Finally, on Oct. 27, 1917, nearly six months after the United States entered the war, the first “Sammies” entered the trenches in a French sector.
An article in the Banner did not report the unit that was first in the line, or the location of what was described as a “quiet” sector of the line. The story didn’t even say what day it occurred.
An artillery man described only as a “red-haired gunner,” fired the first shot at 6 a.m. targeting a German work party.
The shell casing from the French 75 was saved and would be presented to President Woodrow Wilson.
The American headquarters issued a clumsily worded announcement:
“In continuation of their training as a nucleus for instruction later, a contingent of some battalions of our first contingents, in association with veteran French battalions, are in the first-line trenches of a quiet sector of the French front. They are supported by some batteries of our artillery in association with veteran French batteries.