The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 14, 2011

84 years as a reader

W. M. Bass

TARBORO — To: Monica Flemming


Yours was the first Southerner article remembering WWI that I can recall in my 84 years as a reader, many thanks.

You failed to mention if your list of veterans contained any of the girls that served. There is one that I will never forget, Katherine Pender. The Pender Museum bares her name. She drove an ambulance on the front lines in Italy. The 1917-18 fighting in Italy was harsh and bloody, but seldom mentioned in history books. Ernest Hemmingway was also an ambulance driver there and was badly wounded by German artillery.

Joe Bunn, of Edgecombe, was in the front line trenches when his platoon was attacked with mustard gas. He received compensation for the damage to his lungs for the remainder of his life. His war experiences are recalled in “Mabrey Bass' Tarboro”.

My father, Baker M. Bass, served in the 29th division, aka, The Blue Grey Division. The arm patch carried both colors. The reason for the name being that, they were National Guard Companies form Mass., Conn., Pa., Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Already being NG trained, they were among the first to go to Europe. For further details of what they went through click on Wekipedia 29th division. I think a great deal of the Edgecombe and Nash County men were in The Blue Grey.

W. M. Bass