Yankees medics show ‘Primum non nocere’ 100 years ago today

A group of wounded German Army prisoners receiving medical attention at first aid station of U.S. 103rd and 104th Ambulance Companies (Field Hospital), attached to the 26th “Yankee” Division’s 101st Sanitary Train. These prisoners were taken from second line trenches during the opening attack of the Battle of Saint Mihiel on the 12th of September 1918, while the Yanks were “over there” as part of the American Expeditionary Force.

Formed largely from six New England National Guard units– half from Massachusetts– as noted by the Army’s CMOH, “During World War I, a press conference of Boston newspapermen was called by the Commanding General [ Maj. Gen. (Nat. Army) Clarence Ransom Edwards, USMA 1883] to determine a nickname for this division, which had just been inducted from New England National Guard units. The adopted suggestion was, ‘Call it the ‘Yankee Division’ as all New Englanders are Yankees’, and a dark blue monogrammed ‘YD’ on an olive drab background was officially designated as the division insignia.

The 26th still exists today, as the 26th Maneuver Enhancement “Yankee” Brigade, in Natick, Mass, primarily a unit of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. In addition to a host of streamers earned on its second trip to Europe in 1944-45, the Yankees earned streamers in 1917-18 for Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Ile de France and the Lorraine, suffering an amazing 100% casualty rate, some 18,000 soldiers.

The Mass Guard celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the division recently.

A ceremony for the 26th’s 100 birthday, with Doughboys standing with the colors in front of a mural showing the Decoration of regimental colors, U.S. 104th Regiment, U.S. 26th Division, at Boucq, France, April 28, 1918, by General Passaga, 32nd French Army Corps, the first American regiment cited for bravery under fire.

One enduring legacy of the 26th is Sgt. Stubby, an orphan pup the big-hearted Yankees adopted in 1917 and later became the mascot of the divisions’ 102nd Infantry Rgt. Postwar, he lived at Georgetown University and has been in the Smithsonian since then, still wearing his medals and 26th YD patch.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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