Camp Devens - Trucks and Fatigue - WW1 Cantonment 1918
This huge truck, belonging to the Quartermaster's Department, is one of the hundred such vehicles which are at Camp Devens. More speedy than the mules of former days, and of greater capacity than the mule-drawn supply-wagons, they are almost universally used for trucking in places where the condition of the roads permit. One sees many of them daily at Ayer, rumbling along, the chains jingling noisily, and at a rate of speed which makes life miserable for the unwary pedestrian.
The next three pictures illustrate the significance of the term "fatigue duty." If any manual labor has to be done about the camp, details are called for. The men thus selected perform the required work, whether it be to unload a truck or to build a road.
The first "fatigue" picture shows a detail of M Company, 302d Infantry — men from Rockland and Quincy — building a road, or at least trying to build one. It was zero weather and the ground was like so much solid rock. Nevertheless, they were working away cheerfully. "A little gunpowder might help," I suggested. "Lord, man, it would take another Halifax disaster to loosen this dirt."
Number three is a group of men from the Headquarters Train, trying to make the roads passable after a snowstorm. They are now in front of the unit headquarters and are working more industriously than ever, because they have only one more load to shovel. When they finish, they will take the first train for Worcester, for a week-end visit.
The last picture shows a detail from Ambulance Company Number 302, loading the accumulated garbage of the day into one of the Quartermaster's trucks. The man in the foreground, who is saluting with a cigarette in his mouth, unquestionably realizes the gravity of the situation.
Each morning these trucks go to the kitchens, collect the refuse and carry it to the transfer station in the rear of the camp.