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The 306th Field Artillery Association


HISTORY
of
THE 306th Field Artillery

The 306th Field Association
Artillerymen As School Teachers
Regimental Fun and Frolic


THE pioneer association of American soldiers' friends and relatives was that formed by the 306th Field Artillery. The recreation committee of non-commissioned officers prepared announcements and invitations in February, 1918, for a mass meeting of those interested.

This meeting was held in the Washington Irving High School on March 12th. The chaplain presided and introduced a program of entertainment by the men of the regiment, which was followed by a talk by the adjutant, Captain E. E. Nelson, who represented the Colonel and outlined the possibilities of an organization. The chaplain then announced the plans for action and invited a general discussion after which all all those present were registered and it was decided that the soldiers committee should be empowered to select a civilian committee.

The outcome was the existence of an organization that rendered to the regiment a service of inestimable value throughout our campaign; a band of enthusiastic people who held mass meetings, raised money, extended messages of sympathy to families of our honored dead, and in every possible way served as a clearing house for information and a rallying point for patriotism and regimental loyalty.

Our Thanksgiving dinner and New Year's dinner were transformed into feasts by two gifts of five hundred dollars and one thousand dollars respectively, received in November and December. Funds were also raised at a Hippodrome performance for a big children's party in New York at Christmas time, 1919.

The sentimental significance of this definite link between the fighters of the regiment and their homes grew greater and greater during our stay in France. The work done by Mr. Hollister V. Schenck, president, Miss Olga Schulhof and Miss Anna Ackerman, secretaries, and the other members of the executive committee was something for which the regiment will always be grateful.

The last undertaking of the Civilians Association was the thorough preparation made for our joyous welcome home, every detail of which was planned in advance. The development of the various battery and company veterans' associations was due in great measure to the battery and company sections of our home association.

In all of America's varied kinds of home service during the great war there was no finer example of what it means to "Keep the Home Fires Burning, " than that rendered by the 306th Field Artillery Association.

THE educational classes held in the 306th Field Artillery came at three different epochs in our history. First there were the Camp Upton classes in French and English, with enrollment of three hundred divided into twenty different classes. The Roberts system of instruction in elementary English was employed and a schedule of daily lessons was given during drill periods to those " whose knowledge of English was so deficient as to hinder them in the performance of military duties." Great progress was made in many individual cases and suitable certificates were granted at the close of the twelve weeks course. The interest in French grew greater as our time for overseas service approached.

The French courses were continued at Camp de Souge when the need for a knowledge of French became more keenly evident. After a period of several months' education in the art of dodging shells, academic work was again resumed with the added purpose of killing time while waiting for a transport. Gradually the entire A. E. F. became transformed into more or less of a great educational institution and our "university" kept pace with the development. At Dancevoir there were three classes with fifty enrolled and at Noyen there were nine classes in English, Arithmetic, French, Shorthand, Business Law, and Finance, with 162 enrolled. The interest in these classes was so great that the schedule was twice changed to allow for more time to be spent on the work.

Sergeant Frank Mantinband of the Depot Brigade at Camp Upton, one of the best friends our regiment ever had, was the originator of our scholastic achievement. The Y. M. C. A. has always acted as administrator and has furnished equipment. Some 306th Field Artillery men who have served as "professors" are Morris, Arthur, Goggin, Barry, Wyman, Prender-gast, Routh, Lippner, Field, Adler, Popper, Hirschkopf, Krause, Sanchez, Hamann, Kay, Spencer, Brennecke, Flynn, Goerlich, Schum. Miss Marion Dean, a " Y " girl, was an instructor who made the English class popular at Noyen and Captain Gordon and Lieutenant Priest lectured on Business Law.

We were proud to have fifteen of our men selected to study in British and French universities from March to July, 1919. This was a much larger number than from any other organization in the Division.

PARAGRAPH 461/2 Army Regulations avers that a committee of non-commissioned officers, one representing each organization in a regiment, may be appointed to serve under the direction of the regimental chaplain, in supervising recreation and amusements. In accordance with that idea such a committee was organized in October, 1917, and was active throughout the regimental career.

Its members were elected by popular vote or appointed by battery councils. The following men have served on it: Battery A-Sergeant Franklin, Corporal Feldman; B-Sergeant Dyson, Corporal Weil; C-Sergeant Dann, Sergeant Sheehan; D--Corporal Reisenbach, Corporal Ives; E-Sergeant Sheridan, Sergeant Le Voy (killed in action August 18, 1918), Sergeant Hewitt; F-Sergeant McElroy, Headquarters Company-Sergeant Willis, Corporal Bartanek, Sergeant Levi, Corporal Hermann; Sup-ply Company-Sergeant Phillips, Corporal Flynn; Medical Detachment-Sergeant Derby, Sergeant Black.

Weekly meetings were held while activities were being organized, and after that meetings were held at frequent intervals whenever need arose. Many open meetings have been held, attended by larger groups of leaders in athletics and entertainments.

At the outset managers were appointed in each organization for each branch of sport or entertainment, so that at times there have been as many as fifteen different managers in one battery and as many as seventy managers throughout the regiment promoting twenty different activities such as boxing, wrestling, baseball, basketball, soccer, track, football, glee club, orchestra, dramatics and vaudeville, regimental newspaper, pool and billiards, chess and checkers, volley ball, etc.

The rugby football managers were first in action for our regiment formed in football time. Only enough clothes could be obtained for a regimental team but we were well represented at Camp Upton in a few contests with other regiments. Lieutenant Bomeisler of Yale fame was our coach. More than a year later, in December 1918, when we were at Dancevoir, France, another call for football men was issued for the 77th Division team. We were proud to have three men on the squad of the divi-sional team which won many games throughout the A. E. F.

Our regimental basketball league, started in January, 1918, was one of the best at Camp Upton. After a long schedule of spirited contests played on the Y. M. C. A. and K. of C. courts, Headquarters Company won the trophy in a thrilling finish by winning the final game on April 1, 1918.

A regimental team, captained by Corporal Romano, played a few games at Upton and also in the Y. M. C. A. gymnasium at Latracey, France. As a rule, however, basketball courts were unknown in France and a schedule of games was out of the question.

A boxing trophy was presented by the officers of the regiment in March, 1918, and won by Battery F. Shortly after, Private Schroeder of Headquarters Company and Sergeant Blake of Battery E represented us in the divisional tournament, Schroeder winning the divisional featherweight championship.

Battery E won the cup at Souge, France in June, 1918, and Headquarters Company won it at Dance-voir, France, in January, 1919. In the Le Mans area, just before our home going, we were represented in several bouts at the 77th Division tournament. Blake of E and Murphy and Gatyds of B won championships of the brigade in their weights. Three out of the six brigade champions were 306th Field Artillery men.

The first track and field meet in which our regiment contested was the Camp Upton meet held under the auspices of the New York Athletic Club on Wednesday, December 5th. We won third place, out of fifteen. Our winners were Wallis of F, Hauschild of B, Manson of D, Dwyer of C. In January, 1918, Panzer and De Brunner of F scored at the Millrose Athletic Association meet in Madison Square Garden. Dwyer, McCarthy, Schmidt and Heiz were point winners in the divisional cross-country run on February 16, 19 18, and on almost every Sunday Dwyer was winning races for the Mohawk Athletic Club.

At Camp de Souge, France, a regimental inter-battery track meet was held won by Battery C, and on Memorial Day and Fourth of July at Bordeaux our regiment had a large share in the victories won by Camp de Souge over all the other camps of that base section of France. Dolan of Battery D won the shotput and Hyder of D, Golden of E and Dwyer of C and Taggart of Supply Company also carried away ribbons and medals.

The exploits of our track athletes had a splendid finish when the artillery won the divisional championship and the 77th Division won the American embarkation center championship late in March, 1919. Dolan, Younger, Romano, Roodenberg, Mc-Carthy and Dwyer were point winners on March 15th at Parce and McCarthy and Dwyer and Younger at Le Mans on March 27th, 28th and 29th.

Our famous "Race Horse Mike" Dwyer finished his military track career by overcoming a tremendous lead and winning the medley relay for our regimental team on March 15th and by winning the premier event, the eight mile run at Le Mans.

The severe winter and late spring of 1918 delayed the baseball season and then when our regimental schedule was arranged, and about to operate, the rumors and false starts for France delayed and confused everything. In the opening game Headquarters Company beat Supply Company 27-8, but the championship never was decided. Battery C had a team of above average quality and won many informal games, notably the one from the Depot Brigade by coming from behind with nine runs in the last two innings. In Souge there was only one ball ground for the use of ten thousand men and therefore a regimental team was the only baseball possibility for us. At Noyen, France, while waiting for the long delayed transport, many inter-battery games were played in which Headquarters Company and Battery F made the best showing. Our regimental team was also active in that area and won ten out of fourteen games played.

The entertainment and vaudeville managers of the regiment were organized in November, 1917. Special programs were presented at the Artillery Y. M. C. A. and almost every battery soon had informal shows at least once a week in the barracks. At the " Brigade Celebration " in the Upton auditorium each battery and company presented two special features and the following regimental song and cheer were introduced:

(Tune: Good-bye Broadway)

We are there with six-inch guns
Sixteen hundred strong,
We will petrify the Huns,
Our howitzers can't shoot wrong.
Hindenburg and three-o-six
Is a cocktail hard to mix,
We'll crash and roar both night and day,-
The shells Of 306 F. A.
(Locomotive yell-starts slow, goes faster and faster to finish)
3-0-6-F-A, 3-0-6-F-A,
3-0-6-F-A, 3-0-6-F-A, 3--0-6-F-A
Wheest-Boom (imitation of shell)
Howitzer-howitzer-howitzer!

The "Hero Land" show at the Grand Central

Palace and the first mass meeting of the 306th Field Artillery Friends and Relatives Association, held in Washington Irving High School auditorium, afforded other opportunities for our singers and entertainers to show their worth. Some of the leading entertainers were Rudolfi, Brower, " Buddy " Childs, Gottlieb, Witmer, Bob Cohen, Coleman, and Schon.

On board the Leviathan the demand for their services was so great that they were kept busy continually, especially for the benefit of the naval officers and the nurses. A battalion show was put on every week at Camp de Souge in addition to three regimental vaudeville shows. Rudolfi's voice seemed fairly to exult in the balmy air of southern France and he and our band were tremendously popular in Bordeaux during May and June, 1918.

The band was always most helpful at regimental entertainments but at the front the chaplain's organ had to serve as the entire orchestra for our occasional informal entertainments. At Loromontzey in Lorraine on August 5th and at La Harazee in the Argonne Forest on October 25th, two big out-of-door shows were put on for the whole regiment.

Our band won fame early in our history when it introduced the 306th Field Artillery March written especially for us by John Philip Sousa, the world's greatest march composer. Lieutenant Friedlander's initiative as band officer was responsible for that honor coming to us. Lieutenant Sousa waived all compensation connected therewith. He said that if his effort would enhance the morale of the regiment and stimulate it to its best efforts, he felt that it would make him happy and would be the only compensation needed. The regiment hopes that its fighting record justifies Sousa's faith in it.

Mr. James E. Kelly, the eminent sculptor, made the cover design for the published sheet music edition of our march. It shows a howitzer battery carrying a guidon in the foreground. The guidon has the regimental " 306 " on it and the whole thing is very effective. Mr. Kelly is perhaps best known to New Yorkers by his bronze bas-relief of Washington at Valley Forge on the Sub-Treasury building on Wall Street.

The music of this march is built around the old artillery song which goes as follows:

Over hill over dale, as we hit the dusty trail
And those caissons go rolling along
Up and down, in and out, counter march and left about
And those caissons go rolling along
For it's hi hi hee, the Field Artilleree,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong (3-0-6) (spoken),
Wherever we go, you will always know
That those caissons go rolling along-keep 'em rolling
That those caissons go rolling along.
Battery Ho!

Another regimental song, to the French tune
Madelon:

Three-O-Six, your howitzers won the war.
Three O-Six, we've followed you thru hell.
Argonne wood reechoes back no more
To the crash of six-inch shell.
Now the Vesle is but a memory,
But your fame has gone across the sea
For you blazed the trail to victory.
You're the pride of the artillery!

When the fighting stopped, athletics and the show business superseded everything else in popular interest. Beginning at the Y. M. C. A. in Mareq in November, 1918, up to the time of our demobilization, our entertainers were busy. It became evident early in December at Dancevoir that to meet the demand for entertainment some sort of organization was necessary and so, before Christmas, the now famous 306th Field Artillery Stock Company was organized. At that time the idea was a new one among the combat divisions of the A. E. F., and the " Liberty Players" were immediately in great demand. Costumes were bought and borrowed from French civilians, scenery was rapidly built and painted. Manager Callahan made a mysterious visit to Paris and brought back most of the Folies Bergeres material and from then on each new performance added to our regiment's glory.

The New York Herald and Stars and Stripes began to publish stories about the show. General Headquarters of the A. E. F. demanded a performance. The Le Mans entertainment bureau announced that it was far ahead of any other show ever given in that area, and the famous Trianon Theater at Tours turned away crowds daily for a week while our players were there.

The line up of From Whizz Bang to Footlights, A Musical Barage in Three Elevations, was as follows: Mitchell, Rosenberg, Spencer, Dyson, Kinney, Jacalow, Gallagher, Crone, Seeger, Wardwell, Moch, Ast, Doherty, Plimpton, McElroy, Cohen, Panzer and Eineman. The production was staged by Sam Mitchell; orchestra under the direction of Angelo Russo; scenery by Salvator Gillis; musical arrangements by Robert Pollock; business manager, Edward Callahan; stage director, John Crone; stage carpenters, Murray Popper and Jack Wise; property man, Stanley Rosecrans; electrician, Aage Christenson. Chaplain Thomas, Captain Gordon, and Lieutenant Brown acted successively as officer-supervisors.

These players have been ready at all times and under the most trying circumstances to produce joy for their comrades. They have always been cheerfully on call for battery and company entertainments, especially on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's day.

The gigantic task of entertaining and cheering up the men of the 306th Field Artillery could not have been accomplished without the never-to-be-forgotten work of the Welfare Societies. We will never realize how much they have done for us because we have taken so much of their help as a matter of course.

The "Artillery Y" was the center of our recreational life at Camp Upton. Jimmy Clark was the most enthusiastic sport promoter our regiment ever had; and what he was to athletics, so were Hainer, Hedrick, Moment, Brinkerhoff, and others to enter-tainment of all sorts. The work of Secretaries Moran and McGrath at the K. of C. building, the hostesses at the Y. M. C. A. Hostess House, and Secretary Hyman of the J. W. B. were also appreciated. On board the Leviathan and at Pontanezen the " Y" furnished a profuse amount of games, books, magazines, writing material, and athletic material in addition to splendid moneychanging facilities.

Camp de Souge was as dreary as a desert until the Lakeside Y. M. C. A. opened up the best equipped recreation building we ever enjoyed. Messrs. Cook and Kendall, Mrs. Gereison and Mrs. Kendall worked day and night in our behalf. The Bordeaux Y. M. C. A. filled our weekend leaves with many typically American pleasures.

In the Baccarat sector of the front Y. M. C. A. huts at five villages served over half our units and when we left for the Vesle sector Mr. Roy Rawlings, a business man from Kansas City, was assigned as Y. M. C. A. secretary for our regiment. He proved himself to be a splendid campaigner and well able to accompany soldiers on active field service. His genial cordiality and interest in our welfare have made him well-known and respected by all. About forty thousand francs' worth of stores per month were sold during his period of service either directly to individuals or through their battalion ration drivers and mess sergeants. Thirty thousand francs' worth of money orders were sent to the United States per month. During our four months at the front about thirty different parties of Y. M. C. A. enter-tainers, singers, speakers, etc., appeared before some portions of the men of our regiment.

All of the above is exclusive of goods sold through the Y. M. C. A. huts at Rondchamp in the Argonne Forest and Chery-Chartreuve on the Vesle. The latter was kept open for business until closed by military order, at least fifteen men having been killed and thirty wounded while patronizing it. The above is also exclusive of stores distributed and service rendered to us by secretaries of other regiments serving nearby, one of these from the 304th Field Artillery being wounded at Bazoches.

About the only bright spots in the mud of Mareq and Dancevoir were the Y. M. C. A. huts which were far too small for us. When we reached Noyen for the " last long wait " we found a well-equipped Y. M. C. A. theater, tent and canteen building, but better than all else two American girls, Miss Marian Dean and Miss Lucile Watters, who made the whole regiment happy by their gracious hospitality. They were joined later by Miss Adele Winston of the J. W. B. who cooperated most heartily and efficiently with the whole " Y " program.

There was a Salvation Army hut at Baccarat where doughnuts and lemonade were sold and preaching services held on alternate nights. A Salvation Army hut at St. Juvin was visited by some of our men from Marcq about the time of the Armistice.

In the Baccarat sector, Secretary Bundschu of the K. of C. made the rounds of the batteries twice with magazines and cigarettes. In the Vesle sector he and "Uncle Joe " Kiernan followed the division with their hot chocolate wagon. On the night of September 15th they met Batteries C, D, E, and F coming out of the lines and served hot chocolate. In the Argonne Forest, at La Harazee, Batteries C and D were again fortunate enough to be located near the same wagon for several days.

The Red Cross man with the division, Captain Popham, sent us cigarettes and chocolates and maga-ines on several occasions. Other good things were supplied by the Red Cross huts at Chery-Chartreuve, Bazoches, and to a few of our men who visited Grand Pre after the Armistice.

The American Library Association sent us over eight hundred volumes from their Paris office while we were in France and at Upton its library was open a month before we left.

We are sure that in the years to come although we will be again accustomed to the luxuries of civil life and the hardships of the war will be only memories, yet we can never cease being grateful to all who tried to bring us enjoyment while we were wearing the olive drab.
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