Major William J. Bland 1887 - 1918

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  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Major William J. Bland - Apr. 20 1887 - Sep. 12 1918
    Burial - Arlington National Cemetery
    Arlington County
    Virginia, USA
    Plot - Section 1 Site 412

    Major Blands name is included with the Kansas Citians who died in World War One .... his name is on the wall in bronze in Memory Hall, The Liberty Memorial.

    William J. Bland was born in Weston, West Virginia. He moved with his parents to Washington D.C. in 1900. He was educated there and was admitted to the bar. He moved to Kansas City to take a position as assistant city solicitor. After volunteering, he became a captain of infantry with Company A, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. In September 1918, he was promoted to major in command of the 1st Battalion.

    Major Bland was killed in action on September 12, 1918, just at the beginning of the St. Mihiel offensive.

    One description of that morning in a history of the 356th related that “for miles the sky was lighted up by the exploding shells and the flash of the guns and it was a wonderful and terrible sight. With ever increasing fury the barrage lasted until 5:30 a.m. when it lifted and the boys went over the top, full of confidence that nothing could stop them. It was near Euvezin, France that a death occurred which cast gloom over the First Battalion. Major William J. Bland, formerly Captain of Company A, was killed instantly by a piece of shrapnel. Major Bland was an excellent officer and a noble man one who was sorely missed in later operations.”

    “September 18, 1918. This is the seventh day of the St. Mihiel drive and I find myself sitting in a thick muddy forest, with my knees and a gas mask as a table writing to you. It was some drive. Small, in comparison to many operations, to we rookies it was a real battle. Machine guns, rifles, shells, aeroplanes and tanks - everything you read about ....

    Sgt. Charles S. Stevenson, Co. A, 314th Engineers, 89th Division.

    Major Bland’s body was returned to Arlington National Cemetery for burial

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