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General Pershing

Pershing reviewing the 33rd


The 33rd Division of the Illinois National Guard was organized at Camp Logan, Houston, Texas, about the middle of August, 1917. The first organization left Camp Logan, April 23, 1918 for Camp Merritt. The rest of the division followed shortly afterward and sailed from Hoboken, NJ for France, disembarking at Brest. The last units arrived in France June 11, 1918.

“The colors of the division’s insignia are said to have been chosen because they were the only paints available when it became necessary to mark the equipment in Texas before leaving for France.” - from The Romance of Military Insignia by Col. Robt. Wylie, National Geographic, December, 1919

“We chose as our nickname ‘The Yellow Cross Division’. General Bell was not pleased and directed me to change it to ‘The Prairie Division’.” - from A Soldier’s Diary by Will Judy, January 29, 1919

The 33rd Division participated in the great British offensive of August 8, 1918 in which they successfully broke the German line at Chipilly Ridge and Gressaire Wood. Later they joined in the Meuse–Argonne offensive, which ultimately brought about the Armistice. Major General George Bell, Jr. U.S. Army, commanded the division. The division captured from the enemy the following: 65 officers, 3,922 men, 100 pieces of artillery, 414 machine guns, 20 trench mortars and other material. It made a total advance against resistance of 36 kilometers. Battle deaths included 153 officers and 701 men, wounded, 153 officers and 6,844 men; missing 148 men; prisoners of war, one officer and 17 men. The following is a list of the decorations conferred on individuals of this division: Congressional Medals of Honor, 8; Distinguished Service Orders, 1; British Military Medals, 41; French Croix de Guerre, 47; Belgian Order of Leopold, 1.


 Photos Courtesy the Daily News archives


Major William F. Hemenway commands the third battalion of the 129th infantry, which is composed of companies I,K, L and M. A member of the Illinois National Guard for fourteen years, he was in command of company A of DeKalb-Sycamore when the old Third regiment went to Texas for training to meet the Huns. He was promoted to Major in the 129th at Houston in January, 1918, and has been a most efficient battalion leader. Major Hemenway was at one time a resident of Rockford and he is to make this city his home again. He may decide to remain in the Army. Mrs. Hemenway is living in Rockford. – from unattributed newspaper article


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William F. Hemenway family

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Company A, 3rd Infantry ING -  Wm F. Hemenway front right

Uncle Sam in front of the
DeKalb County courthouse

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Wm. F. Hemenway retires
in California



Having a Smoke
L to R - WP Eddy, Harold Parker, Percy and Wm F.

WB Eddy


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Shortly after the Willliam Hemenways relocated to Holland, Michigan, this article appeared in the local newspaper.


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