On This Day, 4-NOV 1918, We Honor a Fallen Hero

Edwin Echelmeier was born 3-MAR 1893 in St Charles MO.  His  father was Frederic Echelmeier (1871-1942) and his mother was Bernadina Schemee (1872-1955). Both were born in Germany.  He had two brothers; Otto and Hellmuth and one sister, Clara.  They lived at 728 Tompkins in St Charles MO.

According to his draft registration, he was a Journeyman plumber working in Detroit MI.  Entered service 29-APR 1918, Ft. Wayne, Ind., and was sent to Camp Funston (would become Fort Riley Kansas), Kansas.

Company A 356th Infantry 89th Division departed New York 4-JUN 1918 on the troop ship Coronia bound for France.   Edwin served in company A, 356th Infantry, 89th Division, American Expeditionary Forces.  The 89th Division, called the “Middle West Division,” formed and began its The 89th Division was officially activated in August 1917 under the command of Major General Leonard Wood. training at Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas, in August 1917. Its members came from Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and South Dakota. In France, the Division participated in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. 

The Meuse-Argonne offensive was a major part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire Western Front. It was fought from 26-SEP 1918, until the Armistice of 11-NOV 1918, a total of 47 days. The Meuse–Argonne offensive was the largest in United States military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers. It is the second deadliest battle in American history, resulting in over 350,000 casualties including 28,000 German lives, 26,277 American lives and an unknown number of French lives. 

Edwin Echelmeier died of wounds 4-NOV 1918 just seven days before the Armistice from wounds received in action during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  

His burial details are unknown, categorized as lost in war.  Edwin Echelmeier is honored and remembered at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.  

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.