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World War I Honor Roll

William S. Hey

Corporal, U.S. Army

Company G
114th Infantry Regiment,
29th Infantry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: October 12, 1918
Buried at: Plot F Row 33 Grave 33
Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery
Romagne, France

CORPORAL WILLIAM S. HEY was born in Philadelphia PA on December 20, 1893 to Mr. and Mrs. William Hey. Known as Willie, he was one of at least 5 children. Sadly their mother died before the Census was taken on June 2, 1900. The family, which included older children John, Mamie, and Maggie, and younger brother Hiram was living in Philadelphia. Their aunt Laura and her husband John Murr lived their as well. The elder Hey was unable to take care of his children on a day laborers wages, and by 1910 Willie Hey was living at St. Joseph's Home for Boys on Pine Street in Philadelphia.

William Hey came to Camden after coming of age. He was working at the Victor Talking Machine Company plant and living at 649 North 31st Street in East Camden when he registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. He had lived at 9 Haddon Avenue before joining the 3rd Infantry Regiment, New Jersey National Guard. He left with that unit for Camp Edge at Sea Girt NJ, and subsequently to Camp McClellan in Anniston AL prior to going overseas, as a member of Company G, 14th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. 

Corporal William S. Hey was killed in action on October 12, 1918 while serving with Company G, 114th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. This unit was part of the attack on German positions near Verdun on October 8, 1918. 

The 29th Infantry Division's account record has the following account for October 12 1918:

The 114th Infantry, 29th Division was attached to the 18th French Division, moved from its bivouac in the Cotee des Roches into position in the Ravin de Coassinvaux on the night of the 11th-12th October preparatory to an attack upon the Bois d'Ormont, which the Division had been ordered to make at 0700hrs on the 12th. In conjunction with the 66th French Infantry, the 114th moved to attack at the hour designated.

The objective of the 114th was the enemy line between Bois d'Ormont and Bois d'Moirey. The enemy has established a very strong dug in concrete line of machine guns. The French artillery unit providing preparatory fire had a severe shortage of artillery ammunition. The small amount that was actually fired was placed to far behind the enemy lines*. The artillery had very little effect on the enemy machine gun line and caused very little damage. The 1st Company of the 111th Machine Gun Battalion began its advance on Bois d'Ormont to support the 114th advance but was forced to pull back after only five minutes due to the heavy German Artillery. After just five minutes eleven 111th men were killed.

The 114th eventually made it into Bois d'Ormont but the cost was very high. Six officers and 112 enlisted men were killed, twelve officers and 800 enlisted men were wounded in the engagement.

On October 12, 1918 the Bois d'Ormont was conquered at the cost of 118 casualties. Private First Class Hey and several other Camden County men were of that number. 

Corporal Hey was 23 years old at the time of his death. He was 23 years old and was survived by a sister.


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