3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2021 2:08 PM by Jason Atkinson

    When, where, and how was Private Archie Sommer wounded?

    Robert Machuga Adventurer

      Are there sources of information, other than the Official Military Personnel File and Medical Records/Service Treatment Records, to find out when, where, and how Private Archie Sommer (U.S. Army service number 1721500) was wounded in the Argonne Forest in October 1918 during World War I?  I sent a request to the National Personnel Records Center for the Official Military Personnel File and Medical Records/Service Treatment Records of Private Archie Sommer in December 2020, and a response has been delayed due to the pandemic shutdown.  Even so, those records may or may not provide the answers that I am looking for.


      Archie Sommer was born on August 7, 1894.  He lived at 20 Garfield Street in the community of Blackrock in the northwestern part of Buffalo, New York, along the Niagara River, prior to being drafted into the National Army.


      At the time of his death, Private Archie Sommer was in the U.S. 1st Army, 1st Corps, 77th Division, 153rd Brigade, 306th Infantry, 2nd Battalion, and Company G.  Archie died of wounds received in action on October 22, 1918 -- 20 days before the Armistice.  The triage for the 77th Division was located in Florent, France, and the 11th Evacuation Hospital was located in Brizeaux, France.  The 11th Evacuation Hospital moved from St. Mihiel, France to Brizeaux for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Archie died in Brizeaux on October 22, 1918, and he was buried in the Evacuation Hospital No. 11 Cemetery (American Military Cemetery No. 557) on the same day.  Archie's body was later repatriated back to the United States, transported on the USAT Cantigny, and arrived at the Port of New York in Hoboken, New Jersey on December 7, 1921.  Subsequently, Archie Sommer was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kenmore, New York.


      I have read many accounts of the operations of the 306th Infantry in the Argonne Forest.  Some generally describe the actions of Company G; however, none lists individual soldiers wounded in action on specific dates.  There are later newspaper articles and bulletins noting Archie Sommer's death.  I should point out that, prior to the pandemic, I reviewed at the NACP: RG120, Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I), A.E.F. General Headquarters, War Diaries -- (77th Division), Box 2833, which relates to the 306th Infantry.


      I am not sure the reason why, but in several documents that I have reviewed, Archie's name is missing from the roster of the 306th Infantry; and in at least one other document, Archie is erroneously listed as being in the 308th Infantry.  Finally, Archie's burial registration card indicates there is a Photograph No. D-9759, which I am trying to locate.