Hometown Boys from Delaware: Information and Statistics about WWI Service Members
Delaware provided almost 10,000 members of the U.S. armed forces during World War I. Of these, 43 died in service. The 29th Division (National Guard) drew troops and units from Delaware, and the 59th Pioneer Infantry Regiment originated there. The 78th Division drew selected service men from Delaware as well. The 29th Division served in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, most notably in battles to seize the high ground east of the Meuse River. Delawareans served in the air and at sea. Seaman 2nd Class Walter Campbell, for example, was lost from the USS Los Angeles as it supported the Naval Overseas Transportation Service in the Atlantic Ocean. His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at Suresnes American Cemetery.
Delaware made important industrial contributions to the war effort. DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, managed gunpowder and explosives plants nationwide. These produced about 40 percent of the explosives used by the Allies, and other chemical-based products as well. Wilmington was home to several major shipbuilding companies that built scores of ships throughout the war. Delaware Bay was along vital shipping routes, and closely guarded by a large naval base at Cape Henlopen and other facilities. Thousands of Delawareans supported the war effort by raising funds, economizing on food and other supplies, or as volunteers in the Red Cross or other organizations.
Editor's Note: This ongoing series will feature information and statistics about World War I service members from every state. You can also find this information in our new Chateau-Thierry Visitor Center that will be opening later this year.