William F. Devitt (1918/09/30)
William was a "splendid" and "likable young fellow among those who knew him."
William Felix Devitt was born in Felton, California, on October 25, 1895, to J. R. and Nellie Soper Devitt, members of a well-known local family. Their other sons Milton, Robert and Arthur and daughters Fleta and Ellen completed the Devitt family. After finishing school, William Devitt was employed as a clerk in the M. E. Dodge Cigar Store and later at the Cascade Laundry in Santa Cruz.
Devitt's association with the armed forces began in 1917 with his draft registration. His draft records described him as being tall and of medium build with light brown hair and blue eyes. Recruit Devitt was inducted into the army and departed Santa Cruz for Camp Lewis, Washington, on October 5, 1917. After completing basic training, he was assigned to the 364th Infantry Regiment of the 91st Infantry Division and shipped to France in July 1918.
In September William Devitt's unit was moved into the Meuse-Argonne sector in the vicinity of Metz to participate in an Allied offensive against the entrenched Germans. On September 26, 1918, the 364th Infantry Regiment was sent up on the line and ordered "over the top" of the trenches in a coordinated Allied movement against the retreating Germans. The fighting that continued through September 30 was successful in driving the Germans back, but during the action, Devitt was killed.
The remains of William Felix Devitt are interred in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France.
(CAG; WWIDR; ABMC; WEP August 31, 1917; SCSf November 27, 1918 8:7; SCSn November 27, 1918 5:2; 91st Div Publication Com., Story of the 91st Division, San Mateo CA 1919, books.google. com/books?id=3tIMAAAAYAAJ, [16 Sept 2008])