Monday, October 8, 2018

SGT Hazel Wood Hester

courtesy of Marijke Taffein
SGT Hazel Wood Hester was born in March 1893 in Chase City, Virginia.  He was the only son of the 8 children born to Charles Williamson and Willie Inez (Graves) Hester. His father both farmed and operated a general store. Hazel was working as a tobacconist in 1917.

Hazel enlisted in E Company 2nd Virginia Infantry on 23 April 1917 to answer the call to federal service.  He went with the unit to Camp McClellan , Alabama where it was re-organized as part of the 116th Infantry Regiment and SGT Wood was assigned to Machine Gun Company 116th Infantry. He was with the unit when it sailed for France aboard the USS Finland.  The Finland departed Hoboken, New Jersey on 15 Jun 1918 and arrived at the port of Saint Nazaire, France on 28 Jun 1918. The entire 29th Division underwent training in trench warfare and was then put into "the line" in a "quiet" sector for further training.  On 8 Oct 1918 a major offensive was initiated in the vicinity of Verdun and SGT Hester was killed on that day.

SGT Hester is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery

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