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96th Co. 6th Marines Quantico Oct.22,1917 yardlong

Started by GWS , Mar 29 2014 05:16 AM

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#1 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:16 AM

I've recently started to research some of the yardlong photos I've picked up over the years and thought it would be a good idea to post here since I haven't finished investigating this photo yet. This photo does have some amount of sun fading on the left side and overall is not the best resolution yardlong photo I've seen, however I'm hoping fellow collectors will add any information they have. What I do know is the 96th Co. was part of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Regiment, 4th Brigade USMC that was formed on Oct.23(day after this photo was taken), commanded by Brig. Gen. Charles A. Doyen and later attached to the 2nd Division of the AEF. The 96th Co. arrived in St. Nazaire France on Feb. 6, 1918.

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#2 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:23 AM

The 96th Co. was commanded by Captain Donald F.Duncan who I think I have identified in the photo after a comparison to a photo of Capt. Duncan from another source.

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#3 Brig

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:26 AM

OUTSTANDING PHOTO!

 

As a 2/6 vet with combat service with the 96th Co myself (albeit much more recently!), these old 2/6 yard longs really grab my interest. This one's even more interesting, taken on Oct 22...the day I became a Marine myself

 

Is it framed?



#4 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:31 AM

The other officers of the Co. are on either side of Capt. Duncan. The two on the left are obviously 1st Lt's and the 3 on the right are officers but wear no rank that I can see(2nd Lt's ?) Was it normal for 2nd Lt's not to wear collar insignia at that time?

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#5 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:33 AM

OUTSTANDING PHOTO!
 
As a 2/6 vet with combat service with the 96th Co myself (albeit much more recently!), these old 2/6 yard longs really grab my interest. This one's even more interesting, taken on Oct 22...the day I became a Marine myself

Make an offer, when will you see another?

#6 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:34 AM

Yes, it's in what I am sure is the original frame, I did replace the photo backing after I got it because the photo itself was about to fall out of the frame!


Edited by GWS, 29 March 2014 - 05:35 AM.


#7 Brig

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:45 AM

Clifton Cates did a very brief stint with the 96th Co in November of 1917, but was in the 80th prior to and before...not sure when he made the transfers exactly



#8 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:49 AM

Digging a bit deeper into the makeup of this Co., I found that a future USMC Commandant (1948-1952) was a member -Clifton B. Cates. He joined the Corps as a 2nd Lt. on June 13th 1917 and after 2 weeks at Port Royal(Parris Island) basic training, and 2 months officers training at Quantico he joined the 96th Co. I 'm speculating a lot here but I believe this is 2nd Lt. Cates. Comparing this image to the many that can be found of Cates of later dates leads me to believe this is him. I let my wife view the later Cates' photos and them let her pick out whom she thought was Cates in the officer's closeups and she also picked the same man, so, it must be correct if she says so!

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#9 Brig

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:02 AM

I'd say yes, the resemblance is very good and likely him, it lines up with his short time with the 96th in 1917


Edited by Brig, 29 March 2014 - 06:13 AM.


#10 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:11 AM

To fast-forward the 96th Co. history a bit, they served with French troops in the Toulons-Troyons sector near Verdun for their first taste of trench warfare. Later, in June of 1918, they moved to the area of Belleau Wood near Chateau Thierry sector. Sadly, on June 6th, Captain Duncan was KIA during the attack to take the village of Bouresches.  Lt's Cates and Robertson  took part of the Co. (about 20 men total) and finished the assault and  held Bouresches. The rest of the Belleau Wood battle is much larger than the scope of this post and I won't even attempt to recount it here. There certainly were some courageous and tough looking Marines in this photo! 

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#11 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:14 AM

Another, I call the guy second from left  Tiny!

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#12 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:15 AM

And finally---Tex!

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#13 Brig

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:17 AM

Another, I call the guy second from left  Tiny!

That's a big guy. We always jokingly, and rather darkly to be honest, call the big guys 'Sniper's Dream'



#14 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 09:04 AM

A couple of other tidbits of information found with the aid of a magnifier: All of the M1903 rifles held by men in the front row have the Kerr-NoBuckle slings attached, all except one that has a M1907 leather sling. Does anyone know if the Kerr sling was used in Europe?

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#15 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 09:10 AM

A couple of the NCO's have on  M1911 pistols in what looks like M1912 swivel holsters:

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#16 GWS

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 09:11 AM

One more:

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#17 bobgee

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 11:42 AM

Wonderful image and closeups! Taken in October 1917, one must wonder how many of these fine Marines survived the war unscathed? Semper Fi.....Bobgee


Edited by bobgee, 29 March 2014 - 11:43 AM.


#18 world war I nerd

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 07:19 PM

GWS,

 

Did you notice that in post no.2, the Marine in the upper left corner is wearing a lift-the-dot cartridge belt ... not a USMC snap cartridge belt like you'd expect at this relatively early date in the war?

 

In October of 1917, there was no rank insignia for 2nd lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Therefore, 2nd lieutenants wore no insignia on the shoulder straps of their service coats.

 

When wearing the flannel shirts, officers with the rank of 1st lieutenant and above wore their respective rank insignia on the collar points of the shirt, much like the USAMC officers shown in this photo. 2nd lieutenants were authorized to wear their respective branch of insignia (crossed rifles, crossed sabers & crossed artillery barrels, etc.) on the shirt collars.

 

Judging by the lack of rank insignia, the USMC also did not have a 2nd lieutenant's rank insignia in October of 1917.

 

The War Department didn't authorize the gold 2nd lieutenants rank insignia for the Army, and presumably also for the USMC until December 1917.



#19 Mtlh2010

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 08:04 PM

A couple of the NCO's have on  M1911 pistols in what looks like M1912 swivel holsters:


the one with the holster visible and leg bent out appears to be a Gunnery Sergeant....looks like bursting bomb beneath chevrons

#20 Dirk

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:24 AM

Yes you are correct no rank for 2LT's at that time.

#21 GWS

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:19 AM

 WW1Nerd--I did notice the cartridge and first aid pouches, I thought there might be a mix of early/late equipment but all I see are LTD belts. I thought I had read somewhere that 2nd Lts. did not wear any rank insignia and that appears to be correct. That was one of the first factors in trying to identify Clifton Cates as he would have been a 2nd Lt. at that time. That fact left only 3 officers as a possibility, and with so many photos of Cates available it wasn't too difficult to identify him.

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#22 GWS

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:48 AM

Mtlh2010---You must have eagle eyes! I didn't notice the bursting bomb beneath the stripes so I looked at the original photo again with a magnifier and for some strange reason it actually shows up much better in the photo I took of the original than it does looking directly at the original photo! If that makes any sense! That also happens to be the most faded area of the entire photo, so yes, I am sure you are correct now. Thank you. I can't seem to get a better image with additional photos so I'll leave it at that.

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#23 katieony

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 04:12 AM

These yard-longs are tough to find...thank you for posting!

 

Mike



#24 GWS

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 05:39 AM

These yard-longs are tough to find...thank you for posting!

 

Mike

  You're welcome. The sorry thing is that I've had this photo for 6-7 years hanging in the "war room" and never taken time to research it. It's actually much more rewarding to me than actually getting lucky and "finding" it in the first place. It now has a very special place in my collection.



#25 GWS

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:28 AM

Would it be possible to find a roster of men in the 96th Co. around the time this photo was taken? So far, I've found that there were at least 12 DSC's awarded to men in this Co. during the war but a roster would make it easier to find them' although identifying them individually in this photo might not be possible. Any help would certainly be appreciated. Thanks.




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