Earl Howard Oplinger (1894-1918)

Grave of Earl Howard Oplinger

Earl Howard Oplinger grave, Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, France; image credit

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Earl Howard Oplinger (8 January 1894 - 12 October 1918) was killed in action while serving with the Machine Gun Company, 61st infantry regiment, 5th infantry division, near Brieulles-sur-Meuse, France.

We do not have many details of his army service, but, like several other men from Slatington, he died during the Meuse-Argonne offensive in France.
4 October 1917, enlisted
6 April 1918, departed Hoboken, New Jersey, for France

The 5th infantry division was organized in December 1917 and sent to France in May 1918. The division participated in both the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives.

On 11 October, the division was ordered into the line north of Montfaucon. The initial mission of the division was to attack to the north and clear a small woods called the Bois des Rappes. "During the next eleven days the Red Devils were destined to undergo their roughest fighting of the entire was. For more than a week the Red Devils battered themselves against the strongly fortified German positions in the Bois des Rappes that were strongly supported by artillery emplaced on the heights east of the Meuse River. Attack after attack was repulsed with appalling losses being sustained by the assaulting troops. The Bois des Rappes was just about 4.5 miles north of Montfaucon."

Private Oplinger was originally buried near Brieulles-sur-Meuse, France, before being re-interred in the the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.

Prewar listed occupation: pipe fitter at the New Jersey Zinc Company

Draft registration listed home address: R.F.D.2, Walnutport, Pennsylvania

father Henry J. Oplinger, 1869-1925
mother Rosa M. Nace, 1866-1929
sister Grace N. Oplinger, 1892-1975 (Hoover)
sister Daisy B. Oplinger, 1892-1972 (Wieser)
sister Harriet N. Oplinger, 1897-1977 (Dreisbach)
brother Sterling H. Oplinger, 1900-1980
sister Ruth N. Oplinger, 1902-1998 (Flexer)
brother Paul S. Oplinger, 1904-1967