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Cpl. Elmer A. Harkins, 125914, Battery C, 6th Field Artillery, 1st Infantry Division. Wounded in Action by gas on 1 April 1918. He was born on 21 February 1898 in Missouri.
Corp. Harkins joined Battery C, 6th Field Artillery on 15 May 1917 at Douglas, Arizona. He sailed to St. Nazaire, France with his regiment on 31 July 1917, from Hoboken, New Jersey, aboard the transport ship Henry R. Mallory. All did not go well for then Pvt. Harkins as he was AWOL (Absent Without Leave) on 9 - 10 September 1917, which cost him 2/3 pay per month for three months.
In October 1917, the 1st Division entered the Sommerviller Sector of the line near Lorraine. Battery C was emplaced near Bathlemont-les-Bauzement, with one gun in action on the morning of 23 October 1917. At 6:05 A.M., Battery C was given permission to fire, and the first shot of World War I by American troops roared into the German positions. Pvt. Harkins was not in the section which fired the first shot of the war.
On 22 January 1918, Battery C went into positions a kilometer right of Mandres. On 23 January, the unit was subjected to its first gas attack. Pvt. Harkins was gassed on 1 April 1918. During the period between 5 - 10 March, 1918, all batteries were hit with vicious gas attacks, with all of Battery D being hospitalized. Pvt. Harkins was listed as being "Gassed in Action" with no exact date given in some records.
Pvt. Harkins was promoted to Corporal in September 1918 and was dropped from the Regimental roster on 4 May 1919.
Cpl. Harkins received his Purple Heart on 21 June 1933. He also received the Silver Star and French Fourragere for his service in France. He died in June 1970 in Chicago, Illinois. He was 72 years old.