56th Artillery, Battery A

Battery A, 56th Artillery, C.A.C.

Battery A, 56th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps was composed principally of men from the 13th and 16th Co's, Long Island Sound. The 13th Co. was originally the 133rd Co. C.A.C.

On 28 March 1918 there were 228 enlisted men plus the below listed men in Battery A that sailed on the HMS Olympic. Battery A was commanded by the following Officers as of 28 March 1918:

Captain Roscoe Ellsworth Brightup
1st Lt. James Leslie Dewitt Corey
1st Lt. Frank Britton
2nd Lt. Wallace Earle Hawley
2nd Lt. Carroll Day Simmons
2nd Lt. Luther Wright Throckmorton

1st Sgt. Billie Hamilton Moore, Battery A 1st Sgt.

When the 56th Artillery Returned on 5 January 1919 from Brest, France only one officer returned with the Battery on the USS South Dakota. Below is a list of the men in charge of Battery A when they went aboard the USS South Dakota on 5 January 1919:

Captain Otis T. Bradley, Battery Commander
1st. Sgt. Harold F. Holt, Battery 1st Sgt
Sgt. Jeremiah Donovan, 1st Platoon
Sgt. Edward Wathen, 2nd Platoon
Sgt. Sidney Grenier, 3rd Platoon
Sgt. Lawrence Scott, 4th Platoon
Cpl. Charles H. Stewart, 5th Platoon

Battery A Muster

As I find information on Battery A 56th Artillery men I will list them here in this section. If you had a family member in Battery A please contact me through the link at the bottom of this page.

Private Carl Felix Mandabach, 623385

Carl was the son of Martin J. and Gertrude Mandabach. He was born February 13, 1894, Washington, Indiana. Carl was an employe of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He enlisted in U.S. Regular Army May 2, 1917, and was sent to Jefferson Barracks, Mo. Transferred to the Coast Defenses of Long Island Sound, New York and assigned to Battery A, 56th Coast Artillery. Embarked for overseas March 28, 1918 with the 56th Artillery on the transport HMS Olympic. Pvt Mandabach name does appear on the passenger manifest of Battery A and he listed his father as the person to notify in case of emergency. His fathers name was Martin John Mandabach from RFD #1 in Washington, Indiana. Assigned to duty as truck driver of Ammunition Train. Killed in explosion of ammunition dump, November 2, 1918. (Place unknown.)

Pvt. Clarence A. Norman, 595848

Clarence A. Norman was born December 9, 1894 in Chadron Nebraska. When America entered the war Clarence enlisted into the army and was assigned to Battery A, 56th Artillery, C.A.C. This is known from the passenger manifest of the HMS Olympic, on which the entire 56th Artillery sailed. The granddaughter of Clarence Norman, Patricia Kielmeyer told me that he was in Battery A and then I found his name on a copy of the passenger manifest that I have. This is what I found on the passenger manifest of the HMS Olympic:

Norman, Clarence A. 595848 Pvt. Next of kin: Jonas Norman, Father, RFD 5 Princeton, Minnesota

On his return trip back from France Pvt. Norman sailed with the 56th Artillery on the Cruiser USS South Dakota and he his listed on that passenger manifest as well. He was listed as being in the 3rd Platoon of Battery A and this is what is listed:

Norman, Clarence A. 595848 Pvt. Next of kin: Mrs. Betsy Norman, Mother, RFD 5 Princeton, Minnesota

The family does have a Battery A photo with Clarence in it. It has the words "Battery A, 56th Artillery, CAC, January 19, 1919" on it. Clarence did not speak much of the war and the only thing that was remembered that he did say about it was that "we hauled a howitzer around France". Patricia Kielmeyer relates about her grandfather; "Clarence was born December 9, 1894 in Chadron Nebraska. In 1897, his family, along with two other families, traveled by covered wagon to Minnesota. His father bought land, built a home and became a dairy farmer in rural Princeton Minnesota. Clarence went away to school and graduated from Northland Academy in Ashland, Wisconsin in 1916. After his discharge from the Army, he returned to Minnesota. He married Marie Kaufert in 1923. After living in Minneapolis for 6 years, they moved to rural Princeton (Greenbush Township) Minnesota where they farmed for 40 years before retiring. He died October 9, 1972. They had 3 children, 13 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. (And, now there are great- great- grandchildren). Clarence was a quiet, decent, modest man, who worked 12 to 14 hour days to keep his dairy farm operating seven days a week. I remember watching him milk cows and drive his John Deere tractor through the fields pulling the hay wagon while others loaded hay bales. Sometimes, I rode on the wagon while this was going on."

Pvt. 1cl, James Kelly, 596334, Battery A

Born 2 January 1897 in Mauston, Wisconsin and worked as a laborer before enlisting in the army. James enlisted at Bismarck, North Dakota on 1 february 1918 and was sent to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. He was assigned to Battery A, 56th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps. He sailed with the 56th Artillery on the HMS Olympic and took part in the following actions in France; Offensives: Aisne-Marne; Oise-Aisne; Meuse-Argonne. Defensive Sector: Champagne. On 1 December 1918 he was advanced from grade of Private to Private First Class. After returning to the states with the 56th Artillery he was discharged at Camp Dodge, Iowa, on February 8, 1919, as a Private 1st Class.

Captain Roscoe E. Brightup, Battery A Commander

Roscoe Ellsworth Brightup was born on August 31, 1888 in Bridgman, Michigan. Both of his parents were born in Ohio and not much of his early life is known. Roscoe after graduating High School went to college and became a high school teacher. About 1913 Roscoe joined the Corps of Cadets at the college he was attending where he was a Captain of the Infantry. After College he joined the R.O.T.C. program at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois where he was still attending when he registered for the WWI Draft on June 5, 1917. At the time he was employed as a High School teacher with the Rockford, Illinois school system and lived at 319 N. Court Street in Rockford, IL.

Roscoe was a single, medium built man with brown eyes and light brown balding hair. As Roscoe was already enrolled in the R.O.T.C. program and the fact that the Army was in great need of qualified officers he was graduated and sent for duty with the Coast Artillery Corps. He was given the rank of Captain and was sent for duty with the newly forming 56th Artillery, C.A.C. forming at Ft. Terry and Ft. Wright in New York. He was given command of Battery A, 56th Artillery and sailed to France with his regiment.

After the war ended he return to his home in Rockford, IL where he took a room with a Mrs. C. Ledger on Woodlawn Avenue. This is known from the 1920 Federal Census that was taken in January of 1920. At that time Roscoe was not employed and this may have been shortly after he returned from France. It is known that when the 56th Artillery returned from France in January of 1919 Captain Brightup was not Battery A Commander. It was common practice to replace Officers with those officers who would be discharged first and so he may have stayed in France with other duties and then returned at a later date.

About 1925 Roscoe met and married his wife whoÕs name was Gayle E. and she was born about 1898 in Ohio. Roscoe and Gayle lived in a home they owned on Harlem Blvd. in Rockford, IL. The home was valued at $18,500 and they had one of the few luxuries of the day, which was a radio set. Roscoe and Gayle had a daughter named Virginia G. born in the spring of 1926 and then a son named James R. born in May of 1928. By April of 1939 Roscoe supported the family by working as an advertising manager in a factory and also by renting a room in their home. The lodger was a 24-year old man named Joseph A. Crum who was an office manager for a contracting company.

Roscoe Brightup lived the rest of his long life in Rockford, IL and in January of 1981 at the age of 92 years and 5 months passed away.

2nd Lt. Luther Wright Throckmorton

In 1917 when America entered the fight in WWI, her army was small and had not been tested with large movements of troops and supplies. The ranks of the army would be soon expanded vastly and the need for qualified officers to lead the quickly growing ranks of enlisted men was impending. The army turned to men, who were college educated, or those who had served briefly in the military before the war, and those who had any military training even if they did not complete the training or schooling. Luther Wright Throckmorton was one such man.

Luther Wright Throckmorton was in 1917 a 30-year old man who had attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis for 2 years, and then dropped out or quit for unknown reasons. He was just the sort of man the army was looking for, someone who was educated, could take orders, lead men and figure things out with minimal effort. After all the men he would be asked to lead, would likely had not been away from home and knew minimal of the things of war.

Luther was a Virginia boy of some affluence and was born on August 27, 1887 in Richmond, Virginia to Charles Woodson Throckmorton (1861-1928) and Mary Ann Wright Throckmorton (1863-1931). The ThrockmortonÕs were Richmond area natives going back to at least LutherÕs grandfather Robert James Throckmorton (1834-1895). LutherÕs father Charles Woodson Throckmorton was a lawyer nearly all his life, and provided a good life for his wife and family of six children. They were eldest son Luther Wright who was born on August 27, 1887; Lucy Temple (1889-1973); Robert James (b. 1891); Charles Withers (1893-1992); Samuel (1903-1970); and Mary Katherine (b. 1906).

At the turn of the century in 1900 the Throckmorton family were living in the home of Mary AnnÕs parents in the Brookland District of Richmond. Mary AnnÕs father was Luther Wright and worked as a conductor for the railroad, and his wife was Susan. Luther Wright must have been a great influence on Charles and Mary Ann because their firstborn child, Luther Wright Throckmorton derived his first and middle name from Mary AnnÕs father. At the time in the Wright-Throckmorton home there were three colored servants employed, a cook and a maid along with a farm laborer. Interestingly enough on the 1900 Federal Census, Charles Woodson Throckmorton is not listed but Mary Ann is listed as being married. It is not known why he was away from the home and unlisted on the form. It is however known that he in later census forms is listed with the family.

Luther Wright Throckmorton had aspirations of greater things and may have excelled in school. After graduation from high school Luther was given the chance to excel again and was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. He entered the Academy on June 21, 1907 as one of the 293 Midshipmen in that freshman class.

As a young Midshipman at the academy young Luther was a member of the Richmond society and on August 23, 1909 as reported in the Society section of the Washington Post a guest at a dance held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Fisher of Gilder Park in honor of Miss Mayfield Richmond and Miss Pricilla Dodson. Among the twenty-two invited guest were Midshipman Luther Throckmorton along with his younger sister Lucy Throckmorton.

But for unknown reasons after the end of LutherÕs second year at the Naval Academy he dropped out and did not finish. He by 1910 was again living with his parents and siblings in the Brookland District of Richmond.

At age 29 Luther was then a student likely studying law and was also in the ROTC program at his school. During WWI America called for a Federal Draft and on June 5, 1917 during the first call up, Luther Wright Throckmorton registered in the 3rd Division of Richmond, VA. He stated he was 29-years old single and living at 307 South 3rd Street in Richmond. He also stated that he had served 2-years at the Naval Academy.

The Army saw that he could be a leader of men and his schooling at Annapolis showed them he was and educated man who was studying to become a lawyer and so he was selected to become an officer candidate. Once he was assigned to duty he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the ArmyÕs Coast Artillery Corps and was assigned to duty with either the 13th or 16th Company, Coast Defenses of Long Island Sound. When the 56th Artillery Regiment, C. A. C. was being formed 2nd Lt. Throckmorton was then assigned to Battery A of the 56th. On March 28, 1918 as Battery A climbed up the gang plank onto the HMS Olympic 2nd Lt. Throckmorton was one of the six officers of Battery A.

Lieutenant Throckmorton served through out the duration of the war in combat on the firing line with the 56th Artillery. After the war Lt. Throckmorton returned back to the States with the 56th and would likely have been honorably discharged about the end of January or the first week in February 1919.

Luther Throckmorton returned to civilian life in Virginia where he went back to law practice. He also about the same time he was discharged was married. Her name was Ola Abbitt (1889-1974) and she was two years younger than Luther, and was also a Virginia native. By January of 1920 Luther and Ola were living in Appomattox, Virginia where Luther had a law practice. They also had a year old daughter named Nancy W.

Ten years had passed and the Throckmorton family was then living in New Haven, CT in a rented house on Whitney Avenue. Luther was then working for the Department of Labor as an examiner. By mid 1935 this job had Luther move to New York City and he and Ola and daughter Nancy had moved to a home 418 West 118th Street in New York where he was still working as an examiner for the Labor Department. In 1940 Luther and OlaÕs daughter Nancy, who was 21-years old at the time was then working as a stage actress likely on Broadway.

By 1942 Luther who was then 55-years old was working as a lawyer in partnership with Charles P. Miller for the United States Justice Department. The office of Miller and Throckmorton was located at 641 Washington Street in New York.

By at least 1962 Luther and Ola had retired and moved from the cold of the northeast to warmer weather in Florida. They settled in Bradenton, Florida where they lived out the rest of their lives. Luther passed away in Bradenton on February 5, 1973 and Ola passed away the following year on September 9, 1974. Luther and Ola are buried in the Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery in Appomattox, Virginia with two simple stones marking their graves.

The Grave Stone of Luther Wright Throckmorton in the Liberty Babtist Church Cemetery, Appomattox, Virginia.

Private Stephen Laurence Klass, Service No. 623487

Pvt. Klass was a member of Battery A, 56th Artillery. He sailed with the 56th Aboard the HMS Olympic with the 56th to France, and he listed his mother, Mary Klass of 1200 South Monroe St. in Bay City, Michigan as his next of kin on the passenger manifest. According to his WWI Victory Medal he was in combat during the Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne and the Defensive Sector while with the 56th Artillery. Pvt Klass was a member of the 4th Platoon in Battery A which was commanded by Sgt. Scott Lawrence. Klass returned aboard the USS South Dakota when the war was over. Klass was born in Bay City, Michigan on December 10, 1895 to Polish immigrants, and lived in Bay City all his life. Before the First World War, Klass was a wallpaper hanger and painter. He was a meduim height man and had brown eyes and dark hair. After he returned back to Michigan after the war on February 9, 1920, he married Anna Kusmierz who was born in Pennsylvannia. Stephen and Anna would have a son about 1921 who they named John. Stephen would work as a carpenter after the war, and on August 17, 1970, Stephen L. Klass passed away and was burried in the Saint Stanislaus Kosta Cemetery in Bay City, Michigan.

Photo of Pvt. Klass and his dog tags, and WWI Victory Medal provided by his grandson Chip Klass.

Pvt. Stephen Laurence Klass, 623487
4th Platoon, Battery A, 56th Artillery CAC

Dog tags and WWI Victory Medal of Pvt. Klass. Victory Medal shows Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, and Defensive Sector clasps.

©2004-2019 Joe Hartwell

This page was created on 29 May 2004 and last updated on Memorial Day March 2, 2019

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