on to France
on to France
In this chapter, Harry Haywood talks about his experience as a member of the U.S. army’s Eighth Illinois, Black National Guard Regiment that fought in France during World War I. Haywood’s regiment sailed for France in early April 1918, on the old USS Washington, a passenger liner converted into a troop ship. Their three ships sailed out of Newport News without escort. They were naturally worried due to rumors of German submarines, but their anxiety disappeared when in mid-ocean they picked up two escort vessels, one of which was the battle cruiser Covington. When they reached the war zone, about three days out of Brest, France, a dozen destroyers took over, circling their ships all the way into port. It took Haywood’s regiment sixteen days in all to reach Brest, where they arrived on April 22. The regiment spent six months in the lines in all. They took part in the 59-day drive of General Mangin’s Tenth Army, which ended on the day of the Armistice.
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