Gordon Van Kleeck's war journal - part 1 - camp in SC and NJ

Ancestral Photographs of Upstate New York

by Roxy Triebel

Pvt. Gordon Van Kleeck

Co. F. 51 Pioneer Inf.

American Expeditionary Forces

Part 1

Camp Wadsworth, S.C.
July 15, 1918

I have (been) in the U.S. service about seven weeks now and while it would not suit me for a permanent job I can stand it as long as the war last I guess.  We have been packing our things and getting ready to move all day.  We are going out sometime tonight I think.  None of us know where we are going but think it will be Camp Merrit.  As that is only a short distance from home I am hoping for a pass.  It will be some trip.

Camp Wadsworth, S.C.
July 16.

We are still at Wadsworth but as our stuff has been sent to the station we will probably go in the morning.  Was just over to Jack's Restaurant and had a feed as the grub was not up to the usual standard.  We are looking forward to a long trip tomorrow.

Camp Merrit, N.J.
July 19.

I am at Camp Merrit at last.  It is Friday and we left Wadsworth Wednesday morning.  Arrived here yesterday morning and had a fine trip although we could not leave the car or send any mail along the way.  This is a much nicer place than Camp Wadsworth and I hope we can stay here a couple of weeks before going over.  The officers are inspecting our clothing and equipment today and we get mostly new before going.  Most of us think we can get (off?) after the inspection and our new uniforms are given out.  I would enjoy a few days in Coldbrook or even a few hours.

Camp Merrit N.J.
July 21.

I had inspection today and a lot of stuff was rejected.  The way our equipment was tested the officers would pull and try to rip the things.  Anything that did not rip was passed.  Most everything ripped.  I have received part of my new equipment and will probably get more tomorrow.  There were a large number of visitors in camp but I did not see anyone I know.  Charlie Mays and I went to Merrit Hall for a little supper tonight.  We are hearing all kinds of stories about when we go.  This is sure a nice camp and we would all like to stay here for a couple of weeks.

Camp Merrit
July 25

Well we are going for sure I guess.  We have got our little Overseas caps and our large hiking shoes.  Adams, Cahill, Mays and I were over to Merrit Hall for supper tonight.  That was probably our last good meal in this country for some time. Received letter from Hilda Mae today.  We were promised passes home for today and some of us had hired a car to take us to Kingston.  This morning we received orders to get ready to leave.  I sent telegrams home telling the folks I could not come.  Roxy phoned yesterday and wanted to come down but I told her I would be home in a day or two.  I sure was fooled.  Everything is packed up tonight and I am sitting on a mattress writing.  The fellows are raising the Devil around me.  No one seems to be very down hearted.  I surely am not.  The folks at home sent me money but it came in camp so late that I could not get it.

Back to journal index Page

Gordon's Journal part 2:  U.S.S. Kroonland en route to France
U.S.S. Kroonland

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