 19 years of age. He left home on the first day of May. He went to France in September 1917 with the Second Division, among the first of our boys to go “over there.”
The Second Division was thrown into the terrible fighting at Chateau-Thierry on May 31, and, with the 5th and 6th Marines, checked the German rush on Paris. It remained in continuous action, fighting almost day and night, until July 9. In this action, the Ninth Infantry immortalized itself by capturing and holding Vaux against all counter attacks.
Sam was gassed with mustard gas on July 4. During the fighting a piece of bursting shell tore a hole in his gas mask another piece went through his knapsack. He patched his mask with tape and so escaped mortal injury. Sam went to the hospital and did not return to his company until the middle of September.
The Ninth Infantry went into action on September 30 in the Blanc Mont sector and it was in the storming of Blanc Mont Ridge, the key to the German position, that Sam received the wounds on October 3 from which he died. ■
(From the New Jersey State Archives.)