SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — A century ago this week, the New York National Guard’s 27th Division lost its first soldier in combat in World War I.

According to historians at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, Robert Friedman of New York City was killed during a German artillery barrage in Belgium on July 13, 1918. The 22-year-old private was serving in an engineer regiment in the division, which was mobilized a year earlier for wartime service.

Friedman was the first of the division's 1,791 soldiers who would be killed in action. More than 9,000 others would be wounded before the war ended in November 1918.

The 27th Division fought in some of the war’s bloodiest battles, including the offensive that breached German defenses known as the Hindenburg Line in September 1918.

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