Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor - Looking into History

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

I moved to Elmore county in 2012 from Alaska. I decided I would look into my grandfatherís Idaho WW1 history. Since he was born in Weiser in 1897 I thought it would be a little easier with my research. What I found confirmed the rumors of him serving in the 2nd Idaho infantry in Arizona in 1916, and that he fought at Belleau Woods in France. What I didnít expect was the lost history of the 2nd Idaho infantry and their part in the battles that they fought in. My grandfather served in G co 2nd Idaho infantry, D co 116th engineers, and E co 2nd engineers. Heís a veteran of Verdun, Belleau Woods, and Wounded in action at Soissons on July 19, 1918.

He is one of 288 Idaho 2nd infantry that I have found served in the 2nd engineers at Belleau Woods. There are probably at least 120 more Idaho men that also served in the 2nd engineers just havenít confirmed their history yet. Elmore County has 6 2nd engineers. Errol F Black, Mountain Home, H co 2nd Idaho infantry, D co 116th engineers, C co 2nd engineers Wounded Belleau Wood. Frank Diano, Glenns Ferry, H co 2nd Idaho infantry, F co 116th engineers, B co 2nd engineers Veteran of Verdun, Belleau Woods, Soissons, St Mihiel, Blanc Mont, Attigny, Argonne. Charles W Rasmussen, Mountain Home, H co 2nd Idaho infantry, E co 2nd engineers, Veteran of Verdun, Belleau Woods, Soissons, St Mihiel, Blanc Mont, Attigny, Argonne. Wilbur D Thompson, Mountain Home, H co 2nd Idaho infantry, F co 116th engineers, E co 2nd engineers, Veteran of Verdun, Wounded in action Belleau Woods. Karl Vanfleet, Glenns Ferry, H co 2nd Idaho infantry, F co 116th engineers, F co 2nd engineers, Veteran of Verdun, wounded in action Belleau Woods. Henry T Wayte, Mountain Home, H co 2nd Idaho infantry, D co 116th engineers, E co 2nd engineers, Veteran of Verdun, Belleau Woods, St Mihiel, Blanc Mont, Attigny, Evacuated sick Argonne. In my research, I found 16 2nd Idaho infantry/ 2nd engineers were killed or died of wounds at Belleau Woods. At Soissons 2 Idaho 2nd infantry/ 2nd engineers died during the battle. One man at Blanc Mont and 2 at Argonne. The last Idaho 2nd engineer Hugo Funke from Cottonwood, Idaho was killed in action on Nov 10, 1918, when his company suffered 50 casualties putting the footbridge across the Meuse river for the 5th marines to cross into Germany. Thereís a quote from the book Fixed bayonets about the battle of Belleau Woods that states. Say if I can get a drink Iíll share it with a 2nd engineer. He digs trenches and mends roads all night and fights all day.

Joseph Huit

Glenns Ferry