15th Field Artillery
World War One
The 15th Field Artillery (FA) Regiment was organized in Syracuse, New York on 1
June 1917 from cadre transferred from the 4th FA Regiment. Assignment to the
2nd Infantry Division
followed on 21 September 1917, and training took place at Pine Camp, New York. The
Regiment left the United States on 11 December 1917 and sailed onboard the SS Adriatic
for Liverpool, England.
Harry A. Chappell
Company, 15th FA Regiment, taken in Neuweid, Germany, April 1919. SGT
Chappell served as a Drummer in the 15th FA Regimental Band from Nov 1917 until
August 1919. Band members also doubled as Litter Bearers and guarded enemy
prisoners when necessary. From the collection of Dan Gillotti, Historian, 15th FA
The Regiment landed in at Le Harve, France in
February 1918, and was initially staged at Bourmont, France. On 21 March 1918, the
Regiment deployed against the German Army on the west face of the St. Mihiel Salient. By 1
June 1918, the regiment occupied positions northwest of Chateau-Thierry and on 14 July
1918, was relieved by elements of the 26th "Yankee" Division in order to prepare
for the Soissons Counteroffensive. On 18 July 1918, the Regiment participated in its first
major offensive near Soissons. During July - October 1918,
the Regiment supported the 2nd Infantry Division in operations in Soissons,
Champagne. The Regiment also provided artillery support to the American 36th Division
and the French 78th Division.
A, 15th FA Regiment crossing the Rhine River
into Germany for Occupation Duty, late November 1918
Photo: US Army History Institute, Carlisle, PA & Dan Gillotti
On 10 November 1918, the Regiment fired in
support of the Meuse River crossing and three days later crossed the Rhine River at
Remagen for Occupation Duty. The War Records indicate the 15th FA Regiment was in
continuous action from July till November 1918, and participated in the Lorraine; Aisne;
Ille de France; Aisne-Marne; St. Mihiel; and Meuse-Argonne campaigns, and earned them the
unofficial nickname as the Indianheads.
image: Institute of Heraldry
The Indianheads of the Fighting
Fifteenth fulfilled every mission assigned to it, never fired rounds short, and
expended 285,000 rounds of shell and shrapnel. This was the greatest number of artillery
rounds fired by any US Army Artillery Regiment during the war, and is a fact in which it
can be justly proud.
of the 15th Field Artillery
Credit: Jim and Rosalie
information - 75mm Howitzer in WW1
By: Dan Gillotti, 15th Historian
The US was not prepared for WW-I, especially in equipment. The
only American-made Artillery weapon of any value was the 4.7 inch Gun
(approximately 120mm). My research with Rock Island Arsenal indicates
only three American Field Artillery Regiments were armed with 4.7 Guns.
I don't think any of them saw action as the ammunition supply would have
been a huge problem.
As a result,
the United States Army was equipped in France with mostly
French and British-made Artillery pieces. The majority of American
Divisions were armed with French 75mm Howitzers in the Direct Support
Artillery Regiments that included the 15th Field Artillery (FA) Regiment.
Batteries were working on the woods of Belleau.
Capt. Hyatt, with megaphone, of Battery F, 15th F. A. (Light), 2nd
receiving reports from observation posts on the effectiveness of his
Photo: LTC James Miller
John J. Pershing decorates the Regimental Colors of the
15th FA Regiment in Neuweid, Germany, 1919
Photo credit: Dan Gillotti
Along with other units of the 2nd Infantry
Division cited for outstanding performance in the Meuse-Argonne and the Aisne-Marne
campaigns, the 15th FA Regiment received three awards of the French Croix de Guerre
with Palm. Additionally, each member of the Regiment was authorized to wear the
Fourragere in the colors of the Croix de Guerre. After the Armistice in November
1918, the 15th FA Regiment remained as part of the Army of Occupation in Germany until the
summer of 1919. Returning to the United States in August 1919, the 15th FA Regiment took
up permanent residence at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Credit: Photos of the Great War
The coat of arms of
the 15th FA Regiment above the shield contains a French 75mm Howitzer with the Indianhead
of the 2nd ID patch incised in the wheel. The upper left hand corner of the shield
represents a smaller shield of the 4th FA Regiment who provided the initial cadre that
organized the 15th FA Regiment. The red colors on the overall shield represent the blood
that was spilled by the members of the Fighting Fifteenth who helped win
WW-I. And the five silver stripes running
east and west on the shield represent the five rivers the Regiment
fired in support of, assisted in holding, or crossed in combat.
Written by: Dan Gillotti (15th Historian)
Credit: Photos of the Great War
"Artillery is the god
Visitors since March 7, 2001