50th Artillery - Coast Artillery Corps - Regimental History Website

50th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps

Regimental History 






​​​

​​​​​​​​​​50th Artillery CAC troop strength as reported through regimental records.



7 October 1918, aboard the USS America


Organization                            Officers              Enlisted Men

Field & Staff                              12

Headquarters Company            19                        201

Supply Company                        3                         86                  

Medical Detachment                  4                         24

Ordnance Detachment               1                         25

Battery A                                    5                        240

Battery B                                    5                        247

Battery C                                    5                        193

Battery D                                    5                        225    

Battery E                                     5                        246 

Battery F                                     3                        217

Field Remount  Squadron            4                        138


TOTAL  (1913 men)                  71                      1842 

  


Monthly Regiment Activity

as recorded on regimental returns


July: This Regiment was organized by authority of letter from Eastern Department dated June 17, 1918 and is preparing

for overseas duty.


July 13: Detachment from Fort Totten leaves for Camp Eustis, arriving on July 14th, reconstituted Battery D.  Regimental Chaplin Darlington accompanies detachment. 


July 18:  Artillery Detachment Commanded by 1st Lieut. Earl P. Yates to make up Battery A, with 100 enlisted men, left Fort Caswell, N.C. 3:00 P.M. July 18, 1918 for Camp Eustis, Lee Hall, Virgina, per Par. 1, Confidential Special Order No. 31, S.A.C.A.D dated July 18, 1918


August:  Whilte at Camp Eustis, the Regiment performed the usual field duties during this month. 


September: The Regiment left Camp Eustis, Va., at 8:30 a.m., September 28, 1918, verbal order, Commanding General, Coast Artillery Training Center Fort Monroe, Va., and marched to Camp Stuart, Va.,  (about 18 miles), arriving there, at 4:05 p.m., September 28, 1918, and performed the usual camp duties at both stations.


October: Left Camp Stuart, Va., for Port of Embarkation at 1 P.M. Oct 6, 1918, per Confidential Letter Commanding General, Port of Embarkation, Newport News, Va.  Left Port of Embarkation Newport News, Va., U.S.A. 2:50 P.M. October 7, 1918 and arrived at Brest, France at 3:25 P.M. October 20, 1918.  Left Pontanezen Barracks, B.S. #5 7:30 A.M. October 29, 1918 per Par. 33, S.O. 292 Hdqurs. B.S. #5 October 23, 1918 and arrived at Montoir, B.S. #1 at 9 A.M. October 30, 1918.


November 26 & 27:  Left Camp Montoir, B.S. #1 at 6 A.M. Nov 26, 1918 per SO 252 Hdqrs SOS Base Section #1 and arrived at Pontanezan Barracks at 2:30 A.M. Nov. 27, 1918.


November 30: The 3rd Battalion, under command of Major Swain, 11 Officers and 290 men, on November 30, 1918 left station of Headquarters of Regiment (Camp Pontanezen, B.S. #5) and took station at Camp Kerhoun in conformation with S.O. 329, B.S. #5, SOS, November 29, 1918. S/D


December: 50th Artillery, CAC, Performed duties under Section Engineer, Camp Pontanezen and Mail Detail Brest Post Office. 


December 31: 3rd Battalion under Major Swain, with 11 Officers and 300 men, left Camp Kerhoun, France (B.S. #5), at 7:30 A.M., December 31, 1918, via motor convoy and arrived at Pontanezen Barricks B.S.. #5, France at 9:00 A.M. same date.


January 28: Detachment Battery A left Camp Potanezen, Base Section #5 January 28, 1919 per embarkation Order #54 to board R.M.S. Saxonia, Central Embarkation Office, Base Section #5, S.O.S. January 27, 1919

 

January 31:  50th Regiment with 40 Officers and 1444 Men  left Camp Pontanezen, B.S. #5, January 31, 1919 at 7:45 A.M. to embark for the United States aboard the U.S.S Charleston, per telegraphic instructions Commanding General, Brest, France and in complience with Embarkation Order #56 Hdgrs., Camp Pontanezen, France B.S. #5 January 30, 1919. During January Regiment performed duties under Section Engineer, Camp Pontanezen and Mail Detail Brest Post Office.



























USS Charleston Condition Report of Troops Aboard Ship


January 31: Battery C, comprised of 4 Officers and 183 men, embarked on U.S.S. Seattle, to leave February 1st, 1919,-"Per telegram from C.G., S.O.S., dated tours, January 22nd, 1919, to Commanding General B.S. #5, Brest."


February 7: Detachment Battery A arrived aboard the R.M.S. Saxonia at New York on February 7, 1919, debarked and proceeded to Camp Merritt, N.J. same day.


February 13: Detachment Battery A, commanded by Major William S. Wilkinson and Captain Morse left Camp Merritt, N.J. for their duty station at Fort Wadsworth by boat and arrived that same day. The Detachment included 66 enlisted men, all of whom left Camp Merritt at 9:00 a.m. and arrived at Camp Hamilton at 12:30 p.m.  Fort Hamilton (located on Staten Island, and Fort Wadsworth (located in Brooklyn) are located at the intersection of the upper and lower bay entering New York City.  The two Forts can be found straddling the Verrazano Bridge. 


















February Condition Report at Fort Wadsworth


February 13: Battery C aboard the U.S.S. Seattle arrived at Hoboken, N.J., February 13, 1919 (5:00 P.M.) Pier #4


February 14, 50th Artillery, CAC aboard U.S.S. Charleston arrived at Hoboken N.J. Februrary 14, 191 at (Noon) Pier #3. Proceeded directly to Fort Dix, arriving at 11:30 p.m.


February 17: Final return Detachment Battery A, demobilized at Fort Wadsworth, N.Y. 


March 1: Balance of Regiment demobilized at Camp Dix.



50th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps Daily Diary
This Diary will be expanded as I transcribe the regimental records.


17 June 1918, Washington DC


50th Artillery Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps officially organized by authority letter from Eastern Department and to prepare for overseas duty.



20 June 1918, Washington, DC


Per Special Order 144, Colonel Richard D. Ellis appointed Commanding Officer 50th Artillery, CAC along with 30 officers from various Coast Artillery commands around the United States.  By order of the Secretary of War: Peyton C. March, General Chief of Staff.


6 August 1918, Cam Eustis, Virginia


The temperature was 110 degrees, a hundred soldiers were hospitalized, and there were two deaths from heat stroke. The Camp was still under construction and soldiers were assigned to clearn up construction sites, haul gravel in pails to fill holes in the roads, and pull weeds by hand. Regiments drilled all day, then spent two hours after supper carrying sand. 1


20 August 1918, Camp Eustis, Virginia


Soldiers of the 50th were given their overseas rifles, packed in grease, the weapons took hours to clean. 1


27 August 1918, Camp Eustis, Virginia

Per Special Order 13, a special Court Martial is appointed to meet at Regimental HQ at 2:00 pm.  Four Officers are appointed to the detail, Lt Col RI Taylor, Capt WC Swain, Capt Clifford Rowley and 1st Lt William S Siemon as Judge  Advocate.


28 September 1918, Camp Eustis to Camp Stuart, Virginia


The Regiment marched 25 miles in 7 1/2 hours with full packs, from Camp Eustis to Camp Stuart.  Camp Stuart was located on the edge of Newport News, Virginia and the Regiment was placed in quarantine for eight days. 1


6 October 1918, Newport News, Virginia

  

 Equipment and packs were piled into trucks and brought to area of embarkation.  The Regiment marched 3 miles to their ship for loading. 1  3:30 p.m. Embarkation begins with loading of troops aboard the USS America.  At 6:15 embarkation was finished.


7 October 1918, Newport News, Virginia


At approximately 3:00 p.m. the USS America sets sail for Brest, France carrying the 50th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps. The Regiment was required to sit for 24 hours upon boarding the ship.  The American sailed with a convoy of seven ships escorted by a Navy cruiser. 1


16 October 1918, Somewhere in the North Atlantic


Guns from the cruiser could be seen firing at an unseen submarine.  


18 October 1918, Somewhere in the North Atlantic


The escort cruiser turned over the convoy to sub-chasers from France, that came out to greet the ships as they entered into the final leg of their journey.  The convoy was attacked again and this time a periscope from the German U-Boat could be seen.  The America was fired upon by the U-Boat and the track of a torpedo was seen in the water, but it missed the ship.  After being fired upon by the sub-chasers with depth charges, the engagement ended.  


22 October, 1918, Embarkation Hospital, Camp Stuart, Newport News, Virginia


05:00 p.m. Private Napoleon R. Varin #3077374, Headquarters Company, 50th Coast Artillery Corps, AEF, died at this hospital of Broncho Pneumonia.  His death occured in the line of duty and was not caused by reason of his own misconduct. Signed, William S. Terriberry, LT Colonel MC USA, Commanding


1 November 1918, Camp Montoir, France

Captain Power is assigned to lead 115 men to Camp Gron and report to Commanding Officer

He is to take with him 3 Officers, 1 1st Sergeant, 1 Supply Sgt, 1 Mess Sgt, 5 Duty Sgt, 11 Corporals, 1 Mechanic, 1 Bugler, 2 Cooks and 89 Privates.

2 November 1918, Camp Montoir, France,

07:00 am - Captain Power to leave with his assigned detail for Camp Gron.

10 November 1918, Camp Montoir, France

General Order 3 was issued regarding camp responsibilities

Wednesday 20 November 1918, Camp Montoir, France

All Battery and organization Commanders are instructed to make sure that all enlisted men have proper clothing and are well disciplined.  All enlisted me are to be given complete clothing allowance, including at least one practically new uniform.  “The object of this is to enable all soldiers, upon arrival, to present a neat and soldierly appearance.”

Tuesday 26 November 1918, Camp Montoir, France

HQ and Supply Companies, Batteries A, B and C under the Command of Major Morse to leave Camp Montoir by train.


1st. Call for Reveille          4:30 am
Reveille                             4:40 am
Assembly                          4:45 am
Breakfast                           5:00 am
1st Call for formation        5:45 am
Assembly                          5:55 am
Signal call to move            6:00 am


Wednesday 27 November 1918, Camp Montoir, France

Batteries D, E and F under the Command of Major Alden to leave Camp Montoir by train

1st. Call for Reveille          4:30 am
Reveille                             4:40 am
Assembly                          4:45 am
Breakfast                           5:00 am
1st Call for formation        5:45 am
Assembly                          5:55 am
Signal call to move            6:00 am
 
All men are to have “Full equipment with rolls and overcoats worn on person will be the uniform


Thursday 28 November 1918, Base Section #5, Camp Pontanezen, France


02:30 a.m. - First Batteries and Companies return to Camp Pontanezen and move into Base Section #5, Brest, France.


"Since we came back from Angers to Brest, we live in modern barracks.  They are the kind that are erected over night.  About 50 feet long and 15 feed wide.  The bunks are made as follows.  The barracks contain bunks made to accommodate about 80 men."  Samuel R. Bierman, from a letter dated December 10, 1918 


Friday 13 December 1918, France


50th Regiment acts as Honor Guard and crowd control for Presidential Woodrow Wilson's visit to France.



14 February 1919, Hoboken, New Jersey
 

12:00 p.m. - Aboard the USS Charleston, arrived at Pier 3 and prepared for disembarkment.  40 Officers and 1444 (1484 total) enlisted men arrived back in the United States. Battery C is not included in this number. 



Footnotes:


1. From letters and abstracts of PFC Harold Percey Bates, Battery F, as recorded by his nephew Richard C. Bates, 1996.