U.S. 42nd Division, 151st Field Artillery Battery F

Images like this one, originally owned by a YMCA rest camp worker stationed in Germany, tell a lot about the war. Because of the information written on the back, we know it is a picture of Battery F, 151st Field Artillery, U.S. 42nd Division.

National Guard units from all over the United States, from Iowa to Alabama and California to New York, made up the 42nd Division. Because of the number of states represented, the 42nd earned the nickname the “Rainbow Division” and took on a post-war shoulder sleeve insignia of a rainbow. The Rainbow Division, which included poet Joyce Kilmer, took part in several severe fights.

On July 15, 1918, Artilleryman Charles MacArthur, of the 42nd Division, described the dangers: “Black clouds rise from Reims Cathedral, on fire in front, a boiling bank of dirty smoke hides the flower of the Prussian Guard. In back, ammunition trains race across the fields at a dead gallop. The guns are so hot now that they have to be swabbed after every shot.”

Questions to Consider:

Why would the U.S. be using French artillery?

Was this picture staged or in the midst of battle? Why or why not?