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New Camp Head Led Troops In Verdun Fight

 

Brig. Gen. William J. Nicholson, who recently returned from France, where he victoriously led the 157th Infantry Brigade through heated fighting at Montfaucon and Verdun, has assumed command on this camp. His outfit trained at Camp Meade as a part of the 79th Division and comprised the 313th and 314th Infantry and the 311th Machine Gun Battalion. They made a remarkable showing when they went into action at Monfaucon, where they were flanked on either side by the French. Though the real fighting was a new experience to these men, they fought valiantly, against great odds at times, and for four days advanced, accomplishing what to this time was regarded as impossible, namely breaking the enemy's line. The Montfauson line had up to this time been a stronghold for the enemy and they had defied all kinds of moves on the part of the French to break through. Gen. Nicholson, however, led his men through and made easy going for the French thereafter.

Soon after, the 177th Brigade resumed activities at Verdun, which position they occupied when the armistice was signed.

Gen. Nicholson said in an interview: "We were fighting out very best fight when the hour of eleven came on November 11th, when we had been notified the armistice was to be signed, and the order was given to cease firing. The German resistance didn't weaken a whit. Of course, we knew the night before that the fighting was to end the next day, and there is no doubt that the enemy would have stopped firing on our front at 6 o'clock on the evening of November 10th if we had signified our willingness to do the same. But the order from headquarters was for 11 A.M. November 11th. The watches of all the officers were coordinated well in advance and on the very second of the eleventh hour the order to cease firing was sounded. We knew before the armistice was sought that the Germans would have to stop pretty soon."

Gen. Nicholson has seen 43 years of service as an officer in the army. In 1876 Gen. Grant commissioned him a second lieutenant and he was given as assignment with the historic Seventh Cavalry then in action following the Cluster Massacre. Until 1890 it took part in Indian fighting. He was attached as division ordnance officer to Gen. Sangers division during the Spanish-American War, stationed at Chickamauga Park, was transferred to the 12th Cavalry in 1900, when he was promoted to major and returned to the 7th Cavalry. Sometime later he commanded the outfit, serving as lieutenant colonel and the colonel. He was in Mexico with Gen. Pershing.

Gen. Nicholson had charge of the first training camp for officers at Fort Sheridan, III., where the pick of Chicago was trained.

He and Gen. Bell, who recently died, were great friends and he soldiered with Col. Mallory, former head of this camp.

 

CHATEAU-THIERRY VET. IS BACK IN HIS OLD BARRACK

 

By a coincidence that was most remarkable. Pvt. Tocco Vitacco, of the Headquarters Company, 307th Infantry, a returned convalescent, was assigned to the very barracks he stayed in before the Seventy-Seventh Division went to France.

Vitacco came back, along with other Seventy-seventh men, as a casual. He thought Upton was quite like home, but he was amazed when he was sent to the 15th Company and landed in the barracks at Seventh Street and Fifth Avenue, where he once bunked. The stencil he put on the wall was still there.

He was wounded on August 25 at Chateau-Thierry in the right shoulder and leg. A piece of shrapnel in his shoulder was overlooked and he later had to be operated on to save it from penetrating his lungs.

Another 307th man who returned was Pvt. "Broadway" Rigler, a musician in the 307th Band.

 

Poster Points Need of Returning Home

 

The necessity for soldiers to return whenever possible to their home localities and their former jobs was emphasized in a poster just issued by the Board of Commerce, the Y.M.C.A., and K. of C. and the J.W.B. of Detroit.

This poster says in part:

"The employers of Detroit are taking back their old men.

"There will be jobs for NO others until industry is readjusted on a peace-time basis.

"Every soldier who left a job in Detroit to enter the service can return to it. All others are urged NOT to come to Detroit this winter."

 

Orthopedic Clinic Treats Wounded Men

 

One of the busiest places in the camp is the Orthopedic Clinic on Third Avenue and 14th Street, where fifty cases are treated every morning. The clinic is in charge of Capt. James Davis, who has as his assistant’s four competent masseurs, Pvt. Herman Katz, formerly of the Jewish Hospital, Brooklyn, Pvt. Leo Birnbaum, the well-known camp boxer, Pvt. J.W. Brown and Pvt. George T. Luhrs are the men who give the massage treatment, which takes considerable training, strength and knowledge of physiology and anatomy. Hydrotheraphy, electrical treatment, thermolight and various massage and exercise treatments are administered.

At the present time the clinic is busy treating the cases of overseas men, many of whom are showing marked improvement.

 

BASE BEGINS WORK IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

 

Reconstruction work on an elaborate scale is being started at the Base Hospital. Disabled soldiers will be restored by ingenious methods of occupational therapy to as nearly as possible their previous efficiency. At present the welfare organizations are providing the teachers, but enlisted army reconstruction aides will be provided sooner or later.

 

Taximen Forbidden to Lure Discharged Men

 

Camp taxi drivers have been forbidden to haunt the neighborhood of the railroad station and the Quartermaster's finance department at Upton Boulevard and Eighth Street as some of them are said to have been in the habit of doing in order to pick up discharged men who could not get to New York quickly enough by train. The men to be discharged are paid off, marched in a body to buy their tickets and then marched to the station, where they have to take specified trains and travel through to their destination. They must not be solicited en route by taxi drivers, who must remain at the camp taxi stand in Twelfth street for their prospective fares.

 

Workers Meet to Talk Aid for Returned Men

 

Two important welfare meeting were held last week. The Camp Upton Bureau for Returning Soldiers met on Monday and listened to addressed by the various workers of the United States Employment Service.

The camp welfare workers met again on Tuesday at Hostess House "A," where Mr. Sunderland, the field agent of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, and Mr. Robinson, representing the Farm Service Bureau, spoke on the work being done by the various government agencies in reconstruction and employment work.

 

Overseas Lads Like Motor Truck Corps Hospitality

 

With happy memories of the little party they had attended the week before, thirty or thirty-five convalescents visited the 378th and 379th Motor Truck Companies last Sunday.

The Motor Truck boys arose to the occasion and made the overseas lads feel at home. There was music and dancing, and refreshments were provided.

Mrs. Cronkhite, wife of the commanding officer, was present and acted the part of hostess. The Convalescents had such a good time, they vowed they would be back the following week for another extempore party.

 

High Mark Reach For Muster-Out With 1600 A Day

 

A high water mark for demobilization was reached last week by the personnel adjutant's detachment under the direction of Major Joseph Klapp Nicholis, supervisor of the large work of returning thousands of soldiers to their "civie" clothes. Sixteen hundred men were turned forth in one day, the largest number to date. The greatest number previously was thirteen hundred. Every effort is being made by the office to more nearly approximate the maximum daily total of twenty-four hundred. Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky, with twenty-three hundred has come closest to the goal.

There are now mainly two classes of men being mustered out, those transferred from other camps whose homes are within the three hundred and fifty mile limit, and overseas men, convalescents and combat troops, who live likewise. The old makeup of the camp, the one prevailing November 11th when the armistice was signed, has just about vanished, although training cadres have been held to make possible the work of discharging. The former organizations, however, the development battalions and all of the battalions of the Depot Brigade, except four, have gone and many of the cantonment units have seen a change of faces.

Mustering out will be speeded up to the full here so that when combat organizations such as the 27th and 77th divisions return, it is felt that the twenty-four hundred daily total can be made a matter of course.

The process of demobilization has been charted by the personnel office and at a glance the various hands through which a man passes before discharge can be told.

A battalion of Negros from one of the southern camps has been brought in to help out in the labor of the camp.

 

"Indispensables" May Be Discharged

 

Some men in permanent camp units whose services are indispensable may yet be discharged under the provisions of a recent War Department telegram which authorizes the use of temporary volunteers to replace them.

This order permits men who do not actually wish to enlist in the regular army to stay in the service for the time being, if they so desire. They will then be utilized as far as possible to replace men whose services otherwise could not be spared.

The Telegram follows:

"Officer authorized or directed to discharge units or detachments of enlisted men, will in all cases retain such men as desire to stay in the service temporarily even though these men do not wish to remain in the regular army. Such men will be utilized as far as practicable to replace men of units not ordered demobilized, who are eligible for discharge under Circular 77 and currulars amendatory thereof, but whose services could not otherwise be spared. If such disposition is not practicable, these men will be attached or assigned to most convenient unit where their services will be useful. No soldier retained under these instructions will be reduced in grade as an incident of this transfer hereunder, but will be carried as an extra number, if necessary."

 

Camp's Playhouses Offer Exceptionally Fine Bills

 

The local playing public as remarked among themselves, so it's not Trench and Camp stuff, that the theatres here have been increasing steadily the quality of their offerings during the past few weeks. Especially has this been noticeable at the Liberty which is now on a good vaudeville circuit and presents the first four days of each week unusually high class bills of that type of amusement.

 

Women Lieutenant From Overseas Entertains

 

Lieut. Dee Van Balkom, wearing two gold chevrons on her- yes, buddie, we know the other sex when we see it-blue uniform, was in camp recently, entertaining with songs and stories. She is in the radio service. In the early stage of the war she drove an ambulance for a Canadian hospital unit, and last spring, after training here at Upton for overseas telephone work, went over in the telephone service. She learned wireless and is now in that branch of service.

 

Wagoner Vanderbilt Here

 

Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., a wagoner, son of Col. Cornelius Vanderbilt, came to camp recently to be discharged. He was in France as a member of the headquarters troop, 27th Division and acted as motor driver for Gen. Pershing and Gen. Haig. Returning to this country, he was assigned as transportation instructor to American Lake, Washington. His trip here was in a high powered racing automobile with which he has won a number of races. Young Vanderbilt was in the 14th Company pending completion of the discharge routine. He says he will study for West Point, when released from the army. When he enlisted with the 27th Division he was preparing for Yale.

 

CAPTAIN ROSENBLUM TO HAVE CHARGE OF MILLS THEATRE

 

Camp Upton has sorta become inured to losing capable officers during the past weeks friend after friend has secured his little paper and boarded a train for a civilian haberdasherie. The leaving of Captain Max M. Rosenblum is, therefore, only one, although "Rosey" doesn't pass from the service. He goes to Camp Mills where he will assume management of the new Liberty Theatre. It was built by George Miller, who erected and managed the Upton government playhouse. All Liberty theatre civilian managers are being replaced by officers. Captain Rosenblum has been assistant personnel adjutant since last March and has had a large part in the heavy work of demobilization which has gone forward here since last November.

 

Overseas Officers Guests

 

A number of overseas officers in camp were the guests at a well-attended Officers' Dance at the Officers' Club last Friday night. Prizes were given for "lucky number" dances. The music was provided by an orchestra from the 42nd Infantry.

Another largely attended dance was held in Hostess House A last Wednesday.

 

Lieut. Shepley General's Aide

 

Lieut. Ethan A.H. Shepley, of the 42nd Infantry, has been made General Nicholson's aide.

As the Athletic Officer of the 42nd, Lieut. Shepley was very popular and one of the best known officers in the regiment. He was the Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion and as much of an expert in "paper work" as in sports. A Yale man, he was prominent in college athletics, especially baseball.

 

M.T.C. PROUD OF SIXTY AERO SUPPLY TRUCKS

 

The Motor Transport Corps is very proud of sixty new three-ton motor trucks, with Continental motors, built originally for the air service of the A.E.F. These trucks have replaced the old equipment, which was sent off to a repair dept, and the camp now has better motor facilities than at any time.

A detail of men from the 326th, 378th and 379th Motor Truck Companies was sent to Port Newark, N.J., and drove the trucks to camp, thirty at a time. The big trains came in without mishap.

 

UTILITIES WIN OPENER FROM BASE HOSPITAL

 

The 145lb. basketball team representing the Camp Utilities Detachment opened its season with a 24-8 victory over the Base Hospital five.

It was a well-played game and kept the spectators, among whom were many of the hospital's fairest "big mothers", cheering. The first half ended with the score 14-1 in favor of the Utilities and it was with a bloody determination to even matters up that the Hospital five came out for the second half. In the first ten seconds of play, Rittenberg, the left forward of the "bandage brigade" caged a pretty basket and his supporters with one accord jumped to their feet with a yell. But their hopes were very soon shattered for the fast work and clever guarding of the Utilities quintet put a stop to all the excitement.

For the Utilities, Bernstein, who played left forward, was the star caging seven field goals. H. Cohn the midget right forward played a fast and careful game, and his playing was cheered time and time again. "Slim" Lindgren, the "flying dutchman," was all over the field and by far out-classed his opponent at centre. Moynehan and Horowitz played steady guards and were on the job throughout. Heitlinger, who substituted for Moynehan in the last few minutes of play, fought hard, even if he had to use his fists to help him.

 

Librarian Gets New Song

 

Private Alfred Saenger, who has acted as music librarian for the past eight months for the Liberty, Buffalo and Regimental Theatres, is in receipt of a ballad, "A Little Song", by "Arthur Voorhis".

The various songs of this popular writer are gradually gaining the recognition they reserve, and in the estimation of "our librarian" the time is not very distant when they will be found on the concert programs of every artist who aspires to present the best.

This mumber, as well as many other compositions of Mr. Voorhis is published by Luckhardt and Belder, 10 West 45th Street, New York City. Pvt. Sarnger herby acknowledges with many thanks the courtesy extended to him by them for the they re-

 

Hoover Represents Civil Service Here

 

M.M. Hoover, Y.M.C.A. Educational Director, has been appointed Camp Upton representative of the U.S. Civil Service Commission. He is prepared to furnish all information in regard to examination given by the Commission and eill see that free instruction is provided at the Camp School, 12th Street and 2nd Avenue, to prepare men to pass the tests. Soldiers who are interested may see Mr. Hoover at Y Headquarters on Upton Boulevard, or a representative at the United States Employment Service.

 

Russian General Tells Here What His Land Needs

 

Gen. Constantin Oberoutscheff, of the Russian Revolutionary Army, who was military commander in chief of Klev in 1917 and is a noted Russian journalist, addressed two meetings at the Jewish Welfare Board last week under the auspices of the Russian Aid Bureau, which is co-operating with the War Department Commission for Training Camp Activities.

The General was in the Russian Army for twenty-six years, but resigned in 1907 because of political convictions. He was at that time a colonel in charge of artillery instruction.

Turning to journalism, he espoused the cause of the revolution so warmly that he was arrested in Petrograd in 1913 and sentenced to three years in exile, which he spent with his family in Switzerland. When war broke out he offered his sword to his country but was refused.

In January 1917, he returned to Russia, was arrested, released by the Revolution of March, and immediately made a member of the Military Executive Committee in the Kiev District. He resigned his post as commander in chief in October, 1917, and was elected a delegate to a Copenhagen Conference on prisoners of war. The Bolshevist Revolution prevented his return to Russia, so, after writing his memoirs as first an officer and then a revolutionist, he came to this country.

"The hope of Russia," he said, "lies in a union of states similar to the United States. The accomplishment of that ideal is difficult because of the present disintegration and the immense size of the country. But then problem can be worked out and a great and a free people will arise out of the ruins of the old and obsolete monarchy that now happily is gone forever."

 

42nd's Red Chevron Wearers Farewelled

 

The members of the 42nd Infantry who were given their red chevrons were the guests at a farewell party in "Y" Hut No. 36 on January 15.

The evening started with a cheer when a Bill Hart film was thrown on the screen. Next came a smiling soprano and a short talk by a lady lieutenant who saw service overseas as a wireless operator with the A.E.F.

Hot coffee and 1,600 of more doughnuts then made their appearance and it seemed that after the fourth or fifth line had formed in front of the long table that whole sale starvation had barely been averted among the doughboys. Mr. Ridenour and Mr. Traub bailed out coffee, Pvts. Mattie Morgan and "Slim" Waldron delivered the sugary doughnuts, and Sgts. Everhart and Seely munched doughnuts while sternly telling the boys to keep in line.

 

Y.M.C.A. Presents Moving Spectacle

 

The Camp Upton Y.M.C.A. has adopted a very "moving" program during the past week, and frequenters of the huts may possibly be disturbed as to their exact location as they enter and see the changes.

Friend Kristensen and staff, who have held forth at 19th and Grant Avenue for the past year, are now to be found at the new unit at Camp Upton Station, giving the boys a glad hand and a gladder hand-out as they arrive from overseas.

Secretary Morse and staff of Hut 32, 14th Street and Second Avenue, are to be found at Hut 31, near their old friends of the Supply Company and their new friend of the Convalescent Center.

Secretary Boiling and staff, formerly at 11th Street and 2nd Avenue, are located at 14th Street and 2nd Avenue, where they are making merry with a perfectly new labor battalion, who came all the way from Virginia to see if they liked Camp Upton-and they do.

Secretary Stokes succeeds Secretary Bishoff as the chief Y worker at the Third Development Camp and the boys out there say that "succeeds is the word.

Old Hut 33 is closed.

Secretary Smith and staff advertise their grief in placards on the outside of their Social Hall at 7th and Second Avenue and which is being moved to the station site as a welcoming station.

 

A QUERY

 

To the Editor of Trench and Camp: Could you kindly let me know through Trench and Camp to what division a soldier belongs who has been at Upton fourteen months and if he is entitled to wear the shoulder chevron or is this chevron only for overseas men. Thanking you in advance, I am -A DOMESTIC SERVICE MAN.

Ed: When the 77th Division went overseas and he was left behind his connection with the organization ceased. He is not entitled to wear the shoulder chevron.

 

HOLDING THE CAMP SPORT PIVOT

                     By G.A.P.

 

The boxing tournament is coming along like a house on fire, and when the finals are reached there will be no doubt about the quality of the fighting bouts. Birnbaum, of the Orthopedic Detachment, is a hot favorite in his class. What this whirlwind fighter lacks in experience and ring-craft, he makes up in speed and the ability to retaliate quickly. His bouts against Burns and Ruocco illustrated the fact that he can accommodate himself to vastly different types of opponents. Burns, with all his knowledge of the game, was shaded by Birnbaum, who showed splendid condition and rare speed. Against Ruocco, Birnbaum made good by out boxing his man, who was more of a fighter than a boxer, and a dangerous man to stack up against.

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Marino the bantam-weight, is in a class apart. When he can put up such a spirited bout with a make like Tootsie O'Toole he shows great glass. Tootsie is a great boxer, and admits having retired from the game, but up to the present he has been trimming everything in camp and giving anything up to twenty pounds in weight. With Marino it is different. He is a comer, and a comparatively young boy. He has taken a little work with lightweight Champion Benny Leonard, and is fast and game Stacked up against any other camp champion, he will be Upton's safest bet. Marino was a contender for the Bantam title, and before Ertle lost his laurels, the Upton boy was after him for a match.

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To an outsider it might appear that the running of a camp boxing tournament was a small matter and an easy job to put across. It might be said, however, that there was never a time in the history of the camp when it was more difficult to put over any completed piece of athletic work, and it reflects great credit on the Big Four of athletics at Upton- Lieut. Col. James E. Abbott, assisted by Mike J. Ryan, Capt. John Booth and Boxing instructor Ted (Kid) Lewis- that a piece of work considered impossible few months ago, when the boxing tournament was abandoned in the second round, is being put across with such success at a time like the present, when conditions are several times more unsettled than ever before. The assistance of commanding officers is helping athletics more at Upton now than ever before.

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And the team was beaten. This was the unkindest cuttest of allest. The 42nd Infantry team that won in this second game was a much improved quintet, and showed the result of good coaching. The trouble with the Base Hospital team was the lack of team work. Individually the players were as good, if not better than the Infantry players, but this was the first time the men had played together, and the result was a defeat for the pill rollers, in spite of a hard fight and a big effot at the end of the game.

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Johnny Gaddi, late middleweight and light-heavy amateur champion, who won in his class in the 77th Division Tournament at Upton, has been badly wounded in action. Gaddi was one of the cleanest boxers that ever put on a mitt, and he was never defeated while at Camp Upton, where he met some good men, both in exhibition and tournament bouts. He was popular at Upton, where he still has a host of solicitous friends who hope to hear of his speedy and complete recovery.

 

Croix de Guerre Private Saw Hot Work with the Heroic 12th Artillery

 

Wearing the Croix de Guerre with a palm and a regimental decorating, Pvt. Santos Fernandez, of Battery A, 12th Field Artillery, is in the 15th Company awaiting discharge.

Fernandez's battery was one of the first to be thrown into Chateau Thierry late in June. Right behind the 5th Marines, the outfit fought desperately throughout the action there. At one time early in July, the men was continuously in action three days and three nights without food. Only sixty men were left out of the 199 in the battery. A single Hun shell killed or disabled twenty-eight horses on a picket line on one occasion.

Born in South America of French parents who are of Spanish descent. Fernandez was living in Brooklyn when he joined the army. The 12th F.A. went across at Thanksgiving, 1917, and saw action on the Verdun, Chateau Thierry and Lorraine fronts. It was cited five times for distinguished bravery in battle and the colors were decorated.

Fernandez was first wounded in the arm and hand by shrapnel at Verdun. He was struck on the head and legs with shrapnel again on July 29 at Chateau Thierry and lay unconscious on the field for eleven hours. A jagged hole had been torn right through his steel helmet. He remained in hospitals and rest campsuntil he was shipped home this month.

"Charles Taft was with our outfit," he said. "First he was our sergeant major and then a lieutenant. He fought with us all through the Chateau Thierry battle and then was transferred to the Headquarters Company."

 

15TH A CHESS COMPANY

 

The 15th Company is one of the few outfits in camp where chess is played extensively in squad room and mess hall. Serg't. Fred Rudinger is the champion chess player of the company. Others who often juggle the knights and pawns are Serg't Arthur Tuttle, Serg't Joseph W. Hope,  Mech. Samuel Potasnick and Corp'l Arthur Wakeling.

 

Two Colonels See Fighting In "Y"

 

Colonel Latrobe and Lieutenant Colonel Abbott were present at a series of bouts given in the "Y" Auditorium on January 15. The hall was crowded and a number of officers occupied reserved seats.

The matches were not in the Camp Championship preliminaries but were simply exhibitions arranged by Mike Ryan and Mr. Kraetzer. The principal go was between O'Toole, of  the 6th Co., and Marino, of the Medical Detachment, featherweights. They fought a very clever and exciting battle. Marino did particularly good work and on several occasions O'Toole had to cover up to save himeself but he always came back and in the middle of the third round caught Marino with a wallop on the jaw that jarred him. The finish was so furious that it ended with O'Toole outside the ropes. The bout was officially announced as a draw.

Another fast go was between Birnbaum, of the Orthopedic Clinic, and Cohen, of the G.U. Clinic. Cohen took a terrific beating and was covered with blood at the finish but he showed himself to be a game fighter.

 

T. & C. Cartoons Helped

 

To show the morale and general cherrfulness of the men in Camp Upton during the influenza epidemic last September and October, the Camp Surgeon included in his recent report to Washington several cartoons and extracts from "Trench and Camp."

 

 

 

 

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