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50th Artillery, C.A.C.

During WWI

The 50th Artillery was formed at Camp Eustis, VA in July of 1918 and moved to Camp Stuart, VA in September 1918. On the 7th October, 1918 the Regiment sailed for Europe from Port of Embarkation, Newport News, VA. They returned to the States on February 13, 1919 at New York and were demobilized at Camp Dix, NJ in March of 1919.

While in France the Regiment trained at O & T Center No. 5 (Operations & Training) at Angers, France. Their firing range was at Montmorillon, France. The Regiment did not see any action at the Front, as they had just arrived when the Armistice was signed and their training had not begun.

The Regiment was to be the third regiment equipped with the British 9.2” Howitzers. Only one Regiment of 9.2” Howitzers, the 65th, was on the line when the Armistice was signed. The other regiment was the 72d, which was ready to go on the line.

The Regimental Muster of the 50th Artillery, C.A.C.

As I find and uncover history of men who served in the 50th Artillery during WWI I will list them here. Please if you have a family member who also served in the 50th Artillery contact me and I will add it to this list.

Bugler Joseph D’Elia

Robert C. Flood shared this photo of his grandfather, Joseph D'Elia who was a Bugler in the 50th Artillery CAC during WWI.

Joseph was born in New York on April 29, 1901 and was only about 17 when he enlisted into the Army. After the war he returned to live in the Bronx, New York with his parents Angelo and Rose D'Elia in their rented home at 1730 Webster Ave. in the Bronx. Also in the home at the time were Joseph's sisters Louise, Hrinetta and virginia and his younger brother Charles.

Joseph would later become a New York City Police Officer and died on January 24, 1952.

Dana Oren Clark, Battery C

Diane Clark Smith of Seattle, Washington relates about her grandfather Dana O. Clark:

I have no memory of my grandfather talking about his experiences during the war. He belonged to the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations. I do remember many trips to the Legion with my dad to see grandpa and watch the dancing. 
Dana Oren Clark was born in Towanda, McLean County, Illinois on November 5, 1899. He was 17 years old when he enlisted so his father, Oren Clark, had to sign for him. His first rank was Private and he received a promotion to Corporal. Dana left the United States on October 7, 1918 from Camp Stuart, Newport News, Virginia; arrived in Brest, France on October 21, 1918. His record says he "passed through gas on August 31, 1918". Left France on the USS Seattle on February 1, 1919, arrived Hoboken, New Jersey February 13, 1919. He was discharged from Camp Grant, Illinois on March 1, 1919.

Dana Oren Clark was a farmer in McLean County, Illinois growing corn in the rich soil. He had hogs and a few cows. He liked to go to Chicago to the horse races and try his luck. In his older years he had a Doberman Pincher, named Puppy, that went with him everywhere.  He died in Bloomington, Illinois on June 26, 1967 and is buried in Park Hill Cemetery in the military section. He married Rose Falkingham after his discharge from the army in 1919; my father, Dana Andrew Clark was their only child. At his death he was married to Helen Sophia Noel. She is also buried in Park Hill Cemetery.

Private, John Lacey Febuary, Battery F.

John Lacey Febuary was born on July 2, 1900 in Roan Mountain, Tennessee and passed away on March 14, 1966 in Tampa, Florida. He is buried in the Happy Valley Cemetery in Johnson City, Tennessee. He married Edith Davis on February 16, 1922. His father's name was William A. Febuary and his mother's maiden name was Margaret C. Renfro. John enlisted into the Army at Knoxville, Tennessee on June 18, 1918 and was a teamster before the war. He was discharged from the Army on March 1, 1919 at Camp Zachary Taylor.

Corporal Walter W. Lancaster.

The son of T. H. Lancaster od Kearney, Nebraska enteren the Army at Jefferson Barracks, MO., on 7 March 1918. Assigned to the Coast Artillery Corps at Ft. Totten, New York and as the 50th Artillery was fromed moved to Camp Eustis, Virginia. He was discharged from the Army on 27th February 1919.

Captain Hugh A. Ramsey.

He was born 31 December 1890 in Lisbon, Ohio went to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon graduation he was commissioned a Second Lt. in the Army. On 6 April 1917 he was made 1st Lt. in the regular Army and on 5 August was appointed Temporary grade of Captain. On 12 October 1917 he recieved from the Regular Army a permanite grade of Captain. He was assigned to the 50th Artillery, C.A.C. and sailed with the 50th Artillery on 7 October 1918 and served with them until he was again reassigned to the 39th Artillery Brigade, C.A.C. He remained in France after the 39th Artillery Brigade returned and he returned to the states on 11 July 1919 and was discharged from his Emergency Commission only on 19 April 1920 and reverted to his Regular Army Status. During 1917-1920 he served at the following posts and stations: Ft. Revere, MA; Ft. Banks, MA; Camp Eustis VA; AEF France; Camp Grant, IL.

Jens H. V. Nelson, Battery B

Chris Stensgaard the grandson of Jens H. V. Nelson contacted me and shared this about his grandfather. Chris has his grandfathers uniform, mess kit, dog tags and other items form his WWI service with Battery B, 50th Artillery. Jens H. V. Nelson enlisted into the army in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25th, 1918. He was part of Battery B, 50th Artillery, C.A.C., and sailed from the United States with the 50th Artillery on October 7th, 1918. He arrived home on February 14th, 1919 and was later discharged at Camp Dodge, Iowa on February 27th, 1919.

Cpl. Walter E. Champion, Supply Company

Walter E. Champion was born 13 March 1892 in Gilmer County, GA. He entered the Army on August 12, 1914 and was assigned to the 6th Co. Coast Defenses Narragansett Bay, stationed at Fort Greble, Rhode Island. He would serve with the 6th Company at Fort Greble until America entered into the war in 1917. Corporal Walter Champion was transferred into the newly formed 50th Artillery, CAC for overseas duty. Cpl. Champion sailed overseas with the 50th Artillery on October 7, 1918 outbound from New Port News, VA aboard the SS America for France.

The 50th Artillery arrived in France late in the war and their training had not yet begun when the war ended, and they did not see combat. Corporal Champion returned to the States on February 13, 1919, and remained on active duty in the 6th Company, CAC. At Fort Greble. Champion was advanced to Sergeant and was Honorably Discharged from service on July 20, 1920.

Returning to civilian life Walter Champion married Vitaline Fortin (1886-1956) in Detroit, MI on September 4, 1920. They lived in Detroit and had one daughter, Pearl Ruth Champion (1924-1954). Not much else is known about Walter's life except he was treated at the VA Hospital from June 28, 1940 until his death on May3, 1964. He was buried in the Dayton National Cemetery.

Sgt. Walter E. Champion’s grave marker in the Dayton National Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio

Pvt. 1c Samuel Bierman, HQ Company

Brock Bierman's Grandfather Samuel Robert Bierman, served in the Headquarters Company of the 50th Artillery, C.A.C. during World War I. Samuel Bierman was born in Soroka, Moldova on December 2, 1890. He immigrated with his family to the United States on May 26th, 1906 and he died on May 16th 1965. It was said that as soon as Sam got off boat and arrived in New York, he never talked about the old country again, at least no voluntarily and he learned English, worked hard and became a naturalized citizen in 1910. Samuel Bierman’s first priority was his new country and being an American.

He lived in Brooklyn, went to NYU and studied engineering after which he started his own company until he sold it when he retired. Sam was married and her name was Irene and together they had 3 children. Sam was elected Tax Assessor for a short time during his retired years and served in a leadership position with the American Legion.

Pvt. 1c Sam Bierman, service #599751 entered the army in Brooklyn, New York on June 5, 1918 and was honorably discharged on February 24, 1919. In December of 1918 while in Brest, France Sam Bierman wrote to his wife Irene and below in a transcript of the letter.

Pvt. 1c Samuel Bierman

December 10, 1918, Brest France
50th Regt. Battery HQ,

My Dearest Irene,

I often wonder what young couples beginning their first adventure in a French relationship, say to each other when alone in the parlor. They certainly can not start a general conversation about the weather, the same as they do in the states for the very simple reason that the weather is the same here everyday, it rains.

Now, this awful weather does not bother me as it did sometime ago. I am doing clerical work in the regimental headquarters and it is rather comfortable, comparatively speaking. I like the work very much and much of the experience I am going through now will come in very handy in case I should have a business of my own, or supervise other men. The class of men is much better and having a great deal of fun both in the office and sleeping quarters.

Speaking of our sleeping quarters. I shall describe it so that you may know how I am situated.

Since we came back from Angers to Brest, we live in modern barracks. They are the kind that are erected over night about 50 feet long and 15 feet wide. The bunks are made as follows. The barracks contain bunks made to accommodate about 80 men. Each bunk is nothing but 2 lead pieces supported on vertical stands or pipes and a canvas stretched one the pipes, which constitutes the bed. I use one blanket for bedding and cover myself with 2 blankets and the overcoat. I put on 2 pair of socks for night. The room is a time heated till about 8 in the evening, but cold during the night, nothing uncomfortable, however as this is perfect heater compared to what we need to have.

No kick coming about the meals, as long as we get plenty of it. We also get 2 sticks of candy as weekly army rations. We have a very big "Y" about the biggest in France and some nights we have really good entertainment.

I was sorry to hear from you last letter that Morris Peasman was sent to France right after the Armistice. He will probably stay here the longest besides doing the hard work. But why in the world didn't you write me the unit he was with. He probably landed in Brest and I surely would have had a chance to see him.

I don't understand what you mean by Fannies sickness. Why should you find necessary to joke about her sickness knowing how anxiously I would to learn the real truth of her sickness. Up to the present time I did not learn anything about it and will be kept puzzled for some time to come.

Are you getting all my letters? I am going over to the "Y" to get the letters ------- they are to give us, which is so desirable.

Remember me to everybody but most of all remember that I love you so much that--- oh, well. I will show you when I get home, which I think may be soon. Don't forget mom, take good care of yourself, for I love you very very very much,

Your husband Sam

Photo of Samuel Bierman's family taken in Moldova. Samuel is the little boy between his father and mother.

Sam Bierman's rifle and 50th Artillery Pennant along with a small photo of Sam in the lower right hand corner.

Sam Bierman in uniform
Sam Bierman prior to WWI
Sam Bierman taken in 1920
Sam Bierman taken in 1920

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