Corporal Andrew M. Ottoson belonged to HQ Co 308th Infantry Regiment of the 77th Division.
He was of Swedish origin and he emigrated to USA and was enlisted 1917 to take part in WWI in France.
Andrew went back to Sweden and died 1937.
The War Department authorized the formation of the Regiment 5 August 1917, assigning it to the 154th Infantry Brigade of the 77th Infantry division. It was organized at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York in September 1917 and was composed of men drafted from throughout the greater New York City area.
The Division’s three brigades embarked on 6 April for Europe aboard the SS Lapland, SS Cretic, and SS Justicia, arriving nearly two weeks later on 19 April. Upon reaching Europe, the 77th Division was assigned to the British command where it trained with the British army until early June 1918. Following the completion of this additional training, the Regiment was moved up to the front in the Baccarat Sector, specifically the town of Badonviller In doing so, they became some of the first units of the National Army to take front line positions. The Regiment remained there until the end of August, resulting in losses equal to nearly one third of its strength. It was then moved to the Vesle front in the area near Fismes The extensive losses were replaced by recruits from the American West, some still largely untrained. These recruits represented a very different side of America compared to the New Yorkers who had originally staffed the Regiment, the majority of whom were foreign born or of wildly different ancestry. In early September, the Regiment was moved to the Argonne forestt to participate in the Oise-Aisne campaign
At the end of the same month, it was ordered to advance in the Argonne as part of the Meuse-Argonne offensiv Told to “push forward without regard to flanks”, the First and Second Battalions of the Regiment, along with one company from the 307th Infantry regiment and two companies of the 306th Machine Gun Battalion, penetrated a gap in the German lines on 2 October and advanced to a ravine at Charlevaux Mill. German defenses checked the progress of the remainder of the 77th Division, however, leaving the advancing soldiers in an exposed position.
That night, German troops reoccupied the gap, encircling the two battalions and trapping them behind enemy lines. These battalions, along with the other three companies, were besieged in the ravine for five days, from 3 October to 7 October, before the remainder of the Division were able to break through to relieve them. The events of these five days came to be known as the “The lost Battalion”. German attacks hounded this pocket of soldiers nearly continuously for all five days and the depletion of food, water, and medical supplies only increased the soldiers’ suffering. Of the nearly 600 soldiers who originally composed the “Lost Battalion” roughly 400 were killed or wounded in the course of their ordeal and the remainder were severely weakened after days surviving on little to no food or water. Following the relief of the “Lost Battalion”, the Regiment continued forward and, by 16 October, had pushed through the Argonne with the rest of the 77th Division and participated in securing towns on the Aire river. It was then relieved and withdrawn to rest and reorganized before being called up for the final offensive to the Meuse in November.
Following the conclusion of the war on 11 November 1918, the Regiment continued training exercises in France until 19 April 1919, at which point they embarked for New York aboard the SS America. Demobilization for the Regiment began on 9 May 1919 in Camp Upton
The medal is very good condition, there where no ribbons to this, just a string to hold around the neck
Diameter: 38 mm
Weight: 28,04 gram
Backside in Latin E PLURBUS VUNUM – FROM THE MANY – ONE
The rank and the Corporals name and “A tug of War”
Medal manufacturer: Tiffany & Co
I found two photographs from this Athletic games on internet – not in the sale.
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