Weeks, Youman Zachary
(1898~1918) [Army; AEF (KIA)]
Born at Havelock, Craven, North Carolina on 10 February 1898, Youman was the son of tenant farmer Edward Grayham Weeks (1852~1915) and his wife Mary Elizabeth Godwin (1859~1936). He was the eighth child among a total of seven boys and four girls. He was killed in action at Montbrehain, Departement de l’Aisne, Picardie, France on 8 October 1918 and is interred at the Weeks Family Cemetery in Peletier after his body was recovered and transported home in the spring of 1921. The 1910 census record lists the family living in Carteret County. But, after his father’s death in 1915, Youman reportedly left the farm and found work in Colleton County, South Carolina. He may have enlisted in the army there, but, as evidenced by his 11 May 1918 Army Transport Service Passenger List record, he indicated his residence as Cedar Point. No records of his registering for the American draft or his induction into the army have been found. At that time he shipped overseas, he was a corporal in Company F,
118th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division.
He was killed in action on 8 October 1918 and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross Medal for extraordinary heroism. This medal is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army, second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Private Youman "YZ" Weeks was the most highly decorated of the “Carteret Boys” during World War I, yet no monument has ever been raised in his name. His medal citation reads as follows: "The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Youman Z. Weeks, Corporal, Company F, 118th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division, A.E.F., Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Bellicourt, France, September 30, 1918, and October 8, 1918. Corporal Weeks on the morning of September 30, when two enemy machine-guns were making a part of the line untenable, advanced across open ground ollection upon one of the guns, rushed the position alone, captured the gun and five of the enemy, and shot down the sixth, who endeavored to escape. By this gallant act he prevented the enemy from enfilading our position and thereby saved the
lives of many of his comrades. In a later advance [October 8, 1918], while leading his men in an attack upon an enemy machine-gun nest, he was killed."
In addition, Youman was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the British Military Medal for Gallantry.
Overall, he appears to have been the most highly decorated soldier from Carteret County in World War