May - September


Diary of
Paul Sluk
308th Infantry


1. More mud and machine gun drill. Done MP at night for 3 hrs. Went into machine gun competition & came out 1st in company.

2. First real sunny day since we're in town. Machine gun drill. Some more speed tests at night. Letter home.

3. Another nice day. Getting better speed tests & loading drill mechanism.

4. Nice day. Same old machine gun drill. Bummed around and washed up. Started to rain about 11PM. Competition in elementary drill and passed.

5. Rain and cloudy all day. Went to St. Amar and had a grand spree. First time since I left the states that I really had enough to eat.

6. Nice and sunny day. Worked like a beaver at machine gun drill and wrote a letter home. Went to bed early. Bombarding again.

7. Rain all day. Machine gun drill traversing and searching. Dispatched rider in afternoon after drill. Bombarding all day and night.

8. Nice day. Machine gun frill rough ground and over mud. Dispatched rider to Division Hdqtrs. Bombarding all day and night. Air raid 2AM.

9. Nice day. Up at 5:30. Machine gun range all morning. Made pretty good score. Machine gun drill afternoon. Regular party at night. Bread, CW eggs, jam and beer. Bombarding stopped.

10. Cloudy day. Machine gun drill rough ground. Mud from head to foot. Drenched through and through. Bombarding again. 8 months in Army.

11. Nice day. Machine gun range in morning. Gas in afternoon. Phosphate and chlorine. Bath at night and cootie hunt. Haven't any as yet, thank the Lord. Bombarding stopped.

12. Rain in morning. Sunny afternoon. Had one swell dinner, about 4 pieces of steak. Borrowed a few francs and had a few drinks. Mother's Day. Letter home.

13. Rain all day. Machine gun drill in morning. Range in afternoon. Soaked through and through. Two letters from home, wife. Letter home. Air raid. Paid off 62 francs.

14. Nice day. Machine gun drill all day. Drunk as a lord at night. Dispatch rider 12 o'clock at midnight. All night to Erperlecque. No sleep. Paid off some debts. Air raid.

15. Nice day. Range in the morning. 400 & 500 yards. Back in the afternoon. Slept from 2-5. Air raid at night. One dropped a bomb 100 yards from house.

16. Nice day. Machine gun drill rough ground in morning and auxiliary mount drill in afternoon. 6 eggs after supper.


1. Rain. Still sick. Chills and fever. One decent meal all day. Getting colder. Expect to do another hitch in the line soon. I hope not. Acting Cpl.

2. Nice day. Bombarding all night. Expect a few over here. Camping in woods near Sergey. Airplane fight brought down balloon. Parachute. Letter home.

3. Guard 1-3AM. Getting to fell better. Pretty good eats. Aerial mount evening. Cold as hell. Captured hill. Expect to move up soon.

4. Hung around, picked flowers. Broke camp 7PM. Hiked to Fismes 11PM. Slept in open, no shelter. Starting to chase Jerry.

5. Up at 7. cooked own breakfast. Pulled out 11:30AM. Met Frank near Fismes. Shelled along road. Stopped in woods 3 kilos from Fismes and dug in. No eats all day. Kitchen lost. Still chasing Jerry. Rain. Camped near Serval.

6. Slept fine, good dugout. Finally found the kitchen. Expect eats. Pretty good breakfast. Shelled in afternoon. 6 horses killed. Mess sergh(sp??) and cook sounded. Good supper.

7. Nice day. Walked back to Fismes. Got a whole new rig, all but leggings. Hiked back. Issued iron rations. Plenty of steak, 3 pieces. Packed up, ready for action. Expect attack but didn't materialize. Rain at night.

8. Nice day. Hung in dugout all day. Pretty good eats. 3 letters, 1 from wife, sisters and Mary. Expect counter attack. Rain in evening. Barrage.

9. Up at 3AM. Stand to order cancelled. Expect relief soon. Hinchel hit by shrapnel. Rain in evening and all thru the night.

10. One year in army. Rain all day. Sloppy under foot. No relief in sight. Might have to go up front for another hitch. Two letters from home. Hiked 4 kilos in mud up to knees to front line for another hitch. Started 8AM, arrived 1AM. Longeval.

11. Mounted gun in position. Acting Cpl. Rain all morning. Little hole for a dugout and no relief in sight. Got to keep under cover all day long. Shelled hell out of this place. No eats, only what you can panhandle. This company is S.O.L. fixed dugout.

12. Slept pretty good all night. Rain all day. First good meal in 3 days. Moved gun to new position. Up all night. Dug in berm position near Merval.

13. No sleep and rain all morning. Jackassed ammo to position. Dug in some more. Expect attack tonight.

14. Nothing doing till 4AM. Woke up and had to make position under fire. Nobody hurt as yet. Thank God. Stood to all day. No sleep and then stood to all night. Nice day.

15. Nice day. No excitement outside of ducking Jerry snipers and machine gun bullets. Gun hit with piece of shrapnel. Jerry raiding party came over about 10PM. Fighting all night.

16. Relieved 5AM by Italians. Stayed in old dugout all night. Made flapjacks. Some job. Pulled out 8PM. Hiked in pouring rain all night. 20 kilos.

17. Arrived Vezilly 9:30AM. All tired out. Lost pack and all my personal stuff. Left Vezilly 7:30PM in Lorries. Rain all night.

18. Arrived Epanse 10:30AM. Backside sore from riding on a hard board bench and cramped up. First meal in 24hrs. Raised hell over in French YMCA. Helluva town. Can't buy a damn thing.

19. Slept fine all night. Going to move out tonight. Rolled pack and hung around all day. Had a oneway bath. Slept in a bed full of cooties.

20. Up at 1:30AM. Left Epense 3AM. Hiked all night. Stopped at St. Menchould in woods. Left St. Menchould at 8PM. Hiked 10 kilos to Florent, 11:30PM. 1 meal all day.

21. Slept till 10AM. Hung around all day. Not allowed to stick head out of door all day. Kitchen lost again as usual. Had to cook our own meal.

22. Up at 4:30AM. Went to 5 o'clock mass and came back to bed. Supposed to go to Achuseh tonight but orders came down to move at 8PM. Left Florent 10PM. Arrived Argonne woods 12PM. Rain like hell.

23. Stood in rain, soaked to skin, till 5AM. Made a cup of coffee and slept till ten. Hung around all day. No excitement at night. Wrote letter home.

24. Nice day. Received 4 letters form home. Wrote letter to Meck and Frances. Sick as dog all day. Paid off 106 francs.

25. sick. Rainy day. Cleaned guns and moved guns from one position to another. Move out tonight. Nine months married. Pulled out 8PM. Hiked with guns all night.

26. Traveled up and down trenches all night and morning. Supposed to pull off big drive over with first wave on the flanks. 7:30AM and still no excitement except local artillery duel. Misty. Lost battalions Hdqtr. Hung around all day waiting for orders. Found a dugout and went to sleep.

27. Rain all morning. Finished up lat of iron rations. Hung around all day. Supposed to move up tonight but wait till tomorrow. First meal in 3 days, bread and coffee. Letter from home.

28. Nice day. Had breakfast and dinner. All ready to pull out. Pulled out 2PM. Hiked about 5 kilos. Rain all night, no slickers. Finally found an old Jerry dugout and went in out of the rain. Soaked through and lost, as usual. 1 man hit shrapnel.

29. Up all night, no sleep. Moved guns up about 500 yrds and then back again. Jerry sniper some place in back of us but can't locate him. Leut, Barfield killed, shrapnel, 3:30PM. No officers left in company. Moved to new dugout about 300 yrds back. 1 meal.

30. Rain and mud. Hung around all day. Caught hell off Colonel. Expect orders to go to front tonight. No orders, 1 meal all day. New Leut. McGuire.
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