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    81st RSC memorializes nine WWI fallen train crash victims

    81st RSC memorializes nine WWI fallen train crash victims

    Courtesy Photo | The 81st Regional Support Command held a memorial ceremony on May 7 at Fort Jackson,...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Michael Mascari 

    81st Readiness Division

    FORT JACKSON, S.C. – The 81st Regional Support Command honored nine victims of a 1918 then-Camp Jackson train accident May 7, at Fort Jackson. The event was the first major casualty the organization suffered.

    The command hosted a two-part ceremony to memorialize the victims. A color guard in vintage World War I uniforms presided over a ceremony at a memorial at the Fort Jackson Museum where a stone holds the names of the fallen Wildcats. The Fort Jackson command sergeant major, Command. Sgt. Maj. William Hain paid tribute to the Soldiers.

    “These young men were denied the opportunity to fight alongside the men they trained with in the most deadly battle of World War I,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Hain. “Our buddies to the left and to the right are part of the legacy of the 81st. The 81st Wildcat Association placed the plaque here in 1938 because they understood what their sacrifice meant. They wanted those Soldiers on the plaque to fight beside them.”

    The procession moved to the original crash site behind the 81st Regional Support Command Headquarters, 81 Wildcat Way. The 81st RSC historian, Dr. John Boyd, and Sgt. Toni Walker laid a wreath near the site after speaking the names of the fallen.

    Deputy Commanding General Brig. Gen. William Gothard spoke to members of the command about the importance of the event.

    The 1918 accident took place while soldiers from the 321st Regiment, 81st Infantry Division were traveling to Camp Sevier, Greenville, S.C., for training in support of a World War I deployment. As the train crossed the trestle and traveled over Wildcat Creek, two passenger cars overturned; one falling approximately 45 feet. In addition to the nine killed, 25 were injured. To date, this is the largest mass casualty on record at Fort Jackson.

    “The First World War began 100 years ago this year, and yes, I know the U.S. entered the war in 1917,” said Boyd about the significance of memorializing the sacrifice of the nine fallen. “But the discovery of nine Wildcats dying in a train wreck so close to where the 81st RSC now stands is profound – honoring our dead is the right thing to do.”



    Date Taken: 05.07.2014
    Date Posted: 05.09.2014 17:11
    Story ID: 129386
    Location: FORT JACKSON, SC, US 

    Web Views: 146
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