Friday, May 23, 2008

Merle Hay, the soldier

A Memorial Day Story

Merle Hay was only 21 years old when he died.

He was a sentry at a trench near Bathelmont, France on November 3, 1917 when a German raiding party attacked. Two other men, Bethel Greshem and Tom Enright, died in the same attack. The three men became the first Americans to die in World War I.

Hay's view that night was barbed wire stretched over a bare hillside. Another sentry spoke to him, asking Hay if he thought he'd last the night. Hay replied he didn't know.

He was killed hours later. Merle Hay had only enlisted in World War I six month earlier.

I'd always known the name Merle Hay, first American/Iowan to die in World War I. I had no idea he was so young.

Source: Des Moines Register 11/29/1967


Anonymous said...

Moving and very timely

Anonymous said...

I had no idea. . . Interesting tidbit.