In honor of Armistice Day, Bill McGee recalls his dad’s service in the Great War, one hundred years ago

Lt Harry E. McGee 165th Infantry Division 1918

Harry Elwood McGee, Second Lieutenant, 2nd Montana Infantry, 1918



“My dad served in the 2nd Montana Infantry and trained at Fort Harrison, outside of Helena. Horses were needed in Europe to pull the Howitzers through the mud. While the 2nd Montana was waiting for orders to go overseas, Dad bought horses for the U.S. Army and shipped them by train from Fort Harrison to Richmond, Virginia where they were put on ships bound for Europe. In December 1917, the 2nd Montana Infantry—re-designated as the 163rd Infantry Regiment, 41st Division—was sent overseas. While serving in France as a combat infantryman, Dad earned his Second Lieutenant bars.

When the war ended in November 1918, the 163rd returned home and Dad resumed proving up his claim in Montana’s fertile Shields River Valley in Park County, some of the best cattle and grazing land in the state.”

(From Montana Memoir: The Hardscrabble Years, 1925-1942 by William L. McGee)

8 thoughts on “In honor of Armistice Day, Bill McGee recalls his dad’s service in the Great War, one hundred years ago

  1. So wonderful to document and share all this history of your life, Bill! And, of course, through your stories we get to also appreciate the writing ability of your lovely mate! Thanks! My best, Susie

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Wonderful photo; historic and meaningful. -AMP

    Happy Veterans Day, Bill McGee, to you and your late father. You (and Sandra) have spent a considerable amount of time memorializing the day-to-day experiences of a military life for those of us who didn’t have the privilege to serve as you did. It is important that you have left us and those younger a record of what it is to be an exemplary citizen prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of others.
    All the best, respectfully, -JP

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