The Story of James Malcomb, Killed in World War I:
James Malcomb was one of the first casualties from Andalusia, Alabama, in WWI. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Marion A. Malcomb. He lost is life in action on September 13, 1918, in the Battle of Argonne Forest in France. He was a Lieutenant, Company M, 167 Infantry Rainbow Division of the Alabama National Guard. LT Malcomb was 27 years old. The VFW Battle-Malcomb Post 3453 in Covington County, Alabama, was named in his honor along with Lee Otis Battle. Malcomb’s name is also listed on the Hall of Honor Walls at the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park under Covington County.
The Battle of Argonne Forest:
The American and French forces were fighting the Germans in France. They were charged with taking Mezieres, France and reaching a railroad line to cut off the German supply line. If they could capture the railroad the Germans would be trapped in an area without any supplies. In order to reach the railroad the American troops, then about 1.2 million strong had to cross the Meuse Valley and get across the Argonne Forest. The forest was very dense with trees and brush so the soldiers had to cut their way through the forest. There were a series of ravines and ridges which gave hiding places for the Germans. The American regiments lost contact with one another so the smaller battalions were put in greater danger. One battalion of 600 men was surrounded by the Germans and lost more than 400 men before other Americans finally found them to help with the fighting. James Malcomb is reported to have lost his life fighting in the Argonne Forest although the exact place is undocumented.
For more about the Battle of the Argonne Forest: