Letter from American soldier in Tientsin back to his family in Wisconsin. He is in the 15th Infantry Band, and talks of everyday life in garrison, Chinese executions...
Front of envelope:
On back of envelope:
Envelope has ChInese stamp and postmarked 'TIENTSIN 4.3.18 I.J.P.O'. On back. label that letter opened by censor.
Horizontal fold letter. zEnvelope has some tears where opened.
Who was Kenneth Lipke?
He was born in 1898 in Wisconsin. Enlisted as a musician on 16th July 1917 at Fort McDowell, Calif. Discharged 14th May 1919 at the same place. He was admitted with active tuberculosis to the U. S. National Home for Volunteer Soldiers, Milwaukee, WI. At this time, his age was 28, height 6'2"; complexion fair, eyes blue, hair dark, can read and write, religion, Protestant. His occupation was listed as clerk. He was single.
Sadly he died 2nd Dec.1926 of tuberculosis.
Who were the 15th Infantry Regiment?
The 15th US Infantry first came to China during the Boxer Rebellion. The Regiment embarked from San Francisco 16 July 1900 and arrived off the Taku Bar on 16 Aug 1900. Since they arrived too late to take part in the relief of Peking they were relegated to service around Tientsin. From that location they, along with their allies, took part in daily expeditions against remaining Boxer forces still in the area. In addition, they acted as escorts aboard supply junks up the Pei Tao Ho River toward Peking. By December of that same year, with their mission complete the Regiment left China for the Philippines.
Their next China duty occurred on 18 January 1912 when the First Battalion and the Machine Gun Platoon arrived at Chinwangtao. At time the Chinese Revolution was in full swing and there were concerns the rail lines could be cut between the coast and the Peking. Therefore the 15th was given the task of garrisoning a number of rail stops and bridges between Chinwangtao and the capital. This would remain their primary mission for the next twenty-six years. On 20 August 1916 the 2nd Battalion was reorganized in Tientsin from the 1st and 3rd battalions. They would remain in China until relieved by the Marines in March of 1938.