244th Field Artillery Battalion

November 1943

          Page 222

          244th F. A. Battalion Shows TIS Students Effect of Fire Power

     The devastating effect of field artillery fires shown in The Infantry School demonstrations held at Fort Benning has been furnished by twelve 105mm howitzers manned and fired by the 244th Field Artillery Battalion.  This Field artillery unit, which is a part of the School Troops Brigade, of the Infantry School, has for the last six months participated in Infantry School demonstrations for the purpose of giving the students a chance to see, in actual operation, the difference artillery techniques.

     The 244th Field Artillery Battalion was activated August 6, 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 states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Pennsylvania.  Basic training was completed at Camp Shelby and in April 1943 the Battalion was assigned to The Infantry School Troops Brigade.

          PRESIDENTIAL SALUTE

     The 244th Field Artillery Battalion was a member of the Infantry School Baseball League and in spite of the fact that the team was inexperienced; they gave all the opposing teams a good fast game.  Pvt. Norbert Schulte, versatile shortstop for the 244th was awarded a $50.00 War Bond for being the most valuable player on the team.

     Headquarters Battery, 244th Field Artillery Battalion was given the honor of firing a 21-gun salute for President Roosevelt on his arrival here at Fort Benning this summer.  They did the honors again a short time later when General Henri Giraud of France arrived here for a short visit and later for Major General Dutra, Brazilian Minister of War.

     On Sunday, August 8th, the first anniversary of the 244th Field Artillery Battalion was celebrated at the Student Training Brigade Rest Camp with a Battalion party that was enjoyed by a large crowd.  On Saturday, October 2nd the 244th participated in a joint Field Day with the 252nd Field Artillery Battalion.  This successful event included individual and group contests and brought the two Field Artillery Battalions together for a sport event that was packed with plenty of thrills.

Tuesday – 23rd November 19433

Station Of Unit
          Departed Fort Benning, Georgia, 23rd November 1943

Tuesday – 23rd November 19434

          Departed Fort Benning, Georgia

Thursday – 23rd November 19435

     We sadly left Fort Benning for Camp Gordon, Georgia on the 23rd of November 1943.  The trip included an overnight stop at Camp Wheeler, Macon Georgia in freezing weather.  The medics did a rushing business on “C” ration can cuts for these were our first “C” rations – but not our last.  At Gordon the serious business of soldiering became important under Colonel Mercado and III Corps Headquarters which was stationed on our west flank.

Thursday – 23rd November 19436
        Byron G. Rogers

           We left Fort Benning on November 23, 1943, headed for Camp Gordon in Augusta Georgia. It was an overnight trip, stopping at Camp Wheeler, in Macon Georgia for the night.  It was freezing weather.  There we were issued C-Ration cans, which was our first, but certainly not our last.  The Medics stayed busy tending cuts, as opening these cans were new to us.  Army C Rations were so named because they contained canned foods.  Spam was the common meat and we would eat it, as it was, heat it, or fry it when we could, to change the monotony of having it every day.  The C-Ration kit would contain a can of Spam, canned beans, such as pork and beans, saltine crackers, a small chocolate bar, and a packet of coffee.  Sometimes it would be canned hash or beef stew combined with beans, crackers, and a candy bar. Sometimes we were issued K-rations. They were similar to C-rations but came in a smaller box. K-Rations might contain potted meat or deviled ham, crackers, a chocolate bar, coffee, and a pack of 2 cigarettes.  Since I didn’t smoke, I would give mine to a buddy.  After arriving at Camp Gordon, we fired 105 mm guns, but on January 26, 1944, our 155 mm “Long Toms” arrived and we began training hard for our overseas assignment.

Tuesday – 24th November 19437

Station Of Unit
          Arrived Camp Gordon, Georgia, 24th November 1943

Tuesday – 24th November 19438

          Arrived Camp Gordon, Georgia

Tuesday – 24th November 1943
          Marches (Motor)9

          Change of Station Fort Benning, Georgia, to Camp Gordon, Georgia, Marched 110 miles November 1943 from Fort Benning, Georgia to Camp Wheeler, Macon, Georgia over good paved highways, weather clear and cold, morale excellent, bivouacked in shelter tents at Camp Wheeler, weather freezing.  Marched 120 miles, 24 November 1943 from Camp Wheeler, Georgia to Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia over good paved highways, weather clear and cold, morale excellent.  Total distance marched 230 miles.  All vehicles finished each day’s march under their own power.

No entries under Pars. 13 f,g,h,i,j,k, AR 345-105.

Tuesday – 24th November 1943
Tuesday – 24th November 1943
Thursday – 25th November 194310
          Change In Organization

          On 25 November 1943 the Battalion, was relieved of its assignment to the Replacement and School Command and attachment to the Infantry School and was assigned to the III Corps, Second Army, per Par. 25, Special Orders 276, The Infantry School, 16 November 1943, with station at Camp Gordon, Georgia, by authority of Army Ground Force letter, file 370, 5/250 (R) (1 Oct 1943) GNGCT HQ AGF “Transfer of Certain School Troop Units.” Upon arrival at Camp Gordon the Battalion was attached to the 166th Field Artillery Group.  On 26 January 1944 the Battalion was reorganized under 1/0 & E 6-55 dated 31 July 1943 per letter, Army Ground Force, 13 January 1944, file 321/202 (FA)(R) GNGCT and reassigned to the 244th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm, Truck Drawn).

Monday – 29th November 1943
          General Order No.11 – Interior Guard Duty
Tuesday – 30 November 194311
        Strength Last Day (Commissioned And Enlisted)
DATEOFFICERSENLISTED MENTOTALINCREASEDECREASE
January 1943365405761
February 1943425315733
March 19433559062552
April 1943385786169
May 19433856460212
June 1943376685957
July 19433954358213
August 19433952456319
September 19433954855724
October 19433951555433
November 19434647752331
  1. Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday November 4, 1943, Volume 2, Number 8
  2. Fort Benning Bayonet, Thursday November 11, 1943, Volume 2, Number 9, Page 22
  3. Department of The Army, Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion, 8 August to 15 March 1944
  4. W. U. (Doc) Savage Letter, December 15, 1949
  5. Department of The Army, USH&EC, USAMHI, 202-244th 1945, “History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion During World War II
  6. Serving In Harms Way, A Record of My Service In The U.S. Army and WWII, Byron G. Rogers jr., January 2006
  7. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August to 15 March 1944
  8. W. U. (Doc) Savage Letter, December 15, 1949
  9. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August to 15 March 1944
  10. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August to 15 March 1944
  11. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944