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Sylvester Petrik

Submitted by: Thomas Schuurmans {Grandson}

Sylvester Petrik image

Sylvester Petrik born around . Sylvester Petrik served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service


Sylvester Petrik served in the US Marine Corps during World War 1 and landed at Brest on February 15, 1918. Sylvester went to Chatillon and after two more months of training, was appointed instructor for new troops, a month later he was assigned to the 84th Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Regiment of the 4th Marine Brigade attached to the 2nd US Army Division and went over the top at Belleau Woods,

immortalized in prose and poem. He was one of 8,000 U.S. Marines who stopped the furious onslaught of 60,000 picked Prussian Guards at Chateau Thierry June 1 and remained on that front until July 16. From Chateau Thierry they marched to the Soisson Front, arriving July 19, and went through terrible fighting. He was one of 21 men left of 220 of his company after three hours of battle with no artillery support. He distinguished himself by capturing eight Huns single-handedly. He then participated in the great drive on St Mihiel September 11, after five days it was taken, and then he fought in the battle at Mont Blanc which lasted ten days.

On November 1 (ironically only ten days before the Armistice) he marched to the Argonne Forest with his company where the last big offensive took place. Here a machine gun bullet struck him in the left side of his neck, grazing his spinal column, severing a rib at the junction, and lodging in his right shoulder close to the surface. He lay unconscious on the battlefield for half an hour and was given up for dead, but he regained sensibility and an hour later he was taken to the Field Hospital for First Aid. This incapacitated him for two and a half months.

When he healed, he was sent for duty with the Army of Occupation at Leutesdorf, Germany on the Rhine, where he remained until April 13, then was placed in a hospital at Nantes, France as the wound began to cause him trouble. He remained until May 13, then sailed for the U.S. landing in Brooklyn May 24, then to Quantico, Virginia for an honorable Discharge on June 25.

He was awarded the Marksman, Victory, and Purple Heart medals and the French Fourragere Shoulder Loop.

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