Nov 10 1918
Landed in Paris about 830 P.M.
last to night - and we had quite a time getting all signed up at the station. The rules regarding visitors and American Officers in Paris are awfully strict - and an officer has to almost write his life's history in order to get by. About all that I want to put on paper about Paris is that it is a wild-wild-place and has N.Y. and K.C. - backed off the board, when it comes to "high life." Any thing else about Paris ------------- just ask me. We spent what part of the night we slept at the Grand Hotel. - Early in the evening we went to the "Casino Ole Paris" -- a show - !!
Nov 11 1918
- Well - The War is over - hence a change in my plans. I should have left Paris before this - but everything 'broke loose' at 1110 today when the big guns - fired the 'Peace Barrage" - just outside the city -- so I had to see it thru. [see news article]
Kelly, Downey and myself were just leaving one station for another with our baggage. Kelly and I had to ride up on the top - over the driver's seat - we had just started when the Peace Baggage sounded. Paris went wild in about two minutes. People flocked out into the streets - until it was almost impossible to drive thru. Can you imagine a more appropriate place to start celebrating than from the top of an overloaded Ford truck! I feared we would be pulled off - before we reached the other depot. Had we caught all the kisses thrown at us -- prehaps we would have had an idea of what was in store for us. Well - we shipped our baggage on to St. Dizier - and went crazy with the rest of Paris. Never before in my life was I hugged - kissed - and pushed about - as much
in my life - as I was that day and night. Everybody was drunk either with excitement and joy - or other wine - As for myself - I mixed it up.
Got to bed - during the wee hours of morning - and had to arise early - and get an 8 oclock train out. There were no seats to be had on the train and before we reached St. Dizier (6 P.M.) - I began to feel the effects of the furious nights celebration. We changed trains at "Vitre-Francos" about 230 P.M. -- so had a chance to eat. I rec'd my first impression of the destruction of war as we passed thru Chateau-Thearry. The whole place is simply a mass of ruins.
At St. Dizier we rec'd instructions to proceed to Sauilly [?]. Could have gotten out at 8 that night - but decided to get a good nights rest - the need of which we heavily felt. Our decision to lay over in St. Dizier proved to be very wise - for the trip was awful.
Nov 14th '18 Landed in Sauilly at 7 this A.M. - nearly frozen, after a
n 12 hour sleepless ride. Got breakfast a the Base Hospital and proceeded to report to
Chief. Ord. Officer - 1st Army. - we were put in the "Demolition Dep't."
Nov. 15 1918
Spent most all day at Eppres" - where the French are doing demolition work.
Nov 16 1918
- Have learned about all there is to be learned about demolishing defective amm. - so am awaiting my assignment to some area.
Nov 20 1918
This Army is a queer place - I still hold the title of "Demolition Expert" but have done no work.
Had quite an experience today. - Lt. Kelly - Cap. Tifft - another Cpa. in the Purchasing Dept" Paris - and I started out about 230 in a big Winton Six on a sight seeing trip. Had two punctures in the afternoon - but got thru the Argonne Forrest - just before dark. We turned around - and headed for Camp. - Comissry [?] thru the dense forrest we broke down again - with no extra time left. The four of us - and the driver had to walk about 5 miles to [space] we found a phone. After waiting until 1045 - another car came out - fixed up the Winton - and we returned to Camp - nearly frozen - about 1230 A.M. - I almost spent a night in the Argonne Forrest.
Nov 25 1918
At last - we go to work. Left Sauilly - with 9 other officers and 10 Sergs. in a truck for Varrens. After 4 hrs. of rough-riding we landed there - to find everything above ground shot to pieces. After looking everything over - decided to start house-keeping in the cellar of what was once upon a time a large two story house. Spent one day and two nights here - did no work.
Nov 27 1918
The demolition crew landed at Beaumont - and set-up in a big two story house - with mostly all German furniture. The Germans were here just a few days before the Armistice was signed - The Town is not shot up very badly - and our house is very comfortable - but dirty. We go out about a half day each day - and blow up 'duds'