103 Years Ago Today (ish?), Pulling the 75s

September 9, 1918: Six-horse artillery caissons of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, “The Big Red One,” moving up through the woods in Mandres aux Tours (Mandres-aux-Quatre-Tours?), in north-east France’s Lorraine region. The guns should be famed “French 75s” (Canon de 75 modèle 1897) of which the American Expeditionary Forces used some 1,900 during 1917-18, dubbed the more GI “75 mm Gun M1897.”

Note the consistency of the horse’s coats and the doughboys smoking cigarettes as they ride. Photo via the Society of the First Infantry Division 

However, a 1936 Christmas Card for the veterans of the 1st ID’s 76th Field Artillery Regiment, signed by John J. Waterman, Lieutenant Colonel, reads:

Battery B moving through the woods, Mandres aux Tours, France, August 9, 1918. 

A copy of this picture enlarged by two by three feet hung in the office of the Chief of Field Artillery. The regiment spent a little over two weeks at Mandres, re-equipping, and training for the St. Michel offensive.

Of note, the commander of the regiment’s Battery D should be familiar to students of military history.

Besides St. Mihiel, the regiment fought during the Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, and Meuse-Argonne offensives in the Great War, for which it was presented the Croix de Guerre with Gold Star, and completed occupation duty in Germany.
 
During WWII, it was converted from horse-drawn to motorized operation then landed in France (again) at Utah Beach in 1944, then fought assigned in elements to the 7th, 8th, 3rd, and 1st Infantry Divisions (the regiment had five battalions). 
 
The last active element of the regiment, 1st Battalion, was part of the Massachusetts Army National Guard and carried its 105mm howitzers to Iraq three times and once to Afghanistan before inactivation in 2015.

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