244th Field Artillery Battalion

April 1943

         Fort Benning Bayonet

Saturday – 3rd April 1943
          MARCHES (MOTOR)4

          Change Station from Camp Shelby, Mississippi to Fort Benning, Georgia.  Marched 92 miles, 3 April 1943 from Camp Shelby, Mississippi to Key Field, Meridian, Mississippi over good paved highways, weather clear and cool, morale excellent; quartered overnight in barracks at Key Field.  Marched 126 miles, 4 April 1943 from Key Field, Meridian, Mississippi to Craig Field, Selma, Alabama over good paved Highways, weather clear and cool, morale excellent; quartered overnight in barracks at Craig Field.  Marched 139 miles April 1943 from Craig Field, Selma, Alabama to Fort Benning, Georgia over good paved highways, weather clear and cool, morale excellent.  Total distance marched 351 miles; all vehicles finished each day’s march under their own power.

Saturday – 3rd April 19435

          The Battalion moved by motor convoy from Camp Shelby to Fort Benning (arriving Fort Benning 5th April 1943) to assume new duties as Artillery School Troups for the Infantry School.  The trip included overnight stops at Key Field, Meridian Mississippi and at Craig Field, Selma Alabama

Saturday – 3rd April 19436

     On the 3rd of April 1943 the Battalion moved by motor convoy from Camp Shelby to Fort Benning to assume new duties as Artillery School Troops for the Infantry School.  The trip included pleasant overnight stops at Key Field, Meridian, Mississippi and at Craig Field, Selma, Alabama.

     Benning was the tough life with movies, dances, ball games, and Sunday outings at the Artillery Rest Camp.  When urged by Colonial Elliott, the Battalion would also put demonstrations on for the School.  What a squawk went up from the men when they had to put demonstration #2 on at Sunday afternoon.  After a shaky start the Battalion became known for its accurate shooting, it was at Benning that the wives and the infantry were shown the work of an Artillery Battalion on demonstration #8.  Demonstration #4 was a little like a three ring circus with Dynamite McLaughlin and airplanes and a Battalion of trucks and guns moving in on one small field.  Here too we went on the Air with a Special Shoot for the Army Hour.

     Colonel Cook was lost to the Battalion through transfer and Lieutenant Colonel Luis Fernando Mercado, the little Colonel, took command of the “Situation at Benning”.  The Battalion fired a 21 Gun Solute for The President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Saturday – 3rd April 19437

          The Battalion departed Camp Shelby

Saturday – 3rd April 19438
          Byron G. Rogers

          On April 3, 1943, the battalion moved by motor convey from Camp Shelby, Mississippi, to Fort Benning, Georgia, and assumed duties as Artillery School Troops. We fired demonstrations for the school and finally became known for out accurate shooting.  During this time I received the “Sharp Shooter – Rifle” award.  I still have this Pin today.

Monday – 5th April 19439

          Arrived Fort Benning, Georgia, 5 April 1943

Monday – 5th April 194310

          The Battalion arrived Fort Benning

                                                                                                            April 20. 1943
Hello Matt,
        Glad to hear that you are going to O.C.S.  I am not at all worried about you making it.  All I can tell you is that you will have to forget about everything else for 3 months & work like hell.  My best advice is to find out what you need before you leave in the way of clothing etc., and get it before you get to school  Hit them with a suitcase full of clean clothes, all shoes shined and a haircut.  First impressions mean a lot.  Get to know all the guys you can, don’t even gripe or bellyache.  Keep your chin up and don’t, whatever you do, lose your sense of humor.  Keep your private business to yourself, especially your troubles and don’t forget what you want there for.  I am sure you will come through with flying colors.
    As for me I am still asst. S-3 here and we are now school troops for the Infantry School.  We don’t do much, but they keep me busy.
    President Roosevelt has been here since Friday, but I haven’t seen him as yet.  A lot of the men have.
    Beaumond Meaut left last night for overseas duty in a Parachute Field Arty Bn., of all things.  Mary Ellen came down & spent the night with Ester.  We only have a room now, but we surly are staying with some nice Folks.
                             Write me soon
                                       Love,
                                            “Jada”

Friday – April 30th 194316
          Strength Last Day (Commissioned And Enlisted)
DATEOFFICERSENLISTED MENTOTALINCREASEDECREASE
January 1943365405761
February 1943425315733
March 19433559062552
April 1943385786169
  1. Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday April 1, 1943, Volume 1, Number 29
  2. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August to 15 March 1944
  3. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August to 15 March 1944
  4. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August to 15 March 1944
  5. U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center, U.S. Army Military History Institute 202-244th 1945, “History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion During World War II, Page 2
  6. Department of The Army, USH&EC, USAMHI, 202-244th 1945, “History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion During World War II
  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. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944
  10. W. U. (Doc) Savage Letter, December 15, 1949
  11. Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday April 8, 1943, Volume 1, Number 30
  12. Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday April 8, 1943, Volume 1, Number 30, By Sargent Peter Lorino, Page 3
  13. Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday April 15, 1943, Volume 1, Number 31
  14. Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday April 22, 1943, Volume 1, Number 32
  15. Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday April 29, 1943, Volume 1, Number 33
  16. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944