Wyoming Army National Guard troops operate a 155 mm Howitzer, in July 1918 in France as part of the American Expeditionary Force that fought in World War I. (Wyoming National Guard)

One hundred years ago this month the U.S. entered World War I, organizing the American Expeditionary Force in France. Wyoming pitched in, mustering an infantry regiment of almost 1,700 National Guard troops at Fort D.A. Russell, now F.E. Warren Air Force Base.

The Third Infantry Regiment was broken up with battalions assigned to fill holes in other guard regiments, Maj. Thomas Blackburn of the State of Wyoming Military Department wrote in a release accompanying distribution of this historic photograph. His brief history said Wyoming commander Col. Joseph Cavender was assigned to the 148th Field Artillery Regiment, the most combat-engaged Wyoming unit. They arrived in France in 1918 and began training on 155 mm Howitzers they would use.

The printing on the photograph identifies the scene as depicting Co. “C” of the Wyoming National Guard in July 1918. “Wyoming’s first artillery shells fired against a European foe was on July 14, and would continue for two months,” Blackburn wrote.

Never miss a photo — subscribe to WyoFile’s free weekly newsletter

“The 148th spent 134 days on the front lines and had approximately 75 casualties,” Blackburn wrote. “Through three major campaigns, the 148th fired more than 67,000 artillery rounds.”

Cavender died from wounds sustained in France on Sept. 5, 1918, Blackburn wrote. Conflicting nations signed an armistice agreement Nov. 11, 1918. Wyoming guardsmen returned to the U.S. in the summer of 1919.

 

Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at angus@wyofile.com or (307)...

Leave a comment

Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *