The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.
Ernest Aselton: Killed During Volunteer Mission
Ernest Aselton of Wayzata , Minnesota, was killed in action on this date after volunteering to help repulse an enemy counter attack. He "volunteered and under extremely heavy shell and machine-gun fire, established liaison for his company, bringing reinforcements to the line at a critical time, and thereby assisting materially in repelling a hostile counter-attack. He was killed later during this attack". For his actions, Aselton was awarded the Navy Cross from the President of the United States and the Croix De Guerre by the French government, along with two other medals for bravery. This date also marks the day that the Allies advanced along a 20 mile front from St. Quentin to Cambrai and drove the Germans back 3 miles. This drive resulted in the capture of over 10,000 German soldiers.
Dear Mrs. Aselton:
We were all so grieved to hear of your great loss today; indeed we feel that it is our loss too, for Ernest was dear to us all. […] The flag at school has been at half mast all day, and I am sure that it would have been comforting to you could you have heard all the splendid things that people have said about Ernest. He certainly was a fine example of what a young man could be. […] I wish I could say something that would comfort you and Mr. Aselton, but I know that at such a time words are useless, […]
Amy L. Davis