244th Field Artillery Battalion

August 1942

Field Artillery School Fort Sill Oklahoma

          Caption reads – “Training Day Fort Sill” Fort Sill Field Artillery School 

Field Artillery School Fort Sill Oklahoma

          Caption reads – “Training Day Fort Sill” Fort Sill Field Artillery School 

          Savage (left) & Malm (right) at Fort Sill Artillery School 1942

          Caption reads – “Fort Sill Artillery School Home 1942″ Marriott

244th Field Artillery Battalion Is Activated

244th Field Artillery Battalion Colors
          A reproduction of the original Battalion Colors.

244th Field Artillery Battalion DUI  –
          Distinctive Unit Insignia or Coat of Arms

          Though none were produced, this is the DUI and Motto of record.  It consists of a Crest with two-colors divided diagonally.  One scarlet, the other gold.  The two colored divisions represent the number 2 in 244th.  There are four artillery shells and four exploding artillery shells.  The four artillery shells represent the first 4 in 244th and the four exploding artillery shells represent the second 4 in 244th.
     Below the 244th Crest is the Battalion Motto.  It reads in Latin “No Lite Tradere,” “Yield Not.”  This Crest is shown in the center of the eagle on the Battalion Colors with the Motto above the eagle.

Saturday – 8th August 1942
          Original Unit

           The Battalion was activated on 8 August 1942 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and designated as the 244th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm Howitzer, Truck Drawn) by General Order 79, Third Army, 27 July 1942 pursuant to authority contained in Army Ground Force letter, file 320.2/21 (FA) (R) GNOPN (7-7-42) as amended by Army Ground Force letter, file 320.2/21 (FA) (R) GNGCT (7-7-42) dated 15 July 1942.

     The cadre of five officers and eight enlisted men were furnished by the 172nd Field Artillery Battalion originally of the New Hampshire National Guard.3

     The Battalion was placed under the command of George Eddie Cook, Lieutenant Colonel, Regular Army. 4

     On 18 September 1942 recruits began to arrive from Reception Centers at Camp Shelby, Mississippi; Camp Blanding, Florida; George MeadeFort, Maryland and Camp Lee, Virginia.  Almost all these men were inducted under Selective Service.  About ten percent had prior service in various components of the Army.  From time to time during 1943 individuals and small groups of replacements were received from Ft. Bragg, Ft. Sill, Presidio of Monterey, Calif. and various tactical units.

     In January and February of 1944 twenty-four replacements were assigned who had returned to the United States from the European, Asiatic and American Theaters.5

     Its companion Battalion, the 243rd Field Artillery Battalion was activated at the same time and at the same place, sharing the Shelby life with the 244th.  The cadre of 5 officers and eighty-eight enlisted men were furnished by the 172nd Field Artillery Battalion, originally of the New Hampshire National Guard.  Additional officers reported from Fort Bragg and Fort Sill.  The Battalion was placed under the command of Gilbert R. Cook Lieutenant Colonel, Regular Army, who’s Dog “Pepper” was also given a place in the High Command.6

Third United States Army DUI –
     United States Army Institute of Heraldry

Third United States Army Shoulder Patch –
     United States Army Institute of Heraldry

THIRD UNITED STATES ARMY
HERALDIC ITEMS

SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA
    Description:
         On a blue disc a white letter “A” within a red circle.
    Symbolism:
         The disc with two borders alludes to the designation of the unit, and the white letter ”A”
         signifies “army.” The “A” inside an “O” also stands for Army of Occupation, World War l.

DISTINCTIVE UNIT INSIGNIA
     Description:
          A gold colored metal and enamel device, consisting of a blue disc with a reel border, the blue area bearing throughout a white letter “A” in front of in base a gold stylized fleuur-de-lis, the center petal extending behind and above the cross bar of the letter ”A” and behind and below the red border, and the top of the two outer petals extending under, downward and over the red border and terminating at and conjoined with the feet of the letter ”A” and the lower ends extending behind and below the red border which bears at top five gold-pointed stars and below and at either side of the inscription TERTIA SEMPER PRIMA (The Third Always First) in gold letters. The design is based on the shoulder sleeve insignia of the Third United States Army. The fleur-delis in base alludes to its initial organization of Headquarters, Third Army, at Ligny-en-Barrois, France in November 1918. The stars refer to the campaigns in which the organization participated during World War II. The motto reflects the unit’s constant readiness.

LINEAGE AND HONORS
HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
THIRD UNITED STATES ARMY

LINEAGE
     Organized 7 – 15 November 1918 in the Regular Army in France as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Third Army. Demobilized 2 July 1919 in Germany. Reconstituted 9 August 1932 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Third Army.  Headquarters activated I October 1933 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Headquarters Company activated 23 November 1940 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Redesignated January 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Third United States Army. Inactivated 1 October 1973 at fort McPherson, Georgia.  Activated 1 December 1982 at Fort McPherson, Georgia.

Saturday – 8th August 19427

          Activated Camp Shelby Mississippi

          Caption reads – August 1942 Camp Shelby Mississippi – 244th F. A. Bn. Hutments

Camp Shelby – 244th Officers

          Camp Shelby – The five original 244th F. A. Battalion Officers

          Sargent Norman J. Reeves was one of the original eighty enlisted men and five officers chosen from the 172nd Field Artillery Battalion transferred to Camp Shelby to activate the 244th Field Artillery Battalion.  Pvt. Reeves Blanding basic training with the 172nd F.A. Bn.

        Caption reads – “August 1942 Camp Shelby Mississippi – Sgt. R. Cormier Wearing New Helmet.”
     Sargent Cormier was another of the original eighty enlisted men from the New Hampshire Guards, 172nd F. A. Battalion who transferred into the 244th F. A. Bn.  Sargent Cormier whose home was Manchester N.H., was fluent in French and that would be an asset later on.  Sargent Cormier would go on to achieve the rank of 1st. Sargent with “A” Battery.

        Caption reads – “August 1942 Camp Shelby – 105mm How. For 244th F. A. Bn.”
Twelve new M1A1 105mm Howitzer still with packaging material front view

        Caption reads – “August 1942 Camp Shelby – 105mm How. For 244th F. A. Bn.”
Closeup, five of twelve new M1A1 105mm Howitzer still with packaging material rear view

          Caption reads – August 1942 Camp Shelby Sgt. R. Cormier Scrubbing Tables

          Aerial photo of Camp Shelby Mississippi 1942

          Aerial Photo of Camp Shelby  Mississippi 1941

          Caption reads – August 1942 Camp Shelby Mississippi, Sgt. Cormier In Full Battle Dress.

Fort Sill Field Artillery Officer Candidate School Documents

2nd. Lt. Thomas B. Marriott, jr.

1st. Lt. Thomas B. Marriott, jr.

Dear Mom and Pop,
     One day gone and all OK so far.  Fine trip got in around 9:40.  We have no Capt. in the Battery so the Col. placed me in command – a Battery CO – but only till the Capt. arrives early this next month.  Not many men present – but the work is here anyway – Its awful hot here – no breeze at all.  Not leaving here for many, many months – more later – Much love
                                                                                                             Tom

          Caption reads – August 1942 Camp Shelby – Battery “A” 244th F. A. Bn., Sgts. Krol – Godzik – Cormier – Demers – Fectean – Gilbert

Monday – August 31st 1942
        Federal Service Extension – Lt. Marriott

          Caption reads – August 1942 Camp Shelby Artillery Range

          One of the large tent theaters, Camp Shelby Mississippi

Byron G. Rogers8

     I grew up on a farm in Glennville, a small town in Tattnall County, Georgia. I had to leave school in the 8th grade to help farm, as many farming boys did in that time.  I was the fourth child of eight children, and the third son.  My two older brothers were not drafted into the service, but “Uncle Sam”, (as our government was called), wanted me. I received my draft notice and was inducted into the U. S. Army in July 1942.

     I left Glennville by bus, going to Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia. There were several other men that I knew on the bus as well. Mr. Newton Wall, a schoolteacher, was one of them, and he was put in charge of the group. There wasn’t much excitement on that bus. Most of us were 20 years old, going away to war, and not knowing when and if we’d be coming home again.

     After being sworn into the Army at Fort McPherson, we were given our physicals. I’d never been given so many shots before.  Seems like behind every door was someone to pop a needle in your arm or your butt. We were then issued our uniforms and boots.  Later we would leave for Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

          Byron G. Rogers – Fort McPherson, Basic Training, Atlanta, Georgia9

590. Camp Shelby Basic Training 1942 - T5 B. G. Rogers Jr. Route 3, Glennville, Ga
588. Camp Shelby Basic Training 1942 - T5 B. G. Rogers Jr. Route 3, Glennville, Ga
Byron G. Rogers10

     The 244th Field Artillery Battalion was activated on August 8, 1942 at Camp Shelby, and designated as a 105 mm Howitzer Battalion in the Third Army. Here we received our M1 rifles. We had recruits from all over the United States.  We continued to receive many recruits and replacements from other Army posts, and our basic training proceeded at a rapid pace, in spite of the inclement weather.  When we were lucky enough to get weekend passes, we’d go into the Gulf Coast towns and of course into Hattiesburg.

          Interior of cafeteria in the Service Club at Camp Shelby Mississippi

          1st. Lt. William D. Hightower, Nashville

          Dance Hall inside the Service Club at Camp Shelby Mississippi

          Camp Shelby. Photo taken from the water tower

Pvt. Robert S. Joachim, Hq. Battery

Pfc. William G. McDonald, C Battery

S/Sgt. Harvey A. Dexter, A Battery

T/5 C. W. (Bill) Morris, A Battery

Tec/5 Willner Beach, C Battery

Monday – August 31st 194211
     Strength Last Day (Commissioned And Enlisted)

DATEOFFICERSENLISTED MENTOTALINCREASEDECREASE
August 194224881129

  1. Fort Sill Army News, August 1, 1942
  2. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944
  3. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944
  4. Department of The Army, USH&EC, USAMHI, 202-244th 1945, “History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion During World War II
  5. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944
  6. HQ, 244th F.A. Bn., APO 403, Major Carey A. Clark Commanding, Letter to Officers and Enlisted Men, History of the 244th, 26th June 1945
  7. W. U. (Doc) Savage Letter, December 15, 1949
  8. Serving In Harm's Way,  A Record of My Service In The U.S. Army and WWII, Byron G. Rogers jr., January 2006
  9. Serving In Harm's Way, A Record of My Service In The U.S. Army and WWII, Byron G. Rogers jr., January 2006
  10. Serving In Harm's Way, A Record of My Service In The U.S. Army and WWII, Byron G. Rogers jr., January 2006
  11. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944