Tuesday, August 11, 2009

4th Machine Gun Battalion

The Basic Hotchkiss Machine Gun

By the end of the war, the machine gun company was reduced by casualties. Field promotions resulted in temporary rank increases.

At the end of the war in November, Lt. Col. James Madison Pearson is pictured with his unit, presumably the Fourth Machine Gun Company that he wrote about in April of 1918.

"The machine gun company, commanded by a captain, had an assigned strength of six commissioned officers and 172 enlisted men, and carried 16 guns, four of which were spares. Within the company there were three platoons and a headquarters section. A first lieutenant led the first platoon, while second lieutenants led platoons two and three. Each platoon with four guns was made up of two sections, each having two guns and led by a sergeant. Within each section were two gun squads, each with one gun and nine men, led by corporals. The gun squad had one combat cart, pulled by a mule, to transport its gun and ammunition as close to the firing position as enemy fire allowed. From there the crews moved the guns and ammunition forward by hand."

Contributed By Wilson A. Heefner

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