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Headquarters Company WW1 Questions...Did They See Less Action?


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My curiosity is piqued because of my grandfather’s service in the the 30th infantry Regiment Of the 3rd Division. I know my questIons may require lengthy replies, so if you could provide me resources to research, I would greatly appreciate it. 
 

Q1:  What was the role of HQ Company During WW1?

Q2:  Were they more protected and out of harms way because of their value? Incidentally my grandfather’s captain/superior had to leave because of mustard gas complications...which my grandfather later died from in 1951. 
Q3:  Would they have been involved in less action, and if so, would other members of the regiment look down upon them because they did not take as much risk?

 

Nonetheless, I know my grandfather’s regiment suffered hundreds of casualties on multiple occasions. One of his letters to his mom, indicated that he and his friend captured six Heines and two machine guns, but they will never get credit for it. I do have an epaulet from a Bavarian Batallion, that was brought back as a prisoner taken trophy. Thanks again for your time.

053D43C5-480F-418B-BB38-F3457E2195D5.jpeg.d20ae5b9ec97902342fc0a37a9ff1dd0.jpeg

 

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HQ Companies provide support for a unit, they consist of Clerks, Signalers,etc  Vehicle Drivers, Vehicle Mechanics (In WWI to a lesser extent horse drawn vehicles) HQ Companies are found on two levels, the Regimental HQ Company and the Battalion HQ Company, HQ Companies on both levels tend not to see front line combat, not really because of their value, but simply because of the dictates of their function,which does not necessitate them being in front line combat, though there have been exceptions, not only in WWI but in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, here it is more of a case of circumstances then design. in example during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. HQ Companies of course do incur causalities, for your purposes, WWI, an HQ Company, Regiment and or Battalion, might lose people from enemy artillery, long range type say, and since it's WWI, Artillery bombardments or harassing fire could be either High Explosive or GAS, then there was the early attempts by enemy aircraft that might range behind the lines an attack ground targets etc, the Germans having developed aircraft specifically for this purpose, like the Hannoveraners, the Hannover CL.III in example

 

 

 Do you know what his Branch was? You might be able to tell by looking at his portrait to see his collar disc.

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Hi,

 

The Headquarters Company of an American infantry regiment in World War I was composed of different specialists.  The breakdown as shown in the History of the 353rd Infantry (89th Division) is as follows:

 

MAXIMUM STRENGTH HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
From Tables of Organization of May, 1918.

                           OFFICERS     MEN
Headquarters Staff............2.........42
Orderly Section.........................29
Band..........................1.........49
Signal Platoon................1.........76
Bombers and Sappers Platoon...2.........48
Pounder Platoon...............1.........38
Pioneer Platoon...............1.........54
        Total.................8........336

 

"Bombers" in this chart means Stokes Mortar and "Pounder" means one-pounder cannon.  The different components of the company were often broken up and scattered across the regiment while at the front.  The regimental history provides quite a bit of detail about their experience: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/loc.ark:/13960/t3bz6zb73?urlappend=%3Bseq=235

 

For an overview of the experiences of the 107th Infantry's headquarters company, visit: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015027341364?urlappend=%3Bseq=541
The 107th Infantry was part of the 27th Division and served with the British.

 

Do you know what specialty your grandfather was trained in?

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3 hours ago, hist3891 said:

Hi,

 

The Headquarters Company of an American infantry regiment in World War I was composed of different specialists.  The breakdown as shown in the History of the 353rd Infantry (89th Division) is as follows:

 

MAXIMUM STRENGTH HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
From Tables of Organization of May, 1918.

                           OFFICERS     MEN
Headquarters Staff............2.........42
Orderly Section.........................29
Band..........................1.........49
Signal Platoon................1.........76
Bombers and Sappers Platoon...2.........48
Pounder Platoon...............1.........38
Pioneer Platoon...............1.........54
        Total.................8........336

 

"Bombers" in this chart means Stokes Mortar and "Pounder" means one-pounder cannon.  The different components of the company were often broken up and scattered across the regiment while at the front.  The regimental history provides quite a bit of detail about their experience: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/loc.ark:/13960/t3bz6zb73?urlappend=%3Bseq=235

 

For an overview of the experiences of the 107th Infantry's headquarters company, visit: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015027341364?urlappend=%3Bseq=541
The 107th Infantry was part of the 27th Division and served with the British.

 

Do you know what specialty your grandfather was trained in?

That's a great OOB chart hist3891, wasn't aware the Regimental Band was in it's HQ Company, would of thought they just fell under Regiment as a separate unit all together, so too those Mortar and Infantry Gun platoons, the army reorganizes these in the 20s and 30s, that gives us the WWII era Cannon Company of the Infantry Regiment, The Service Companies as well.

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Incredible information, I will look into your questions tomorrow and get back to you. Thank you so much. I have ordered a few books, one was quite expensive and rare, so I will be sharing my findings. 

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That Gun Platoon, would think the weapon used was the French Canon d'Infanterie de 37 modèle 1916 TRP (37mm mle.1916 or 37mm M1916. It was still used in the U.S. Army post war 20s-30s, there was a Platoon of 3 Guns of these in the Regular Army Regiment, in National Guard Division Regiment , a full Company, a Company maybe in the Reserve Divisions who's elements were actively drilling too.

37mm-gun-dieffmatten-19180626.gif

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11 hours ago, patches said:

HQ Companies provide support for a unit, they consist of Clerks, Signalers,etc  Vehicle Drivers, Vehicle Mechanics (In WWI to a lesser extent horse drawn vehicles) HQ Companies are found on two levels, the Regimental HQ Company and the Battalion HQ Company, HQ Companies on both levels tend not to see front line combat, not really because of their value, but simply because of the dictates of their function,which does not necessitate them being in front line combat, though there have been exceptions, not only in WWI but in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, here it is more of a case of circumstances then design. in example during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. HQ Companies of course do incur causalities, for your purposes, WWI, an HQ Company, Regiment and or Battalion, might lose people from enemy artillery, long range type say, and since it's WWI, Artillery bombardments or harassing fire could be either High Explosive or GAS, then there was the early attempts by enemy aircraft that might range behind the lines an attack ground targets etc, the Germans having developed aircraft specifically for this purpose, like the Hannoveraners, the Hannover CL.III in example

 

 

 Do you know what his Branch was? You might be able to tell by looking at his portrait to see his collar disc.

 

When you say branch...what specifically do you mean, could you provide a few examples?  I have attached a picture from his discharge papers. Does this Pic answer your question? 

 

8191D1CF-D520-45C6-9FC4-63DABD9AA659.jpeg

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11 hours ago, hist3891 said:

Hi,

 

The Headquarters Company of an American infantry regiment in World War I was composed of different specialists.  The breakdown as shown in the History of the 353rd Infantry (89th Division) is as follows:

 

MAXIMUM STRENGTH HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
From Tables of Organization of May, 1918.

                           OFFICERS     MEN
Headquarters Staff............2.........42
Orderly Section.........................29
Band..........................1.........49
Signal Platoon................1.........76
Bombers and Sappers Platoon...2.........48
Pounder Platoon...............1.........38
Pioneer Platoon...............1.........54
        Total.................8........336

 

"Bombers" in this chart means Stokes Mortar and "Pounder" means one-pounder cannon.  The different components of the company were often broken up and scattered across the regiment while at the front.  The regimental history provides quite a bit of detail about their experience: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/loc.ark:/13960/t3bz6zb73?urlappend=%3Bseq=235

 

For an overview of the experiences of the 107th Infantry's headquarters company, visit: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015027341364?urlappend=%3Bseq=541
The 107th Infantry was part of the 27th Division and served with the British.

 

Do you know what specialty your grandfather was trained in?

My grandfather died in 1951. My mother was only five. Most of his family died off and we have very little information. My mom‘s mother died 10 years later.I have attached his rifle range scores. I am not sure how good they are. I do know that he served in the Marines afterwards in the 20s and 30s. In fact, I think he even try to enlist again for World War II. I have to investigate that. And one of his letters, he had stated that he has lots of crazy stories, But he would tell them when he got back.But he would tell them when he got back.

5728FA7B-2454-4573-8F9E-C073D558B98A.jpeg

48ED957A-A347-41AC-B038-F3AC005E25CE.jpeg

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Hi,

 

Glad I could help with this topic.  The 37mm gun in the photo posted by Patches is indeed the weapon that the one-pounder platoon was equipped with.  It was a bulky piece of equipment that was often difficult to get in to position.  I have read that troops did not like being around them because they rapidly drew enemy artillery fire.  Still, they were quite effective against machine gun nests when the gun crew could get a clear shot.

 

What does the discharge say under "Marksmanship, gunner qualification or rating"?  I was hoping that he may have mentioned his specialty in one of his letters.  Does he give any information on training or combat?  His personnel file at NPRC (National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis) should have contained a page giving his specialty and qualification date.  Unfortunately, a large percentage of these records were destroyed in a catastrophic fire back in 1973.  You may want to have a private researcher try to pull his file when NPRC reopens.  I was lucky enough to get an almost complete file for a soldier who served in the Headquarters Company of the 108th Infantry.  It gives the following information:

 

Army Specialty: Stokes Mortar

Rating: Good (on a scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair)

Date: 7/19 (presumably July 19, 1918)

 

I like the rifle range score card.  It appears to have the qualification "sharpshooter" written on it.  This was recorded when the 3rd Division was still in the early phase of its organization at Camp Greene, Charlotte, North Carolina.  The 41st Division was at Camp Greene before the 3rd Division, so that is why it says "Forty-First Division Rifle Range."

 

I did a little more searching and it looks like your grandfather came back with Company D, Third Army Composite Regiment.  This was an elite ceremonial regiment in the AEF.  It was made up of select men from different divisions.  Your grandfather may be in the following photo: https://www.loc.gov/item/2007663808/.

 

Regards,

hist3891

 

 

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11 hours ago, Marne Pa said:

 

8191D1CF-D520-45C6-9FC4-63DABD9AA659.jpeg

Branch will mean basically what today will be MOS, as he was in a HQ Co, he could be from a branch other than Infantry, he may have been in example the Quatermaster Corps or the Signal Corps. This document above does not list it unfortunately.

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3 hours ago, hist3891 said:

Hi,

 

Glad I could help with this topic.  The 37mm gun in the photo posted by Patches is indeed the weapon that the one-pounder platoon was equipped with.  It was a bulky piece of equipment that was often difficult to get in to position.  I have read that troops did not like being around them because they rapidly drew enemy artillery fire.  Still, they were quite effective against machine gun nests when the gun crew could get a clear shot.

 

What does the discharge say under "Marksmanship, gunner qualification or rating"?  I was hoping that he may have mentioned his specialty in one of his letters.  Does he give any information on training or combat?  His personnel file at NPRC (National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis) should have contained a page giving his specialty and qualification date.  Unfortunately, a large percentage of these records were destroyed in a catastrophic fire back in 1973.  You may want to have a private researcher try to pull his file when NPRC reopens.  I was lucky enough to get an almost complete file for a soldier who served in the Headquarters Company of the 108th Infantry.  It gives the following information:

 

Army Specialty: Stokes Mortar

Rating: Good (on a scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair)

Date: 7/19 (presumably July 19, 1918)

 

I like the rifle range score card.  It appears to have the qualification "sharpshooter" written on it.  This was recorded when the 3rd Division was still in the early phase of its organization at Camp Greene, Charlotte, North Carolina.  The 41st Division was at Camp Greene before the 3rd Division, so that is why it says "Forty-First Division Rifle Range."

 

I did a little more searching and it looks like your grandfather came back with Company D, Third Army Composite Regiment.  This was an elite ceremonial regiment in the AEF.  It was made up of select men from different divisions.  Your grandfather may be in the following photo: https://www.loc.gov/item/2007663808/.

 

Regards,

hist3891

 

 

I did a little more searching and it looks like your grandfather came back with Company D, Third Army Composite Regiment.  This was an elite ceremonial regiment in the AEF.  It was made up of select men from different divisions.  Your grandfather may be in the following photo: https://www.loc.gov/item/2007663808/.

 

If that's the case , he may of been of the Infantry, and was either a Mortarman or a Infantry Gun Crewman.

 

Here's a Doughboy, he's Infantry (Wearing the early application of Branch colored backing discs. Infantry Blue) who may be from the Third Army Composite Regiment, if not then one of the Pioneer Infantry Regiments of Third Army.

post-34986-0-73990900-1584504324_thumb.jpg

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55 minutes ago, hist3891 said:

Hi,

 

Glad I could help with this topic.  The 37mm gun in the photo posted by Patches is indeed the weapon that the one-pounder platoon was equipped with.  It was a bulky piece of equipment that was often difficult to get in to position.  I have read that troops did not like being around them because they rapidly drew enemy artillery fire.  Still, they were quite effective against machine gun nests when the gun crew could get a clear shot.

 

What does the discharge say under "Marksmanship, gunner qualification or rating"?  I was hoping that he may have mentioned his specialty in one of his letters.  Does he give any information on training or combat?  His personnel file at NPRC (National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis) should have contained a page giving his specialty and qualification date.  Unfortunately, a large percentage of these records were destroyed in a catastrophic fire back in 1973.  You may want to have a private researcher try to pull his file when NPRC reopens.  I was lucky enough to get an almost complete file for a soldier who served in the Headquarters Company of the 108th Infantry.  It gives the following information:

 

Army Specialty: Stokes Mortar

Rating: Good (on a scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair)

Date: 7/19 (presumably July 19, 1918)

 

I like the rifle range score card.  It appears to have the qualification "sharpshooter" written on it.  This was recorded when the 3rd Division was still in the early phase of its organization at Camp Greene, Charlotte, North Carolina.  The 41st Division was at Camp Greene before the 3rd Division, so that is why it says "Forty-First Division Rifle Range."

 

I did a little more searching and it looks like your grandfather came back with Company D, Third Army Composite Regiment.  This was an elite ceremonial regiment in the AEF.  It was made up of select men from different divisions.  Your grandfather may be in the following photo: https://www.loc.gov/item/2007663808/.

 

Regards,

hist3891

 

 

Thank you for your time and insight. I looked at the photo with a magnifying glass, and did not find him. However, I will look again. I have a date that he came back from his papers, and I don’t know if this changes who you think he came back with? One thing that was a cool find for me was that I was able to get the name of the ship he went to the war on, Aquitania and was able to identify his friend in the picture...the nicknames made it more challenging.. His name was William Harold Jensen. I will post a few pics.

26488929-258E-4461-A147-5283DF8E8C28.jpeg

6094405D-35B3-4B8D-BFC4-1577E37488DC.jpeg

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Hi,

 

Too bad NPRC already confirmed that they do not have his service record.  There is probably a roster somewhere that breaks down the individual platoons, but I do not know where it would be.  I checked the regimental muster rolls for the 16th Infantry (available online) and they do not identify platoon or specialty.  Please let me know if you are ever able to find an answer.  

 

He sailed with Company D, 3rd Army Composite Regiment aboard the Leviathan on 9/1/1919.  In organizing the Composite Regiment, I think they tried to group soldiers together by original unit as much as possible.  All of the soldiers on the same passenger list as your grandfather are identified as originally belonging to the 30th Infantry.

 

-hist3891

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I do know he was a happy man when he saw his orders assigned him to HQ! Not the same era as me, but I was very happy to be assigned to HQ for ONE month, then reassigned to Gun Platoon! Priceless set of documents you have. Looks like they have been professionally stored.

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