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September 25, 1955


THE LOST BATTALION
ARCHIVES PAGE



Newsletter from the collection of Mr.. Thomas Baldwin.


OUR 17th ANNUAL REUNION
Arriving at 11:30 to see that all is in order - that the setting is as you wanted it - that the Lost Battalion Banner is in place - about winds up the two months' work in connection with each reunion. Then the list of those who promised to be present if at all possible, and you're all set to check each man in, give him his badge and have him sign a register.

As each one arrives with a smile and a greeting that carries with it the sincerity and meaning that only a soldier knows, you begin to wonder why - "was I so honored to be made life secretary to so fine a lot of men." You begin to recall the gallantry of this one, and why so and so got a silver star, or how that fellow earned his Distinguished Service Cross. Then they start showing up from distant points - Jack Scanlon of the 306th Machine Gun Battalion, all the way from Columbus, Indiana. What he must think of his old comrades to make such a trip to spend a few hours with us! It's loyalty and devotion such as this that makes the task a pleasure. When the Major arrives, he is just surrounded for fifteen minutes greeting all.

Promptly at one o'clock, Major McMurtry raises his glass and calls for a toast "To the dead of the Lost Battalion." That impressive moment over, we all start swapping stories and eat a well-served splendid lunch. The beer and cigars are served and we then hear what we are all waiting for - Major McMurtry's talk. It inspires us each year as he tries to tell us how much he admires each one of us, tell us how much he wishes every survivor could be with us at our reunion, and goes on to say that we all look so well that he doesn't think there is an old man in the room! He closes with his best wishes for our continued good health and a plea that God will bless you all.

Then Captain Cullen calls on each of those present to rise - give his name, company and where he's from. This brings some very interesting and timely remarks from many. In my little talk I report on the happenings of the past year since our last reunion, and ask the cooperation of all with regard to changes of address and items for your News Sheet.

The reading of telegrams, letters of regret from those not able to attend, and mention is made regarding our only decoration. The beautiful bouquet sent each year by one who remembers, as we do, that hillside at Binarville 37 years ago, and honors our gallant comrade, Lt. Marshall Peabody who with others gave his life that you and I might live.

It ends with a round of handshakes and a promise to be with us again next year "the good Lord willing." We had 44 this year - let's make it 56 in 56!

WALTER J. BALDWIN, Secretary

SURVIVORS WHO ATTENDED

306th Machine Gun Bn.
Julius Sackman, Leo Flower, Maurice Ronan, John H.
Scanlon, Maurice Johnson

307th - K Co.
Pat' I Schwartz, James Deaban, Sam Altiera, Boyd
Hatch Isadore Willinger, Joe Heuer

308th Infantry
Major George G. McMurtry

A Co.
Al Nauheim, Herman Anderson

B Co.
Barney Greenfield, Charles H. Chavelle, Philip Kornely,
James A. Keegan, Martin McMahon, Samuel Wolf,
Steve Honas, Lou Morris, P. Bonaventura

C Co.
Charles Oxman, Max Lesnick, Louis Baskin, Jack
Tucker, Lionel Bendheim, Jacob Held, Phil Cepeglia,
Leo Jacoby, Savino Capiello, S. Kosikowski, John
Colasacco, David Tulchin

E Co.
George H. Chiswell, Peter C. Gudis

F Cm
Arthur Solomon, George W. Parker

G Co.
Ben Pagliaro, George Englander, Mike Mele

H Co.
Captain William J. Cullen

Hqrs. Co.
Walter J. Baldwin

To the Survivors of the Lost Battalion to greet you at Christmas:
Nothing would give me more happiness than to shake the hand of every one of you Survivors today. The treasured memories, of our past seventeen Reunion Luncheons that have given me the opportunity of greeting many of you are Annual events that I look forward to with great anticipation. Nothing pleases me more than to be with you, the men of the finest Battalion an officer ever commanded.
The memory of your fighting stand at Charlevaux will be with me always - and I want you to know that my thoughts are with you today with the sincere hope that you will be blessed with all the joys of a Happy Christmas and a New Year that will see the realization of your fondest hopes.
GEORGE G.McMURTRY

AHISTEDT, R. H.-G Co. 308th-Herington, Kansas -Hope to make the Reunion some day! Too many other trips just now.

BALDWIN, FRED-E Co.-La Crosse, Wisc.-Your notice sure made me homesick, Walter. It would be wonderful to be at the annual Survivors luncheon and see those fine comrades. I had a letter from Bill Kessler; he said Major McMurtry had been sick. I hope by this time he has fully recovered. When you see him give him my best regards and tell him to take care of himself. The luncheon would never be the same with-out him. Kindly give my best regards to all those who served with me, especially my comrades of Company E.

BALDWIN, JOSEPH-C Co.-New York, N. Y.-(Joe made one of our Reunions and enjoyed it a great deal. Recent illness has prevented his re-joining us these last two years. See you in '56, Joe!)

BEESON, L. R.-K Co. 307th-Lima, Ohio-Best regards to you and Major McMurtry.

BENDHEIM, LIONEL-C Co.-New York, N. Y.-Here's hoping the boys will help you publish a bigger and better second edition of "Passing in Review." This is such a nice way for us all to say "hello" to one another and also for those of us who enjoy the hospitality of the Major at the September luncheon to again say "Thanks Major and may you continue to enjoy the best of health." And yes, Walter, to wish you the best of everything for all of us Survivors are greatly indebted to you for the tremendous job you are doing striving to keep this select group intact.
Just one more thing. On Saturday night, February 4, 1956, the 308th Infantry will hold its annual Reunion Dinner at the Grand Street Boys Club House, 106 West 55 St. This year I happen to be chairman for the dinner and so I extend to all Survivors who are members of the 308th a cordial invitation to at-tend. You then won't have to wait until next September to again greet Major McMurtry. He'll be there and you will have an opportunity of seeing what the entire 308th thinks of our Major. With very best wishes to all the Survivors and their loved ones for a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

BONAVENTURA, PISTORIA-B Co., 308th Inf.-Richmond Hill, L. I.-I am one of the survivors of the Lost Battalion. I served under Col. Whittelsey in the Argonne. I went in September 23, 1917-lost a leg above the knee. October 7, 1918-and was discharged September 3, 1919 at the General Hospital No. 3 in Rahway, New Jersey. I am now happily married. But I have an injured spine, high blood pressure and heart trouble-so I just have to take things easy whether I want to or not. I attended the Dinner on September 25th at the Hotel Shelbourne, where I met Major McMurtry and Secretary Walter Baldwin. Also met all the boys there and we all had a wonderful time together.

CEPEGLIA, PHILIP-C Co.-New York, N. Y.-(It's always good to see Zip-as we called him-with his buddies of C Co. He never misses a Reunion. Here's hoping he won't for all the years to come. As a soldier he was tops;' there's only one Zip!)

CHAVELLE, CHARLES H.-B Co., 308th-Rock Hill, Conn.-I had a good time at the Reunion of the Lost Battalion, Walt, and I want to thank you for all that you have done for me. I get a great kick out of Paul Schwartz; he always has something good up his sleeve! I am very interested in the Battalion and anxious to see the News Letters you have printed. I enjoy seeing the new buildings they are putting up in New York; that steel plate they use instead of the bricks is quite something all right. Best of health and luck to you all!

COLASACCO, JOHN G.-C Co., Mahopac New York- Owner and operator of the Mahopac Log Tavern, Route 6 in Mahopac, New York since 1934. Always happy to welcome a buddy and his friends: at my place. Despite my heavy schedule, I never fail to attend the Lost Battalion Reunions. Best regards to all the boys.

DEAHAN, JAMES A.-K Co., 307th-BrookIyn, N. Y.-I have been in Bar & Grill business for the past 25 years; the last 20 years I've spent at the corner of Hancock St. & Howard Ave. in Brooklyn, where I am at the present time. When in Brooklyn, stop in to say hello-or Phone me at Glenmore 5-9609-glad to see some -of the Boys from the L. B. I always keep in touch with Walter Baldwin and never miss the Dinner in September of every year, to meet some of the boys from K Co., 307th. As for myself, I always try to get away from business for a few days or more; in January this year I was down in St. Petersburg, Florida-in July I visited Niagara Falls, and in August I drove up to Lake George, New York.

DELGROSSO, FRANK-G Co., 308th-Flushing, N. Y.- Delayed mailing you the card in the hope that by the 25th of September I would be well enough to attend. I was hospitalized at the V. A. Hospital in New York City and discharged after 75 days. A few days later something unexpected developed and I was told I had to go back for another 6 weeks. I sure am going to miss seeing the boys and I hope everyone is in the best of health. Please give my best wishes to the Major and everyone.

DUFFY, GEORGE-B Co.-Brooklyn, N. Y.-(George was contacted after all these years! Many of his bud-dies or B -Co. were anxious to see him at his 1st Re-union, in '55.)

BRICE, JAMES-E Co., 3108th-Flushing, N. Y.-Still on the disabled list. Best regards! (Illness has kept Jim away from our Reunion for the past two years. We miss you, Jim-hope to get together in '56.)

CARROLL, JAMES-K Co., 307th-Scarsdale, New York -To have missed -out on the Reunion Luncheon was a real regret and only a circumstance over which I had no control caused me to pass up that unusual and delightful -meeting with all the old crew. On November 11th while at lunch with a few business friends, I not alone recalled but commented on the fact that 37 years ago, at the same time, the chow was not quite so tasty and the surroundings not as pleasant, though the company was equally as good! I wonder if we really ever take inventory of the blessings, rather than cry about the bad breaks? I'm feeling quite fit again, in fact, towards the end of the summer I even played a bit of tennis! (Jim's new address is 759 Wilmot Road, Scarsdale, New York. Good luck in your new home, Jim!)

ENGLANDER, GEORGE M.-G Co., 308th-Flushing, N. Y.-Another year has passed! It always gives me a thrill to attend the annual reunion luncheon of the Lost Battalion, thanks to your efforts and the Major's kind hospitality. I attended the annual dinner of my former G. Co., 308th Infantry last May at the 77th Division Club House. f also had a wonderful time there, reminiscing with my former buddies. It is a splendid idea, getting out this News Sheet!

Erickson, Frank G. S., H Co.,-Riverdale, No. Dakota -This is surely a voice out of the west, after 37 years. Erickson writes Major McMurtry to recall his action with us in the pocket. He is at present with the Army Engineer as a steam fitter in the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River. He has a son who was a pilot on a B17 that made 36 bombing missions over Germany in WW2, also has a fifteen year old daughter. He would like to hear from some of you H Company men

FLOWER, Leo-C Co., 306th~ MG-E.. Islip, N. Y.- Will you please send me Maurice H. Ronan's address . . . it sure was good to see him after 38 years, and I would like to write to him! (Always glad to fill such requests.)

FLYNN, RAYMOND-E Co., 308th-Hollywood, Calif. -Much to my sorrow I couldn't attend the 1955 Reunion but I wish a good time to all-and pleasant memories. Please give my best personal regards to Major McMurtry.

HATCH, BOYD-K Co., 307th-Willsboro, N. Y.-It was most enjoyable to see you all again (at the Reunion) also as the Major remarked, to see everyone looking so well ... After my discharge I worked on our farm for 5 years, then as an inspector on concrete work for 5 years, and finally went into business with my brother at Willsboro, Essex Co., N. Y. We are always busy but have time to think over the happenings 37 years ago. Will never forget Bill Knabe and what a game guy he was. Have you ever heard anything about Chamberlin a fellow from St. Mari, Idaho? He was a rifle squad Corporal in K. Co., 307th Infantry, 1st Platoon, or about George Speich who was a Corporal in the same Platoon? George lived in Buffalo, N. Y. when he entered the service. (We couldn't give Boyd any information on these two men. Anybody who can help us out?)

HEPWORTH, CLYDE-H Co., 308th-San Francisco, Calif.-Was released from Veterans Hospital-wonderful Hospital, Fort Miley-August 22nd. Will try being at the Reunion next year! (Clyde was with us in 1954. He was awarded one of our pins for coming all the way from California.)

HINTZ, CLYDE-B Co., 308th-Hutchinson, Minn.- Have been married 25 years June 5, 1955-have 4 boys. I live on T. H. 15, have ten acres half a mile from City limits. Operate a popcorn wagon in city park on Main Street in summer months. Population of 4,500 in City.

JORGENSEN, ARTHUR-F Co., Layton, N. J.-Sorry I couldn't attend this year's Reunion. Because of the recent flood up this way. I was working on Sunday, Sept. 25th. I am a toll collector on a small bridge (Dingman's Ferry) up here and it was badly damaged and was undergoing repairs. We had to "stand watch" at night until it was ready for use again. Best regards to Major McMurtry and all the boys.

KEEGAN, JIM-B Co., 308th-New York, N. Y.- I enjoyed the last Reunion, seeing some of the boys that are still around. I sure would like to see some of the fellows that do not show up at the Luncheon. I am feeling pretty good. Best regards to all. (Jim is night bartender at the 77th and would welcome any Survivor who could stop in to see him.)

KIERNAN, JOSEPH-Hqrs. 2nd Bn.-New York, N. Y. -(Hope it wasn't illness that kept you away from us at the '55 Reunion. Joe! Your buddies missed you. Don't fail to be one of the "56 in '56!")

KLEIN, IRVING-A -Co-Santa Rosa, Calif.-Sorry I couldn't come to the Reunion; just returned from an operation at that time. Hope to be with you next year.

KNABE, BILL-K Co., 307th-El Monte, Calif.-My best to all! (When Bill lived in the east, he never missed our New York Reunion.)

LARNEY, JAMES-Hqrs. Co.-Watertown, New York-(It's good to know Jim is well again after two operations this past summer. I missed seeing him and being with him on my vacation. Have enjoyed several memorable holidays at his beautiful cottage on the St. Lawrence River, at Shady Shores near Clayton, New York. Jim was missed by many at the Reunion. On one of his recent trips in the North Country he had a most enjoyable visit with the Major at Bar Harbor, on October 8th, the 37th anniversary of our relief from the pocket. Hope Jim is one of the 56 we are trying to have at our Reunion in '56.)

LIGHTFOOT, ROY H.-C Co., 308th-Salem, Oregon -Sorry I cannot make the 1955 Reunion.

LOKKEN, M. O.-B Co., 308th-Pasadena, Calif.-Please give, my regards to all. I wish I could be with you all again. (Was with us in 1954. Got a pin for traveling all the way from California to the Reunion in New York.)

MANSON, ROBERT-B Co.-Chicago, III.-My very best to you, Walter, and to all-the rest of the Survivors! I hope to see you all next year. God be with You and bless you.

McMAHON, MARTIN-B Co.-New York, N.. Y, (It was good to see Martin once more at the September 1955 Reunion. We all hope his attendance was a forerunner of many more happy reunions to come.)

MORRIS, LOUIS-B Co., 308th-New York, N. Y.-All of the Reunion Dinners will live long in my memory. With God's will I hope to be present at many more. Still working hard and am in good health. The last issue of the Newsletter was good reading, Walter, and I enjoyed it very much. I hope this finds you, the Major, your family and all the Survivors in good health.

POWERS, WILLIAM J.-Hqrs. Co.-Hoosick Falls, N. Y.-(Bill hasn't been with us since 1952-might have been with us this year but for a heart attack suffered in June. Our good friend Jim Larney tells me Bill is feeling much better now and we do hope to see him with us in 1956-our best to you always, Bill! We're all pulling for a speedy recovery.)

RICE, CHAUNCEY-D Co., 306th MG New York, N. Y.-Can't tell you how sorry I am not to be with you at the Reunion -but I just got word that r must be in Toronto. Wish I could be with you, and that is most sincerely.

ROBERTS, CLARENCE-13 Co., 308th-Hysham. Montana-Best wishes to all! (We know you would like to be with us, Clarence. Our best to you always.)

ROESCH, CLARENCE-2nd Bn. Sgt. Major-Hollis, L. I.-(Clarence's host of friends miss him a lot. Illness has kept him away from his buddies for two years now. Clarence we hope the Next Year holds for you the blessings of health and happiness you deserve so well!)

SCHWARTZ, PAUL-K Co.-Flushing, N. Y.-I was very pleased to see you all who were at the Reunion Luncheon, including our Major, looking so well and in good spirits. As was sanctioned and authorized by all of you, I am going to try to have our inscription hung in Lost Battalion Hall. We may as well have the game as the name! Before our next Reunion I will be nearing 65 and expect to have completed half my term as Commander of the V.F.W. General Vinton Greene Post No. 71, Am feeling 0. K. at present and hope to be seeing you all next year, 1956. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

SEGAL, PAUL-C Co., 308th-Paterson, N. J.-(Paul is deeply interested in our every activity and looks forward to each Reunion. Illness of Mrs. Segal prevented him from being with us this year. It's good to hear she is on the mend and Paul- wants to extend to his comrades of the Battalion his best wishes for a happy Christmas and a bright New Year.)

SWEENEY, BERNARD J.-D Co., 306 M.G.-Chelsea, Mass.-I am retired now and it is quite a while since I have been to New York. I used to travel out of town quite a bit in my plumbing trade and every time I went to New York I tried to stop at the dub. I belong to the V.F.W. 639 of Malden, and 69 of the Legion. There was a book I had made up from the Stars and Stripes cuttings and I gave it to my son to take to his School. It went to a number of Grammar and High Schools over a period of about 5 years. Am at Quigley Hospital just now but hope to be getting out soon. (It was good to locate Bernard, a Survivor with whom we'd lost contact many years ago.)

TUCKER, JACK-C Co.,-Brooklyn, N. Y~ I had a wonderful time the Sunday of the Reunion of the Lost Battalion. It felt good to see the Major and all the boys. I do hope that we continue having the Reunion for many years to come. Walter, you are doing a wonderful job by keeping all the boys of the Lost Battalion together; your nice way is very helpful. (Jack has made "Who's Who" and is also justly proud of the record his boy Milton made while serving for two years in the Signal Corps of the Air Force in World War 11.)

WRIGHT, WILLIAM J-D' Co., 306th M. CL-Buffalo, N. Y-(Bill was with us at one of our reunions but illness has kept him from his Machine Gun Co. bud-dies. Bill lives at 30 Riverview Place in Buffalo.)

WILLINGER, ISADORE-K Co., 307th-New York City -Enjoyed the last Reunion immensely and had plenty of nice things to tell my relatives and friends about the good time I had. Being active as a stamp collector and as an officer of 2 different stamp clubs keeps me busy and gives me a great deal of pleasure and contentment and relaxation. Hobbies are good for people to indulge in, for it occupies their spare time and keeps them from thinking too much of their troubles, real or imaginary. (N. B.-Isadore sent us the latest bulletin of the War Cover Club of which he is Secretary-Treasurer. We found this very interesting reading.)

IN MEMORIAM
The sympathy of the men of the Battalion
has been extended to the family of

SGT. GERARD KIRCHNER, H Co.

who passed away on August 18, 1955

On June 13, 1955, Jerry Kirchner wrote to us:
"Walter, I did so enjoy your bulletin. It was the nicest surprise. Somehow, as we grow older, we seem to have a closer feeling of friendship with the old gang. My best wishes for a bang-up bulletin for Christmas . . . Frankly, my spirits are good. The only bother that I have is that it takes so long to get back on your feet again. I do hope to make short trips to New York soon. I certainly hope to be at the Reunion in September. I have a very important date September 8th. My son John will-be ordained a Franciscan Friar in Washington. So you see I just must get going . . . Do hope the good Major is feeling tops. He is a great man. May we have him with us for many more years. Kindest regards, Jerry."

The following message was sent to the Major on behalf of the Survivors on his Birthday, November 6, 1955: My dear Major,
As our Commanding Officer your gallantry and leader-ship in battle was the inspiration that fired the spark of determination and courage displayed in our stand at Charlevaux in October 1918.
Our separation from the service did not bring a 'farewell' address from you, but increased in you the deep-rooted affection you had for all of us. You couldn't forget you wanted to see us again, and again, and again wanted to be with your boys who shared the sacrifices, the privations, the never-ending hail of enemy shells during those fateful days and nights back in 1918 - you wanted to honor forever the memory of those we left behind on that shell-torn hillside.
You have done all these things, regardless of the sacrifice entailed. You can reflect on thirty-seven years of doing so much for so many. You never will deliver a farewell address to your boys - only the Divine Commander of all of us can do that for you.
If it were possible for all of us to greet you today,
am sure you would understand how we feel. In the eyes of God and your boys you were a gallant soldier - and a man whose great heart and unselfishness have brightened the lives of all of us.
So in behalf of your boys of the Lost Battalion, may God bless you on this, your 79th Birthday, and always. Walter J. Baldwin Secretary

Julia E. Kirchner wrote another note, dated September
11, 1955:
"I guess you know full well how much Jerry, my husband, loved to attend the Lost Battalion Reunion Luncheon each year - just as soon as the card would arrive he would sign it and send it in; and when he would bring home the group picture I used to assure him that he was the youngest-looking one. As you know, he died August 18th . . . Thank you for your letter, Mr. Baldwin, and my very best wishes for a joyous Reunion with all the old Buddies."

DOWN MEMORY LANE AT CHRISTMAS TIME

Christmas; when we think of our childhood - the old neighborhood - our own little world of the past. Those Christmas nights of yesteryear - when the snow squeaked beneath our feet along the road where the bobsleds and the cutters made the walking easier. The warmth from the open fire place, the large heater in the living room, or the wood-filled kitchen stove gave a friendly welcome to any kindly folk who stepped in to wish us the season's greetings. In those days Christmas time was simple and the world around us was peaceful. As the Prince of Peace intended it to be.
Those silver stars in the sky the golden flames of the candles in the windows and the flickering corner lamplights gave a richness to that old time simplicity. We'll never forget the old kitchens, those Christmas Eves and the parlor on Christmas morning. You and I can remember a Christmas at Camp Upton as well as one in France - Fortunate indeed are those of us who can travel back over memory lane today with all its treasured memories. Let us be thankful - show our appreciation for one of the great gifts we get each year at Christmas - a new year - 365 days to do with as we will. Let our Christmas promise to the Giver of all gifts be - to use them if even in a small measure to bring a little joy, a little happiness into the life of one less fortunate.
Then all the joys of Christmas will blend
Within the heart that knows a friend.
That's the Merry Christmas I wish for all of you"
WALTER J. BALDWIN

To you, Major McMurtry on behalf of all the Survivors

"If we could reach across the miles
And clasp y our hand,
If we could all be with you today,
You'd understand.
If we could have a greeting sent
And have you know just what it meant,
I'm sure your heart would be content This Christmas Day."

One would feel that Canon Frederick George Scott
had us in mind when he wrote "The Unbroken
Line" in tribute to his Canadian Regiment, the last
stanza of which is :
Let us draw closer in these narrower years
Before us still the eternal visions spread;
We who out mastered death and all its fears
Are one great army still, living and dead.

Six hundred and fifty officers and men dug in on that hillside thirty-seven years ago - only one hundred and twenty of us remain who could have contributed to this news sheet. Let us take a moment at this holy Christmas Season in a prayer for the five hundred and thirty of our comrades whose message of devotion and sacrifice -written long ago - will be with us always. Their message deserves such an answer.
WALTER J. BALDWIN


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