6 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2018 10:36 AM by Rebecca Collier

    WWI: Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey at Hanlon Field, France?

    Kurt Stammberger Newbie

      Hello, Researchers!

       

      Baseball players Ty Cobb (Captain), Christy Mathewson (Captain) and Branch Rickey(Major) were all instructors for the Army Gas School in the First Gas Regiment at Hanlon Field, near Chamont, France, in August, September and October of 1918.  Given that, can you help me find  answers to these questions?

       

      1.) what exact dates were Ty, Christy and Branch there (when did each arrive and leave)?

      2.) what are the names of all the other soldiers (officers and enlisted) who were onsite at the same time, with them?

      3.) in his biography, Cobb mentions a gas training accident that occurred sometime in October (?)  of 1918 at Hanlon that killed 8, and injured Cobb and Mathewson.  What was the precise date of that accident?  Who were the soldiers involved (some sources cite that 80 soldiers were inside the training-chamber)?

       

      Any assistance you all can render would be most appreciated in my efforts to honor those who served.

       

      Sincerely,

       

      Kurt Stammberger

      San Francisco, CA

       

      kurt.stammberger@gmail.com

        • Re: WWI: Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey at Hanlon Field, France?
          Rebecca Collier Tracker

          Dear Mr. Stammberger,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) but were unable to locate documents in the files of the Army Gas School or the 1st Gas Regiment about the incident you described. Please provide us with additional information and we will gladly continue our search.

           

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            • Re: WWI: Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey at Hanlon Field, France?
              Kurt Stammberger Newbie

              Ms. Collins:

               

              Thank you so much for your reply.  For now, let's ignore the incident/accident itself.

               

              Instead, I just need to know which soldiers were stationed at Hanlon Field between October 17th and November 15th of 1918.  Can you point me towards a list, a roster, a barracks assignment record, anything?  While I'm especially interested in the baseball players i mentioned above, what I really need is a list of ALL the soldiers there in that time window.

               

              Kurt Stammberger

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: WWI: Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey at Hanlon Field, France?
                  Jonathan Deiss Scout

                  Mr Stammberger -

                   

                  I performed some research on Ty Cobb's service a few years ago.  I found that the records of his unit are not in one place.  There are records scattered among several NARA Record Groups and a few facilities.  There may not be an extant roster or pay-roll, and personnel files were destroyed in a fire.  Morning reports, which might (?) be at the NARA facility in St. Louis may show names of men whose status changed during the time the unit was at the location where the accident occurred.  But, you may have to piece together a roster from fragments of records, reports and orders found in a number of locations.

                   

                  You can see some examples of catalog descriptions of records related to the Gas Regiment and the Chemical Warfare Service by going to the NARA Catalog (http://catalog.archives.gov) and searching on the following ARC or NARA ID numbers :

                  6860469
                  6705491
                  7268317
                  1726762 (this one is specific to casualties)
                  7269120 (this is a large series, but is specifically related to CWS training)

                  7269149 (CWS corresp - arranged by Decimal subject code)

                  6826404

                   

                  All of the records I listed are located at the NARA facility at College Park, Maryland.  You may want to search specifically for reports by Lt. Col. Joel Hildebrand, who was in command of Hanlon Field.


                  Finding information on specific incidents in WW1 isn't simple, but it can be accomplished.  Keep digging, and keep your mask on!

                   

                  Ty Cobb - VA Master Index Card

                  • Re: WWI: Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey at Hanlon Field, France?
                    Rebecca Collier Tracker

                    Dear Mr. Stammberger,

                     

                    Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!

                     

                    We searched the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) and located rosters of instructors, lectures, reports, special orders, general orders, correspondence, bulletins, etc. in the series titled Letters, Reports, and Other Records, 1917 - 1919 of the Army Gas School. In the series Records of the Companies of the 1st Gas Regiment, 1918 - 1922, we located lists of soldiers, movement orders, special orders, rosters, charge sheets, etc. depending on the Company. Neither series is arranged by locality.

                     

                    For access to these series, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

                     

                    We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: WWI: Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey at Hanlon Field, France?
                  LOC Manuscript Division Wayfarer

                  The Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress has a collection of the personal papers of Branch Rickey.  There is one file folder of military records, located in container 83 of the Rickey Papers, which relate to Rickey's service in the Chemical Warfare Service.  There are approximately 75-100 pages of documents in the file, and although our reference staff is unable to make a comprehensive search of the file on your behalf, there is one document which indicates Rickey embarked for France on September 22, 1918, and another order, dated October 17, 1918, which indicates Rickey was to proceed to Hanlon Field.  A third document, dated November 15, 1918, orders Rickey and a list of other officers, including Tyrus Cobb, to leave for the Gas Offense School at Hanlon Field.

                   

                  The Rickey Papers are available for consultation in the Manuscript Reading Room and please see our web page at http://www.loc.gov/rr/mss/?loclr=hhub for information about services and facilities.  If researchers are unable to visit the Library of Congress, copies may be purchased via the Library's Duplication Services at http://www.loc.gov/duplicationservices/?loclr=hhub  .

                   

                  Jeffrey Flannery

                  Manuscript Reading Room

                  Library of Congress

                  Washington, DC 20540-4680

                  4 of 4 people found this helpful