Biographies | Roswell W. Hughson
Roswell W. Hughson was born on August 19, 1891 in Boonville, Oneida County, NY to Wesley M. and Lucy Hughson. He had two older sisters, Evie and Ethel. His family moved to Carthage Village in Jefferson County, NY sometime before 1900. According to the WWI registration, in 1917 Roswell listed his address as Postal Station #7 E. Akron, Ohio. He was employed as a carpenter for Hamm Bros in Akron. He was single, tall, and slender built with blue eyes and brown hair. He was 26 yrs old when he entered the military on September 6, 1917. He was assigned to Co. B 332nd Infantry, 83rd Division until his discharge on April 14, 1919. He achieved the rank of Sgt. on October 16, 1917.
The 332nd Infantry regiment was composed of large numbers of men from Ohio, including many from Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown. On June 8,1918, the 332nd boarded the Cunard liner H.M.S. Aquitania for England. The 332nd then embarked on a ship to France. Upon arrival in France the troops learned that General Pershing had ordered the 83rd Division to be broken up, with the 332nd to be sent to the Italian Front and the remaining units were to serve as replacements. Over the next several months the 332nd was stationed in Italy, where they were warmly welcomed by the Italians.
The troops continued their training in trench warfare. Part of this training was a forced march on different roads each day, wearing different hats. This march was meant to fool the Austrian army into thinking there were many more American troops ready to engage in battle. Roswell and the 332nd participated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. The Battle of Vittorio Veneto was fought from 24 October to 3 November 1918 (with an armistice taking effect 24 hours later) near Vittorio Veneto on the Italian Front. The Italian victory marked the end of the war on the Italian Front, secured the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and contributed to the end of the First World War, just one week later. It was at the armistice that the American officers of the 332nd learned their earlier ruse had worked! The Austrian generals were convinced that there were at least six American divisions facing them in Italy, and possibly as many as 300,000 men total. Following the armistice on November 11, 1918 the 332nd was assigned occupation duty.
On March 29, 1919 Roswell and his fellow soldiers of the 332nd Infantry boarded the Duca d’Aosta in Genoa, Italy to return to the United States. The ship arrived on April 14th; one week later, the troops were welcomed home with a parade down Fifth Avenue before a crowd estimated at 350,000 people. On 26 April, the 332nd proudly marched through the streets of Cleveland in a parade held to honor the regiment, including 350 of its native sons. On May 2, the 332nd regiment was officially demobilized and Roswell was honorably discharged.