On Aug. 23, 1917, the Banner carried an Associated Press report that six German planes had dropped bombs on two hospitals behind the Verdun front in France. Ten wounded men were killed, along with one female nurse and 19 trained male nurses. Another 49 male nurses were wounded, as were a number of recovering wounded soldiers in the tents. It turned out that two of the hospitals struck were manned by volunteer contingents from Harvard and St. Louis. An officer of the American medical corps was killed and another wounded and two aides were killed, apparently the first American casualties of the war, not including Americans fighting in British, French or Canadian units.
In back of the lines, where the first American troops in France were undergoing training, it was announced that British officers would be assigned to help with the training.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. troops continued to gather. In Ohio, troops entrained at Cincinnati and Columbus to head for Chillicothe, the Banner reported on Sept. 5. Some 43,000 men would be gathered there, including 4,300 from Pennsylvania. Similar gatherings were occurring across the United States.
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