Hay, Merle, Pvt

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
Private
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
521-Basic Soldier
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1917-1917, 521, 1st Infantry Division
Service Years
1917 - 1917
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Operation Enduring Freedom
Cold War Certificate

Private


Three Service Stripes



One Overseas Service Bar


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Iowa
Iowa
Year of Birth
1896
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Jerry Dennis to remember Hay, Merle, Pvt USA(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Glidden

Casualty Date
Nov 03, 1917
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Location
Germany
Conflict
World War I
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Wound Chevron (1917-1932) Infantry Shoulder Cord World War I Victory Button WWI Discharge Pin (Wounded)

Army Honorable Service Lapel Pin (1920-1939) World War I Honorable Discharge Chevron Badge of Military Merit


 Unofficial Badges 

Warriors Medal Of Valor Cold War Medal Cold War Veteran




 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Rifle
Carbine

 
 National Guard Awards


 
 Unit Assignments
1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment1st Infantry Division
  1917-1917, 521, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment/HHC
  1917-1917, 521, 1st Infantry Division
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On the night of November 2-3, 1917, the Germans, suspecting that the Americans had moved into the area, conducted a trench raid on the 16th Infantry Regiment's position to capture prisoners for interrogation. Hay and Gresham were killed in the initial attack, not recognizing the Germans in the dark.


   
Comments/Citation
Name: Hay, Merle David
Rank: Private
Home of Record: Glidden, Iowa
DOB: Jan 1, 1896
POB: Glidden, Iowa
NOK: Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Hay, Glidden, Iowa
DOE: Active Duty: May 1, 1917
POE: Unspecified;
DOS: Nov 3, 1917 (KIA)
POS: Artois, France
Remarks: American Soldier. Private Hay was one of the first three servicement (according to conflicting reports, possibly the actual first) to die in combat in World War I, along with Corporal James Bethel Gresham of Evansville, Indiana, and Private Thomas F. Enright of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In civilian life, Private Hay was a clerk in the Glidden farm implement store, and he enlisted in may 1918 not long after war declared. Hay, Gresham, and Enright were all serving Company F, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division ("The Big Red One") in trenches in or near the village of Bathelemont les Bauzemont, in Lorrain, east of Nancy, in what was supposed to be a quiet sector, to allow the division some seasoning before being sent to more active sectors. 
On the night of November 2-3, 1917, the Germans, suspecting that the Americans had moved in the area, conducted a trench raid on the 16th's position to capture prisoners for interrogation. Hay and Gresham were killed in the initial attack, not recognizing the German soldiers in the dark (one story has it that the gold watch Hay's mother had given him was found stopped at 0240 hrs), and Enright was killed as he resisted being taken. The Germans left with every piece of American equipment they could lay their hands on, as well as eleven prisoners. Hay, Enright, and Gresham were buried where they fell, the French government erecting a monument to their memory on the spot, but it was destroyed by the Germans in 1940. Hay's body was returned to the US in July 1921 and re-interred in his home town. In 1929, the Iowa legislature funded a special monument for Hay in Glidden as well as a cenotaph in Des Moines. The current monument near Bathelemont was erected after World War II. (Bio. by: Paul F. Wilson) 
Source: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page+gr&GRid+1674.
Source: "The Yanks Are Coming, The United States in the First World War"  by Albert Marrin (page 77)
   
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011