1919 – New York’s Home Guard returns on Leviathan

USS Levi with 27th divLeviathan arrived at Brest, France on 23rd February 1919 to collect the next contingent of troops to be repatriated. This turned out to be the 27th Division, also known as “New York’s Own”, formed in 1908 as the New York Division of the National Guard.

42nd Rainbow Infantry Div return on LeviThe Division boarded on 25th February and sailed the next day, with a total of 9,714 troops, 133 NCOs, 319 officers, 66 nurses and 151 others. More of the 27th Division travelled on Mauretania. To avoid bad weather they took a more southerly course which added two days to the journey.

Arriving NNews conversionShe arrived at New York on 6th March, and was met by a flotilla headed by the city’s Mayor. Aircraft flew overhead and thousands gathered along the shore in a great welcome. There had been a strike among the harbour workmen which looked likely to spoil the arrival, but after a direct appeal by the city officials, the union agreed to furnish volunteers – in the end crews for everything were provided at no expense to the vessel’s owners!