Sunday, August 7, 2022

Military Service: Percy W. Ott, World War I

A three page report on the service of Percy can be found on Fold3. It is a detailed report of his service overseas during World War I. Best of all, the report was written and signed by Percy. 



 Captain Percy Wright Ott

24 September 1889 Mt. Hermon, LA – 19 April 1977 Baton Rouge, LA

Son of Elbert Weston Ott & Martha E. Leggett


My 2nd cousin, 3 x removed 


Percy W. Ott served a Captain during World War I with the American Expeditionary Forces as chief engineer. He enlisted 15 August 1917. On 1 September 1918 he sailed for duty as an Adjutant, 1st Battalion, 603rd Engineers. On 13 September the transport ship Ortega cast anchor in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. Percy, “was willing to admit, with everyone else onboard, that this part of Scotland was the most beautiful bit of land he had ever seen.” The regiment disembarked the next day in Glasgow and took a train to Camp Winnall Downs at Winchester, England.


Percy’s account of this time includes details of the regiment’s movements from the training in England to France. He served as regimental adjutant. He assigned men to their “billets.” He wrote that: “The regiment never went into action as a whole, but every man got his chance to do his bit.” They maintained the bridges in the vicinity of Verdun. “On the afternoon of Nov. 6 Captain Ott was at Brieulles, where the detachment 603rd Engineers had just joined the 7th Engineers, and got his first taste of real warfare and learned the gentle art of dodging bullets.”


“After the armistice the regiment continued to work in scattered detachments, and Captain Ott made immemorable trips up and down the Mause and over the old battle areas.”


This document was dated 16 December 1918.


Source: WWI American Expenditionary Forces, Officer Experience Reports; digital image; Fold3 ( accessed March 2022) Percy W Ott.

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