Letter St. Nazaire, France. Oct. 25, 1918.
"Your letter of August 15th I received in Washington a few days before I sailed for France. As you addressed me at the Army Build- ing in New York, I must have written you that I had been called into the service last year.
About May 1, I was relieved of my duty as Consulting Engineer on Governor's Island, New York, and ordered to duty as Assistant to the Officer in Charge of the Construction Division of the Army at Washington. During the summer I had supervision, charge of Dock building and dredging for the great Army supply base terminal that the U.S. is building at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Charlestown, S.C., and New Orleans, and spent most of my time in traveling back and forth between these points.
On July 31 (my birthday) my Mother passed away at Champaign, Illinois, after a very brief illness and at the age of 78. My sister Cora Rugg and I are now the only ones left of our immediate family, and as I have no sons and as my father's brothers altogether had but one son who died without a son, I am athe last male Maltby of my grandfather's family.
About the middle of August the authorities on this side cabled out Washington office asking that if I could be spared I be sent to France. They at first replied that I could not be spared, but after I heard of it, I convinced them that I could and finally I sailed on Sept. 20, arriving in France Sept. the 29th.
I have been assigned to duty here as Assistant to the Supervising Engineer in Charge of the additions to, and construction of, one of the busy large ports at which the Americans land troops and supplies. As the "Service of Supply" or S.O.S., as it is called, permit us to say where we are, I am not violating any military rules by heading my letter as I have.
I do not suppose that I will be permitted to go to the Front but I am assisting in making it possible to keep our soldiers supplied with necessaries......
For your information and record if you wish, I was commissioned Major of Engineers, Officers Reserve Corps, U.S.A., Feb. 23, 1917. Ordered to active duty, July 14, 1917, and assigned to duty as Con- structing Engineer, Depot O.M., New York. May 1st ordered to duty as Assist. to officer in charge of the Construction Division of the Army with station at Washington. Sept. 11th ordered to overseas service in France and assigned to duty with Section Engineer, Base No. 1, S.O.S., A.E.F., Headquarters St. Nazaire, France."
Letter from Col. Maltby, dated "St. Nazaire, France, June 26, 1919. (page of this letter is missing.)
"and as seems to be my lot have been working very hard since. For your information as to what it means I must explain that our S.O.S. is Service of Supply, in which includes all the army except the fighting army, have divided all of Western France into 5 Sections or Bases, each of which has one or more important and irregular aria of country beyond.
Base No. 1 has the ports of St. Nazaire and Nantes and the Base covers an area of about 125 miles wide by 150 miles long N. and S.
Each Base is under a Base Commander with about the organization of a Division and has his staff of Base O.M., Base Surgeon, Signal officer, Engineer, Etc. The Engineer is known as the Section Engineer officer who has charge of all construction work within the Base.