Colonel Frank S. Long
|In response to the demand of the Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces, for heavy mobile artillery, the General Staff prepared plans for the organization of a great many regiments which were to be equipped with guns of all calibers. Among these was the 71st Regiment, designated by War Department orders for service with 8-inch howitzers, motorized.
On May 2, 1918, the Northeastern Department was notified to proceed with the organization of this Regiment from the personnel then on duty in the Coast Defenses of Boston. A list of officers was provided from the office of the Chief of Artillery and the Coast Defense Commander was directed to select the enlisted personnel from the Regular Army, National Guard and National Army men within those Coast Defenses.
The Colonel of the Regiment, Frank S. Long, was designated to command and proceed with the organization, assisted by Major Simon F. Nolan and Captain R. C. Harrison. The Coast Defense Commander Colonel Maurice K. Barroll was induced to go forward with the tentative organization prior to the arrival of the order assigning the officers.
The telephone officers selected had spent years in the installation, construction and the maintenance of telephone systems. The mechanical officers were men thoroughly conversant with motors, gas engines and everything pertaining to motor traction. There were a great many athletes among these officers accustomed to handling men in college athletics, who became natural battery commanders and battery officers.
HEADQUARTERS 71st ARTILLERY (CAC)
Special Orders No. 2 Fort Strong, Mass. May 18, 1918
1. Pursuant to Paragraph 110, S.O. 106, War Department, May 6, 1918, the following officers of the 71st Artillery, (CAC) are assigned to duty as follows:
Regimental Headquarters Staff.
There was the usual delay in organization, due to the fact that an effort was being made to continue the old methods of supply through requisitions, each one taking its proper position in the list regardless of whether troops were going overseas or were to remain in the United States. Sometimes this was very exasperating, and some of us felt that those in authority had not yet realized the fact that we were at war. The requisitions went in however, followed by personal requests of the Regimental Commander and the stationing of officers at supply depots.
As a result, the Regimental Commander was able to report the Regiment in readiness to sail on July 14, 1918. Montreal was designated as the port of embarkation and Hoboken the shipping point for equipment. This was later changed, and again the Regiment prepared to sail and was disappointed. On July 30, 1918, however, in a pouring rain, the Regiment, together with its complete equipment, was loaded on two British ships, the HMS Margha and the HMS Anselm at Pier 3, East Boston, Mass., Colonel Long with nine-hundred and ninety-two troops on the Margha and Major R. C. Harrison with ten hundred and fourteen troops on the Anselm.
ON THE WATER.
Both ships, forming part of a small convoy, sailed from Boston Harbor out past Fort Strong on the morning of July 31, 1918. The wives and sisters were grouped on the shore to wave us off, and the Jessup with a great crowd on board ran right in alongside, about 9:00 am. This was the final farewell for at 10:01 am we weighed anchor and started out. Thursday night we were off Halifax Harbor and Friday morning early passed in by the forts and the town and anchored in the inner harbor. Here we lay until Sunday. August 4, when we sailed as part of a field of seventeen transports, at 11:30 am under convoy of HMS Roxburgh.
We had an exceedingly pleasant trip, with but few noteworthy incidents. Officer's schools were held regularly on both ships, and calisthenics drills and calls to boat stations kept the men busy. The Regiment was highly complimented on both transports by their respective captains for its excellent discipline and the cleanliness of quarters and decks.
Early in the morning of August 13 we picked up our destroyer escort consisting of the USS Terry DD-25 and the USS Jenkins DD-42. Our men greeted the American ones flying the American flag and manned by our own bluejackets with prolonged cheers. On Thursday August 15, we sailed into Liverpool, with flags flying and the band playing on the deck for the first time since leaving Halifax.
Both sections of the Regiment debarked from their respective transports in the afternoon and marched independently to the American rest camp at Knotty Ash, where for the first time the Regiment was united. While at Knotty Ash Camp, every officer and enlisted man was presented with a letter of welcome from King George.
On August 16 the Regiment departed in three sections on three trains for the Romsey rest camp, in Romsey, England. The first train, No. 90, left Knotty Ash at 12:55 pm under command of Colonel Long. The second train, No, 1, left from Stanton, at 1:30 pm under command of Major Pendleton, and the third from Stanton, at 2:05 pm under command of Major Harrison. After an all day journey through the beautiful English midlands, and a short march from the station the Regiment arrived at Romsey in three sections late at night.
The men in bathing and in a general cleanup spent Saturday, August 17, after their long journey. On Sunday, August 18, the officers and men of the Regiment were the guests of Colonel and Mrs. Ashley at "Broadlands" the old estate of Lord Palmerston. Monday morning was spent in drill and in the afternoon a ball game was played between the Battery E team and one made up from the rest of the Regiment. Battery E won, 6 to 2. In the evening Colonel Long and Captains Elder, Nightingale and Blodget were guests of Colonel and Mrs. Ashley at dinner.
On August 20 the Regiment moved to Camp Standon, England, where we were in quarantine on account of a few cases of suspected typhoid fever. The march was about six miles and the men arrived in good condition. At Standon Batteries C and D, Medical Detachment and Headquarters Company were camped on one hillside and the rest of the Regiment about one-quarter of a mile off on another hill with the officers in tents below the first camp. Standon was a very dirty and poorly managed camp.
On Saturday evening the band played at the Vicarage in Hursley to the joy of innumerable children of the village. Owing to the quarantine there was little leave for the men, but as far as was possible groups were taken to Winchester to see the sights of the town and a limited number of men were granted passes during the last day or two. On August 29 the Regiment marched to the American rest camp at Southampton where we embarked on the old SS Harvard
We arrived at Le Havre early the next morning after an uneventful voyage. We disembarked at 7:00 am and at 7:50 started our march to the rest camp, which was above the city some nine kilometers from the dock. We were greeted enthusiastically by the French populace and just before we reached our camp were met by a delegation of citizens who presented the Regiment with a bouquet of flowers and a letter of welcome. This day was spent in cleaning up, but we were destined to get very little rest, for in the afternoon orders came for us to move the next day in two sections. On August 31 Batteries E and F left camp and proceeded to the railroad station, where they entrained. The remainder of the Regiment marched to the station in the afternoon where we had our first experience with French railroad accommodations. The men were packed in thirty-five to a car,"40 Hommes, 8 Chevaux." The officers had an old first-class six-wheel carriage in which they were packed seven to a compartment. It was an interesting, if not comfortable, trip and it was a long one.
We went via L'Agile where we had a chance to wash and get some coffee at 6:00 pm, from there to Alencon and Le Mans and then to St. Sylvan, where we arrived at 3:30 pm and detrained. The Regiment was met by a number of officers and an ammunition train, which moved our baggage into the little town where we were to be billeted, the men marching in with their packs. The Regiment was distributed in billets as follows:
Regimental HQ and First Battalion in St. Sylvain
Supply CO. and Ordnance Detachment in La Haie Julian
Second Battalion in Pellouailles
Third Battalion in Le Plessis Grammoire
Headquarters Company in Fremoulin
These little towns lie within a radius of three or four kilometers of each other and about seven or eight kilometers from the city of Angers, winch is the principal town or city in the department of Maine et Loire, and the center of the heavy artillery training district known as Operations and Training Center No.4.
The above post card was shared by Raymond Delavigne who lives in Chateau-Gontier, France and has this post card in his collection. It is marked by Sgt. Major, Jr. Grade Albert R. Schueler of the Supply Company of the 71st Artillery. Sgt. Major Schueler has marked the old church to show where the Regimental Storehouse was set up at. This old church in St. Sylvain d'Anjou no longer exists and a new church built just before WWII stands in its place today. The small hamlet of St. Sylvain is now part of Angers with several thousand inhabitants. Mr. Delavigne has discovered that in the nearby community of Vileveque, there is a manor named Frémoulin and in this manor was located the Headquarters Company of the 71st Artillery. On the back of this post card Sgt. Maj. Schueler on November 30, 1918 writes to a woman he refers to as "Dear honey" He writes: "This is the main street in this hamlet showing the different dwellings which are common throughout France. The old church, marked 'Supply' in the background is our regimental storehouse. This old church was built back in the 14th century and there are all kinds and 'beaucoup' bodies buried both within and the neighboring grounds adjacent to the church. The arrow in the roadway shows the direction to my quarters. All the officers and N. C. staff officers are quartered in billets along this road."
Sgt. Major Jr. Grade, Albert R. Schueler was listed a a member of the Supply Company of the 71st Artillery. He was a machinist before the war and lived at 11 Everett St. in Jamaica Plain, which is a suburb of Boston, MA.
The first few days were spent in resting, getting the Regiment settled, cleaning the billets, and in making ourselves as comfortable as circumstances permitted.
In the several towns the officers were assigned to billets, which usually consisted of a completely furnished room, and the men were stowed away in rather overcrowded quarters, in many cases old bowling alleys, where at first they were forced to sleep on the ground, which was none too dry. Little by little, as we were enabled to get additional billets, conditions in this respect were improved.
At Angers we found the Headquarters of the 34th Artillery Brigade (C. A. C.) to which we were assigned by General Order No. 133, G. H. Q., A. E. F., 1918. The other two regiments in the brigade were the 64th and 70th (C. A. C.), which were already in the vicinity of Angers and had started their training some little time before us.
Schoolwork was started at the O & T, Center No. 4. While this work was in progress, eight-inch howitzers were given to the Regiment for instruction purposes, and French instructors, who had at least two years experience serving this class of guns in position warfare, were detailed to instruct the enlisted personnel, particularly gun commanders and gun pointers.
One of the 8-inch Howitzers of the 71st Artillery
One of the Holt Tractors used to pull the guns with.
While waiting the return from school of the men taking the course in tractor driving, drivers were loaned us from the other regiments of the brigade. Simple maneuver problems were carried on, first by batteries and then by battalions in connection with the drill periods during the entire month of September. In October more extensive maneuvers were attempted by battalions and beginning with November regular maneuver problems, some originating in the Regiment and some furnished by the Commanding Officer, O & T Center No. 4, were executed daily.
With the experience gained by the Field Officers at the front, these problems became the final instruction of the Regiment for service. No details, however small, were omitted and on November 11 when the armistice was signed, this Regiment lacked only its target practice to be completely instructed. On November 20 the Regiment was to have arrived at Montmorillon, France, for its service practice at the firing range.
The signing of the armistice did not check the instruction, which was carried forward most faithfully until orders were received about November 20 to turn in the equipment and prepare to return to the United States. Fulfillment of this order was completed in a few days and the Regiment ceased, for all practical purposes, to be an artillery organization. Daily infantry drill, calisthenics and school instructions were carried on. Close attention was given to the matter of disposing of all surplus property and to fully equipping all men with the minimum mobile allowance of clothing.
On 4 December 1918 Orders were received from Headquarters, 34th Artillery Brigade that only the reserve officers of the regiment were to return to the States with the 71st Artillery. This meant that 16 of the officers of the 71st would be transfered to the Artillery Replacement Regiment at Le Courneau (Gironde) for new duties. This was I believe the 54th Artillery Regiment which served as the Artillery Replacement Regiment.
|Here is the document that transfered out the 16 regular officers to the Replacement Regiment. The order is given by command of Brigadier General Ketcham and carried out by Major,William D. Cottam, CAC, Adjutant.
This copy has the offical AEF Seal and 6 other stamps by various departments on it. This copy was from the personal effects of Captain Ralph Beatley, CAC of the 71st Artillery. It has a notation on it in Beatley's handwriting: "Left Angers Dec. 5, 1918. Reported to Le Courneau 6 P.M. Dec 8, 1918".
This copy was found at West Point in the summer of 2003 by Major Brian J. Lunday, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences United States Military Academy, West Point. Major Lunday found this and several other documents of Captain Beatley's in an attic room at West Point. Captain Beatley himself was a Professor of Mathematics at West Point after the war.
The 16 officers were:
All were Coast Artillery Corps officers of the Regular Army.
On December 23, 1918, orders were received from the Brigade Commander to spend at least one-half of each day except Sunday, in schoolwork. An examination was immediately held of all enlisted men of the Regiment in which many of the questions included those, which could be answered by grammar school boys, and others included those usually permitted the separating of the Regiment into classes and instruction by officers and competent enlisted men was started. Great interest was aroused, and with the offer of some slight privilege for men who showed good progress, the interest was maintained up to the time the Regiment was ordered to a base port.
On 15 January 1919 an officer of the Inspector Generals Department inspected the Regiment. He reported it equipped and ready for transfer to a base port. On February 5 telegraphic orders were received to prepare to move the next day for St. Nazaire.
Prior to leaving every effort was made to adjust all claims submitted by the French people for damage to property and settlements of personal accounts. At 5 o'clock on February 6 the Regiment entrained, departing from La Plessis Grammoire railroad station and arrived at St. Nazaire early in the morning of the seventh. A board of three officers was left behind for twenty-four hours to check any claims that might be presented at the last moment. On the completion of this work they rejoined us at the port of embarkation. On arrival at St. Nazaire the Regiment was marched to the isolation camp for temporary station. Colonel Parsons, the Commanding Officer of the camp, had an excellent system whereby men were able to get comfortable quarters and meals at regular times.
The next day the delousing process was started and in two days time a careful physical examination of every man had been completed, each one having been given a hot shower bath and clean underclothes. All soiled clothing was salvaged and new or serviceable clothing substituted.
The system pursued at this base port was a model one. As a result the Regiment was ready for embarkation on February 10, and on the morning of the eleventh broke camp and marched to the U.S. Transport Manchuria. About 2:00 am of the twelfth the Manchuria sailed for the United States. In addition to the 71st Artillery Regiment, the 70th Artillery, C.A.C., and about 1,000 wounded men made up the passenger list.
The trip was a very quiet one, with excellent weather throughout. A good mess was served and clean, comfortable quarters were provided for all. A few days out several mild cases of influenza appeared, and at once the medical officers, assisted by large details from the line, prepared gauze masks for each person on the ship and placed in isolation all persons who were suspected of being infected with the disease.
Below decks applications of creosol mixture were applied on all floors and officers lectured the men on the necessity of caring for their health, warning them not to spit or in any way contaminate any part of the ship. It is believed that this prompt action proved a successful combat against the dreaded disease. In spite of all precautions, however, there were four deaths among the enlisted personnel, including one from this Regiment.
The ship was docked at Hoboken about 12:25 pm, February 22, 1919. Immediately the debarkation officials proceeded with the movement of troops from the ship to the railroad, and with the exception of a large detail, which remained behind to police the ship, the Regiment moved out by train to Camp Merritt, New Jersey arriving there about 8:00 pm.
After the necessary medical inspections and delousing process, the officers and enlisted personnel were divided into detachments and sent to join those under orders to proceed to the same camp. The Regulars were sent to the Southern Defenses of New York, with the exception of first sergeants and supply sergeants.
About 2:00 pm on March 1, 1919, the Regiment, now reduced to twenty-seven officers and five hundred and fifty-nine men, marched to Dumont, New Jersey, and entrained for Camp Devens, Mass. The train was routed by way of the West Shore, New York Central and the Boston and Maine. The Regiment detrained at Camp Devens at 6:00 am, on the second. From then until March 6, 1919, the time was spent in preparing the necessary forms for demobilization and the holding of medical inspections.
The officers were removed to the Casual Officers Detachment with the exception of Headquarters and Staff and the Regiment ceased as an organization on March 6, 1919. Some of the men remained temporarily in the service as casuals, and the commanding officer of the Regiment, Colonel Frank S. Long, was placed on a leave status awaiting assignment to a new station in his Corps.
From a purely military standpoint all regretted the demobilization of this Regiment. It had been carefully instructed, had potential value, excellent discipline and the spirit that usually conies only after arduous military service in the presence of the enemy.
Loyalty was the one predominating characteristic in this Regiment. Both among the officers and enlisted men, in intelligence, ability and education there probably has never been its equal. Its standard of efficiency, which began at Boston Harbor, followed it across the seas, through England and France, and every member of the organization was exceedingly proud and jealous of this excellent reputation.
It was not a one-man Regiment nor an organization sustained by a few individuals, but was developed as the result of the united effort of every member of the Regiment. There were no scandals, and it was not necessary to make explanations of misconduct on the part of the personnel. The pride that each man had in his organization was like the pride that the American citizen feels for his own home and people. Only one serious misfortune was experienced and that was that the Regiment was mustered out without firing at least a few thousand rounds at the Boche.
|Of course youve seen the two cards,
On the Colonels big machine,
And, like many more, youve wondered,
Just what these cards could mean.
Its a cinch they stand for something;
Placed there in open sight,
If you didnt read their message,
Its up to me to put you right.
The numbers, you remember,
Were a Seven and an Ace
Each one of them a Diamond,
Each in its proper place.
The Ace means that we stand ace-high,
At home and oer the sea;
In other words A number one
Which is just as it should be.
There are seven things the Colonel wants,
In the outfit he commands,
First, Loyalty from every man
That in the outfit stands.
The second is Obedience
From officer and buck,
If you cant show that virtue
Youre strictly out of luck.
The third point is Ambition,
In good soldiers it stands out;
He can tell it in a soldier
By the way he goes about.
Neatness--- Theres another thing
For which the Colonels strong,
The slack untidy soldier
Sure as hell will get in wrong.
|Moral courage has its Diamond, too;
And in a foreign land,
The man thats strong on this point
Generally has lots of sand.
Love of Country, Love of Home
He demands of every man,
He can read it in your bearing,
If you hed chance to scan.
For the man that hasnt got it,
Cannot look him in the eye,
When it comes to an inspection,
Why he simply cant get by.
The Colonel doesnt want men like that,
As soldiers theyre no hit,
Youve got to have the seven points,
If Ace-High you wish to fit.
So now you know the meaning,
Of the two cards in the rear;
Just try to keep them always,
In your memory bright and clear.
If you cant be the best soldier,
At least dont be the worst;
And always give the best youve got,
To the good old Seventy-First.
Edward J. Carey,
Sergeant Battery D, 71st Artillery, C.A.C.
7 of Diamonds and Ace of Diamonds
|This is a hand painted non-standard insignia US Army helmet attributed to the 71st Artillery. It is owned by Anderson Militaria and they were kind enough to share these photos with me. Inside on the webbing was found a name. It was a last name only and it was "Montgomery". It is not known which of the 3 men that it belonged to but one thing is for sure, which ever one it was he had some talent with a brush and paint. I have a complete roster of the officers and men of the 71st Artillery. If you may have a relative that was in the 71st or any of the Artillery regiments on my web site please contact me as I may have his name on a roster list.||There are 3 Montgomery's in the 71st Artillery. They are:
1) Montgomery, Paul W. Rank: Wagoner Occupation: Farmer Address: RFD Mead, Colorado. He was with Battery A
2) Montgomery, Levi A. Rank: Pvt. 1cl Occupation: Cow Puncher Address: Boise, Idaho. He was with Battery B
3) Montgomery, David Rank: Private Occupation: Salesman Address: 505 Lansing St.., Utica, NY. He was with Battery C
As I find history and information on men who served in the 71st Artillery I will add them here in this section. If your relative served in the 71st Artillery please let me know and I will add them to this list.
Captain Gilchrist was born 17 March 1893 in Michigan and lived in Cleveland, Ohio at the time he entered the Army. His occupation at the time was an electrical engineer. He was appointed a Provisional 2nd Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps 9 November 1917. Was advanced to Provisional 1st Lieutenant 18 March 1918 and made Captain on 22 May 1918. His first station was a training company at Ft. Monroe. Then was assigned to the 21st Co., Coast Defenses of Boston at Ft. Standish and Ft. Strong from 28 March 1918-1 June 1918 when he was again reassigned to the 71st Artillery, C.A.C. He sailed to England with the 71st Artillery on one of the two British ships, the HMS Margha and the HMS Anselm. He was with the 71st and assigned to Battery B until 7 September 1918 when he was transferred to the 54th Artillery, C.A.C. He was with the 54th Artillery until 31 December 1918 when he was again transferred to the Headquarters Detachment Army Service Corps until he was unassigned as a casual officer on 6 May 1919 and returned to the States on 12 June 1919. Captain Gilchrist was Honorable Discharged on 12 September 1919.
Pvt. Trimmer was the son of A. M. Trimmer of Keystone, Nebraska. Pvt. Trimmer made his home in Elm Creek, Nebraska and his occupation before the war was a barber. On 8 March 1918 he entered the Army at Bloomington, Nebraska and went to Ft. Heath and Ft. Andras in Boston, MA. He was transferred to Battery F, 71st Artillery, C.A.C. and was Honorably Discharged from the Army on 7 March 1919.
Bob Frandsen shared this about his grandfather Pvt. George P. Frandsen who was in Battery A of the 71st Artillery. "My grandfather was the youngest of three boys on a farm in Manti, Utah. The draft board determined that the farm could do best without the youngest of the three so he got the draft notice. He met up with his unit in Boston and then deployed to England and then France. By the time the unit had drawn their guns and been trained the War was pretty much over. As he used to say “imagine a 19 year old off the farm in Paris”. Knowing my grandfather I can. He returned to the U.S.A. and started the long trip by train to his home in Utah. At this time the great flu epidemic was raging and he wasn’t allowed off the train when it would stop along the way. In fact some towns out west had set up road blocks to stop the infection from spreading. When he arrived at the train station at home (in uniform) he was initially told he could get off. Then the locals compromised and said he had to stand in the middle of Main Street so as not to have contact with other people. He stood there until his brother Vic came and got him in the buckboard wagon. He stayed a devoted member of the American Legion and always told me he had been a “Private General” during the big one."
Aaron S. Thurston prior to WWI
|Aaron Stephen Thurston was born 28 October 1894 in Mechanic Falls, Androscoggin, Maine. On the 12th of June 1900 5 year-old Aaron lived with his maternal grandmother (Arvilla Ham Thurston) and step-grandfather (George Prince) in Androscoggin, Maine. Aaron was the eldest son of John Phinney Thurston (1868-1958) and Gertrude Chase (1879-1948). Aaron was named after his paternal grandfather Aaron Sanderson Thurston (1828-1898) who was himself an artilleryman a veteran of the 1st Battalion, Maine Light Artillery in the Civil War.
On April 4th 1913 Aaron Thurston at the age of 17 entered the US Army. He enlisted at Ft. Slocum, New York in the Coast Artillery Corps and was with the 2nd Company, C.A.C., Ft. Banks, MA from enlistment until moved to the 5th Co., C.A.C. Ft. Andrews, MA on July 29th 1917. He was with the 5th Co. until formed into Headquarters Company, 71st Artillery, C.A.C. on May 14th 1918.
Upon entering the Coast Artillery in 1913 Thurston was seen as a leader of men and on September 10th 1915 was advanced to Corporal and again on August 23rd 1917 was again advanced to Sergeant while with the 5th Company at Ft. Andrews. During 1917 Sgt. Thurston married Isabelle Brown.
Sgt. Thurston sailed with the entire 71st Artillery on two British ships, the HMS Margha and the HMS Anselm at Pier 3, East Boston, MA on July 31st 1918. Sgt. Thurston returned with the 71st Artillery on the U.S. Transport Manchuria as they sailed from France on the 12th of February 1919. The ship was docked at Hoboken, NJ about 12:25 pm, February 22, 1919 and the Regulars were sent to the Southern Defenses of New York, with the exception of first sergeants and supply sergeants. The remaining men in the regiment were sent to Camp Devens, MA and demobilized. Sgt. Thurston being a Regular Coast Artilleryman was then sent back to the Railway Artillery Reserve for duty with that group until he was discharged from the Army on April 3rd, 1920.
On the 2nd of January 1920 when the Census was taken on Parsons Street in Brighton, MA, Aaron and Isabelle lived in a rented home at 189 Parsons Street. Aaron worked as an electrician for a heating supply company. Also living in the same house was Isabelles sister and brother-in-law William and Emily Murphy, Isabelles brothers James and Cornelius Brown and another sister Catherine Brown.
At an unknown date Isabelle and Aarons marriage ended and later in life Aaron married Helen Elizabeth Murphy on June 9th 1951 in Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine. Helen died on August 21st 1967.
Thomas Frank the grandnephew of Aaron Thurston remembers this about Aaron. “My father Hal Thurston Frank and his brother Royal Thurston Frank both shared an apartment with "Uncle Aaron" in Boston for many years after Aaron’s second wife Helen died. I remember Aaron as a kind and generous man with thin silver hair. He would often give me a silver dollar on weekends when I would visit my father. I have been told that Aaron convinced his mother to name my grandmother Geneva Vanessa (after two former girlfriends). I’m not sure if his mother knew where Aaron got the names. During the First World War Aaron served in the 71st Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps. He actually enlisted in 1913 and served until 1919 when he was honorably discharged as a sergeant. He went to France with the AEF but saw no action there. He worked as an electrician in Boston. One story I was told was that during the Second World War, he and his wife stopped into a bar for a drink. They engaged a sailor in the bar in conversation. The barman mistook them for a couple of hucksters who were known locally to con sailors out of their money and threw them out saying, "I know you two. I've seen you operating around here before." Well Aaron was incensed and humiliated, and to exact revenge, went around to the back of the bar and, using his electrician's skills, cut off the barman's power. He then made the mistake of going back to the front of the bar to gloat a little whereupon the barman clocked him and put “his” lights out!”
Aaron Thurston died of cancer on 18 May 1973 at the VA Hospital in Boston and was buried in Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
Richard S. Gummere was born sometime in March of 1897 in Pataskala, Ohio. On May 2, 1918 Richard enlisted into the U.S. Army at the Columbus Barracks, Columbus, Ohio, He was given his service number of 443021 and sent to the 20th Company, Coast Artillery Corps in Boston, MA. There he was stationed at Ft. Andrews with the 20th Company until April 12, 1918 when his Company was formed into Battery C of the 71st Artillery, C.A.C.
On July 3, 1918 Private Gummere was advanced in rank to Corporal. Twenty-eight days later on July 31st Cpl. Gummere and the rest of the 71st Artillery sailed for France. Cpl. Gummere was with the 71st Artillery throughout the war and returned to the stated on February 12, 1919 and was honorably discharged on March 8, 1919.
In April of 1930 Richard Gummere was living in a boarding house located on Church Street in Hartford, Connecticut. Richard worked at the time as an insurance salesman. Mr. Gummere did marry and at the end of his life was living in Springfield, Ohio. On December 7, 1963 at the Mercy Medical Center in Springfield Richard Gummere at the age of 66 years passed away.
Stanley Klimaitis was in Battery C of the 71st Artillery, C.A.C. and served overseas with the regiment during WWI. Before the war his home was located at 83 Watkins Terrace, Rochester, New York and his occupation was that of a trunk maker. Stanley was born on May 18, 1887 and passed away in August of 1962 in the State of New York.
Stanley is Lithuanian by birth and immigrated to the United States in 1906. In 1920 after he came back from France he was living as a boarder at the same address he lived at before the war on Watkins Terrace in Rochester. He was single at the time and was still working the same job he had before going to France, that of a trunk maker. Nothing more of Stanley is known until his death in August of 1962.
|Matt Leonard has been a collector of military artifacts for about 24 years (started when he was in 5th grade!) Matt tells about how he came across this hat... "As my collecting went on, I became more interested in the German artifacts but I did collect artifacts from all wars and all sides."
Matt continues the story...
|"One weekend while out antiquing, I stopped into a local shop in Norfolk, MA, scoured around and found this hat. It had a 7$ price tag on it, cheap as chips... so, knowing it was worth more and because I liked it... I bought it. I’ve held onto it for some 15+ years. The other day I took it out of safe keeping to do some inventory and decided I’d try to find out what the writing meant. I’m glad I did!"|
French Identification Card of Major Ralph C. Harrison, 3rd Battalion Commander
Ralph Chrystal Harrison III shared this about his grandfather, "Major Ralph Chrystal Harrison, Sr., CAC, was born on March 12, 1887, in San Francisco, California and died in San Francisco on January 6, 1950. He was the son of Frederick Alexander Harrison, born December 31, 1857, in San Francisco, died July, 27, 1910, and Eugenie Chrystal. I remember very little of my grandfather, as he died when I was only seven."
Henry M. Atkinson, Jr. was the son of Henry M. and May Peters Atkinson of Atlanta, Georgia. Henry Atkinson Jr. was a 1st Lt. stationed at Ft. Strong before the 71st was formed. As the regiment was formed Atkinson was placed in Headquarters Company and was involved in training the men in how to handle thier rifles. In the History of the 71st Artillery Lt. Atkinson was noted as haveing explained the "Mysteries of Stacking Arms" to the men. This was a process in which rifles were stood up and stacked together on groups of 3's each supporting the other in the shape of a TeePee. On July 2, 1918 Lt. Atkinson was transfered to temporarly command Battery A, at Ft. Strong, until Captain Gallagher reported as battery Commander. Atkinson would remain with Battery A until his death at Angers, France on November 2, 1918 of Pneumonia. 1st Lt. Henry M. Atkinson, Jr. was 27-years old at the time of his death.
Photo of Lt. Atkinson's funeral in Angers, France showing the 71st Artillery assembled at attention rendering honors.
2nd Lt. Richard A. Kurth, Bandleader
Richard A. Kurth was assigned to the 71st Artillery, C.A.C. Band from the 20th Band, Ft. Warren, Boston, Massachusetts, and as an enlisted man became the leader of the 71st Artillery Band. In July of 1918 he was made a Second Lieutenant. A musician of rare gifts, combined with a natural instinct for leadership, he readily developed what was acknowledged to be the best band in the A.E.F. He and his musicians cordially responded to any request for service.
It was on the 11th of May 1918 when fifteen musicians of the 20th Band then stationed at Fort Warren in Massachusetts were told that they would be transferred to the newly forming 71st Artillery, C.A.C. Band at Fort Strong, Massachusetts which would be sent to France for duty. Once the bandsmen arrived at Ft. Strong they found that the barracks they were assigned to were comfortable enough but they had no band instruments except the few instruments owned by each bandsmen. But Band Leader Richard Kurth was able to secure enough instruments in Boston, which enabled the men to play guard mounts until government issued instruments arrived.
Within a few weeks the band now was filled out to full strength of 31 men. The band even played for the wedding of one of the officers in the 71st Artillery, that being of Lt. Flagg’s wedding.
A red-letter date in the history of the 71st Artillery Band occurred on June 27, 1918 when Band Leader Kurth was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, he being the first bandleader to be commissioned in the army at the time. Lt. Kurth had the band playing in the 4th of July parade in the streets of Boston, then the first regimental band to parade through the street under the leadership of a fully commissioned officer.
Once in France the band began to play at every occasion and several concerts were held. On February 4, 1919 the band under the leadership of Lt. Kurth played for the Commander-in-Chief, General Pershing. That evening after Pershing had reviewed the 71st there was a dance given by the Red Cross in honor of the General.
The full story of Richard A. Kurth begins in 1869 the year his father also named Richard Kurth came to America. The elder Kurth was born in Germany in July of 1854 and had taken the trade of a musician and so it seems that the musician blood was in the family line. The elder Kurth settled in the Boston area and sometime about 1886 had married. His wife’s name was Jane T. McKenna born in Massachusetts in February of 1853. By 1900 Richard and Jane had had 3 sons, Charles F. born in February of 1887, Richard A. born in April of 1889 and John Edward born in December of 1890. The family was living at 192 Boylston Street in Boston, which is right across the street from the Boston Commons Park in Central Boston.
At the age of 20-years old Richard A. Kurth applied for a United States Passport. On January 15, 1909 Kurth filled out the paper work where he states he was born on April 22, 1889 in Somerville, Massachusetts and was a student at the time. He listed his address of 21 Chauncey Place in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts. It is unknown where he was traveling to but it is possible it may have been Germany to see family or he may have been studying overseas.
By the following April of 1910 Richard was back in America living at the home of his parents at the 21 Chauncey Place address. His father Richard was still working as a musician and the younger Richard was still in school. Living in the home was his mother and father and his younger brother John Edward and Jane’s widowed 78-year old father Cornelius McKenna who was born in England and had came to America in 1848. Mr. McKenna was working as a tailor at the time.
It is likely that young Richard Kurth joined the army as a musician before the First World War as there is not a WWI Draft Registration Card for him. There is however a draft card for his younger brother John Edward who was also a musician playing for the Parsons Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut. However Richard A. Kurth joined the army he did end up at Fort Warren at the time the 71st Artillery was being formed. Fort Warren is a stone and granite pentagonal shaped fort constructed from 1833-1861, located on the 28-acre Georges Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor.
Kurth served in France during WWI with the 71st Artillery as the Band Leader and returned with the 71st Band after the war. He moved back to the Boston area and shortly after his return he married. He and his wife Edith A., who was a 30-year old Massachusetts native, lived at 510 Washington in a Tenement building. Richard was then working as a musician in a local theatre orchestra.
It is not clear if when Kurth came back from France with the 71st Artillery he was discharged from the army. He may have then joined the Massachusetts National Guard because in the 1925 Official National Guard Register there is a listing of Richard A. Kurth serving as a Warrant Officer, of the 241st Coast Artillery Band. On this record it listed his birth date of 22 April 1889 so this is confirmed to be him. The 241st Coast Artillery, Harbor Defense, under command of Colonel Benjamin Baer Shedd, was assigned to duty at Fort Warren beginning in 1923 and then again when it was re-activated during WWII.
By April of 1930 Richard and Edith Kurth had purchased a home located at 50 Saunders Lane in the Jamaica Plain district of Boston. They did not have any children and it is likely they never did as Richard was 40 and Edith was 41 years old at the time. Richard was teaching music and still a musician.
Richard A. Kurth lived most of his life in Massachusetts, but when he passed away in February of 1972 he was living in North Sandwich, New Hampshire. The music Richard played during his life is now silent but it is hoped that in reading his story one can still hear the sound of his distant music in the air.
James Christopher Corliss was born on October 18 of 1892 in Massachusetts to Henry and Nellie Corliss. James was the eldest of the 7 children Nellie would give birth to. Both Henry and Nellie were born in Ireland, he in December of 1862 and she in October of 1866. Henry immigrated to America about 1880 and Nellie came over 3 years before in 1877. Married and settling in the state of Massachusetts the Henry Corliss family lived in Norwood, MA at the turn of the century. Norwood is a city just south-west of Boston and there Henry worked as a shipper possibly for a local bakery. In 1900 the Corliss family consisted of James the eldest child followed by Anna Joseph born in August of 1894, Gertrude born in November of 1895, Harry born in August of 1897 and little Joseph born in April of 1900.
By the time 1910 came the Corliss family had moved to a home located at 15 Highland Avenue in Boston, where Henry was then still working as a shipper but now for a publishing house. Sometime with in the timeframe of mid summer 1900 and 1903 the two youngest children Harry and Joseph had passed away as noted on the 1910 Federal Census from markings next to Nellie’s name. It stated that she had given birth to 7 children, with 5 still living at the time of the taking of the census. Listed on the 1910 Census were the last two children born to Henry and Nellie, Helen born in 1903 and the youngest son named Francis Joseph “Frank” born about 1905. It is not known what the details were about the death of Harry and Joseph.
James Christopher Corliss a short, blue eyed, red headed Irish kid from Boston grew into a man and attended Harvard college, studing electrical engineering and graduated with the class of 1914. While at Harvard James Corliss played baseball on the Harvard team. He had been living at 40 Dudley Street in Boston and was possibly working as a teacher for the Boston School system in very early 1917. When war began to loom over America the Army was in need of college educated men to lead the enlisted men in the soon to be swelling ranks for the coming fight in Europe. James wasted no time in putting his skills to use and enlisted into the Army.
James C. Corliss was a First Lieutenant in Battery E of the 71st Artillery, C.A.C. during WWI. Corliss was appointed and officer from the state of Massachusetts and was made a Second Lieutenant on October 26, 1917 and that same day was given a temporary appointment as a First Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps serving at Fort Banks.
Fort Banks was a mortar battery located in Winthrop, Massachusetts and part of the Coast Defenses of Boston. It was originally built in 1892 and named for the Civil War general and congressman Nathaniel P. Banks. Fort Banks consisted of four concrete pits, arranged in a square, each of which had four 12-inch diameter mortars which could throw an 800 pound shell 9-miles into the sea.
Lt. Corliss was among the sixty-six officers selected from the Coast Defenses of Boston to form the 71st Artillery, C.A.C. and once the 71st was formed Lt. Corliss was one of the officers in Battery E of the Third Battalion. On November 9, 1917 Lt. Corliss’s rank of temporary First Lieutenant was accepted and made permanent. Lt. Corliss would then sail with the 71st to France and after the war was over he returned back with them to the States.
After the war he returned to his family back in Boston and again lived with his parents. In the home were his father and mother Henry and Nellie, 3 siblings, Gertrude, Helen and “Frank.” There was also living in the home Henry’s brother-in-law 54-year old Mortimer F. Toomey and a guardian son named Walter J. McKiney who was twenty at the time. Mortimer worked as a surveyer and Walter was a machinist. Henry and Nellie also employed in the home Annie Chillance who was a 45-year old Irish woman as a servant to the family. James was then working as a secretary for the Pan-American Commission. After that James Corliss worked in the banking industry in China for a time, but he spent most of his working career with the United States State Department. Corliss served as the Under-Secretary of the Organization of American States.
James C. Corliss’s wife was named Claire Frances Joy and they were married in Larkspur, California in 1925. James and Claire had no children where they spent most of their lives living in Washington, D.C. She was born on March 14 of 1894 and passed away on March 1, 1960. Claire was then buried in Arlington National Cemetery presumably next to her husband James C. Corliss, in Section 6, Site 9542-2L. Later in life and in failing health James Corliss moved back to Boston and stayed with his youngest brother “Frank” Corliss. Later James moved into his sister Anna Joseph Corliss’s home in Boston.
Gerard Fournier was a French Canadian and was born on November 13, 1889 to Eli and Aurore (Bourgault) Fouriner. The Eli Fournier family consisted of 6 children all of whom were born in Canada and about 1904 the entire family immigrated to the United States settling in New Bedford, MA. Eli Fournier was born about 1861 in Canada and his wife was also the same age and Canadian by birth. Their children were eldest son Gerard born in 1889, Marcie R. born about 1896, Omer born in 1898, Germanie C. born about 1900, Henrie E. born about 1901, Margerittes born about 1903, and lastly a son named Paul.
When Gerard entered the Army during WWI the Fournier family lived in a rented house located at 1498 Achuset Avenue in New Bedford. Today the old family home no longer is standing as business have replace the home, but it was located close to the corner of Coffin Avenue and Achuset Avenue. In 1920 shortly after Gerard returned from France and was discharged from the Army he returned to live at the family home on Achuset Avenue. Before the war Gerard had worked as a carpenter and he returned to that work after the army. His father Eli work as a bobbin man in a local Cotton Mill in New Bedford. In fact this same mill employed several in the Fournier family. Marcie worked there as a Ring Spinner, Omer worked as a Doffer, and Germanie was a Weaver there. Henrie worked as a Speeder Tender at a silk mill there in New Bedford. Margerittes the youngest Fournier child who was 17-years old at the time was still in school.
About 1921 Gerard fell in love and married. Her name was Louise and she also went by the name “Mary” she was also French Canadian being born about 1893. She and Gerard in 1930 made their home at 929 Brock Avenue in New Bedford. This was a rental home and Gerard was still working as a carpenter and Louise was working as a Winder in the Cotton Mill in New Bedford. About 1925 Gerard and Louise had their first child a daughter named Theresa.
Gerard worked the rest of his life as a carpenter as on his WWII Draft card he filled out in 1940 he listed his employer as Joseph Lavoe, a local New Bedford contractor.
Gerard Fournier passed away on January 17, 1958 and Louise “Mary” Fournier passed away on June 10, 1974 and are buried in New Bedford, MA.
Gerard Fournier's grave marker, photographed by Stephen Fournier, who is the great-nephew of Gerard Fournier.
Private William J. Davidson, Service number 2454038, was born in 1901 and passed away in 1967. he enlisted into the army at Fort Standish, MA on June 7, 1918. Pvt. Davidson served in France from july 31, 1918- February 27, 1919 with the HQ Co. of the 71st Artillery CAC, and before the war was a Sheet Metal Worker. His home of record was listed as 17 Elm St. in Cambridge, MA. Pvt. Davidson was honorable discharged from the army on November 21, 1919 at Camp Devens, MA.
Pvt. Kieran was from Salem, MA and befor the war was a machinist and was living at 21 Brigg St. in Salem, MA. During the war Pvt. Kieran kept a small booklett that he recorded many of the names and addresses of the men in Battery E. The names were all in his handwriting and was very readable. Ninety-three years after Pvt. Kieran recorded these names his son Jim Kieran re-discovered it among some family documents and has shared it here for all to see.
The names in the book were transcribed and checked against the roster of Battery E names in the book "The History of the 71st Artillery" and the occupation of the soldier was added. Also I grouped the names as per rank of the soldier. Pvt. Kieran's book lists over 3/4 of the men in Battery E.
Sgt. Joseph W. Browning, RFD #1 Woburn, MA (Farmer)
Corporal, George E. Blessing, Wrightsville, PA (Moulder)
Cook Clarence A. Metz, 201 Baker St. Hutchinson, KS (Farmer)
Mechanic Daniel J. Crowley, 200 Fellsway, West Bedford, MA (Mechanic)
Bugler John L. Williams, Shawneetown, IL (Farmer)
Wagoner, Schubert M. Lewis, Ogden, OR (Clerk)
PFC Clifford B. Haines, Woonsocket, SD ( Farmer)
|Pvt. Robert E. Thomas, 313 Vernon St. Hudson, NY (Draftsman)
Pvt. Charles Schwager, 3030 Third Ave. New York, NY (Laborer)
Pvt. Daniel Roy McDougall, Box 145, Eagle, CO (Brakeman)
Pvt. Joseph Blumenthal, 89 W. Cedar St, Boston, MA (Shoemaker)
Pvt. Patrick J. Londergan, 76 Endicott St. Worchester, MA (Clerk) Feb. 19, 1919 USS Manchuria
Pvt. Roger Q. Freeman, Rule, TX (Farmer)
Pvt. Ray E. Burhite, Lime Spring, IA (Farmer)
Pvt. Jack Strom, 221 S. Curry St. Ironwood, MI (Coal miner)
Pvt. Emil Anderson, Houston, MN (Farmer)
Pvt. Jerry Caldwell, Poteau, OK (Farmer)
Pvt. William F. Smith, Mill Creek, OK (Farmer)
Pvt. Frank A. Judge, 37 Thompson St., Pittston, PA (Coal Miner)
Pvt. Frank P. Smith, 136 Emily St., Saginaw, MI (Machinist)
Pvt. Irving B. Sindlinger, Liberty, PA (Teacher)
Pvt. William C. Arthur, 976 Washington, St,. Huntington, WV (Machinist)
Pvt. Murdock J. Ross, 108 Concord St, Newton Falls, MA (Decorator)
Pvt. John W. McHugh, 2034 N. 11th St., Springfield, IL (Coal Miner)
Pvt. Vernon M. McIntosh, Mt. Pleasant, UT (Machinist)
Pvt. Carl Johnson, Park Falls, WI (Lumberman)
Pvt. Harry H. Norris, Amesbury, MA (Farmer)
Pvt. Alfred N. Nelson, C/O J. H. Jacobson, Deer Park, WI (Jewler)
Pvt. Edward I. Dale, Adrian, ND (Farmer)
Pvt. Alexander Olsen, 718 W. 4th St., Salt Lake City, NV (Carpenter)
Pvt. Gustus E. Sessins, Zurich, KS (Farmer)
Pvt. Francis A. King, 333 Adams St., Dorchester, MA
Pvt. Girdwood L. Averill, 47 Gibson St., Dorchester, MA (Machinist)
Pvt. Paul H. Kempf, Delphi, IN (Laborer)
Pvt. Edward Mood, Akely, MN (Farmer)
Pvt. Donald S. Robinson, Cleghorn, TX (Lumberman)
Pvt. William H. Lawless, RR#1 Harlan, IA (Farmer)
Pvt. John L. Conway, 24 Hammond St. Roxbury, MA (Shoe Worker)
Pvt. Harold Tarbox, 1 Millet St., Gloucester, MA (Laborer)
Pvt. Cecil H. Thompson, Dyer, TX (Student)
Pvt. John Schneider, 2064 Washington St., Dubuque, IA (Car Repairer)
Pvt. Ralph A. Wheeler, Bemidji, MN (Bricklayer)
Pvt. Stavre G. Panis, 1828 Mass. Ave., Arlington, MA (Gold and Silversmith)
Pvt. James T. Carras, 201 Market St. Lynn, MA (Storekeeper)
Pvt. Thomas M. Culhane, 531 franklin St., Cambridge, MA (Telephone Operator)
Pvt. George F. McLemore, RFD #1 Hugo, OK (Farmer)
Pvt. David E. Johnson, Highland Park, IL (Salesman)
Pvt. Goodman Ernst, 6128 S. Park Ave., Chicago, IL (Salesman)
Pvt. Alexander Schleicher, 510 Dewey Ave., Galena, IL (Electrician)
Pvt. Emil Anderson, 1437 New York Ave, Flint, MI (Farmer)
Pvt. Henry Korell, 430 S. 1st, Lincoln, NE (Machinist)
Pvt. Clarence E. Pauley, 218 Hammond Ave., Aurora, IL (Clerk)
Pvt. Roy W. Morell, Rushville, IL (Farmer)
Pvt. Ray R. McIntire, Seymour, WI (Meat Cutter)
Pvt. Richard H. Cry, Paul's Valley, OK (Farmer)
Pvt. Jens C. Hansen, Hutchinson, MN (Drainage Worker)
Pvt. Thomas F. Hackett, 453 Milbury St., Worchester, MA (Brakeman)
Pvt. Joseph C. Herber, 621 S. Madison Ave., Ottumwa, IA (Grocery Clerk)
Pvt. Thomas M. Parker, Indianola, IA (Farmer)
Pvt. Herbert H. Malo, RFD No. 5 Fairmont MN (Farmer)
Pvt. James H. Gray, 25 Meek Ave., Columbus, OH (Shoemaker)
Pvt. Harland W. Thompson, New Richland, MN (Farmer)
Pvt. Clayton R. DeVoy, 1308 LaSalle St., Racine, WI (Tire Builder)
Pvt. Clarence P. Loop, 110 Wellington St., Syracuse, NY (Steel Maker)
Pvt. Mike Gremczynski, Manistee, MI (Laborer)
Pvt. George J. O'Shea, Lynn, MA (Shoemaker)
Pvt. Joseph Norton, New Bedford, MA (Steam Fitter)
Pvt. Bernard Marshall, Cushing OK (Refinery worker)
Pvt. Alexander McIntosh, 457 N. Main St., Rochester, NY (Machinist)
Pvt. Thomas O. Moen, Fergus Falls, MN (Grocery Clerk)
Pvt. John J. Brilon, Hamilton, IL (Pressman)
Ralph E. Macleod was born on March 25, 1889 and was the eldest son of William A. and Margaret M. MacLeod of Roslindale, Massachusetts. Both William and Margaret were Canadian by birth and had come from Nova Scotia to America settling in Boston, MA.
By 1920 the William MacLeod family consisted of Eldest son Ralph who was working as a metallurgical engineer, followed by another son named Charles who was born about 1892 and was then working as a patternmaker. Ada was the first and only daughter born about 1895, and at the time was married and had a new born son named Alfred L. Clapp. The third son was named William A. who was born about 1894 who was working as a salesman in a stone factory. The fourth through the seventh sons were Stanley born about 1899 who was a stockbroker clerk; Raymond born about 1900 who worked for an express company as a driver; Malcolm born about 1902 who worked at a bank and lastly Theodore who was born about 1903 who was in school. William MacLeod worked as a carpenter to support his family of eight children and one grandson. The MacLeod home was located 48 Cohasset Street in Boston.
Ralph MacLeod graduated high school in Boston and went on to study engineering in college. Ralph saw that the army was a place he could make a career out of and joined the army in 1909. He served in the 86th Company, Coast Artillery Corps from 1909 through 1912. The 86th Company was then serving out of Fort Mills in the Philippine Islands.
As America entered into the war the Coast Artillery was called on to form heavy artillery regiments that would be sent to France and handle and fire heavy artillery guns. As the 71st Artillery, CAC was forming MacLeod was then serving at Fort Andrews in the Boston area and was assigned to duty as the 2nd Battalion Adjutant of the 71st Artillery. His present rank was Captain. He trained at the Coast Artillery School in Plattsburg and also spent 3-months at Ft. Monroe, VA before being sent to France. Once the 71st Artillery arrived in France they went to train at the Heavy Artillery School located at Angers, France.
The 71st was formed later in the war and saw no combat on the front lines. Captain MacLeod returned from France with the 71st and was then transferred into the 1st Coast Defense Command of the Massachusetts National Guard. Captain MacLeod served at the Headquarters, South Armory under Colonel Benjamin B. Shedd. Captain MacLeod was in command of the Sanitary Detachment, 3rd Company, and his Lieutenants were 1st Lt. David A. Pfromm, and 2nd Lt. Jeremiah J. O’Connell.
About 1921 Ralph MacLeod married Grace MacDonald. Ralph and Grace had their first child, a daughter named Jean born about 1922, which was followed five years later by a second daughter named Janet. Through most of the early 1930’s Ralph and Grace and their two daughters lived at the home on Cohasset Street.
By 1924 Ralph MacLeod lived at 29 Robin Wood Ave and was working as a department superintendent for a company in Roxbury. He was not on active duty with the army but was still involved in the National Guard. The following year his duty with the National Guard was serving as the Registration Officer with the 241st Coast Artillery, Battery G in Boston. MacLeod now lived on Wilcox Drive.
By 1931 MacLeod was now advanced to the rank of Major. About 1935 the MacLeod family had moved to a new home located at 219 Highland Ave in Randolph Township, which was in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. By 1940 Ralph was now working as a Federal Adjudicator for the government. In the home with Ralph and Grace were the couple’s two daughters Jean and Janet, and also living with them was Grace’s mother, 67-year old Lillian MacDonald.
At least one of Ralph’s brothers also served in the military. Stanley Oswald MacLeod, Ralph’s younger brother joined the Naval Reserve Force on June 14, 1917 and was serving aboard the Transport ship USS Mt. Vernon as a Yeoman. This was known from a Veteran’s Application for a Headstone made by William MacLeod another one of Ralph’s younger brothers. On October 2, 1941 delivered to the Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose, Massachusetts was a flat Granite Government Stone with the inscription “Stanley O. MacLeod US Navy 1917-1921 Death April 4, 1941”Ralph and Grace would live the rest of their lives in Randolph, Massachusetts. Grace would pass away on March 15, 1968 at the age of 73 years old. Ralph would live on for another 18 months when he passed away on October 15, 1969.
George Otis Chapman was born in Oklahoma on July 24, 1899 to parents who were from Texas. Chapman went by his middle name of Otis for much of his life. Very little is known of his early life except that he had a brother named Orvil A. Chapman who was born in Oklahoma about 1911, and later in 1930 Orvil lived with Otis and his first wife Elise in Oklahoma City.
Before Otis Chapman joined the Army in WWI he worked as a clerical worker and lived in Mountain View, Oklahoma, which is a very small town located along the old Rock Island Railroad line in Kiowa County. Mountain View only had a population of 700 or so residents and was then a transfer spot for Texas Cattle. The cattle were unloaded from the trains and allowed to graze on Kiowa, Comanche and Apache Reservation land before they were reloaded onto train cars and their final journey to markets.
Sometime during 1917 Chapman joined the United States Army and was placed into the Coast Artillery Corps branch of the army. As many Artillery units were being brought up to wartime strength many of the men who had joined by enlistments or the draft were used to fill out the ranks of these units. This is likely how Chapman came to be in the 71st Artillery, CAC.
Chapman’s peacetime skills of a clerical worker likely helped him to become a Corporal with Battery B of the 71st Artillery. In the book “An Illustrated History of the 71st Artillery CAC” compiled by Bowman Elder, Corporal Otis Chapman is listed among the named of Battery B.
Corporal Chapman would have left the United States on July 31, 1918 and returned back from France with the 71st Artillery on February 22, 1919. Once Chapman was honorably discharged from the army he returned back to Oklahoma to live. He settled in the Oklahoma City area and about 1928 he married. Otis and his wife Elise in 1930 lived Oklahoma City where Otis worked as a salesman in a furniture store. Otis’s brother Orvil A. Chapman lived with Otis and Elise and worked in the same furniture store with Otis.
Elise Chapman either passed away or she and Otis divorced sometime after 1930 and prior to 1950 because Otis had a second wife named Selma May Wise about 1950. She would pass away in 1985, eighteen years after Otis Chapman passed away on September 8, 1967 in California.
Bronze grave marker for Corporal George Otis Chapman, Battery B, 71st Artillery CAC
Corporal Chapman undated photo shown in full pack and rifle with bayonet, likely taken in the States before they went to France.
This is a photo of Mr. Chapman with his wife, Selma taken at his home in Weimar, California on August 20, 1967 just a few weeks before his death.
Thomas Watson Hurst served in the 71st Artillery CAC. His tombstone reads: Sgt. 71st Arty CAC WWI
Irving Bruce Riedel, age 20, enlisted in the Regular Army 16 April 1918. He was a native of Easthampton, Massachusetts. He was assigned to the 13th Co. CAC at Fort Andrews, Massachusetts. He served in Battery E of the 71st as a Private First Class. He was discharged from the army on 6 March 1919. Before the war, Riedel was a meter reader for the Easthampton Gas Co. His brother, David, enlisted as a private in the National Guard, served in the 101st Engineers in the 26th Division, and finished the war as a lieutenant.
Edward Rock, age 19, enlisted in the Regular Army 29 May 1918. He was born in Standish, New York. He was assigned to the 16th Co. CAC at Ft. Revere, Massachusetts. He served in Battery A of the 71st as a Private. His brother Barton served in the 1st Field Artillery and did not see overseas service.
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