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The History of the

75th Artillery C.A.C.

During WWI

In June of 1918, the Headquarters Company, Battery B, and the Supply Company of the 75th Artillery were organized at Ft. Moultrie, South Carolina. On June 21, 1918, the 10th, 11th, and 12th Companies Coast Defenses of Charleston, South Carolina were disbanded, and the enlisted personnel were transferred into the newly forming 75th Artillery, CAC. Additional men may have come from Ft. Crockett, Texas. Once the 75th was at war time strength they departed Ft. Moultrie on September 23, 1918 to begin the trip to France. The regiment sailed from Port of Embarkation Hoboken, New Jersey on October 5, 1918, aboard the transport USS Siboney. The 75th Regiment was part of the 40th Artillery Brigade. The other Regiments that made up the 40th Artillery Brigade were the 73rd and 74th Regiments.

The Commanding officer of the 75th Artillery when they sailed to France in October 1918 was Colonel Godwin Ordway, C.A.C. The officer’s of his staff were:

Captain Moses Goodwin, C.A.C.
Captain John H. Brown, C.A.C.
Captain Thomas C. Gower, C.A.C.
Captain Raynor A. Fairless, C.A.C.
1st Lt. Joseph H. Gilbreth, C.A.C.
2nd Lt. Einar V. Sorensen, C.A.C.

The Siboney arrived at Brest, France on October 16, 1918, and offloaded the men of the 75th Artillery. The 1st Battalion and Batteries C and E then proceeded to the Intermediate Supply Depot at Gievres, France and Battery E remained there until the Armistice was signed. The 1st Battalion moved to Alencon, France on November 5th, 1918, and Battery C to Reignoc, France on November 4th, 1918, and both remained there until the Armistice. Batteries D and E remained at Brest until November 1st. Battery D took station at Avoine, France on November 5th and Battery F at LaSuze-sur-Sarthe, France on November 2d, both Batteries remained at these stations until the Armistice.

None of the batteries of the 75th saw any action at the front lines as they had just begun to train when the Armistice was signed and the big guns fell silent.

On February 25th, 1919, the 75th Artillery was standing on the dock at St. Nazaire, France loading aboard the USS Aeolus and sailed two days later on February 27th, bound for Newport News, Virginia. On the way across the Atlantic the Aeolus makes a two-day stop in the Azores to re-coal. They reached the States on March 13, 1919, and went to Camp Stuart, Virginia, and then was demobilized at Camp Grant, IL during the month of March.

Station List of the 75th Artillery while in France, City (County)

Batteries A & B Gievres (Loir-et-Cher) Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 1918
Batteries A & B Alencon (Orne) Nov. 5-11, 1918
Battery C Gievres (Loir-et-Cher) Nov. 1-4, 1918
Battery C Reignac (Indre-et-Loire) Nov. 4-11, 1918
Battery D Brest (Finistere) Oct. 16-Nov. 5, 1918
Battery D Avoine (Indre-et-Loire) Nov. 7-11, 1918
Battery E Gievres (Loir-et-Cher) Oct. 31-Nov. 11, 1918
Battery F LaSuze-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe) Nov. 2-11, 1918

The Regimental Muster of the 75th Artillery, C.A.C.

As I find and uncover history of men who served in the 75th Artillery during WWI, I will list them here. Please if you have a family member who also served in the 75th contact me and I will add it to this list.

Captain Ernest H. Reece

Captain Reece was born 20 March 1880 in Ada, Ohio. He entered the Army on 27 August 1917 and was assigned to the Coast Artillery Training Corps at Ft. Monroe, VA. Upon completion on 27 November 1917 he received a commission as a Captain in the Coast Artillery Corps and was assigned to the 161st Depot Brigade. The 161st Depot Brigade was stationed at Camp Grant, Illinois and Captain Reece must have been there also. At some point he was then stationed in the Coast Defenses at Fort Screven, Georgia and as the 75th Artillery was being formed out of units of the South Atlantic Coast Artillery District this is how Captain Reece came into the 75th Artillery. He sailed with the 75th Artillery on 5 October 1918 and was with them throughout their duty in France. He returned with the 75th Artillery to the states on 13 March 1919. Captain Reece was Honorable Discharged from the Army on 29 July 1919.

Pvt. Henry L. Woodard, HQ Co., 3rd Bn, 75th Artillery, C.A.C.

Polly Gregory-Hussey shared with me about her great uncle, Henry Woodard who died in WWI. Polly stated that on his grave marker, along with a VFW marker she found this:

Henry L. Woodard, Pvt,
20 Oct 1918
Hdqs Co 3rd Bat 75 Arty

Polly relates this about Henry Woodard: "I don't know anything at all. I have been told he died (20 October 1918) in Europe. Mother, his niece, has a beautiful old oval framed photograph of him in his uniform from hips up in a sitting position. I have a bar ribbon of his somewhere, I must have taken it back to Mother. I am an amateur genealogist and am trying to find out a little about him. He was young, born 1 June 1898, Scurry Co, Texas and died 20 October 1918. If I read some of the information correctly he must have died after being in France only about 4 days and did not see action. I wonder what he died from?" My guess would be influenza, that killed as many as did battle deaths.

First Sergeant, Carl F. Palmgren, HQ Co.

I was contacted by Lt. Colonel Jay Martin Hamilton (Ret.) about a relative who served in the 75th Artillery. The name of the relative he was researching was Carl F. Palmgren. Carl was born on July 16, 1892 in Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois of Fred and Christine Palmgren. Mr. Palmgren developed Heart Disease and died in the VA Hospital in Los Angles California on January 28, 1931 and is buried in the VA Cemetery, 950 South Sepulvada Blvd. Los Angles, CA 90049, Section 78, No. 18 Row M.

The following is Mr. Palmgren's military history:

Mr. Palmgren on April 19, 1917, entered the Army at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. On August 31, 1917. Pvt. Palmgren moved to the 5th Company, South Carolina National Guard at Fort Moultrie South Carolina. At Ft. Moultrie there were five Companies manning the Forts there. Pvt. Palmgren was in the 5th Company until 31st of August, 1917 when the 5th Company was replaced by the 2nd Company from Charleston, SC. I'm assuming that the 5th Co. was absorbed into the newly formed 61st Regiment that formed in May, 1918 at Ft. Moultrie. The 2nd Co. from Charleston took over duties of the 5th Co. at Ft. Moultrie. On November 1, 1917 Pvt. Palmgren was promoted to Pfc. while with the 5th Company. Pfc. Palmgren was with the 2nd Co. until 10 December, 1918 when he was listed with the 61st Artillery, Battery A. He may have been transferred and was with Battery A, 61st Artillery until June 23d, 1918.

Then on 23 June, 1918 he was transferred to the 11th Company. This was the 11th Co. from Charleston, SC that was stationed at Ft. Moultrie, SC. There seems to be a gap in the time line here and I'm assuming that the 11th Co. was absorbed into the newly forming 75th Artillery at Ft. Moultrie. The 75th Artillery was organized at Ft. Moultrie, SC in September of 1918. The 75th Artillery sailed from Port of Embarkation Hoboken, New Jersey on October 5, 1918 and the date that Pfc.Palmgren was listed in HQ CO, 75th Regiment of 27th October fits. He must have joined HQ Co. just as they sailed for France. He was transferred to Battery D most likely while in France and probably returned with Battery D as well. On November 14, 1918 he was promoted to Corporal. On February 28, 1919 he was promoted to First Sergeant.

The 75th returned to the States on March 13, 1919 and went to Camp Stuart, VA and then was demobilized at Camp Grant, IL that same month. First Sergeant Palmgren was Honorably discharged from the US Army on March 31, 1919.

An earlier photo of Carl Palmgren most likely taken while at Fort Moultrie, SC. Visible on his left breast over the pocket is Palmgrens award for having achieved Class "A" Marksmanship, US Army, for small arms proficiency. This photo provided by Lt. Col. Ret., Hamilton.
This photo shows a seasoned veteran. Visible on his left shoulder is the shoulder patch of what looks to be that of the 1st Army Artillery. Coast Artillery Corps Regiments were commonly known to wear this shoulder patch. On his right sleeve are the markings of a 1st Sergeant, so this would date this photo from February 28, 1919 to March 31, 1919. Also you can see in his left breast pocket a First Sergeant's brass whistle by which he alone assembled all of the troops under his leadership. And it looks as if he is holding a cigar in his left hand. It was told to me that Carl did smoke heavily by the family and this may have been some cause of his Heart Condition by which he expired in 1931. This photo provided by Lt. Col. Ret., Hamilton.

Pvt. Neil Westwood Service No. 715-440, 1st Battalion

Neil Westwood was born to Martha A. and Richard Dalin Westwood on September 22, 1898 in Moab, Utah. Neil would enlist into the United States Army on February 11, 1918 at Ft. Douglas, Utah and was given his service number of 715-440. He was a Private serving in the 1st Battalion of the 75th Artillery Coast Artillery Corps. Pvt. Westwood served in France with the 75th and did return with the 75th and was Honorably Discharged from the Army on April 2, 1919.

In a family genealogy history entitled “Westwood family History” that was written and published in 1973 by one of Neil’s grandsons the following entry is recorded about Neil Westwood; “Neil attended Grand County High School. He left the 11th grade to enlist in the Army in 1918 for World War I. He went overseas and was in France when the armistice was signed in 1919, but was never at the front. He nearly died of mumps on the way home on the boat. He hadn't reported that he was sick before boarding for fear he might have to wait to come home later. He never got over talking about the terrible water they had to drink in France. That's where he started to drink coffee as the raw water was not fit to drink.”

Neil Westwood would return to Moab, Utah and live with his parents after his discharge from the Army where he worked as a general laborer. Neil would marry Ida Blake on June 1, 1920 in Monticello, Utah. Ida was born on January 12, 1900 in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and her parents were Henry Elwyn and Ida Barker Blake.

Neil was a farmer most of his life and Ida taught school. Together Neil and Ida would have 7 sons and 2 daughters. Richard E. born about 1922, Melvin N. born about 1924, Gordon L. born about 1925, Kenneth D. born about 1927, Barbara born about 1929, Dorothy, Clyde D., Blake L. and Russell C.

Neil Westwood’s family history can be traced back to England where his grandparents were born. Neil’s grandfather was Richard Westwood and he was a Brick Mason by trade, his grandmother was Catharine. Once Richard and Catharine came to America they had at least one son named Richard Dalin born August 9, 1863 in Utah. Richard D. Westwood passed away on September 5, 1929 in Utah.

Richard D. Westwood married in 1888 to Martha A. who was born in July of 1871 in Utah. Her father was born in Arkansas and her mother was French Canadian by birth. Together Richard D. and Martha would have 10 children with 9 children who lived. They were, Daughter Ellen (b. Oct. 1888), Mary A. (b. abt. 1889), Kate (b. Oct 1892), Ruth (b. July 1895), Son Neil (b. Sept 5, 1898), daughter Grace (b. abt. 1901), Son Vern (b. abt. 1903), daughter Ida (b. abt. 1909) and daughter Anna (b. abt 1911). Neil’s father Richard D. worked as a farmer and sometimes worked as a miner and lived his entire life in Utah.

Neil Westwood would pass away in Umatilla County, Oregon on September 10, 1953 where his wife Ida survived him until her death on June 19, 1990. Neil and Ida are buried in the Spanish Fork, Utah Cemetery in plot BL 3 27B.

Radio Sergeant Clarence A. Cunningham

Clarence A. Cunningham was from California and was born in 1898. He served as a Radio Sergeant in the 75th Artillery, CAC and passed away in 1948. He and his wife Lorretta are buried in the Colfax Cemetery in Placer County, California.

Radio Sergeant Isaac L. Best, Service No. 728623

Isaac L. Best enlisted into the United States Army on June 27, 1917 at Waco, Texas. He was placed into the 75th Artillery, which is known from a small journal he kept while in the army that states that he was a member of the 75th Artillery CAC.

He served in France with the 75th Artillery and once the war was over he wrote in his journal that he boarded a 15,000 ton ship [the USS Aeolus] on February 25, 1919 to start his journey home from France. The ship set sail on February 27 and steamed out of France and made a stop in the Azores for two days. The ship arrived in Newport News, Virginia on March 13, 1919. In his journal he states that the regiment had a "cootie bath" on March 14. All clothes were steamed and thrown in the bathroom in one big pile for each soldier to find his own clothes. Best ended the journal with the following, "Oh hell! I hope this is the end!"

On the passenger manifest of the February 25, 1919, sailing of the Aeolus, Sgt. Best listed his Uncle, August J. Best of 1810 South 8th Street in Waco, Texas as his next of kin.

Pvt. Hubert Wilke

Pvt. Hubert Wilke was stationed at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina before the 75th Artillery was formed. As the 75th was being assembled Pvt. Wilke was transfered into the regiment and served with them while the regiment was in France.

Pvt. Henry B. Kohne, Battery F

Born May 16, 1894 in Camp Springs, Kentucky. Died December 6, 1971 in Camp Springs, Kentucky. Henry was never married and did not have any children.

PFC Benjamin Jacob Goetz, Battery B

Born on January 12, 1893 in Campbell County, Kentucky. Died while serving with Battery B, 75th Artillery, CAC on December 2, 1918 from the effects of pneumonia. Ben was the ninth and youngest child of Joseph and Theresa (Seiter) Goetz. Four of Ben's brothers registered for service during WWI but Ben was the only brother who served in the army.

Joseph Goetz family photo. Date unknown. Benjamin Goetz is standing 3rd from the left.

Sgt. Cletus Phares, Battery E

Born October 10, 1891 and died on April 7, 1977. He was a member of Battery E of the 75th Artillery CAC until September 6, 1918 when he was selected to become part of the September automatic replacement draft men and sent to France as replacements for artillery units serving in France. He was then sent to the Jackson Barracks in Louisiana to await transportation to France. On September 26 he sailed to France, and on October 22, 1918 was assigned to Battery C of the 54th Artillery, CAC serving in France. The 54th Artillery was then acting as a training regiment and then as artillery men would be needed for active artillery units serving on the firing lines men would be pulled from the 54th. Phares would remain with Battery C, 54th Artillery and would return with them on March 7, 1919. Sgt. Phares was honorably discharged on March 20, 1919. He was advanced in rank to Corporal on February 1, 1918 and again to Sergeant on May 2, 1918.

PFC Altemus H. McGuire, Battery F, Service No. 730439

Altemus H. McGuire enlisted into the Army at Ft. Crocket, Texas on June 22, 1918. He was first assigned as a Private to the 4th Company, Coast Defenses of Galveston, Texas until July 1, 1918 when he was transfered into Battery F of the 75th Artillery CAC that was then being formed for duty overseas in France. Pvt. McGuire made Private First Class on October 1, 1918 four days before sailing to France on October 5. PFC McGuire served with Battery F throughoutb the end of the war and did not see any combat at the front lines as the 75th had arrived too late in the war to make it to the front lines. The 75th Artillery was returned to the States on March 13, 1919 and he was given an Honorable Discharge and was seperated from the army on March 27, 1919.

After discharge from the Army in 1919 McGuire worked on dairy farms and did get married, but was divorced by 1942. During WWII Altemus McGuire again served his Country and enlisted a second time on August 25, 1942 as a Private in the Army enlisting at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Later in life he did get remarried to Margaret Louise. Atlemus was born to Mittie Anna, and Wade Hampton McGuire on September 29, 1900 in Burnet County, Texas. Altemus died on October 13, 1955 in Lampasas, Texas, and was burried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lampasas.

Pvt. John M. Lorentson, Battery B

Pvt. John M. Lorentson is remembered by a fellow soldier, Richard E. Traynor.

Traynor recalls this about Mr. Lorentson, "John and his brother never married. John served in WWI, and they were like grand parents to me. They loved to hunt and were excellent shots. John died the day I returned from vietnam. I was given his service things. John had both a Sharpshooters Medal and Rifle Medal. John was born on August 18th, 1893, and died on April 9th, 1971."

John M. Lorentson
Service number 469708
PVT  75th Artillery C.A.C.
Battery - B

Pvt. William H. Slaughter

Born April 16, 1898. Death July 31, 1947 Burial Rose Cemetery, Prairie Grove, Washington County, Arkansas.

Corporal Herbert F. Kerl, Battery F

On December 8, 1917 Herbert F. Kerl enlisted into the United States Army at Sioux City, Iowa. Private Kerl was assigned to the Coast Artillery Corps of the Army and was assigned to Fort Crockett, Texas. On April 2, 1918 Kerl was advance in grade to Corporal, and he was qualified as a Second Class Gunner on April 12, 1918. In June of 1918 the 75th Artillery Regiment was being formed at Ft. Moultrie, South Carolina. The 75th needed to fill it ranks to wartime strength and most of the men came from units at Ft. Multrie but Ft. Crockett also supplied several men. This is how Cpl. Kerl came to the 75th Artillery.

Cpl. Kerl was a member of Battery F, 75th Artillery, C. A. C. and sailed with the regiment for France on October 5, 1918. He served through the remainder of the war with the 75th in France and they returned back to the states on March 13, 1919. Once the 75th was demobilized at Camp Grant, IL Battery F was sent to Camp Dodge, Iowa to be disbanded. Corporal Kerl was transferred into Casual Detachment 142 of the 163rd Depot Brigade at Camp Dodge until he was Honorably Discharged from the army on March 24, 1919. Cpl. Kerl was then given a Pass for a train ticket from Camp Doge back to Sioux City, Iowa.

Photo possibly taken at or near the seawall in Galveston, TX
Mail call at Ft. Crockett
At Ft. Crockett, Cpl. Kerl on the right
Cpl. Kerl at Ft. Crockett
Pvt. Kerl washing something at Ft. Crockett
Identified as a group of officers of the 75th Artillery, likely taken while in France.

This photo is the Detachment of men from the 75th Artillery that were sent to Camp Dodge to be discharged from the Army. It is Dated March 18, 1919 and may have been taken at Camp Grant before they would have arrived at Camp Dodge, or it could have been taken at Camp Dodge as they arrived there. Corporal Kerl is shown in the front row, second man from the left.

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