Battery “B” of the 113th Field Artillery during World War I

By: David Bennett, Curator at the Port o’ Plymouth Museum

During World War I, a large number of men from northeastern North Carolina served in Battery B of the 113th Field Artillery, 30th Division. They were young volunteers from Beaufort, Washington, Pitt, Pamlico, and Hyde counties who assembled in the City of Washington in June and July 1917. By the fall of 1918, these men found themselves fighting at the forefront of historic military operations.
On September 12, 1918, the 113th Field Artillery participated in what was then the largest concentration of artillery fire in world history. The assault was aimed at Mont Sec, a fortified hill the French claimed would take six months to topple. In four hours, approximately 1 million artillery rounds had been fired by 2,000 American guns. By the end of the day, Mont Sec was surrounded. The American infantry suffered very few casualties during their assault due to the accuracy of the bombardment.
On September 26, the 113th helped break the German lines with a massive artillery bombardment followed by a five-day advance into the Argonne Forrest. A German counterattack took place in the Argonne that threatened to push back the American frontline. During the fight, Battery B was closest to the German lines and came under heavy fire. The British and French advised the 113th to withdraw, but they refused to retreat. Their resolve, helped turn the tide of the battle which resulted in a major victory.
The 113th Field Artillery made its final combat appearance of the war in the Woëvre sector where it fought as mobile artillery. On one mission, Battery B pushed out well in advance of the frontline and fought without infantry support. On November 10, Marchevillie, a town vital to German defenses, was captured. The next day, the war was over.
The men of Battery B returned to Washington in the spring of 1919 where they were greeted by a victory parade. The young men from the northeastern North Carolina had been hastily recruited and trained only to go up against a veteran enemy. Despite the overwhelming challenge, the men of the 113th Field Artillery rose to the occasion and distinguished themselves by enduring privation and aggressively pursuing the enemy.
Battery “B” of the 113th Field Artillery during World War I Battery “B” of the 113th Field Artillery during World War I Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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