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"There were so many bad odors around that I had to watch the gas sentries from sounding unnecessary alarms." (Memoir, page 43)

   Earle Covington Smith
Collection image
Page from Earle Smith's diary [detail]
War: World War, 1914-1918
Branch: Army
Unit: 7th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division
Service Location: Baltimore, Maryland; Sandy Hook Proving Ground, New Jersey; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; Fort Russell, Cheyenne, Wyoming; France
Rank: Captain
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Trained as an engineer, Captain Earle Covington Smith anticipated the US entrance into the war in 1917, requesting a commission in the Ordnance Officers Reserve Corps. After a stint as a proof officer, during which he tested various brands of ammunition, he was transferred to France, where he eventually became a gas officer. In his diary, he made notes on such topics as the chemical makeup of particular toxic gases, the construction of hand grenades, and how to remove mustard gas from the skin. Along with his diary, his memoir provides a glimpse into the role played by chemical warfare during World War I. Serving as an "official nose," he worked to make sure that soldiers were properly equipped with functional gas masks and that they were able to recognize different gases and identify the start of an attack. As he relates, the smell of death on the battlefield was so strong that it sometimes led to false alarms.

»Proof Officers Hand-Book 156 Mobile Artillery Ammuntion: WWI memoirs of Earl C. Smith
 Official Documents
»View List (26 items)
 Personal Correspondence
»View List (2 items)
»Bound Hand Written Diary of Chemical Warefare School of Earle C. Smith
 Other Materials
»View List (8 items)
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»World War I Remembered: Diaries and Memoirs
 Official Documents (26 items)
American Expeditionary Forces Casual Officers' Camp Angers: Notice To All Casual Officers Special Orders, No. 53-0 War Department, Washington [3/5/1919] American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Services of Supply Embarkation Orders o. 14 France [1/14/1919]
American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Services of Supply Special Orders No. 225 France [10/23/1918] American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Services of Supply J/BJB Special Orders No. 256 France [11/23/1918] From: The Adjutant General of the Army: Change of Station [2/27/1919]
From: the Ordnance Office, Technical Staff. To: The Ordnance Office, Administration Division, Military Personnel Section. Attention Captain Dodge [2/27/1919] Captain Earle C. Smith free from any infectious or communicable disease. Casual Officers' Camp District of Angers [1/30/1919] Headquarters U.S. Troops. Angers, France, Special Orders No. 31 [1/30/1919]
American Expeditionary Forces A.E.F. France Captain E.C. Smith is physically qualified for transportation [2/7/1919] American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Service of Supply. Office of Headquarters Conandant Special Orders No. 139 [11/16/1918] General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces Special orders, No. 238. France [8/26/1918]
American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Services of Supply. Special Oderss No. 70. France [5/21/1918] Headquarters U.S. Troops, Angers France. Special Orders No. 31. [1/30/1919] American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Services of Supply Special Orders No.223. France [10/21/1918]
General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces. Special Orders No.242. France [8/30/1918] American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Services of Supply Special Orders No. 201. France [1/7/1919] American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Services of Supply Special Orders No. 206. [10/3/1918]
Engineering Division Tests and Proving Ground Administration. You are directed to proceed to Bourges Proving Grounds [10/3/1918] Headquarters Post of Brest (Casual Office) U.S. Army Post Office No. 716. Travel Order No. 3578. [2/7/1919] Headquarters Eight Corps. Area Office of the Chemical Warefare Office Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Subject: Training of Reserve Officers, B.A. Group [1/20/1925]
Ordance Daily Bulletin: American Official Communique No. 197 [11/11/1918] Ordance Daily Bulletin: Terms of the Armistice [11/12/1918] Ordance Daily Bulletin: Summary of Paris Press Headings [11/13/1918]
Casual Officers' Camp, District of Angers : Camp Regulations [1/12/1919] American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Services of Supply France: Embarkation Orders No. 14 [1/14/1919] 
 Personal Correspondence (2 items)
Letter from R.C. Sahlin 2nd Lt Corps of int. Hqrs 3rd Div. A.E.F. [1/30/1919] Letter from H. Meugnier, Paris [12/9/1918] 
 Other Materials (8 items)
Biographical Information compiled by Earle Edward Spamer, great-nephew of Earle C. Smith [4/2003] Ordance Technical Section Proving Ground and Ordnance Ammuniton School-American E.F. Boures(Cher) France [Christmas 1918] Auto-Cyclist Map of Area Paris Northeast Section
Relief map of Southwest of Neufchateau, France Map "Front au Fer Octobre 1917" Relief map of west of Reims
Map "Lizy-Sur-Ourcq' Map of Bourgogne, France 

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  October 26, 2011
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