105th Engineer Regiment, 30th Division
Plot B, Row 2, Grave 20
Pvt. William Cataloe Barlow served with the 105th Engineer Regiment, 30th Division during World War I. Born on December 27, 1888 in Dixons Beat, Ala., he was one of three children. Even though his family owned a store, Barlow became a farmer with his grandfather. In June 1917 he requested to not be drafted because his parents were dependent on him. This was to no avail. He was drafted on April 25, 1918. He reported for duty in Dothan, Ala., just one month and one day after his marriage to Effie Palmer.
One day after reporting for duty, Barlow was on his way to South Carolina for Boot Camp. He was assigned to Company F of the 105th Engineer Regiment. He arrived in Europe aboard the SS Melita, on May 27, 1918.
Barlow participated in the battles around the village of Voormezele in August 1918. On August 17, an order was issued that concerned the men of the 30th Division. Gas cylinders were to be opened on the night of either August 24th or 25th in the direction of the German trenches. A portion of this area was near the area of the 30th Division. They needed to wait for favorable winds to execute the attack.
On August 28th, the winds were favorable and the cylinders were opened. Three minutes into the attack, the direction of the wind changed. The wind carried the poisonous gas in the reverse direction, towards the British and U.S. troops. The concentration of gas was so high that, despite their gas masks, three men were killed instantly, including Barlow. He died during transportation to an aid station.
William C. Barlow is buried in Flanders Field American Cemetery Plot B, Row 2, Grave 20.