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Oregon at war! 162nd Infantry Regiment?


79thHighlanders
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Hello everyone, this is my first post so I thought I would make it count! I have been trying to find information on Oregon infantry regiments that served with the AEF. I have found some sources like the Oregon at War site but I still have some lingering questions.

First. I cannot track down what regiments in the 41st Infantry Division were from Oregon. I think I read that the 162nd Inf. Reg. was from Oregon, but I'm not sure.

Second. I realize that soldiers from the 41st were put in reserve in France. They joined other units and saw service with these units correct?

Third. Did the men in the 41st wear their division patch in country? I would like to think that they wore the 41st patch while serving in other units....but thats my fantasy world, not reality. :rolleyes:

Anywho. Lovely site! Hope to contribute where I can.

Rachel Kelly

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

If you do a search for "162nd" of the following webpage you will see a reference to the regiment being associated with the Montana National Guard:

http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofthi...llrich_djvu.txt

The current National Guard regiment appears to be based in Oregon, though.

Unfortunately, since the regiment did not serve as an active combat unit in the war, it appears that no one felt it necessary to write a history for the unit; nor for the division. You may want to track down books about the WWII 41st Division to see if there is any discussion about the pre-war units. Also you may want to try contacting the state archives.

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I found this Rachel .... don't know if it will help !! :rolleyes:

In 1917, the 41st Infantry Division was formed (Named the Sunset Division). Oregon National Guard infantry, field artillery and cavalry units were sent to Camp Green, North Carolina, where, together with other National Guard units from the northwestern states, they were formed into the 41st Division. Some units changes were made as they processed into the 41st Division. The Third Oregon Infantry became the 162nd Infantry Regiment. The Oregon Field Artillery helped form the 147th Field Artillery Regiment which later was armed with the lethal "French 75" cannon. Since no real role existed for cavalry units in World War I, Oregon's cavalry troops were disbanded. Many of the men and officers went to the 148th Field Artillery Regiment which did have horse-drawn 155mm GPF cannons. The two artillery regiments, along with the 146th Field Artillery, made up the 66th Field Artillery Brigade - the organic artillery of the 41st Division

The 41st was first activated for Army service in 1 April 1917 primarily from Guard units of the Northwestern United States and trained at Camp Green, North Carolina. It consisted of the 81st Infantry Brigade (161st and 162nd Infantry Regiments) and the 82nd Infantry Brigade (163rd and 164th Infantry Regiments). On 26 November 1917 the first elements of the division embarked for Europe as part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). Men of the 41st were aboard the SS Tuscania when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sunk off the coast of France.

In France, the 41st Division received a major disappointment. It was designated a replacement division and did not go to combat as a unit. The majority of its infantry personnel went to the 1st, 2nd, 32nd and 42nd Infantry Divisions where they served throughout the war. The 147th Field Artillery was attached to the 32nd Division and saw action at the Third Battle of the Aisne, the Meuse-Argonne and other areas. The 146th and 148th of the 66th Field Artillery Brigade were attached as corps artillery units and participated in the battles of Chateau Thierry, Aisne-Marne, St Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne

Theres a database here ... if you have a name (s ) to research !

The Doughboys and Camp Green

http://www.cmstory.org/ww1/

Annie :)

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I think its safe to say that the 162nd Infantry Regiment was predominantly Oregonians after doing some reading. I found this mans image and record at Oregon at War!

Cpl. Frederic Roeber of Portland (OSA)

Occupation: Student

Service duty: Infantry

roeberf72.jpg

His records say that he was in the 162nd and from Portland. Interestingly enough, it says he served in France and left the army in 1919 still in the 162nd. I assumed that having not seen combat as a unit as Annie said, that there's no mention of any other unit. There are other Personal Military Records that have transfers to other units noted. Not Pvt. Roeber!

Here is his Oregon War records. http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/exhibits/war/pdf/roeber.pdf

So I am back to where I started I guess. Did the 41st Infantry Division's Infantry regiments (More specifically the 162nd) see combat together? If not, how on earth did they disperse these soldiers into other regiments? Did they become part of that unit? How does this explain the records of Roeber?

So many questions! :)

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Welcome to the Forum Rachel!

This link might also help.... it has information broken down by state.

http://www.militaryindexes.com/worldwarone/

For Oregon it has links to:

Oregon: World War I Personal Service Histories

Oregon World War One Deaths, Army

Oregon World War One Deaths, Navy & Marine Corps

Oregon WWI Draft Registration Index

Good luck! Andy

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In doing some more searches I've seen some references to the unit being from Oregon, so I'm not sure what to think about the reference to Montana. May just be a factual error on the part of the author. Whatever the case, I've come across a few interesting things about the regiment; perhaps you've already seen them, though.

Here is a 1918 Thanksgiving Day menu that was listed on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.fr/WWI-1918-American-YMCA-...S:B:SILF:FR:101

An article from 1943 discussing in part the First World War 41st division, and the 162nd, being reduced to a training unit; the columnist was a veteran of the 162nd:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1310...;pg=3142,424602

There is apparently a large photo of men from the 162nd guarding the President in December 1918.

Here is a post on ancestry's message boards about another member of the 162nd's MG company.

http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.massen...3/mb.ashx?pnt=1

the 162nd was sometimes referred to as the "old 3rd Oregon" or "old Third Oregon"--I'm assuming you're aware of this. There was a regimental association called "Old Third Oregon (162nd Infantry) Veterans Association" which possibly had a publication, and if so must have had information regarding the First World War regiment and its veterans.

http://nwda-db.wsulibs.wsu.edu/nwda-search...;t=k&q=jazz

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Thank you everyone for those sources! I esecially loved the primary source newspaper article.

So the jewel that I'm looking for now is.... did these soldiers of the 41st going into the 32nd stay together in groups? Or were they completely dispersed. Did they wear their 32nd Division patch?

Ill keep digging, any insight into my questions would be appreciated!

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I dug up my copy of the 32nd Division's history. After the events discussed in the article, the 32nd was itself designated a replacement division and many of the men sent to the 1st Division. A short while later, as a result of the German spring offensive, it was decided to reactivate the 32nd for front-line duty. According to the history:

During the month of April some replacements were received from the 41st Division and the rifle companies were brought up to a strength of about 160 men. [p. 41]

I seem to recall that there was a copy of the history scanned and available on a website, but all I can now find is this downloadable file:

http://www.archive.org/details/32nddivisioninwo00wisc

Men transferred to new units would have been integrated into the new unit as needed, and would only have worn the insignia of their new unit.

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Thank you for that wonderful link Ken! I have read a few pages so far, more to go eventually.

I have seen a large amount of original service coats dated to 1918 (enlisted and Officer) that have the 41st patch. Any thoughts? Patches added post war?

Here's an example: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Militaria:-US-WWI-1...914163001r12000

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The unit existed for the entire war so would have maintained using it's insignia. I'm really not familiar with the AEF nor with military memorabilia so I can't comment as to the prevalence or authenticity of supposed 41st Division uniforms. Since the division was the depot division for the entire AEF (according to the link below) I would think that there would be a fair number of these uniforms and/or insignia surviving in collectible condition.

This is an interesting article, and does mention the 41st on a number of occasions.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Evolutio...st:_World_War_I

Also, it turns out that one of the 41st's field artillery brigades did serve in combat as an independent unit.

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