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Coastal Artillery Corps

CAC loading guns








35th CAC, 80th Div. loading a 14" gun on the Argonne Front
National Archive photo, Indiana War Memorial archives


The WW1 designation of Coastal Artillery Corps was created in 1901 when the US Army Artillery was divided into two divisions, 126 Companies of Heavy Artillery and 30 Companies of Light (Field) Artillery.  This was necessitated by the difference in training required to man heavy guns verses training for the quicker movements of light artillery (4 to 6 lb.) field guns.  The Heavy Artillery (8 lb.
or greater) was named the Coastal Artillery Corps and played a major roll in World War 1 when the War stagnated into entrenched positions on the front lines.

Initial involvement of the CAC was with large caliber guns, stationary mounted, along the coastal areas and foreign outposts with forts or fortified gun outposts.  We were not prepared for the large scale troop movements, and as the Unite States entered the fighting in Europe, they initially used French or British made weapons.

80% of the men who lost their lives on the battlefields, fell to artillery fire.

The evolution of warfare, specifically the use of aerial bombing and heavy tanks lead to the CAC being deactivated during WWII, and officially abolished in 1950.

151st CAC, George Bridges

Battery C, 151st Artillery, Coastal Artillery Corps

Editors note: The gentleman on the far right is George Allen Bridges of Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana, my grandfather.  Photo from family collection.  (He was a member of a WW 1 veterans group, the 3H Club, in Vallejo, California.  The 3 H's stood for Healthy, Hearty and Handsome.)  Service record: April 12, Noviant; April 29 to May 28, St. Jean; Sept. 12, St. Mihiel; Oct. 21 - 24, Bois de Grand Portin, France.  Served overseas from August 14, 1917 to February 3, 1919.

William Wirt Morea, Coastal Artillery Corps, Lake County, Indiana

“While I was with Co. A., Ammunition Train, 1st Div., I was in practically every place in and around the war zone.  In order to mention all, I would need a war map of France.  I was with the 28th Infantry, 1st Div., which was the first American army outfit across into Germany on December 13, 7:30 a.m.  I was also with the H Co. that was in the 2nd Battalion.  I believe I'm one of the first boys of Lake County to cross the Rhine.  After being chosen for the Composite Army, Co. B., I traveled in every parade they took part in and return with the “General Pershing Guard of Honor” as we were called

CAC mortar test

Coastal Artillery Corps testing huge mortars at a Fort on the Atlantic Coast

National Archive Photo CN3123 Group 64, Indiana War Memorial Archives

Paul Vernon Wycoff, Coastal Artillery Corps, Ripley County, Indiana

“Fired presidential salute of 21 guns at Ft. Hamilton on Dec. 9, 1918 as President Wilson’s ship, the George Washington, sailed out of the harbor for France.  Was Sergeant of the Guards and fired reveille guns in salute as the convoy passed.”The 38th Coastal Artillery Corps was welcomed to New York when arriving from Newport News, being mistaken for overseas troops. They were in full overseas equipment as they expected to sail for France on November 11.

The two-day trip from Newport to New York was full of peril from floating mines.  The soldiers wore life belts the entire time. They reached New York in time to march in the Thanksgiving Day parade.

Trench Art

"Trench Art"

Created by WW1 soldiers from spent shells.

Photo of exhibit from Indiana War Memorial Collection.

Trench Mortar Patch

Trench Mortar Division shoulder patch

Indiana War Memorial Collection

Edward Leroy Wright, Coastal Artillery Corps, Allen County, Indiana

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward A Wright; born May 27th, 1900 in Hammond, Indiana.  He was living in Ft. Wayne when he enlisted in the US Regular Army in February, 1917.  Sent to Columbus Barracks, Ohio, hence to Fort Terry, NY.  Assigned to the 2nd Company, Coastal Artillery Corps, Anti-air Craft Division.  Went overseas (exact date not known), and was in active service throughout the war.  Died of influenza, December 17, 1918, in Evacuation Hospital #1, Ravigny, France.  Buried in the American Cemetery, Ravigny.

CAC Artillery school, France

 

320 MM Field Artillery Field School, Batteries Land M, 52nd Coast Artillery Corps, 320 MM railway.  Army Heavy and Railroad Artillery School, Mailly, Auhe, France.

National Archives Photo 12492 Group 111, Indiana War Memorial Archives

Naval guns

Guns were stripped from US Battleships to be used inland.

Longest range Field Gun, WW 1

 

 

 

 

US Official Photo, America's War For Humanity

 

"The longest-range field gun in the world, produced by the Ordnance department, US Army, for service in France, though the hostilities ceased before they reached General Pershing. More than a hundred of these guns are said to have been prepared for shipping to France, and their range and power would probably have an astonished the Germans, as did the great naval guns mounted on railway cars and manned by American seamen, that did such effective work in the closing days of the conflict."

Indiana War Memorials