Harlan Merle Wheeler, maternal relative: Meuse-Argonne Offensive Oct 1918

Harlan Merle Wheeler was born 5 June 1896 in Camillus, Onondaga, New York (State), USA and was Killed in Action during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on 16th October 1918, just 26 days before the end of World War One.

Harlan Merle was the nephew of the husband of the first cousin of the wife of my great grand uncle and is linked to me viia my maternal side as follows:

  • Harlan Merle Wheeler (1896-1918) - nephew of husband of 1st cousin of wife of great grand uncle
  • Arthur Hamilton Wheeler (1857-1932) - father of Harlan Merle Wheeler
  • John Wheeler (1820-1895) - father of Arthur Hamilton Wheeler
  • Franklin (Frank) E. Wheeler (1852-1920) - son of John Wheeler
  • Laura Alberta Carpenter (1857-1926) - wife of Franklin (Frank) E. Wheeler
  • Hannah E Vaughan (1833-1880) - mother of Laura Alberta Carpenter
  • Daniel Vaughn (1804-1884) - father of Hannah E Vaughan
  • Mary Ann Vaughn (1844-1912) - daughter of Daniel Vaughn
  • Minnie E Gould (1871-1949) - daughter of Mary Ann Vaughn
  • Nathaniel R Priday (1863-1931) - husband of Minnie E Gould
  • Sybella (Sebble, Sibel, Sibbel, Sibble, Sibyl, Syble, Sybyl) Davies (1827-1889) - mother of Nathaniel R Priday
  • Joseph Priday (1853-1933) - son of Sybella (Sebble, Sibel, Sibbel, Sibble, Sibyl, Syble, Sybyl) Davies
  • Joseph Priday (1888-1954) - son of Joseph Priday (my maternal grandfather)
  • Alice May Priday (1917-2009) - daughter of Joseph Priday (my mother)
  • William G Hyde - me

His Family

Harlan Merle Wheeler's father was Arthur Hamilton Wheeler born 30 Oct 1857 in New Hudson, Allegany, New York State & died 31 March 1932 in Cuba, Allegany, New York State.

Arthur Hamilton Wheeler was a Farmer (he had a general farm in New Hudson Town) and was married to Anna Pearl Jones, b. 23 October 1859 in Scotsburg, New York State & d. 18 April 1932 in Cuba, Allegany, New York State.

Arthur Hamilton & Anna Pearl had 3 children:

  • Blanche Wheeler (1884)
  • Harlan Merle Wheeler (1896–1918)
  • Winfield A Wheeler (1899–1957)

His Home Town

Camillus is a town in Onondaga County, New York State. The town was named after Roman military leader Marcus Furius Camillus by a clerk interested in the classics.

The Town of Camillus is west of Syracuse. There is also a village named Camillus in the town. Much of the town is a western suburb of Syracuse.

Camillus was part of the former Central New York Military Tract. Joseph Sherwood, the first pioneer arrived around 1795 at the site of the village of Camillus. The Town of Camillus was formed in 1799 with land from the Town of Marcellus.

Industrial development was promoted by the Erie Canal in 1825. Camillus was also on the railroad line linking Syracuse to Auburn in 1838.

His Military Service & Death

Harlan was drafted into the US Army on 27th September 1917 at Bellmont New York State, and was allocated to the US Army and given Service Number 1,905,967.

Battery C, 304th Field Artillery

His first posting was as a Private to Battery C, 304th Field Artillery where he stayed until the 14th November 1917.

The 304th Field Artillery formed part of the 77th Division (Upton) Commanded by Major General George B. Duncan with Major W. N. Haskell, Adjutant-General.

The 77th Division (Upton) consisted of:

153rd Brigade Infantry commanded by Brigadier General Edward Wittenmayer
        305th Infantry Regiment
        306th Infantry Regiment
        305th Machine Gun Battalion
    154th Brigade Infantry commanded by Brigadier General Evan M. Johnson
        307th Infantry Regiment
        308th Infantry Regiment
        306th Machine Gun Battalion
    152nd Brigade, Field Artillery commanded by Brigadier General Thomas H. Reeves
        304th Field Artillery Regiment
        305th Field Artillery Regiment
        306th Field Artillery Regiment
        302nd Trench Mortar Battery
    Engineer Troops - 302d Regiment
    Signal Troops - 302d Battalion
    Division Units - 77th Division Headquarters Troop; 304th Machine Gun Battalion

Company B 327th Infantry

Harlan was transferred into Company B 327th Infantry on 15th November 1917 and served with them until his death in October 1918.

The 327th Infantry were part of the 82nd Division. The 82nd Division was commanded by Major General W. P. Burnham with Lieutenant Colonel Royden E. Beebe, Chief of Staff and Lieutenant Colonel John R. Thomas, Adjutant General.

82nd Division consisted of:

163rd Brigade Infantry commanded by Brigadier General Marcus D. Cronin
        325th Infantry Regiment
        326th Infantry Regiment
        320th Machine Gun Battalion
    164th Brigade Infantry commanded by Brigadier General Julian R. Lindsay
        327th Infantry Regiment
        328th Infantry Regiment
        321st Machine Gun Battalion
    157th Brigade, Field Artillery commanded by Brigadier General Charles D. Rhodes
        319th Field Artillery Regiment
        320th Field Artillery Regiment
        321st Field Artillery Regiment
        307th Trench Mortar Battery
    Engineer Troops - 307th Regiment
    Signal Troops - 307th Battalion
    Division Units - 319th Machine Gun Battalion

Harlan was shipped to France with the rest of his Company, as part of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), on 25th April 1918.

The AEF

The AEF sustained about 320,000 casualties; 53,402 battle deaths, 63,114 non combat deaths and 204,000 wounded. The influenza pandemic during the fall of 1918 took the lives of more than 25,000 men from the AEF while another 360,000 became gravely ill. Other diseases were relatively well controlled through compulsory vaccination. Typhoid fever was also practically eliminated. Relatively few men suffered actual injury from poison gas, although much larger numbers mistakenly thought that they had been exposed.

The AEF took part in the following actions:

Spring Offensive also known as the Ludendorff Offensive
        Battle of Cantigny
        Battle of Belleau Wood
        Second Battle of the Marne
        Battle of Château-Thierry
Hundred Days' Offensive
        Battle of Saint-Mihiel
        Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Harlan died during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive also known as the Maas-Argonne Offensive and the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire Western Front. It was fought from September 26, 1918, until the Armistice on November 11, a total of 47 days. The battle was the largest in United States military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers, and was one of a series of Allied attacks known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which brought the war to an end. The Meuse-Argonne was the principal engagement of the American Expeditionary Forces during the First World War.

The second phase of the battle began on 4 October, during which time all of the original phase one assault divisions (the 91st, 79th, 37th and 35th) of the U.S. V Corps were replaced by the 32nd, 3rd and 1st Divisions. The 1st Division created a gap in the lines when it advanced one and a half miles against the 37th, 52nd, and 5th Guards Divisions. It was during this phase that the Lost Battalion affair occurred. The battalion was rescued due to an attack by the 28th and 82nd Divisions (the 82nd attacking soon after taking up its positions in the gap between the 28th and 1st Divisions) on October 7. The Americans launched a series of costly frontal assaults that finally broke through the main German defenses (the Kriemhilde Stellung of the Hindenburg Line) between 14 - 17 October (the Battle of Montfaucon). By the end of October, US troops had advanced ten miles and had finally cleared the Argonne Forest. On their left the French had advanced twenty miles, reaching the Aisne River. It was during the opening of this operation, on October 8, that Corporal (later Sergeant) Alvin York made his famous capture of 132 German prisoners near Cornay.

It was also during the Second Phase that Harlan Merle Wheeler was Killed in Action on the 16th October 1918.

Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery

Meuse-Argonne Headstones harlan merele wheeler usa

Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery is located next to the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon in the Meuse region of Northeast France. The cemetery is 26 miles northwest of the city of Verdun.

Within the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France, which covers 130.5 acres, rest the largest number of our military dead in Europe, a total of 14,246. Most of those buried here lost their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. The immense array of headstones rises in long regular rows upward beyond a wide central pool to the chapel that crowns the ridge. A beautiful bronze screen separates the chapel foyer from the interior, which is

decorated with stained-glass windows portraying American unit insignia; behind the altar are flags of the principal Allied nations.

On either side of the chapel are memorial loggias. One panel of the west loggia contains a map of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Inscribed on the remaining panels of both loggias are Tablets of the Missing with 954 names, including those from the U.S. expedition to northern Russia in 1918-1919. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.