Original U.S. WWI AEF Third Infantry Division 5th Field Signal Battalion Named Sergeant’s Grouping with Diary

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind Set. First Sergeant Deloir Conford Francis born October, 24th 1894 enlisted June 17th, 1917 and served in the 84th Division, 309th Field Signal Battalion. Company C and was transferred into the Third Army, 5th Field Signal Battalion, Company B.

The 5th Field Signal Battalion was originally constituted on 1 July 1916 in the regular Army and organized on 26 June 1917 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as the 4th Field Battalion, Signal Corps. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 3 August 1917 as the 5th Field Signal Battalion and was assigned to the Third Division on 12 November 1917. The Battalion arrived in France on 11 March 1918 with the 3rd Division, the "Rock of the Marne," and supported the Division in 6 campaigns during World War I. For it's efforts, the Battalion received the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star.

Included in the comprehensive grouping is a hand written diary that begins on Thursday, September 26th, 1918 with near daily entries through January, 1919 finally finishing on June 17th, 1919. Here is a sample excerpt:

Monday September 29
We detrained at Neuvie this morning. The whole 84th Division is billeted along the route to Bordeaux. I and other ??? were put up in a French farm house, have a big fire place, two windows one overlooking the farm yard and the other the creek in the rear. Took a wash and a shave. Picked berries, drank some rouge vin goes pretty good I’ll have to get some more. 30 cents a quart.

Also included in this wonderful grouping are the following items:
• Personal named diary with almost daily entries from late September to January 1918.
• Photo of Sergeant Francis with another Corporal Hoffman on the Rhine dated June 1, 1919.
• Dog tag that reads: D C Francis 1988119, Co C, 309th
• Dog tag that reads: Deloir C Francis U.S.A. / 1988119
• 2 x medal ribbon bars with ribbons
• F script metal kuggage tag
• 84th Infantry Division Lincoln 84 division patch
• 3rd Infantry Division patch
• 9 x various Sergeant chevron patches
• Infantry patch
• Signal corps patch
• Overseas service bars (12 months)
• Copy of honorable discharge dated October 22nd 1919.
• Death certificate (he died in 1976)
• Flag Signal Instructor Semaphore Code computer
• Chemical Warfare Pocket Reference Guide
• Silk portraits of various leaders of countries.
• Wool tunic in very good condition.
• Wool pants in very good condition.
• Wool shirt in very good condition.
• 5 x leg putties
• Winter hat with fold down ears.
• Overseas side cap
• M1917 Doughboy Helmet complete with liner and chinstrap

A comprehensive grouping of a young sergeant who spent time in France during the Great War and had his diary to document it.

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