A look back at Iowa's contributions to the Great War.



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First Casualty List Is Announced Today;

 Iowan Among The Dead

Washington, Nov. 5 -- Three American infantrymen are dead, five wounded and twelve captured as a result of a sharp attack by the Germans on a salient of front line French trenches held by Pershing's men on November 3. One wounded German was captured. 

Those reported killed were:
Private Merle D. Hay, whose father is D. Hay of Glidden, Iowa.
Private James B. Grescham of Evansville, Indiana
Private Thomas F. Enright of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Among the wounded was Private Dewey D. Kern whose mother is Mrs. Eva Tilton of Collins, Iowa.

This report announced by the war department brought home to America today the first casualties in dead and captured resulting from actual fighting between the Sammies and the Germans. Attacking before daylight under the protection of heavy barrage fire which cut the American salient off from the rest of the line, the Germans apparently completed their operations before reinforcements could reach them. No word in Pershing's statements indicates the extent of America's part in the fighting. An ordinary trench salient holds between twenty-five and thirty men so it would appear the little
force of Sammies was practically wiped out. That a wounded German was taken prisoner, however, showed that a fight was put up before the Americans yielded. The size of the attacking force and the German losses are not given. The war department has cabled for full details.

Father of Iowa Hero Proud of His Son.

Glidden, Ia., Nov. 5 -- "I am proud of my boy that he has given up his life for his country," D. Hay, father of Merle D. Hay, 21, one of America's first three soldiers to die for his country told the United Press today when informed that his son had been killed in France by the Germans. Mrs. Hay, mother of the dead hero, collapsed when told of her son's death. Young Hay enlisted in the army the 9th of last May shortly after the declaration of war according to his father. He had been working on the Hay farm but could not work any longer after war was declared. "He had my consent to go and I am not sorry," said his father today. "I won't object to his brother going although just now he is too young." Young Hay is survived by a brother, Basil, aged 18 and a sister, Opal, 14.

Not Sorry Son Enlisted.

Collins, Ia, Nov. 5 -- Chins were tilted just a little bit and there was a satisfied smile on the faces of the sister and mother of Private D. D. Kern reported among the captured or wounded as a result of the Sammies' first conflict with the Germans in France. "We are not sorry Dewey enlisted. I should say not. We are more proud of him than ever. We encouraged him to enlist," said his sister today. "Somebody has to go to war. Somebody has to be killed or captured."


-source: Iowa City Citizen, November 5, 1917
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall for Iowa in the Great War