Richard B. Haines (1918/08/06)
A Red Cross band on the sleeve is not a guarantee of safety on the battlefield.
Richard B. Haines was born in Santa Cruz, California about 1889 to Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Haines. During his formative years he resided in Aptos with his parents and brother Loyal and probably attended local elementary schools. Following his school years, Haines was employed as a painter.
On January 11, 1910, at the age of twenty-one, Haines enlisted in the US Army at Ft. McDowell, California. After completing basic training, his first assignment was with US Army Ambulance Company 4. When World War I began, he was serving as a sergeant in a sanitation detachment (Medical Corps) of the 125th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. By August 1918 Haines had risen to the rank of sergeant first class and was awaiting deployment to Europe.
The 125th Infantry left Hoboken, New Jersey, on February 16, 1918, and arrived in Brest, France, on March 4. Immediately after their arrival, the regiment served as a temporary labor force in the construction of supply depots. On May 29 they received orders to cross the German frontier at Sentheim in Alsace. By the time the Oise-Aisne Offense began on July 14, they had moved to Massevaux, Alsace, France.
Richard Haines was subjected to the same conditions as combat infantrymen; however, his only protection was the red cross on the band around his sleeve. On August 6, 1918, Sergeant First Class Richard B. Haines was killed in action while aiding troops and was buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France.
(CAG; ABMC; 32 Inf Div Vet. Assoc., 32 Inf Div in WWI, http://www.32nd-Division.org/history/ww1/32-ww1.html, [16 September 2008]; WEP November 14, 1918 3:4, SCSf, November 18, 1918 3:1)