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Yerkes, Ralph

Yerkes, Ralph

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Date of Birth: 10 May 1896
Died On: September 13th, 1918
Branch of Service: U.S. Army WW I - Co. K, 9th Infantry

Veteran Code: WWI-312

Ralph Yerks

Ralph Yerks was born on April 6, 1894, in Bedford Hills, New York, his father, George, was 27 and his mother, Annie, was 23. He had two brothers. His Draft Registration Card noted that he was working as a plumbers helper. Ralph was describe as short with a medium build with blue eyes and brown hair.

Ralph enlisted into the U.S. Army at Ft. Slocum New York on June 6, 1917. On August 18, 1917 he was assigned to the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division, AEF.

Ralph's Infantry Regiment would earn battle streamers for their colors at Lorraine, He de France, Aisne-Marne, and St. Mihiel.

The Battle of Saint-Mihiel was a major World War I battle fought from 12–15 September 1918, involving the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and 110,000 French troops under the command of General John J. Pershing of the United States against German positions. The U.S. Army Air Service played a significant role in this action.

Pershing's plan had tanks supporting the advancing infantry, with two tank companies interspersed into a depth of at least three lines, and a third tank company in reserve. The result of the detailed planning was an almost unopposed assault into the salient.

One reason for the American forces' success at St. Mihiel was General Pershing's thoroughly detailed operations order. Pershing's operation included detailed plans for penetrating the Germans' trenches, using a combined arms approach to warfare.

Another reason was the audacity of the small unit commanders on the battlefield. Unlike other officers who commanded their soldiers from the rear, Colonel George S. Patton and Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur and their subordinates would lead their men from the front lines. They believed that a commander's personal control of the situation would help ease the chaos of the battlefield

Ralph Yerks died on September 13, 1918, in France during the Battle of St. Mihiel at the age of 24. He is buried at Plot C Row 8 Grave 36, St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, France. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location.

★ World War I Victory Medal ★ Purple Heart

Died in the Service or Killed in Action. Name: Ralph Yerks Birth Place: Bedford Hill, New York Birth Date: abt 1894 Service Start Date: 6 Jun 1917 Service Start Place: Fort Slocum, New York Service Start Age: 23 RALPH YERKES was a private in Co. K, 9th Infantry. He was killed in action on September 13th, 1918, near Metz, during the victorious advance of the American forces against the German lines.

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