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Defeating the Hun, The History of the U. S. Army, Coast Artillery Corps During WWI

Defeating the Hun

History of United States Army Coast Artillery Corps
During World War One

The Coast Artillery Corps at the time of Americas entry into the war was primarily stationed along the coast and at out posts of our foreign territories. Coast Artillery installations were mostly harbor defenses and were stationed at a fort or fortified gun emplacements. These units have their roots in the early days of our country's history as protectors of our coast and harbor's from foreign enemies sailing in to attack key areas. The guns were of large caliber and were stationary mounted. At the time of our entry into World War One America was ill prepared for large scale warfare with large movements of whole Armies. The U.S. Army was not prepared with its Artillery and had no heavy artillery guns to speak of. When the Coast Artillery finally went to France they used French or British made weapons. The Coast Artillery corps played a major role in gaining the upper hand in the quagmire that was going on in Europe. If it was not for the efforts of the Coast Artillery Corps many more human lives would have been devoured into the battle fields of the that war. It is said that the First World War was an Artillery War and the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps were part of what happened there on the bloody battlefields of Europe. Our Freedom today is paid for by what the men of the Coast Artillery Corps did. And so we must remember what happened and why it happened for all time. As the eyewitness to the actual events have all grown old and passed into the pages of history those of us living now today who hold parts of the history must share it so that what these men did will not pass into the forgotten history of our Country. With that in mind and being that I held some of that history in a shoe box stuffed away in a closet I felt it is my duty to share with others so that these men will not be forgotten. If you too hold a small part of the history in a shoe box somewhere please get it out and share it for us all. My grandfather Cpl. Guy J. Edington was in an Ordnance Detachment with the 56th Regiment C.A.C. As I have researched this unit I have uncovered more history and facts of the C.A.C.. This web site is dedicated to recording the history of his Regiment and other Coast Artillery units as well.

Coast Artillery Corps Units that participated in World War One

There were four regiments of army artillery armed with the 155mm Grande Puissance Filloux (G.P.F.) gun, viz, the 55th, 56th, 57th, and 60th. and all were on the line and participated in the St-Mihiel and Argonne engagements. The 45th and 47th Regiments had just arrived and had been assigned to this caliber of gun, but the Armistice was signed before any guns reached them. Their training had not commenced.

Twelve regiments of 8-inch howitzers were in the following condition at the signing of the Armistice: 44th, 51st, and 59th Artillery (C. A. C.). British howitzer, on the line. 63d, 64th, and 71st Artillery (C. A. C.), British howitzers, nearly ready to go on the line. 58th Artillery (C. A. C.), American howitzers, on the line. 66th, 67th, and 70th Artillery (C. A. C.), American howitzers, about ready to go on the line. The 48th and 49th Artillery (C. A. C.) had just arrived: their training had not commenced. These regiments would have had American howitzers.

There were 3 regiments of 9.2-inch howitzers in France when the war ended: the 65th, which was on the line, the 72d. which was ready to go on the line: and the 50th, which had just arrived---its training had not commenced.

No regiments had been assigned to 240-mm. howitzer armament, and no armament had arrived in France. Some Navy 7-inch caterpillar mounts and some 8-inch howitzer caterpillar mounts were in sight, but never actually arrived in France.

There was but one regiment of 5-inch Seacoast guns in the army artillery, viz. the 69th Artillery (C. A. C.). These guns were available in the coast defenses in the United States and were used because of the scarcity of other desired calibers. This regiment never got on the line, but was trained, equipped, and about ready to go to the front just as the Armistice was signed. Three regiments, the 61st, 62d, and 68th. C. A. C., were assigned to 6-inch S. C. guns for the same reason that the 5" Seacoast were employed. All were practically trained and ready for the front just as the Armistice was signed.

One Army artillery Park was in France and operated with the First Army. The Second Army Artillery Park was ready to sail, but did not reach France. An Army Artillery Park consisted of three sections: 1) motor section of 6 truck companies, 2) depot section, consisting of a headquarters and 3 park batteries, and 3) an attached mobile ordnance repair shop. The whole park had a headquarters of 31 officers and men: total strength about 1,970 officers and men. The motor section of the park was to be used to supplement the ammunition service of the army artillery units. The depot section was the repository for all spares of cannon and all other materiel for units of army artillery. The attached repair shop was used to effect the more important repairs for units of army artillery that could not be effected by the troops locally with their own repair facilities.

Brigade headquarters for brigades of army artillery were the same for units of railway artillery and for units of motorized army artillery. A brigade of army artillery consisted of three regiments of artillery, divided into three battalions of two batteries each. A battery consisted of 4 guns. To this brigade belonged an ammunition train a heavy artillery mobile ordnance repair shop, and this brigade headquarters was the organization whereby the brigade commander could operate his brigade as an administrative and tactical unit. It furnished him the proper personnel from which to form his staff for these purposes.

For the 14-inch Naval guns, the organization of the regiment was slightly different from the smaller caliber regiments. The 14-inch regiment had only 12 guns, a battery consisted of 2 guns, a battalion had 2 batteries, and there were 3 battalions to the regiment.

The headquarters company and supply company for 6-inch gun, 8-inch, 9.2-inch, or 240-mm howitzer, and these same companies for 5-inch or 6-inch seacoast gun regiments, provided the means for staffs for administrative and supply purposes for the regiments, and these units could well have had the same organization. There should not have been two different tables of organization for the different calibers, since the personnel and duties involved were practically the same.

Ammunition trains for army artillery brigades consisted of 4 truck companies of 28 trucks each, and a headquarters. This organization furnished the local ammunition supply for the units of the brigade.

Heavy artillery mobile ordnance repair shops furnished the means for making repairs to the materiel of the units of the brigade that could be made locally and which were of a minor character. This organization was formed from personnel of the Ordnance Department and was charged with making repairs to all transportation for all artillery organizations with the Brigade that were of a minor character, which could be made locally.

Provisional replacement units furnished the staffs, administration and instructional personnel for the artillery schools, for the Heavy Artillery Board, and the Railway Artillery Reserve.

The following table shows the Brigades and thier corrisponding Regiments that served overseas during the war. Not all units served on the line as some did not complete the training process before the armistance was signed. Click on the Brigade or Regiment to see detailed history of each unit.

C.A.C. Brigade


1st Seperate Artillery Brigade 6th Provisional Regt, CAC 7th Provisional Regt, CAC 8th Provisional Regt, CAC

31st Artillery Brigade

32d Artillery Brigade

59th Regiment (8" British Howitzer)

33d Artillery Brigade

34th Artillery Brigade

35th Artillery Brigade

66th Regiment (8" American Howitzer)

67th Regiment (8" American Howitzer)

36th Artillery Brigade

37th Artillery Brigade

46th Regiment

47th Regiment (155mm GPF)

38th Artillery Brigade

48th Regiment (8" American Howitzer)

39th Artillery Brigade

40th Artillery Brigade

41st Artillery Brigade

Howitzer Regiment, 30th Artillery Brigade, CAC, Railway Artillery Reserve

C.A.C. Trench Mortar Battalions

5th Trench Mortar Battalion
6th Trench Mortar Battalion
7th Trench Mortar Battalion

Army Artillery Parks

Second Army
Artillery Park

Coast Artillery
Ammunition Trains

52d Ammunition Train

53d Ammunition Train

Corps Artillery Parks

I Corps
Artillery Park
III Corps
Artillery Park
V Corps
Artillery Park
C.A.C. Anti-Aircraft Battalions
2nd AA Bn
3rd AA Bn
4th AA Bn

The Weapons, Ammunition, Forts and Officers of the Coast Artillery Corps

155mm Grande Puissance Filloux (G.P.F.) gun

8-inch British Howitzer

9.2-inch British Howitzer

5-inch and 6-inch American Seacoast Gun

400mm Railway Gun

The US Army Railway Artillery Projects

Coast Artillery Corps interesting personal items and stories that I have found.

Coast Artillery Ammunition

Officers Quarters

Profiles and Histories of individual US Army and Navy Officers.

Ordnance Repair Shops at Mehun-sur-Yevre, France

Mobile Ordnance Repair Shops

H.M.O.R.S. Heavy Mobile Ordnance Repair Shops

Coast Defense Commands and Forts

Vehicles of the A.E.F.

If it wasn't for the Navy the Army would never made it to France.

Read the Histories of the Ships and Men who took them over and brough them back again

American Military Dog Tag History

If you have research comments or additional information on this page e-mail them to: Joe Hartwell

© 2005-2019 Joe Hartwell

Date this page was last updated August 22, 2019

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