A Story of WWI: Lost Battalion and Two Coeur d’Alene Doughboys
Thursday, June 1 (6 pm)
The “Lost Battalion” is the name given to nine companies of the United States 77th Division, roughly 554 men, isolated by German forces, for five days, during WWI after an American attack on the Argonne Forest in October 1918. The Germans gave them two options: surrender or die. They chose a third.
Don Pischner will tell the story of two local men that enlisted together to fight for the United States in what they believed to be the “war to end all wars”. Each became a member of the 308th Infantry, identified by a shoulder patch emblem of the Statue of Liberty. The 308th reportedly received the most military awards and ribbons of any United States service group – soldiers and airmen, as well as a message carrier pigeon, named Cher Ami.
Don Pischner was born in Coeur d’Alene and is a third-generation Idahoan whose grandparents settled north of Hayden Lake during the 1890s. He has a continued interest in the history of Idaho, its politics, characters and events of its territorial era. Don is a United States Army Veteran. In the 1980s, he served six years as a Trustee for the Museum of North Idaho. He was elected to the Idaho Legislature in 1994 and served four terms. Don is currently serving on the Board of Trustees for the Idaho State Historical Society.