uss von stueben underway near brest, france in the first world war

In October 1917, Harold Hatfield, having just turned 17 in August, enlisted in the Marines in Salt Lake City and was sent to Mare Island, California. He was assigned to the 11th Regiment of the US Marine Corp. His papers show him at 66 and a half inches tall, with brown eyes and a ruddy complexion and occupation farmer.

On 15 Oct 1918 his company embarked on the USS Von Steuben, arrived Brest, France 25 Oct 1918.
Shortly after arriving in France, he became very sick (probably as a result of the great flu epidemic of 1918) and was cared for by a French farm family who nursed him back to health over several months before he was reunited with his company. The treaty of Versaille was signed on 28 June 1919.

young Harold Hiram Hatfield as a Marine at Mare Island


uss orizaba

Orizaba, built in 1918 by Wm. Cramp ~ Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pa., was requisitioned for Navy use from the New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Co., 11 April 1918, and commissioned with the designation SP 1536, 27 May 1918, Comdr. Richard D. White in command.

The Orizaba returns on August 6

USS Orizaba (ID-1536/AP-24) was a transport ship for the United States Navy during both World War I and World War II. She was the sister ship of Siboney but the two were not part of a ship class. During her varied career, she was also known as USAT Orizaba in service for the United States Army, as SS Orizaba in interwar civilian service for the Ward Line, and as Duque de Caxias (U-11) as an auxiliary in the Brazilian Navy after World War II.

Corporal Harold Hatfield and the 11th Marines embarked on the USS Orizaba 29 July 1919, arriving at Naval Operating Base Hampton Roads, VA on 6 Aug 1919.
Military efficiency Excellent, Obedience, Excellent, Sobriety, Excellent.
Remarks: Service honest and faithfull... recommended for reappointment upon re-enlistment. At discharge, he was paid $ 290.45.