Charles H Moore.

Memories of the 411th Telegraph Battalion in the World War here and over there ... online

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Online LibraryCharles H MooreMemories of the 411th Telegraph Battalion in the World War here and over there ... → online text (page 1 of 13)
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"41 ith"





A/r OBILIZED at Presidio of Monterey, Cali-
fornia, June 29, 1917. Left San Fran-
cisco, California, via Panama Canal on I". S.
Steamship Creat Northern January 24, 1918.
Left New York on P. S. Steanishii) Covinuton
for France February 18, 1918. Arrived Brest,
France, March 4, 1918. Left Brest, France, for
Pnited States on V. S. Steamship Charleston
April 10, 1919, arriviny- New York April 20,
1919. I)emol)ilized at Presidio of San Fran-
cisco and Camp Lewis, AVashinuton, ]\Iay 8th to
12th, 1919.

Information, ])ictui-es, maps and personal ex-
periences prei)arcd and gathered -with the as-
sistance of members of the Battalion.

Compiled and edited by C. H. .AlOOKE.



^T^O our dearly beloved dei)arted comrades wlu) made the

sujireme sacrifice in the service of their country.

Y. BARKER : Killed in action by explosion of German
"77" shell October 25, 1918, while engaged in building tele-
phone line near Very, France, during ]Mense-Argonne offen-
sive. Buried in cemetery near Cheppy, France, l)y his com-
rades. Later body was removed to military cemetery near
Romagne, France.

F. R. EMORY : 111 on board T^ S. Steamship Great North-
ern from San Francisco to Panama. Left in hospital at Pan-
ama, February 2, 1918, and died a few days later. Body re-
moved to Spokane. Washington, and buried with full military

ERNEST P. IRISH: Sprained ankle during last days of
]\Ieuse-Argonne just before Armistice. Sent to Hospital and
then evacuated to L^nited States. YHiile on ])oard V. S. Steam-
ship 3Iani returning to United States lu^ was suddenly stricken
with pneumonia, dying on January 24. 1919. Buried in Cleve-
land, Ohio, with military honors.

JOHN S. SLATER: :\Iember of :\ledical Corps Detach-
ment. Taken ill while Battalion was at Brest, France; left
there in Hospital and died .March l-t, 1918. Buried in Mililary
Cemetery, Brest, France.

P>. T. WILEY: Was stricken with "flu" wliib' on sixM-ial
duty in Paris, France, Feln-uary. 1919. Died few days lalfi-.
Bnried in Military Cemetery at Sm-esness, iu*ar I'aris.

NOTE: Sergeant Singleton of tlie :Hi)11i Field Sii^nal
Battalion was ]ai-k'er. lie was atlai-hed
to our organization for duly, and liis loss was as keenly felt as
thougli he had a''liiall\- hecii one oj' our own men.



TX passiiiiz- aloiiu' to my old comrades and fi-ieiuls a record of
the achievements of llu' '■411th," the writer wishes to take
the opportunity of thankiiit;- each and every man who has so
abl}' assisted in the furnishinu- of pictures, preparation of data,
maps, etc., and in tlie making of suii',ii'estions. All have helped
to make the story ])ossihle: in fact, without this assistance the
book could not have been pu])lished. It is not possible to men-
tion the individual names of all those who have so ably helped,
but each of you Mill know your efforts and work are most sin-
cerely appreciated.

Xo attempt has been made in this story to record individual
achievement : effort has rather been made to chronicle in nar-
rative form the combined achievements of the Battalion as a
whole. We had many "star players" in our outfit, but the real
accomplishments Avhicli we were able to put over were the re-
sult of "team work."

There are many features in connection with publishing this
story which the writer Avishes miiiht have been im])r()ved upon.
However, tlie best possible results have been obtained after
taking- into consideration all of the difficulties.

If the following- pages will help to recall in the years to
come the friendships and comradeships formed during the
])eriod of our service for our Country, and be the cause of fur-
ther cementing the friendly relationships formed by luiving
served together, the wa-iter will be most happy and feel that
much uood has been accomplished.

C. li. MOORE.




\ FTER the I'liited States declared war against (iermany,
'^*- April 6, 1917, every red blooded, patriotic American citizen
began asking himself these questions: "In what branch of
the service should I enlist?" "Where will it be best for men
to enlist and be sent to France for active duty at the earliest
possible date?" '"Where should I enlist to best serve my
country?" Added to these questions were many as to how
families would be cared foi- during the absence of the bread
winner; Avhat would happen in case of death or disability, etc.
All had felt instinctively for many months that our country
must take her i)]ace with the allies in the fight for world liberty
and democracy; however, now that war had actually been de-
clared, just where and how was each individual to fit in and
"do his bit?"

Very shortly after war had been declared The Pacific
Telephone and Telegraph Company issued a Bulletin announc-
ing that a Telegrai)h Battalion was to be organized, enrollment
in which was to be composed entirely of employes. The Bulle-
tin also announced that The Telephone Company would pay to
individuals accepted by the Government for service in the pro-
posed Battalion the difference between their i)ay at time of en-
tering service and the government pay, for a period of at least
one year. Applications for enlistment were sent to all por-
tions of the Company's territory, comprising the States of Cali-
fornia, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and ])ai-t of Idaho. The
question as to "where to enlist" foi* men in the teleplione and
telegraph sei-vice was iunnediately answ(U'C(l b_\' Ihis plan, as


it iu)t only ot't'ciH'd a fii'ld wlicr;* the 1 (M-liiiical altility and knowl-
edge of telei)liont' and ttdo.uraph men could he best utilized in
serving- their (.'ountry. hut also i)resented the opportunity of be-
coming- affiliated -with an organization eonii)osed of men who
had been trained to think along the same lines, thus at once es-
tablis'liing a bond of rellowship and comradeship. The ex-
tremely genei-()us proi)Osal of 1'he Telephone Company to pay
the differenei' in wages for a pei-iod of one year also enabled
many older men who would not have been snbject to draft, and
who had fannlies, to enter tlie service at once, thns giving to
their country the benefit of older experience whicdi otherwise
mig-ht have been deferred until provision for their dependents
conld have been made. The answer to the call for enlistments
was immediate and spontaneous, resulting' in nearly one thous-
aiul applications. As only one Hattalion consisting of approx-
imately two hundred fifteen enlisted men and ten officers was
to be organized at that time, it became necessary to select those
who were to go. These selections were made with two i)rincipal
objects in view: to sentl those best ((ualified and retain those
who were most necessary to maintain telephone service at home.
]\rany had to be disai)pointed and to be "good soldiers" by re-
maining behind to perform the highly important work which it
was apparent would have to be done in civilian capacities. The
writei-, in passing-, wishes to remark upon the splendid spirit
and sjiortsmanship shown by those men who were thus deprived
of a (lisliiict advantage to serve, but who remained on the .jol)
or later ai^ain volunteered to serve their country under less
initial adxantages.

During the month of ^lay and first half of June, 1917,
the fortunate men Avho had l)een selected to serve in the Bat-
talion Avere busy with physical examinations, ascertaining what
they should aiul should not take to training camp with them,
arranging their home and personal affairs for an extended ab-
sence, aiul anxiously awaiting "the call."'

Tn the organization of the Battalion practically all the men
of Company T) canu^ from the Central and Southern Divisions
in California and Xe\ada : Company E from Northern and In-


land Divisions in Oregon, Wasliin^ton and Idaho: i Icadijiiar-
tei's and Sui)|)ly I Ictai liincids, scattered.

Tuder date of Jnne 21. 1!)17, the followinu- extract from
Special Order No. 185 was issned from IIead(|narters Western
Department, San Fi-aneisco, California:

S])ecial Orders, Xo. 185

San Francisco, C'al., June 21, liHT.

15. In acc(>rilaiu'e witli t('lc'graj)hic instructions of the t!>th instant
from the War Department, the Eighth Telegraph Battalion, Signal Re-
serve Corps, consisting of the officers ami enlisted men hereinafter
named, is called into active service. Each officer and enlisted man
named will proceed to the Presidio of Monterey, California, to arrive
not later than the 29th instant and report to the coniniamliiig officer for
station and duty.


Major Augustus H. Griswold.

Captain Charles H. Moore.

Captain William C. Barbour.

First Lieutenant Donald W. Scott.

First Lieutenant William H. Cunan.

First Lieutenant John T. Quinn.

First Lieutenant William H. Fairbanks.

First Lieutenant George R. O. Rutherfurd.

First Lieutenant Allen J. Calloway.


Master Signal Electricians.
John A. Dolan and Elmer L. Garrett, Company D.
Frank P. Henry and Shirley M. Treen, Company E.

Serg(>arits Fiist Class.

Julian Elliott, Hoadtjuarters Detaidiment.

Christopher S. Barker, Alton B. Coates, Ariel C. Harris, Josciih A.
Longeran, Arthur Lovell, Harry J. McCirew and Leigh R. Shclton, Com-
]>any D.

Albert L. Beisell, ('e.-il A. lioylc, David W. Evans, Charles K. Jordan,
Daniel H. McNulty, .lolin P>. I'attersoii and Aulirey .\. Porter, Com-
jiany E.


Wallace W. True, Supply Detachment.

(Jharles T. Abbott, Lewis A. Blair, .MIxmI R. P.Iuc, TlK.mas M. Purns,
Emmett J. Graham, Alfred II. lions, Fci ilinaml II. Sclnnlitcrnia n : lolm
A. Sto(dvman, P^dward B. Tnstin, William M. \Vell> and Howard P.
Worthington, Comjiany D.

Orrin W. Bailev, Albert W. Jirant, Albert P. Campbell, Cii.-irles F.

10 :\IKM()RIES OF THE ''411TII"

Cole, Ernest A. Ilutcliins. George E. McConaiighy, William F. McDonalcT,
Edwanl A. Miller, .Melviii W. Rutledoe and Beiie.lift T. Wiley, Coni-
j)aiiy K.


Paul I'. Hoggs, George H. Browne, James A. Cliamberliii, Herbert M.
Coles, Roilaiid J. Cook, James L. Davis, Herbert N. Fairbanks, George
G. Gillett, Bartholomew C. Lally, Jr., Frederick H. Landis, Arthur K.
MacN'amara, Warren C. Alerrill, Louis W. Morris, Fred J. Reger, Charles
A. Robb, George C. Thompson and Louis J. Warde, Company I).

Ri(diard ]\L Barrett, Lawrence W. Brainard, Elton Connaway, ^Walter
1). Davis, Charles R. Gould, Walter L. Kuhn, Don J. Lundy, Chester U.
Maderia, Percy J. Patterson, George A. Radford, Roscoe C. Riley, Arno
\V. Schussman, Bert B. Smith, Newman K. Staggs, Carl L. Stier, Edwin
S. Thomas and John C. Williams, Company E.

Privtes First Class

Grant P. T)u Bois. Ilniold \V. Xorthruji and Daniel T). Woodward,
Supply Detachment.

Albert S. Adams, Roy A. Agard, Alfred Anderson, Charles B. Atkin-
son, Bruce Bacon, Voltaine Barker, Jacob V. Bechtold, Albert E. Bevan,
Henry Vj. Biedebach, James H. Blessing, Con H. Cady, John A. Carlson,
Dani(d F. Donahue, Frank R. Emory, Jesse B. Fisher, Clarence H. Foote,
liemy J. Graham, Leslie L. Gray, Jolm W. Hanson, Hugh L. Hickey,
Wllliani F. Huff, Jeremiah L. Hurley, John B. Johnson, Fred W. Kruse,
Augustus L. Kurtz, William A. Labeau, Ralph W. Laverty, Karl C.
Manny, Hector C. McDonald, Joseph ]\Iendelson, John Nelson, Joseph B.
O'Neil, Harold Pierce, Charles H. Rochford, Francis ^l. Saunders, Eu-
gene M. Sawyer, Harrie Snelling, James R. Thomas, John J, Yeazy, Her-
man C. Vehslage, Ralph E. Wagner, Charles Warner, Robert E. Williams,
\'irgil W. Wiswell, Harold B. Woolsey and Roliert C. Younger, Com-
jtany D.

Arthur H. Bachelor, George R. Bennett, Hal R. Borne, Leslie Brakel,
Al|)honse J. Campbell, Lester W. Campbell, Harry Y. Coe, Ernest T. Col-
lins, George S. Driscoll, Hilmer R. Eggan, Glen A. Elkins, Thomas A.
Ellis, James A. Frace, Lloyd Freeman, AVilliam E. Gaskell, Fred A.
Gio, Herrman H. Hall, Guy M. Harris, William J. Hoffer, Floyd L.
Hunter, Daniel L. Ijams, William E. Johnson, Charles O. Larson, Walter
L. Larson, John H. Lee, Ralph W. Lindsay, John Lynch, Raymond K.
Maynard, Jr., Leo McArtor, Clyde D. McCall, Albert C. Mercier, William
I). Alontanye, Goldwin F. Moon, George E. Myers, Roy Neighbor, Fred
Nelson, Jesse Nooney, Hans Olsen, Richard W. Prince, Carl D. Rolph,
Charles L. Rose, Harold J. Sherrett, Frank C. Smith, Harry J. Smith, D-a
M. Stamps, Everett E. Swim, John C. Taylor, Thomas L. Thacteher, Clvde
L. Tuel , Harry E. Warner, Elmo B. Weaver, Thomas T. Webb, Leslie L.
W'eimai' and Fi'aiiklyn H. Woodward, Company p].


Ernest T. Becker, AValtei' D. Yecchio and Thomas E. Knox, Heatl-
fjuarters DLetachnient.

Thomas J. Bays, Leonard L. Beardslee, Robert H. Blair, Walter A.
Davis, Harry PI. Glass, Charles E. Guenther, Alexander C. Krater,
Edward S. Lynch, Fred J. Ortner, Charlie E. Stradley, Frank W. Torrey
and Lyle H. Wheeler, Company D.

Richard B. Baird, Duncan A. Cooper, Neal Davidson, La Yon E. Gott-
fried, Lewis G. Hunter. Clark B. Huston, Ernest L. Lathan. Edwin M.
Meyer, Frederick T. riiilli]is, Karl A. Ryder ami Ralph Underwood,
Company E.



The Quartermaster Corps will furnish the necessary transportation and
pay to such of the enlisted men as may be entitled thereto commutation
of rations as provided by paragraph 1228, Army Eegulations, it being
impracticable for them to carry rations of any kind.

The travel directed is necessary in the military service.

By Command of Major (leneral Liggett:

Lieutenant Colonel, Adjutant General,
Department Adjutant

Pursuant to the fore.uoiiiii' order the various units reported
to the Presidio of ^Monterey, California, on June 29, 1917.

The Battalion was practically the first organization to be
called into active service as an organization in the Western
Department, and at that time only small troop movements to
training" camps were being made. As the movement involved
men traveling from i)ractically every part of the Pacific Coast
States (including Nevada and Idaho) a great deal of interest
was taken by the public along the route and the press widely
commented upon the call of the organization, predicting early
overseas dutv.

Ol Alt!) IIOI SK. >l\'l"IOI{KV

1. Presiciio vi Monterey 3. Our flag- pole.

2. Gus Larson learns to carry a itack. 4. New tirk straw.

fi. Out mascot •■I^iick\-."



'"pi IK selet'tioii of the Presidio of ^Monterey as the trainitiu'
camp for the Pacific ("oast Battalion was most fortunate.
Sitnated on a small elevation, with gravelly soil, uood water
and (Irainaue, it Avas an ideal camp site. Founded in 177(1,
there is no other place in the State of California about which
there centers so many points of historical interest, as the Pre-
sidio of Monterey and its environs. From the earliest period
in th.e State's History the nnjst important i)()litical and his-
torical events have taken ])lace in the vicinity of ^lonterey.
Almost Avithin a stone's thi'ow of the spot Avhere Commodore
•lohn D. Sloat, Commander of the Pacific S(piadron, on -Inly 7,
1846, first i-aised the Stars and Stripes in Califoi'nia, was lo-
cated the training place of our Battalion. Here we were des-
tined to spend many houi-s. days, Aveeks and months of har-d
work, mingled Avith the sadness and the .joys of a new and
strange life. But in the years to come Ave are bound 1o look
bacdv upon our expei'iences there and say "am glad th(\v sent
us to -Monterey." Its glorious climate, continuous sunshine and
scenery, unriA'alled anyAvhere in the Avorld, made our enfoi'ced
stay nuieh easier to endure than if Ave had been located at some
of the other training camps where Ave would have had to con-
tend Avith the summer heat or rigors of Avinter. Dui'ing nearly
a seven months' training pei'iod not a scheduletl fornuilion had
to be omitted on account of climatic conditions.

And then, too, nnist be recalled the many opporl nnil ies foi-
I'ecieation. Foi' a radius of ten miles fi'oin our heachpiarlei's
might lie had almost e\eiy foi-ni of outdoor si)orts. The world
famous Hotel Pel Monte grounds was only a couple of mih's
awa\". Tourists spend Ihousands ujion thousands of (b)lhirs
t^Yvvy yeai' to visit this justly famous i-esoi-t ; \\-e enjoyed all of
its pleasures and facilities and Ihe management uladly wel-
comed ns at all times. Xeai'l)y was the golf course, the polo



•rroiinds, the race track, the heautiful cli-ives and the maiiy
other natural attractions which all combined nial\e this resort
one of the most t'amons in America.

Who in onr orjiani/.at ion will ever foruet tlie world-fanions
'•Seventeen Mile Drive." ■"Del Monte Forest," "Pebble Beach
liodye," the ( ypress Trees and all of the other delightful crea-
tions which the hand of (rod and have combined to make
the most beantifnl in all the world.

Nowhere else in all the I'niverse has the Creator so lavish-
ly endowed linman kind with natural beauties than in the
^Monterey Country. Here ti-uly is the "•Riviera" of America.
It was the writer's good fortune, as well as other mend)ers of
onr or«:anization, to l)ask in the sunshine of France on the
shores of the Mediterranean, and to travel over the boulevards
of Nice antl its envii'ons. and he always said with [ii'ide and
pleasure in his heart that our own dear ^lonterey is just as
beautiful, its blendinji' of colors just as marvelous and its rare
combination of mountain, forest and ocean scenery just as

Ciipiil ^viiN a hiisy little hoy about the
time t\n- 4lltli wa.s calieil into service, as
attested !•> the siv iie%v hridej^rooiiis yie-
tiireil aho\e.



T 7'EIvY few men in tlu' orj^anization had ever had any j)re-
vious military training and knew very little as to wliat was
expected of them. Composed as it was, however, of telephone
and telegraph men who had been aeeustomed to adapting them-
selves to varying conditions in civilian life, it was not long af-
ter arrival at Camp before everyone fell into the spirit of the
new life. Each man found his place to slee}). had his ])ed nm-k
filled, blankets issued and l)efore being in camp beyond one
meal time, learned to ask the (piestion "when do we eat?"

We were must fortunate in being assigned to well con-
structed barracks with large sfjuad rooms. These barracks
Avere provided with kitchens in the extreme rear, innnediately
adjoining a large dining room, or as we soon learned to call
it, "mess hall." About the very first thing we leai-ncd after
reaching camp was that Ave were expected to "(dean up."
Kitchens, mess halls, S(]uatl I'oonis and everything about camp
had to l)e scrnbbed. Cleanliness, we were to learn, was to l)e
one of the things to be always kept in mind. A mere mention
of the many ludicrous sights in and id)out cami) those first few
days Avili surely recall a chain of comical circumstances. .Men
who liad been used to living a rather free and easy life ( ha\ing
what they wished Avhen they wanted it) Avere learning to |)eel
potatoes. Avait on tabl(% police company streets, make their own
l)eds and do the hundi-ed and one things Avhich they all latei-
found easy in the daily gi-ind of being a soldier. However,
there Avas a big willingness to le;irn on the |)ar1 oF all: the
"regulars" in and about the camp found out that our crowd
Avere "regular fellows," ami wei-e williuL; to i:i\e us pointers,
although many stoi'ies oi" the L;idlil)ilily of our recruits Tor the
first fcAV days Avere cii-enlated in camp.

On July 4tli, five days after reaching camp, a "l>iL;- h'eed"
Avas put on Ijy the Mess Sergeants and Cooks, and thus was cs-



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Online LibraryCharles H MooreMemories of the 411th Telegraph Battalion in the World War here and over there ... → online text (page 1 of 13)