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WWI Coast Artillery Corps Helmets AEF


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Okay, Here is a one I haven't solved yet. I bought a grouping that belonged to what appears to be a CAC Vet. The uniform has 28th Division Patch, as does the Helmet. The Collar tabs suggest he was in 59th Art. CAC Battery E. I haven't found anyone that remotely comes close to the chicken scratched name in the tunic. The lot came with a number of items including photos and a small newspaper clipping that names two people, but I have not found the relationship. I will start posting with the helmet.

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The artist was Joseph Christian (J. C.) Leyendecker (in his time, as famous as Norman Rockwell). This illustration was a Saturday Evening Post cover on 31 May 1919.

 

See: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6c/b1/50/6cb15023f8900d1d6863ee5eff58ee12.jpg

 

And: http://poulwebb.blogspot.com/2015/04/j-c-leyendecker-part-4.html

 

Though born in Germany, he was one of the preeminent artists depicting the US military during WWI. He was incredibly detailed (and pretty accurate) in depicting uniforms, though clearly in an idealized fashion.

 

 

One of my favorite WWI illustrators who also made several detailed uniform and naval themed portraits.

 

Fabulous CAC helmets being posted on this topic

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Here is the only photo I have of a helmet from my Grandfather's unit. The 50th Artillery CAC. It was sold about 6 years ago on a now defunct auction site. I was unable to track down who bought it. Would really like to add it to my collection and would be willing to offer more than it is worth...

 

 

 

Is this a painted construction helmet? It has that high top shape.

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WRT the E / 59th Artillery uniform, there was a 59th Field Artillery Brigade assigned to the 34th Division.

 

The 28th Division had the 53rd Field Artillery Brigade (107th, 108th, 109th FA Regiments, 103rd Trench Mortar Battery, 103rd Ammunition Train).

 

The collar discs are of the 1918 design for a Field Artillery unit (not CAC) - with the U.S. and regimental number on one disc, and crossed cannon (centered on the disc) with the battery letter beneath on the other disc.

 

 

Prior to 1918, enlisted field artillerymen wore the regimental number in the intersection above the crossed cannon and the battery letter in the intersection below the crossed cannon, except for staff NCOs who wore no battery letter.

The problem with this is that there was no 59th Field Artillery Regiment in the Army during WWI or immediately afterwards.

By 1919, there were 30 field artillery regiments in the Regular Army (1-22 and 76-83), 50 field artillery regiments in the National Guard divisions (101-151), and 70 field artillery regiments in the National Army divisions (23-40, 75, 84, and 301-351).

There was a 59th Coast Artillery Regiment, but the CAC collar insignia differed from the FA collar insignia, in that the crossed cannon were not centered on the disc.

Interestingly, the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment (equipped with the 155mm GPF or the British 8" howitzer, depending on the source you read) supported the 28th Division in the Argonne in late September and October 1918, actually serving as 'divisional artillery.'

http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/coast59.htm

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Ref the E / 59th Artillery insignia, wonder if this is a post-WWI uniform from the 1920s.

 

The 59th Coast Artillery Regiment was not demobilized after WWI - it went first to California, then to Washington, then to the Philippines.

 

In about 1921, certain uniform items that had been authorized in France during WWI -- but forbidden for wear in the US -- were finally allowed to be worn. These included the Sam Browne belt for officers, and the divisional shoulder insignia.

 

It might be that this individual was serving with the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment in the Philippines in 1921, and sewed on his WWI vintage 28th Division shoulder patch.

 

Only problem with this scenario is that by 1921, the enlisted collar disc for the CAC included the shell within the lozenge at the intersection of the crossed cannon, and the lettered CAC companies (from WWI) were re-designated as numbered CAC companies (e.g., E battery, 59th CA Regt became the 252nd Company, 59th CA Regiment -- and it was inactive).

 

From: https://cdsg.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/FORTS/CACunits/CACreg1.pdf

 

The 59th Arty sailed from Brest, arriving New York 1-24-19, and moved to Cp. Upton, where NG and NA men were discharged 1-30-19. Initially 59th Arty was slated for the east coast with the 32nd Bde, but 59th was substituted for 56th Arty and transferred to 31st Bde at San Francisco. Btry C was inactivated prior to the transfer, its personnel reassigned to 2nd Co, CD SNY. The 59th Arty numbered only a few hundred RA officers and men when it arrived at Ft. Winfield Scott. It was at Ft. Winfield Scott from the latter part of February until 10-2-19, when 31st Bde was transferred to Cp. Lewis, WA. The 31st Bde and the 57th Arty Regt were demobilized in the summer of 1921, the personnel of the 57th were transferred to the brigade’s two remaining regiments, the 55th and the 59th Arty, enabling the 59th to bring HHB and Btrys A & B up to nominal peacetime strengths. The 59th was transferred to Ft. Mills on Corregidor Island, departing Ft. Lewis 7-13-21. On 8-1-21, while enroute to the Philippine Islands, 1st, 2nd & 3rd Bn HHD&CTs were organized 8-1-21 aboard the USAT Sherman from personnel of the regimental HHB. On 6-30-22, HHB, 59th Arty was additionally designated 98th Co, CAC; HHD 1st Bn, 248th Co, CAC; HHD 2nd Bn, 249th Co, CAC; HHD 3rd Bn, 250th Co, CAC. Btrys A, B, C, D, E, & F were additionally designated 176th, 252nd, 3rd, 254th, 255th, & 252nd Cos, CAC, with Btrys C through F inactive. The 59th Arty arrived at Manila 8-13-21 and was transported to Ft. Mills, Corregidor, that same date.

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Thanks Eric,

 

I appreciate the help on this, and already aware of the discrepancies. I even looked through both ship manifests for close matches to the name written in the tunic.

 

Other than the 28th Division Patch, the uniform is and helmet is correct. So it may. E the case that this soldier served in the 55th Artillery and then returned home and served in the 28th Division with the National Guard. If the uniform is correct, we know he was a PFC, wounded, served 12 months and was in Battery E.

 

NARA probably has the regimental records and they may list wounded soldiers, so that is my next task. Even my Grandfathers unit that never saw action listed every soldier that was sick or died of illness.

 

For those interested in more details on a specific regiment, I highly recommended a trip to College Park MD.

 

One last thing, there are some letters stamped in the chin strap of the helmet that are interesting. They are not from a manufacturer.

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What’s also interesting about this uniform is the use of a single stripe on both sleeves above the round PFC patch. This is definitely post war and possibly a parade uniform for American Legion or VFW. Many soldiers wore their uniforms into the 30s(possibly longer)during parades.

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Not seeing my grandfather's CAC unit listed -- 64th. They were scheduled to head to the front 4 days after the armistice, so saw no combat.

 

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HQ 34th Artillery Brigade: 64th CA Regt (British 8"), 70th CA Regt (US-assembled British 8"), 71st CA Regt (British 8") - not in combat

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Those round patches on the sleeves are not PFC chevrons. They are qualification insignia for First Class Gunner, I believe. Artillery PFC for both Coast and Field Artillery are round crossed cannon chevrons.

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HQ 34th Artillery Brigade: 64th CA Regt (British 8"), 70th CA Regt (US-assembled British 8"), 71st CA Regt (British 8") - not in combat

Very good -- I did not see it in the earlier list. Grandpa Joseph E. McCrone was in Battery E, 64th.

 

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The Hathi Trust webpage is a great place to look for U.S. Army uniform regulations

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006539002

 

Here is a .pdf of the Regulations for the Uniforms of the U.S. Army, 1917

https://history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/resmat/wwi/historical_resources/default/sec04/PDF/regulationsforun1917uniform.pdf

 

There was no set of U.S. Army Uniform Regulations published in 1919. Bill Emerson lists the following for pre-WWI, WWI, post-WWI:

 

1911: Regulations for the Uniform of the United States Army, 26 Dec 1911.

1912 Specification for the Uniforms of the United States Army, 25 Jan 1912.

1913: Specification for the Uniforms of the United States Army, February 15, 1913.

1914: Regulations for the Uniform of the United States Army (Revised Edition), July 22, 1914.

1917: Special Regulations Number 41, Regulations for the Uniform of the United States Army, August 15, 1917; Special Regulations Number 42, Specifications for the Uniform of the United States, August 15, 1917.

1921: Army Regulations (AR) 600-35, 14 Oct 1921, Prescribed Service Uniform; AR 600-40, Sept 1921, Wearing of Service Uniform.

1924: AR 600-35, 25 Nov 1924, Prescribed Service Uniform.

1926: AR 600-35, 31 Dec 1926, Prescribed Service Uniform; AR 600-40, 31 Dec 1926, Wearing of Service Uniform.

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/9/2019 at 8:55 PM, manayunkman said:

 

Is this a painted construction helmet? It has that high top shape.

post-51189-0-67910600-1552182930.jpg

No, it just looks like that.  photo distorted.

 

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