Known as Harlem Hellfighters, unit was comprised of African American soldiers from NYC, Orange County, and other parts of Hudson Valley
Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Historian Johanna Yaun will host a trip to Belgium and France next year to honor the soldiers who served in the 369th New York Infantry Regiment. The trip will take place from July 10th through 19th, 2023 and will explore locations that served as notable backdrops during World War I.
For more information about the trip, log onto https://www.grouptoursite.com/tours/WWI-tour-with-johanna Space is limited to 45 guests.
Harlem’s Rattlers, the 369th New York Infantry Regiment, later nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters, was a regiment of soldiers of African American descent from New York City, the Hudson Valley and parts of Orange County. According to Yaun, they spent 191 days in combat, a longer span than any other U.S. unit.
During the trip to Belgium and France, guests will pass through Givry-en-Argonne to see where the 369th shed their American weapons and were assigned to French command, visit the battle site of Belleau Wood and the tiny village of Séchault to view the memorial dedicated to the famous Harlem Hellfighters. The visit will also pay tribute to the fallen soldiers who are buried at the Meuse-Argonne cemetery.
Throughout the trip, the group will discuss important members of the regiment including the artist Horace Pippin from Goshen and Elmer Earl of Goshen/Middletown, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic actions as well discussing the long-lasting impact of the regimental band led by James Reese Europe.
The tour will also include visits to sites of significance related to the 107th New York Infantry Regiment. More than 40 soldiers from Orange County perished on September 29th, 1918 during the breaking of the Hindenburg Line and are buried at the Somme American Cemetery.
“We had a meaningful and fascinating learning experience in Belgium and France when we followed the path of the local soldiers who fought with the 107th regiment four years ago.” Yaun said. “I’m looking forward to touring the battle sites and monuments that were important to the Harlem Hellfighters. They deserve to be honored by us for their incredible service and sacrifice a century ago.”
Johanna Yaun’s suggested reading: Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality by Jeffrey T. Sammons and John H. Morrow, Jr. and Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York’s Silk-Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line by Stephen L. Harris
For more information about the trip, contact Johanna Yaun at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Caption: A World War I helmet with the 27th Infantry Division insignia. The NYD stands for New York Division. Our local soldiers in the 107th New York infantry Regiment fought under this symbol. This picture was taken at the Somme American Cemetery on the centennial of the Battle of the Hindenburg Line, Sept. 29, 2018. Behind the helmet is the burial ground of the soldiers who were killed in action including many from Orange County.