17-23 April 2023

Signal Corps photo 111-SC-18286. Soldiers of MG Co., 102nd Inf., 26th Div. having a bite to eat while entrenched along a roadside.

We are proud to announce that The Connecticut Heritage Foundation on behalf of the Connecticut State Library has selected Knee Deep Into History, LLC to offer a 102nd Infantry Regiment and Yankee Division WW1 Battlefield Tour!

Get knee deep into the WW1 history of the 102nd Infantry Regiment and Yankee Division troops! Experienced guides Randy Gaulke and Markus Klauer will share their WW1 battlefield knowledge, period photos and first-person accounts, bringing the experiences of soldiers and officers to life. Sites visited will include the caves along the Chemin des Dames, Belleau Wood and vicinity, the St. Mihiel Salient and the Meuse-Argonne. The tour will also highlight post-war reconstruction efforts in the area, including funding from wealthy New England families.

The tour will celebrate the century-long special relationship between the State of Connecticut and the French Town of Seicheprey. It will conclude with a vin d’honneur (traditional toast) and dinner in Seicheprey, as well as a ceremony rededicating the State of Connecticut Fountain in Seicheprey (1923-2023) and renaming a local road in honor of the Yankee Division.

Your participation in the tour will also support the next round of the Connecticut Heritage Foundation’s “Diggin Into History” program. (https://ctinworldwar1.org/dih/) $125 per participant plus a percentage of profit will be given to fund the program.

Sign-up today to get knee deep into history and to ensure your place on this focused battlefield tour! A complete Seicheprey Tour Brochure and Terms and Conditions can be accessed here. Have questions? Reach out to Randy Gaulke via phone, 908.451.0252, or email, kneedeepintohistory@gmail.com.

A few Photos of Sites to be Visited

One of the famous cave etchings by WW1 soldiers, including men of the 102nd Inf. Regt. in the Chemin des Dame Sector, 2017. Photo by Christine Pittsley.
The kids of Seicheprey, France and others posing at the State of Connecticut’s Fountain, 2019. Photo by Christine Pittsley.
Tour guide Randy Gaulke showing the view of the Woevre Plain from Hattonchatel. Photo by Susan Hall-Balduf, 2007.
Tour guide Markus Klauer guiding in the woods along the Tranchee de Calonne, 2021.

Brief Schedule (See Brochure for full details.)

Day 1–Monday, 17 April. Pick up at CDG. Exploration of Chateau-Thierry.

Day 2–Tuesday, 18 April. Aisne-Marne Offensive, including Belleau Wood and vicinity. We anticipate a tour of Belleau Wood and surrounding areas by French expert guide, Gilles Lagin.

Day 3–Wednesday, 19 April. Tour of the YD inscriptions in the underground Froidmont Quarry led by local expert Gille Chauwin. Then an overview of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Day 4–Thursday, 20 April. Meuse-Argonne sites, continued. The Ossuary at Verdun. Also, Marcheville-en-Woevre, where the YD did a feint attack on 26 September 1918.

Day 5–Friday, 21 April. Morning tour of Dragees Braquier, world-famous Verdun maker of Jordan Almonds. Shopping time in Verdun. Exploration of the St. Mihiel Salient. Flag lowering ceremony at the St. Mihiel American Cemetery in Thiaucourt-Regnieville. We anticipate dinner with the Cemetery Superintendent.

Day 6–Saturday, 22 April. St. Mihiel Offensive and region continued. Evening vin d’honneur and dinner in Seicheprey, with related activities.

Day 7–Sunday, 23 April. Seicheprey Fountain Rededication and Street Renaming Ceremony. Afternoon departure for CDG. Tour ends when we arrive at CDG Airport.

Testimonial

“Randy and Markus, I am delighted to hear that you both will be focusing on the 26th Yankee Division, especially the 102nd Inf. Regt., the fellow battle group to my father’s 104th Inf. Regt., your combined knowledge and experience in the location of the 26th Yankee Division covered will bring a level of interest to the tour participants that they will never forget.

I appreciate you both for the time we spent in the caves in Braye-en-Laonnaois. So much time and history of the occupation of the caves by the 102nd Inf. Regt. that awaits the tour will only be enhanced by the experience you both bring.

I can personally attest to the relationships and respect you both have with local historians and onsite preservationists. The tour participants will always remember “Knee Deep Into History.”” Bruce Blanchart, son of a WW1 YD soldier, who toured with Randy and Markus in 2017-18.

Additional testimonials can be read elsewhere on this website.

Download the Tour Information and Sign-up Today!

Seicheprey Tour Brochure

Seicheprey Terms & Conditions

Still have questions or concerns? Email Randy Gaulke at kneedeepintohistory@gmail.com.

One last photo: Randy and Laurie Gaulke on their “1919 Returning War Hero’s” wedding day, accompanied by guest of honor, Frank Sinkoski, Co. G, 104th Inf. Regt. He was 98 years old, when this photo was taken in May 1996. The location was Belle Skinner’s Wisteriahurst Mansion in Holyoke, MA.