by Steven V. Smith, ’84 – Chair, CAA History Committee
This article originally appeared in the Alumni News of The Citadel – Summer 2017. It is published here in its entirety with the permission of the Citadel Alumni Association. Photos have been added to this web post which did not appear in the original print version.
Cadets enrolled in Professor Kyle Sinisi’s class, History 391: The U.S. in World War I, spent their days of Spring break walking the American Expeditionary Force battlefields in France. Accompanying the class were Board of Visitors member, Col. Myron Harrington, USMC, Ret., ’61, and the director of Daniel Library, Lt. Col. David Goble, SCM, ’69. The group was also fortunate to have Matthew Davenport, critically acclaimed author of First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny, America’s First Battle of World War I, accompany them.
In the village of Cantigny, they walked the terrain of America’s first combined arms attack as Davenport described the action where in the early morning of May 28, 1918, the 3,500 soldiers of the 1st Division climbed out of their trenches to (more…)
The Dillon Herald, Dillon, South Carolina, March 14, 1918, Vol. 22, No. 18
The First to Volunteer for Foreign Service
His Death Brings Sorrow to Hundreds of Friends in State and County
Lieut. John H. David, [The Citadel Class of 1914] fighting in France, was killed in action March 1st. This announcement will bring genuine sorrow to scores of Lieut. David’s friends throughout the county and state.
Cadet Second Lieutenant John Hodges David, Jr., Class of 1914. From the 1914 Sphinx.
Photograph likely taken by Capt. Louis Knox, The Citadel.
The details of Lieut. David’s death were not given. His father Dr. J. H. David, received a telegram from the war department Monday night at 7 o’clock announcing that Lieut. David (more…)
One year ago, I published I wear the ring and publicly announced the availability of this digital memorial to the Citadel Men interred and memorialized here in 16 military cemeteries across Europe and North Africa.
It has been a year of vibrant impressions and one of the most spiritually and emotionally enriching years of my life. As I have tried to get to know these men and to share their stories, I have had the pleasure of making many new friends, and reconnecting with old friends, here in Europe and in America. So many warm and incredible people have touched my life this year. For this, I am truly grateful.
I have compiled my Top Ten Memories. Here is our story as I experienced it the past 12 months…
– Into Thy Hands O Lord –
A few days after “going public”, I received an email from an alumnus. A few weeks later, I flew over the North Sea to visit Cambridge American Cemetery in England with him, two of his sons, and the historian of “The Bloody 100th”. It was an inspirational and moving experience that I shall never forget. Together, we paid our respects to the three Citadel Men resting in peace and the one memorialized on the Wall of the Missing. Together, we recited The Cadet Prayer.
On that day, I began a new phase in this journey. See my post The Major of St. Lo.
– Memorial Day –
During Memorial Day weekend, I visited the Citadel Men resting in peace at the Netherlands and Henri-Chapelle American Cemeteries. The two cemeteries are located just 20 kilometers from each other, one on either side of the Dutch-Belgian border to the east of Maastricht and Liege in the direction of Aachen, Germany.
An alumnus wrote to me several times during April and May, “Don’t forget those who are still Missing-In-Action!”. In remembrance of the eight men who rest in no known grave here in Europe and North Africa, I laid flowers at the grave of an unknown a few meters from Albert S. Hagood, Class of 1931. They are not forgotten.
– Faces and Stories –
Since last April, I have received details about our men from many places – alumni, family, their “adopters”, historians, and archivists. Four men have received the attention of several posts. Their names, faces, and stories have become familiar. (more…)
The News and Courier
Charleston, South Carolina
March 13, 1918 
Lieut. J. H. David of Class of 1914 Killed in Action on the French Front
WAS A NATIVE OF DILLON
All Business Suspended in That Town Yesterday and the Schools Closed
First Lieut. John Hodges David, Jr., whose name appeared in the overseas casualty list yesterday morning as having been killed in action on March 1, is the first South Carolina officer to lay down his life during the present war, and is the first Citadel graduate killed in action since the entrance of the United States into the struggle.
Lieut. David hails from Dillon, and was graduated from the Citadel in the class of 1914, being especially commended for efficiency in military tactics. He was commissioned as a first lieutenant following his graduation from the first Oglethorpe training camp, and volunteered for overseas service.
Business Houses Closed.
All business houses in Dillon were closed yesterday between noon and 8 o’clock in respect to his memory, and the city schools observed a holiday. News of the young officer’s death was received by his parents Monday night, and has cast a damper of gloom over the entire town, where he was universally liked and admired.
No details of Lieut. David’s death have been made public, only the bare announcement he had been killed in action. As a squad of twenty-seven were totally obliterated in addition to the officer, it is presumed that he was in charge of a patrol or raiding party that unexpectedly clashed with a Hun patrol in No Man’s Land. (more…)
Last week, in memoriam pages were created for the three Citadel Men who died fighting in France during World War I and who now rest there…
1LT JOHN HODGES DAVID, JR., Class of 1914
LT WILLIAM MONTAGUE NICHOLLS, Class of 1912
1LT WILLIAM ALLSBROOK MULLOY, Class of 1909
With their inclusion, The Citadel Memorial Europe website contains records for all the 50 Citadel Men interred or memorialized in 15 American Cemeteries in Europe and North Africa and the one Citadel Man memorialized at a British Commonwealth Cemetery.
During World War I, 316 Citadel graduates and an undetermined number of alumni served in Europe. The entire Citadel Class’s of 1917 and 1918 eventually served in the armed forces. Nine Citadel Alumni are known to have sacrificed their lives to hostile or accidental friendly fire on the battlefield. A brief history of The Citadel during WWI is available here.
Born on Christmas Day 1892, 1Lt. David, a native of Dillon, S.C., was the first South Carolina officer, and the first Citadel graduate, to be killed in action with the American forces in France on March 1, 1918. He was 25 years old and in the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He rests in peace in St. Mihiel American Cemetery located 29 miles south of Verdun, France. The WWI cemetery has 4,153 graves of which 117 are “Unknowns”. Another 284 Americans are memorialized on Tablets of the Missing.