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BrianGrubb

Need help deciphering dog tags. Pancho Villa Expedition? Plus, interesting wooden weapon.

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BrianGrubb

I have some dog tags that belonged to my great, great uncle, Horace Baker. I always thought they were from WWI, but I'm beginning to think they come from the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916. One reason for this is that I also have a piece of wood he carved while taking part in the expedition in 1916. It is a small but heavy piece of wood reportedly used to hold in the clenched fist for  hand-to-hand fighting. It has his initials and the date "1916" carved into it. The other reason I wonder if the tags are from the expedition vs. WWI is that I'm having such a hard time finding information about some of the things stamped on them.
This is what they say:

Side 1:

- Horace Baker

- SGT (stamped over "PVT")

- MTCO.838

- 239626.

 

Side 2:

- American Mission

- M.T.D.

- A.E.F.

 

Can anybody help me identify which action they were issued for and what "MTCO 838" and "M.T.D." stand for?  My guess is that it has something to do with being a part of a mounted company.

 

Thank you!

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Edited by BrianGrubb

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mills-bomb

Can I just make the observation that there is nothing ‘cool’ about an item that is designed to cause serious injury or to even kill.

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BrianGrubb
38 minutes ago, mills-bomb said:

Can I just make the observation that there is nothing ‘cool’ about an item that is designed to cause serious injury or to even kill.

Biting my tongue because I'm new here. I changed the word from "cool" to "interesting". I hope we're happy now. I think it's cool because it was carved by a relative of mine a hundred years ago, but ok...

 

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mills-bomb
17 hours ago, BrianGrubb said:

Biting my tongue because I'm new here. I changed the word from "cool" to "interesting". I hope we're happy now. I think it's cool because it was carved by a relative of mine a hundred years ago, but ok...

 

Biting of tongue not required, this is a (mostly)  friendly and knowledgeable forum which welcomes and encourages new members. Please dont be put off my my ‘correction’ of the wording in your first post. I am only sorry that I am unable to help you with the information you seek, but hopefully a better informed member will be able to.

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helpjpl
Gunner Hall

Could the "weapon" be a priest (Used to dispatch fish, rather than the enemy?)   

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Gunner Bailey
55 minutes ago, Gunner Hall said:

Could the "weapon" be a priest (Used to dispatch fish, rather than the enemy?)   

 

I would say that's a fair assessment. It's too short for fighting (IMHO) but it would do for dispatching a fish.

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4thGordons

or perhaps a truck tyre (tire!) "thumper" -- given his MTC / RM role?

It appears he was one of the US Army truck drivers/mechanics who were assigned to the Reserve Mallet (see here) originally (prior to the US entry into the war) made up of volunteer drivers from the AFS Lots of detail on the history of the RM here (p115 is the start of the description of US Army service)

 

 

If he served on the Mexican Border he was probably either a pre-war regular or a member of the national guard - which I would have expected to see mentioned in the brief bio (unless his service was with the national guard of a state other than Ohio?

 

The bio shows

 

He was initially in the Supply Company of the 329th Infantry (part of the 83rd Infantry Div) until Nov 14th 1917, he was then in Motor Truck Company 367 which was part of the 408 Motor Supply Train (formed Nov 1917 at Camp Sherman OH - then stationed at Camp Merrit NJ until Jan 1918 when they shipped to Europe as Service of Supply troops rather than attached to a particular division see p1474 OrBat Vol 3 zone of the interior) before transferring to the Reserve Mallet on March 9th 1918 where he stayed until returning home.

 

The dates given for his membership in the AEF (Feb 7th 1918 to June 19th 1919) tie with this history as far as I can see.

 

Chris

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BrianGrubb

Wow - I am blown away by the feedback. I can't thank you enough!

 

There's no reason for me to assume that the dog tags and the wooden implement were used at the same time. The date on the end and the fact that my grandmother told me he carved it while serving in Mexico lead me to the guess that he was serving in the Pancho Villa Expedition. The implement is quite short - barely wider than a man's hand if he grips it. My grandmother's note said that it was gripped in the hand for punching - like brass knuckles, in that they add stability and weight to a punch. I can say that it is very comfortable gripped that way - as though it was carved for the purpose. However, I haven't so far found any examples online of such implements. All I have is the word of my grandmother and the item itself. Interesting...

So it seems confirmed that he DID serve in France in WWI, but it is not confirmed that he fought in Mexico in 1916, aside for the artifact and hearsay.

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