||Edward C. Steckbauer was born June 6, 1893 in Oshkosh, WI, the son of Herman and Mary Suda Steckbauer. He enlisted in Company F, 2nd Wisconsin National Guard on May 22, 1917. Company F became Company C, 150th Machinegun Battalion on July 15, 1917 and was assigned to the 42nd Division. He was promoted to Private First Class on August 16, 1917. He was killed in action on July 30, 1918 near Chateau Thierry by an artillery shell which sent schrapnel throughout his entire body. The same shell killed and wounded several other members of the company. He body was brough back to Oshkosh in the early 1920s and burried at Sacred Heart Cemetery on Knapp Street.
||World War I Small Collections
|Dates of Accumulation
||Letter to parents from Edward C. Steckbauer, Company C, 150th Machine Gun Battalion, 42nd Division, while in France.
Somewhere in France
July 21, 1918
My Loving Parents:
I received your letters dated June 15th & 24th and also had from Hinky Frank. I'll have to answer them all in this letter as letter writing is almost a thing of the past lately.
After receiving compliments from the General of the [censored out] Army Corp for good work on the Lorraine front he announced that our division was ready to confront the enemy on the bigger front. After hiking, riding in trucks, drilling & maneuvering for a week or 10 days we entered the trenches July 3rd, but didn't take up positions until July 5. Quite a 4th of July celebration we had but we could not or we knew full well we would soon have a real chance at the enemy. On the morning of July 6th the French Blue Devils pulled off a raid & got a few prisoners. These raids were carried out practically every day just to get prisoners for information. July 14th in the fore part of the evening seventeen prisoners were captured & from these we learned the drive would start at midnight. [As] the second hand ticked the last second of July 14th the roar was let loose. It was almost a continuing roar and shells were dropping about us in sizes ranging from 3 inch to 16 inch.
This was kept up for 11 hours. Imagine, eleven hours of heavy bombarding you can judge that the grounds were torn up some. Well at 4:30 the Germans came over & what our boys didn't do to them is not worth while mentioning. They simply mowed them down like one would mow down grass. These men were also equipped to the "T". They all wore new uniforms, had new shoes, in fact they were newly equipped from head to foot. They also had bread and good bread and it seems they came over to stay but the good work of our boys & the trench rather put a crimp in their plans. I am overjoyed with this great victory.
I am very glad Pa is improving & hope he will soon be well.
Am not able to write as much as I would like but the day is well nigh when German autocracy will have kicked the bucket. I'll not spend one hour or two telling you of my exploits in France but it will be many hours. Ed [illegible] was gassed, but not at all very serious. You don't have to worry in the least as he will soon be OK. Ed Zindler was killed by shrapnel, Cook Kieckhaefer was wounded, also August Steinert, Treichel was shell shocked, & 7 were gassed including Eddie.
Don't let any of this worry you as this is wartime and it must be expected.
I am well happy as usual & with best wishes to you I'll remain
Your loving son
||World War I
||8: Communication Artifact
||Oshkosh Public Museum
||Steckbauer, Edward C.
||World War I
150th Machine Gun Battalion
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009