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Monday, June 17, 2024 at 4:58 PM

Early Johnstown

July 7, 1932 Publisher: E.E. Engberg R.A. Douglass of Johnstown Receives Purple Heart Medal for Meritorious Services In World War at Argonne Roscoe A. Douglass, manager of the Douglass Cash Store, Inc., of Johnstown, has received the medal of the “Purple Heart” from the War Department for meritorious war services, the medal having been received by Mr. Douglass on June 23rd. This medal issued to Mr. Douglass was the 16th issued in the United States.

Mr. Douglass served twelve months with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He served with the 354th Infantry and 314th Field Artillery. The occasion for the issuance of the “Purple Heart” to Mr. Douglass occurred on the Meuse-Argonne front on October 3, 1918, when his company was called upon to repel a German counter attack. His company had retired for their rest period after heavy fighting for several days in which they had made advances into the enemy’s line and had forced them back at one point. The companies sent in to hold this advantage were hard pressed and the remnant of the company, of which Mr. Douglas was a member, was called back to the front to help repel the counter attack. While there were only about sixty-five men left in the company, the viciousness of their attack held die ground which had already been gained and also advanced about one hundred yards, where they “dug in” and waited developments. During this action the men were subjected to the heaviest shell fire, but they held their lines and the Germans were forced to fall back to straighten up their front lines. It was during the barrage that was laid down to cover the retreat of the Germans that Mr. Douglass was struck with shrapnel and also badly gassed, receiving injuries that forced him into the hospital and it was many months before he was able to walk again. For his part in the battle, Mr. Douglass also has a citation signed by President Wilson commending him for distinguished military services.

Fifty Years Ago

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