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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering William Albanie (Albany) Comeau
Name: William Albanie (Albany) Comeau Rank: Private Service Number: 135699 Service: Headquarters Detachment, 101st Supply Train 26th Infantry Division (the Yankee Division), US Army, American Expeditionary Forces Date of Birth: February 3, 1890 Place of Birth: Church Point, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: September 5, 1917 Place of Enlistment: Massachusetts Marital Status: Single Date of Discharge: April 29, 1919 Date of Death: June 19, 1976 Age: 86 Cemetery: Riverside Cemetery, Elm Street, North Reading, Mass. US William Albanie (Albany) Comeau was the son of Nicholas Comeau (1857-1927) and Cedulie (Lombard) Comeau (1864-1932). Albany had eight sisters – Azelle, Evenie, Marie Rose, Lucille, Celenie, Sarah, Virginie and Bernadette; and two brothers – Adolphe (1894-1979) and Edmond (b. 1896). Albany’s brother Adolphe enlisted April 29, 1916, with Canadian Expeditionary Forces in ‘C’ Company, 165th Battalion, but was discharged April 30, 1917, as unfit for service. He did not serve overseas. Albany moved to the United States at the age of 22 in June, 1912, aboard the SS Prince Arthur from Yarmouth to Boston. He was living at 894 East Fourth St in South Boston when he completed a US Draft card (1917-1918) on June 5, 1917. Enlisting 3 months later, Private Comeau served with the Headquarters Detachment of the 101st Supply Train, a unit of the 26th Division (The Yankee Division). The Supply Train was essentially a Quartermaster unit. The 101st was made up of Troop B of the Rhode Island Cavalry, 364 men from 8th Massachusetts Infantry, and 62 men from Company ‘M’ of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry. Albany departed France from Brest on April 6, 1919, on the SS Winifredian arriving in Boston April 18, 1919. On April 25, 1919, a massive welcome home parade took place to recognize the valour and sacrifice the soldiers made for their country. Approximately 25500 soldiers took part. Headlines covered the event, calling it the “Most Glorious Day in Boston’s History”. Approximately one million cheering spectators lined the 5-mile route. The parade started at the Massachusetts State House, where governors from the New England States honoured their hometown heroes. The parade continued along the Boston Common, where sidewalks were packed with fellow citizens. The Division marched onto Commonwealth Avenue, which was lined with spectators watching from bleachers and rooftops. The parade ended at Park Square. Private Comeau was Honourably Discharged four days later on April 29, 1919. He returned to Nova Scotia to visit his Canadian relatives the year after the war, with record of him returning to the US, crossing at Houlton, Maine on September 30, 1920. Albany never married. He lived in Charlestown, at 31 Brighton St, Boston, Mass, applying for US citizenship on September 12, 1933, and became a US citizen on March 5, 1934. On his petition he listed his employment as a carpenter and listed two men as witnesses – Edward Gaudet, a carpenter (living at 13 Water House St in Somerville, Mass.) and Philip E. Babine, also a carpenter (living at 24 Wareham St in Medford, Mass.). Moving out of Charlestown, he settled in North Reading at a cottage on Travelled Way, on Martins Pond, where he lived the rest of his life. Albany died at the age of 86 on June 19, 1976, in Winchester, Massachusetts. He is interred at Riverside Cemetery, on Elm Street in North Reading, Mass.
101st Supply Train, 26th Division, on Way to Front, Euville, France, 1918
Men of the 101st Supply Train, crank start their British AEC 3-ton Trucks in a French village
101st Supply Train, 26th Division unloading bread for the 104th Infantry Regiment to use en route to the front. (Chatillon, France. August 28, 1918)
26th Yankee Division Insignia Patch
The SS Winifredian