Hammond, Alex

Alex Hammond was born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1901, and was living on Route 1 in Harvest, Alabama at enlistment in the US Army. Private Hammond was assigned to the 366th Infantry Regiment, an all African American (segregated) unit of the United States Army. It was one of the exceptional Negro units with all black officers and soldiers. The 366th Infantry Regiment, 183rd Infantry Brigade, was made up men from Alabama and had the distinction of being the first all-black fighting unit to be commanded by black officers. The 366th Infantry was the first unit in the 92nd Infantry Division and the division's nickname "Buffalo Solders" came from African American cavalrymen in the 19th century. The 92nd arrived in France on 18 July 1918. The division trained with the French Army initially before taking over a sector in the St. Die region near the Lorraine border.  On September 2nd, the division repulsed an enemy raid at LaFontenelle and the fighting contiued for several days, becoming the battle of St. Die Sector (Lorraine). During the fighting on 4 September, Private Hammond's company was assaulted by a larger enemy force. Although he was severly wounded in action, Private Hammond remained at his post and continued to fight a superior force which was attempting to penetrate through the company position. His bravery on that day prevented the success of the enemy raid in force and helped maintain the regimental line. For his action on that day, Private Alex Hammond was awarded Distinguished Service Cross number 436, the nation's second highest valor award. He was also awarded the Pruple Heart for wounds received in combat action. Private Hammond was treated in the division area until he was medivac'ed to Base Hospital Number 17 on 30 September 1918.