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Donald Anthony Fusia

(Born: Domenico Antonio Fuscà)

 

 

Additional Information/Corrections:

 

Born Domenico Antonio Fuscà, in Vazzano, Italy, May 8, 1891, Tony, as he was known growing up, came to America in September 1898 with his mother Marianna and two brothers - Giuseppe and Francesco on the SS Alesia.

 

World War I Service

 

Sgt, Medical Detachment of the 12th and later the 10th Machine Gun Battalion, 4th Infantry Division. Wounded in battle by poison gas September 27, 1918 in the battle of the Meuse Argonne -  Septsarges Woods, France.

 

Photos from boot Camp - Gettysburg, PA

July - December 1917

Training Camp Gettysburg, PA

Policing around the grounds, Gettysburg, PA

 

Donald Anthony Fusia's World War I Journal

   

Transcribed by Ed Fusia Jr and Tom Fusia Jr

   

Don enlisted July 28,1917, while attending medical school at the University of Pittsburgh.  He was first sent to training camp in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from July - December, 1917.  Then to Camp Greene, Charlotte, NC, from December 1917 to May, 1918 where he was assigned to the the 4th Infantry Division. He shipped out to France, May 6, 1918 and served in the Medical Detachment of the 10th Machine Gun Battalion. After the war the 4th Division was part of the occupation army in Germany and later he attended the University of Montpellier medical school in France.  He returned home and was discharged July 30,1919 at Fort Dix, NJ.  His journal picks up soon after he arrived in boot camp in Gettysburg.

 

 

      [The beginning section of his journal is damaged and unreadable] 

… had a chunk of bread … and bologna, the name for breakfast.

Aug 2 - Arrived at Gettysburg and was one of thirteen chosen to go with the camp hospital.  We pitched tent and fixed bunks for the night.

Aug 3 - Didn’t have much to do other than policing around the grounds.

Aug 4 – After policing around one of the wards we drilled for about ten minutes.  Meals were poor due to the lack of accommodations.  Over three hundred were fed wherever they were being accommodated.

Aug 5 – This being Sunday, it was my day off and we did but little work.  We took a walk around town.

Aug 6 – After policing we were thoroughly… and were given a lecture on first aid.

Aug 7 – Policing around the recruiting office.

Aug 8 – Was asked to go to the TB Examination Ward where I clerked for Dr West.

Aug 19 – Had a small fight with a Jew by the name of Julius Cauffman, a yellow cur.

Aug 22 - Anxiously awaiting a letter from those I considered friends at home. Especially one letter from Bill Rachin to whom I loaned $10.00 while he was in Gettysburg with Joe. Like a cheat and a black guard heard nothing from him.

Sept. 2, 1917 - Sunday went to York to visit the Heilachers (sp) Had dinner and besides a very pleasant auto ride and the pleasure of sitting beside Addie. Altho engaged I could see that she still liked me. It seemed that someone told her that I was engaged and that lead to her engagement. While in York I called on Elenor Hyatt.

Sept. 3, 1917 - Went to Emmitsburg in the evening and saw Chic Sellers and Sammy Annan.

Brief review of our trip across the Atlantic

With the 12th M.G.Bn M.D. Batt. Commander Maj. Garber, Med. Det. Com. Lt. L.F. Boyd.

Left America from N. Y. harbor May 6, 1918 .  SS Aquitania.

Trip was rather quite (sp). No sub.m. sighted.

Landed at Liverpool , E. May 15. Boarded a train immediately after landing and arrived at Dover about 4 A. M. May 16. Spent one day and night in Dover .  

Dover is characterized by its old buildings and narrow streets. Was impressed  with the number of old women frequenting the bars along with men or alone.  

Left Dover May 17, & crossed the channel to Calais FR an English and American rest camp.  

In Calais I had a wonderful time frequenting the saloons and attempting to have a jolly good time with the French girls. Became somewhat acquainted with Mad. Hilda Roosen & Jennie Roosen, promising them a card from our next camp.  

Left Calais and traveled south towards our training camp. Part of the way we rode on a train, but part of it by foot. The days being hot, without the least bit of breeze blowing made hiking rather cumbersome & difficult. We walked for five hrs, in full pace. Several of the men fell out. Night of the 19 we camped by the roadside & slept in our pup tents. During the night about 10:00 P.M. Jerry sent his aeroplanes. Several bombs were dropped, with death dealing crash. One of our men Sgt. Gehr Co. B killed ___ from our camp.

Morning of May 20

Transferred to 10th M.G.Bn May 9, 1918 – 14    ___ St. Jean   Ourley

Took to the trenches July 18, 1918    Left the trenches July 24, 1918

Rest in a town by name of Vir( c ) ley

Briefs:

1st night in trenches, we had one slightly injured by flying piece of shell

2nd night, couple of cases of gas

3rd little activity

4th caught in a barrage fire in the center of wheat field, results, 1 killed, 1 seriously injured, death followed soon. 6 slightly wounded.

Aug 5, 1918 Kept on the move for 3 days finally arrived at a town ------ which was recently occupied evacuated by the boche. Took positions back of an old wall. In the course of digging in we were received by the enemies artillery. No damage done, although shells came pretty close. In the early morning of Aug 5 it rained and dig outs were well wet, with the _____ such is the life of a soldier.

Aug - we were relieved from the line

Relieved Aug. 11, 1918 went back 8 K. and encamped in a woods back of  fire

Aug. 12 - Jerry dropped a bomb at the edge of the wood we were encamped

Aug 14 - I was recommended for 1st LT.M.C.

Sept 11 - Started back for the front

Sept 12 - Activities started

Reserve at St Michiel salient

Sept 25 - Over the top north of Verdun.  Pierced the enemy lines for 10K.

 [Note: He was wounded by poison gas on September 27 and was treated in the field hospital from the 27th to the 30th.  Then returned to duty.]

Oct. 19, 1918 - Relieved from Verdun front, back to rest at Euville, close to commerce

Oct. 29 - Given a seven day leave at Monto-Dore

All along the line French were out to cheer us yelling "guere fine!" Could it be possible that I in the wave of good cheer I cheered also, but alas we arrived at Eurville where our battalion was located in the morning of Nov. 10 just in time to move into the front with them. The boche were undecided about the armistice so we were called ___ on to strike in case they didn’t.

Nov. 11, 1918 - Held in great suspense pending the cessation of  hostilities. At 11:00 A. M. silence predominated.

Not a gun was fired. Could it be possible. Hostilities suspended. Its all most incredible. Oh! Joy. What happiness. I should go mad with joy. Oh great God thou art good. Thou art noble. Help me to follow the path of righteousness and do thou will. Bless all the noble heroes who gave

Thou will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen

Nov. 12 - Woods waiting for orders to move back

Nov. 13 -  Back to Eurville

Nov.21 - Left Eurville in pursuit of the German Konville.

Nov.22 -  went to Jarnry

Nov.30 -  went to Metz

Dec.2  - moved to

Dec.3 - Went to Schorder

Dec.4 - Moved to Altmuth

Dec.5

Dec.6 – Very …

Dec 7 – Moved to Horelcheld (?)

Dec 8

Dec 9 – Moved to Hasselbackh

Dec 10                 Riesnetsburg

                            Vernerburg

Dec 15 – Moved to Adenau a rather larger town.  Arrived here about 10:00 AM but couldn’t find billets due to conflicting orders.  We finally located in the courthouse.

Adenau to Bad Betrich – This is a beautiful little town of possibly a thousand inhabitants.  Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit this for it’s beauty and situation.

Dec 21 – From Bad Betrich I was sent to Kempus in charge of the ”B’s” sanitation.  Kempus is a village inhabited by farmers.  The sanitary conditions of this place were anything but good.

At this place I spent my Xmas.  I can’t say that it was a pleasant or merry one but never the less I lived through with additional knowledge.

With my little knowledge of German, I learned from the lady with whom I was staying that their Xmas was spent almost the same as ours.  But later I found out different.  I was out late Xmas eve, or late from the standpoint of lateness as it is here, to bed at six and up at six.  The children were usually put to bed soon after their supper which consisted of bread and butter…

I returned to the house about 8:00 PM that night.  I was surprised to find that the children were making merry around many platters of cookies, apples and the like besides baby dolls, drums and horns and the likes.  Right there and then I discovered the difference.  Well I thought since the children were making happy, I’ll sit around and watch.  So I sat but I did not long before I started to feel very uncomfortable.  A bell rang outside and the children started to get excited.  They flocked around the table and started to sing and play.  Then the door opened and a tornado struck.  There on the floor lay all sorts of things.

Now here is the difference between ours and the Germans.  They believe in giving the presents Xmas eve and on Xmas or Krichmachtogen (?),the Xmas tree.

After the children had received all that was coming to them which was because they were sent to bed and preparations were made to decorate the tree.  To do… I believe they called… each of their relations …  (The rest is damaged and unreadable)

List of Correspondence

Mr J A Greer

1240 Swissvale Ave

Wilkinsburg , Pa

 

Mrs Jos A Greer

1622 Swissvalw Ave

3rd Apt

Wilkinsburg , Pa

 

Miss Klara McDonald

1201 Swissvale Ave

Wilkinsburg , Pa

 

Miss Mabel P Ferguson

1205 Franklin Ave

Wilkinsburg , Pa

   

Elmar Fusca

Fourth Street

Braddock , Pa

 

Miss Elizabeth Fusia

676 Fourth Avenue

Braddock Pa

 

Mr Phillip Hench

5524 Kentucky Ave

Pittsburgh Pa

 

Miss Elizabeth Lehr

Haddonfield New Jersey

 

Miss Aileen Larson

Lewisburg Pa

c/o Women’s College

 

C’Cline Lossolles

L’Turne Franque

POC

… Retrilcen

133 Wyoming St

Johnstown Pa

 

Miss Carrie Muller

Highland Falls

New York

 

Dick Jones

San Antonio

Texas Kelly Field

Aviation Sector

 

Madam Gabriel Lecolle

11 Rue Gambetta

Ligny, Leine Atharne

 

Madam Herbert

12 Place de la Cometerre 12

Troyes dube

 

Paul Craigo

1510 Elm St

Wilkinsburg Pa

 

M. Farillaians  Anton…

68 R. A. P.

29 Ballerie Sp 102

 

Wm. E. Betts

156  ...