WW I Soldier Etched Cook Mess Kit; United States Army 6th Infantry Division, Co. B, 51th Infantry Regiment; Red Star; Sight Seein Sixth; Meuse-Argonne France Engagement
The 51st Infantry Regiment was organized in June of 1917 and trained at Camp Forrest until June of 1918 and then embarked for France from Chickamauga Park, Georgia. The unit is credited with 43 combat days of fighting and in the process lost 38 men that were killed in action and had 348 men injured. On June 1919 they began their journey back to the United States and the WWI unit was finally deactivated on the 30th of September at Camp Grant in Illinois.
In the following image we see the canteen in the closed position. Army Private Thomas G. Dean fortunately for us has left a record of his service to our country in this unique relic. In some moment of solitude he past the time etching with a knife in this soft alunimun canteen. He left us a historical record from a very important period of his life and our country history in a most tangible form. I wonder if he was in some trench carving this on his canteen, or on that ship that brought him home after fulfilling his obligation. It has survived almost a hundred years in some trunk or maybe in a box in in a closet, only to finally in this age of technology to be shared.
|Closed canteen with his Regiment number and his division insignia|
|Here we see a good photo of the canteen cover. Seems he was going to write something different under INF, it looks like ABN, but changed his mind and changed it to INF|
|Here you see were he etched his name on the soft alunimun cover|
|Bottom of canteen showing cooking stain from a fire|
|Closeup of where the handle attaches to the body|
|Here you can see US on tip of handle that snaps|
|Here in top circle is US and in the bottom you can see the 18 of the year 1918|
Below are a number of close-up so you can enjoy.