244th Field Artillery Battalion
With Ewlll Blackwell pitching a no-hit, no-run game, the spotlight this week is definitely focused on the 124th Gators, now sharing the lead in the Infantry School league with the 176th Spirits. The Gators had taken over sole possession of first place with Blackwell’s no-hitter over the 764th Tanks on Sunday, but the Spirit won over the Artillery Group on Tuesday knotted up the race again.
Blackwell’s game was practically a perfect one, only 29 men facing him. No walks were given up, but three men reached first on errors. One was promptly erased on a double play; the other were left on base.
Other highlights of last week were the ninth inning rallies staged Sunday afternoon by the Spirits and the Rifles to win their respective ball games.
The 176th went into the ninth inning taking the Sixth Training Regiment, 3 – 2. Then, with one out, Sahara reached first on an error. Up camp Pat Cooper to his own game with tremendous blast over the left field fence.
In the next game the Third STR went into the ninth trailing the Artillery Group, 7 to 5. Then, with two away and Glick on first, McAloon reached first through an error. Strukel doubled to score Glick and came in the on Berry’s fielder’s choice. Sorrel drew a walk and Silverman slashed out a solid line to drive in the winning run.
Other results saw the Eagles trounce the 764th Tanks on Friday at Gowdy Field, 15 to 1, while the Monday night, also a Gowdy Field, the Academic Regiment Profs tore into the Rifles for a 10 – 1 pasting. At Gowdy Field last Thursday, the Gators edged out the 300th, 6 – 4.
Losing the opener to the Spirits, 2 – 0, the Gators have now won six straight. With Blackwell and Christie, the 124th can boast the strongest mound corps in the league, while the Spirits with Wissman, Cooper and Schultz are rated just a shade behind.
Both teams have skillful but weak hitting receivers in Stoke and Sahara.
As a team the Gators have a slight edge in hitting. Their infield, consisting of Belim, Ankrom, Powell and Linoff, can sock the ball, but is rather erratic in the fielding end. The outfield is a good one and in Vern Smith the Gators have a really brilliant flyhawk.
The Spirits have an ace infield, led by the spectacular Ramazolti; a consistent outfielder and, while the team batting is week, two dangerous hitters in Ramizolti and Lohr.
So there they are; take your pick.
Meanwhile the Academic Regiment has
a strong pitching crew in Rundus, Duckinson, Bobo and Lehner; probably the tightest infield in the league with Moore, Zientara, Russon and Praise and four good, hard-hitting outfielders in Neibler, Dabbs, Cox and Mercer.
The Eagles with Prendergast, DeVolder and Charlson have three pitchers any one of whom is liable to stand any team on its ear. In Simmons they have best catcher on the past while McCluskey at third is the league’s leading hitter. Wright, Oswald and Bamberger round out a capable infield which at times tends to get a little erratic. The outfield, paced by husky Red Kemether, is a sound-hitting, sure-fielding collection of gardeners.
Yes, the Gators and Spirits are sharing the lead, but it will still pay to keep a wary eye on the Profs and the Eagles.
Friday, 100th vs. Third STR at Gowdy Field.
Sunday, Third STR vs. 176th at Gowdy; Sixth Training Regiment vs. Artillery Group at Harmony Church.
Monday, 300th vs. 764th Tanks at Gowdy.
Wednesday, Sixth Training Regiment vs. 124th at Gowdy and Academic Regiment vs. Artillery Group at Harmony Church.
Team W. L. Pct.
124th Infantry . . . . . . . . . 6 1 .857
176th Infantry . . . . . . . . . 6 1 .857
6th Training Regiment . . . . 3 2 .600
Academic Regiment . . . . . . 3 2 .600
300th Infantry . . . . . . . . . 2 3 .400
3rd STR . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 4 .333
764th Tank . . . . . . . . . . . .1 5 .167
Artillery Group . . . . . . . . . 0 5 .000
Brigadier General Henry P. Perrine, commanding general of the School Troops Brigade of the Infantry School announces the arrival of two new units of the Brigade.
They are the 507th Engineer Company and the 252nd Field Artillery Battalion. The former, commanded by Captain R. S. Burrus, Jr., has been located at the Main Post.
The artillery unit commanded by Lt. Colonel Lewis N. R. DeRiemer is stationed in harmony Church area adjacent to the 244th Field Artillery battalion. Both units will be used as demonstration troops.
General Perrine also announced that the 802nd Field Artillery which has been stationed at this post, has been transferred to Fort McClellan, Alabama.
Sunday August 8, 1943 marked the first anniversary of the 244th Field Artillery Battalion. The field Artillery Unit which is a part of the School Troops Brigade of the Infantry School, has for the past four months, participated in Infantry School has demonstrations for the purpose of giving the students a chance to see, in actual operation, the different artillery techniques.
The 244th Field Artillery Battalion was activated August 8, 1942 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, under the command of Lt. Colonel George E. Cook. The original cadre came from the 172nd Field Artillery, a National Guard Regiment from the State of New Hampshire. Men came to the newly activated unit from the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Basic training was completed at Camp Shelby, and in April, 1943, the Battalion was assigned to The Infantry School Troops Brigade. They came to this post covering almost 20,000 vehicle miles without a mishap or breakdown.
Soon after arrival at Fort Benning, Lt. Colonel Cook left for an important assignment on the Wes Coast and Lt. Colonel Mercado assumed command. For the past four months, the Battalion has been under the able and efficient guidance of Colonel H. G. Elliott Commanding Officer of Field Artillery School Troops at Fort Benning.
Anniversary day was celebrated with a dinner in the Harmony Church area and the afternoon was spent at the Third Student Training Regiment Rest Camp where a large crowd participated in swimming, dancing and organized games.
IT APPEARS that there will be no soft touch for anyone in the remaining TIS schedule. When the 252nd Field Artillery arrived here a short while ago and joined forces with the 244th F. A. to form the Artillery Group nine, a powerful team developed almost overnight. Although they haven’t made any great strides toward the first division as yet the battle those Howitzers have been putting up lately is really gratifying. They came awfully close to dumping the 176th Spirit recently and really gave the Eagles some scrap Monday night. In Titus, one of their new hurlers, they have a moundsman who can give any of the recognized hurling sees a real tussle. That means that all of the first division clubs are in for a real scare before the schedule ends.
Rain created a little havoc with TIS league schedule last week but there was enough action for the Artillery group to live up to their prediction as to their toughness made here two weeks ago, the Howitzers first giving the first-place 176th Spirits the scare of their lives, they knocking off the 764th Tanks, and following that up with a 6 – 4 triumph over the powerful 6th Training Regiment Eagles.
It is unfortunate that the Howitzers were strengthened so late in the season. Judging by their present play they would have been right up there battling for the lead if they could have fielded their current lineup from the beginning.
Meanwhile the in-and-out 3rd STR Rifles made it two in a row to live up to their reputation as the most unpredictable team in the league. The Rifles have a tough week ahead of them, meeting the league-leading 124th Gators tomorrow night, the Artillery Group on Sunday and the powerful Eagles on Monday. There is also a possibility that Sunday’s rained-out game with the Spirit, co-holders of first place, will be squeezed in.
Best game of last week, and possible of the season, was the brilliant pitching duel between Rudy Rundus and Jim Prendergast which saw the Profs emerge with a 1 – 0 win over the Eagles to take over third place. Both pitchers gave up only four hits, Prendergast holding the Profs to one single up until the eighth inning. Then Bill Cox smacked his second double of the game, was sacrificed to third and scored on a passed ball to ring up the winning run and paste the brilliant Prendergast with a heart-breaking defeat.
Rundus hurled a truly great game, striking out 13 men and pulling one of the most dramatic stunts of the season when, with none out and McCluskey on third waiting for any kind of a play to bring him across the plate, Rudy reared back and blazed in his fast ball to whiff the next three batters.
Rundus, a sadly under-estimated pitcher in the first-half has been pitching beautiful ball all season and has definitely established himself as among the five best on the post.
Toughest schedule this coming week is that of the Profs, with four games in five days. Last night the Profs met the Artillery Group at Harmony Church. Tonight they play the 300th at Gowdy Field, tomorrow they meet the 764th Tanks and on Sunday they clash with the dangerous 6th Training Regiment Eagles.
The results of this week should definitely show weather the Profs are to be counted out of the second-half race or whether they will be in the free-for-all with the Gators and Spirits. It will also be interesting to see how far their pitchers can stretch their run less stretch of innings, now consisting of 28 innings without an opposition score. Profs hurlers have now come through with 10 shutouts in their 27 games.
Other games this week: 176th vs. 300th at Gowdy Field Sunday; Artillery Group vs. Rifles in the second game of the Sunday triple-header. At Harmony Church the Gators take on the 764th Tanks. On Wednesday it’s the Spirits against the Tanks at Gowdy, and Artillery vs. 300th at Harmony Church.
W. L. Pct
124th Infantry . . . . . 6 1 .857
176th Infantry . . . . 6 1 .857
Profs . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2 .500
6th T. R. . . . . . . . . 4 4 .500
300th Infantry . . . . . 3 4 .428
3rd STR . . . . . . . . . 3 4 .428
Artillery Group . . . . 2 6 .250
764th Tanks . . . . . . 1 7 .125
Francis Schultz, one of the Spirit moundsmen for the 176th Infantry is a former semi-pro star who is now compiling a neat record at the post. He was born in Kearney, N.J. and is 6 ft., 1½ inches tall, and weighs 200 pounds.
During the first half of the TIS league, Schultz won three games while losing none. He beat the STB team, 764th and 244th outfits. His first game in the second half of the season was a brilliant five-hitter against the 3rd STR Rifles. He had ten strikeouts in that game.
Schultz can play the outfield well also, and has been used in right field. He bats and throws right-handed. Schultz broke into semi-pro ball in 1935. In 1936 he was with the Nova Scotia Dominion Hawks in the Cape Britain Colony League in Canada. He returned to New Jersey semi-pro baseball in ’37 where he remained until his induction into the army in August 1941.
With two weeks left in the race, the Infantry School league scramble has been definitely narrowed down to a battle royal among the 176th Spirit, the 124th Gators and the Academic Profs.
Feature of the week was the upsurge of the Profs who took four games in five days to make it six straight league wins. The victory streak took the Academic from fifth place to a tie for second with the Gators, both teams being just percentage points behind the Spirit.
What is particularly encouraging to Prof fans is the fact that except for an appearance as a pinch hitter against the 399th and a few innings against the 6th Training Eagles, the Profs have been winning without the services of Benny Zientara, star second-baseman. Benny will be back against the Gators and the Profs will be that much stronger.
A key factor in the Profs onrush was the sensational hitting and fielding of Johnny Russo who is challenging Ram Pamasotti for the right to be called best shortstop in the league. Another bulwark has been the murderous hitting of Elmer Niebler, the most dangerous hitter on the post with men on bases.
Elmer is now hitting .359 and has knocked in 34 runs. He has also been capable filling in at second during Zientara’s absence, just as he filled in at third when Pratse was out. Against the Eagles, Niebler appeared in three different positions and gets this column’s vote as the most valuable player to his team.
The Spirit played only one game this week, beating the 300th 4 – 3, in an 11-inning game. The Gators helped themselves to two top-heavy wins, slaughtering the oncoming 3rd STR Rifles 15 – 3, and trouncing the 764th Tanks 13 – 3.
The fighting Profs had to come from behind in two of their games, scoring three runs in the ninth to beat the 300th, then pulling another stunning ninth inning rally against the Eagles, scoring three runs to tie the score and then winning out in the 12th. The one-two punch of Russo and Niebler were decisive factors all through the week while Pratse has also been swinging a devastating bat.
Plenty of action is on tap for TIS fans this week with the Gators and the Profs fighting it out tomorrow night while the Spirits and the Profs clash next Wednesday. These two games may well settle the title right here.
Another tough contest is Sunday’s fracas between the Spirits and the Eagles. The latter team has hit the skids lately, sliding down to fifth place but with Jim Prendergast on the mound the Eagles are still a dangerous ball club.
Tomorrow night the Spirits have a completely unpredictable game with the Artillery Group at Harmony Church. When the Howitzers are good, they are very, very good. When they are bad, wow!
Sunday a Harmony Church will see a game between the Rifles and the Tanks. The Rifles have finally landed on the first division and it will take a stronger club than the Tanks to knock them out of it.
Team W. L. Pct
176th Infantry . . . . . 7 1 .875
124th Infantry . . . . . 8 2 .300
Academic Regiment . . 8 2 .300
3rd Stud. Trng. . . . . . 5 5 .500
6th Trng. Regt. . . . . . 5 6 .455
300th Infantry . . . . . 3 6 .333
Artillery Group . . . . . 2 8 .200
764th Tanks . . . . . . . 1 9 .100
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 5, 1943, Volume 1, Number 47
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 5, 1943, Volume 1, Number 47, Page 6, By Sargent Milton Luban
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 5, 1943, Volume 1, Number 47, Page 8
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 12, 1943, Volume 1, Number 48
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 12, 1943, Volume 1, Number 48, Page 3
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 12, 1943, Volume 1, Number 48, Page 6, By Sargent Carl Neu
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 12, 1943, Volume 1, Number 48, Page 7, By Sargent Milton Luban
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 12, 1943, Volume 1, Number 48, Page 7
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 19, 1943, Volume 1, Number 49
- Fort Benning Bayonte, Thursday August 19, 1943, Volume 1, Number 49, Page 6, By Sargent Milton Luban
- Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday August 26, 1943, Volume 1, Number 50
- Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944