Original U.S. WWI 82nd Division 320th Field Artillery Regiment Named Grouping

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind-set. Walter Weidman was born on October 4th, 1892 and enlisted on September 29th, 1917. He was a member of the 320th Field Artillery Regiment. The 320th fought in France from August - November 1918 at St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Lorraine. Weidman was with them.

Included in this grouping are the following items:
• Incredible M1917 painted camouflage helmet with 82nd All American insignia on front and Walter Weidman 1915329 serial number written on the chinstrap. Offered in excellent condition.
• 1917 Wool uniform tunic with fantastic rare French made 82nd All American patch to the left shoulder, 320th collar device, private chevron and overseas service bars on left sleeve. Original size label still found in collar (Coat Size 6, 38 Chest). Offered in excellent condition.
• Original U.S. WWI Army Doughboy Gas Mask Set named W. Weidman on the reverse in stenciled letters. Offered in excellent condition (one glass eye piece is clouded).
• 2 x 1917 overseas side caps (one with artillery insignia).
• 1917 Overseas campaign hat.
• 1917 uniform wool pants.
• 1917 uniform cotton pants.
• 2 x 1917 wool shirts.
• 3 x wool socks.
• Pair of putties.
• Wool neck warmer.
• Toilet bag.
• Wool toque.

All items offered in excellent condition, all originally sourced directly from the veterans family. A wonderful grouping from an identified soldier that fought in the Great War with the 320th Field Artillery Regiment in some of the most famous battles that closed out the war for the Germans. The helmet alone is valued at $1000 as it’s such a vibrant pristine named example.

History of the 320th Field Artillery Regiment in WWI:
Initially formed at Camp Gordon, Georgia, the 320th was part of the 82nd Division's 157th Field Artillery Brigade. Beginning 8 May 1918, the regiment moved by train to Camp Mills, New York, and then shipped to Liverpool, England on the ship City of Exeter, arriving on 31 May 1918. After a brief stop, the regiment crossed the English Channel from Southampton to Le Havre, France and then moved by train to La Courtine. There, the 320th was fully equipped with 75mm guns and conducted two months of training, culminating in a brigade live fire.

From 5–10 August, the 320th moved into a reserve position behind Chateau Thierry, but was not employed and moved by train to Toul and then occupied defensive positions in the Marbache sector with the 157th/82nd. On 22 August, Battery F fired the brigade's first 75mm rounds against Norroy. In preparation for the St. Mihiel Offensive, the regiment moved into forward gun positions constructed with the assistance of the division's infantry. Beginning at 0100hrs on 12 September 1918, the 320th participated in a four-hour preparation, consisting of counter-battery fires on 16 German batteries and other positions. After the offensive started, the regiment also fired on "fugitive targets". On 13 September, the 320th and its sister 321st Field Artillery fired 10000 rounds in support of a raid by the 327th Infantry in the Bois Frehaut. The result of the St. Mihiel operation was "the establishment of confidence, born of performance" throughout the 157th Brigade.

After relief on 20 September and assembling near Marbache, the 320th spent the nights of 22–25 September moving to Beauzee, arriving on the morning of 26 September. On 26 September, the regiment moved to bivouac's near Futeau in the Argonne Forest, remaining there until 5 October.

At 1300 hours on 5 October 1918, the 157th received orders for an attack at 0500 hours the next morning. The advanced party established a regimental command post at Chaudron Farm, with the 321st Field Artillery's command post. Poor roads and miscommunications delayed the movement of the regiment's main body, and the first battery began firing at 0540 hours, 40 minutes after H-hour and the regiment missed the first planned phase of its plan.

After the truncated preparation, the regiment fired in support of the infantry throughout the day. At 1800 hours, the 2nd Battalion joined the 321st Field Artillery in repelling a German counterattack against the 164th Infantry Brigade. Defensive and harassing fire continued through the night of 6–7 October.

7 October was spent in establishing observation posts and telephone communications in the new positions. On the morning of 8 October, 2/320th again joined the 321st Field Artillery in firing a rolling barrage for the infantry, while the 1/320th and the French 219th artillery fired a "standing barrage" to protect the right flank of the 327th Infantry. On 9 October, the 320th again joined the 321st in firing a rolling barrage for the 327th and 328th Infantries of the 164th Infantry Brigade.

After receiving new orders on 10 October, the regiment spent the night of 10–11 October occupying new positions in the ravine west of Exermont. Assigned to support the 164th Infantry Brigade, the regiment assigned one battalion to each of the brigade's two regiments as accompanying artillery. The 1/320th occupied near Fleville, but poor visibility inhibited the identification of targets. Little movement occurred through 13 October, although on the afternoon of 13 October, the regiment fired a defensive barrage to repulse a German counterattack. During the afternoon and evening, 2/320th moved forward to positions south of Sommerance, although Battery E was delayed by the counterattack. The regiment continued to fire harassing fire through the night.

On 14 October, the regiment participated in a rolling barrage in support of a general First Army attack on the Kriemhilde Stellung, and at about 1600 hours fired a 30-minute defensive barrage along the Ravin aux Pierres. During this attack, a forward gun under 2nd Lieutenant Edward Gunter destroyed two pilloboxes. And on the afternoon of 14 October, 1/320 moved forward to the ravine between Fleville and Sommerance.

From midnight on 14–15 October, the regiment fired preparation fires for another attack against the Kriemhilde Stellung, and then transitioned to a rolling barrage at 0725 to support the infantry's attack at 0730 hours. On 16 October, the regiment continued to deliver preparation and rolling barrage, and the fired against a German counterattack at 1100 hours. In the afternoon, a German plan was downed by machine gun fire, with credit claimed by Battery C, 320th, as well as the batteries of 2/321st Field Artillery. On 17 October, Lieutenant Durrett was killed by German shell fire. After a lull in the fighting, the 1/320th was withdrawn to rearward positions on the night of 21–22 October, and conditions settled into "stabilized warfare" until 1 November, with light harassing schedules at night, and close liaison maintained with the infantry for on-call missions.

From 26–31 October, the regiment moved a gun from each battery forward to conduct adjustments in preparation for a new offensive, scheduled for 1 November. The rest of the batteries moved forward on the night of 30–31 October. participated in a three-stage preparation from 0330 hours. During the night of 1–2 November, the 320th (and the other battalions of the 157th Brigade) moved forward into a between the 319th and 320th Infantries, and suffered heavy artillery and machine gun fire while covering the gap with their battery anti-aircraft machine guns. On the morning of 2 November, the attack resumed at 0800 hours, and the 321st moved forward and established a regimental command post in the town of Imecourt. Due to poor roads which limited the availability of ammunition resupply, the 320th remained stationary to allow resupply to the 321st. On 3 November, the regiment moved to positions north of Sivry-lez-Buzancy. While moving forward again on 4 November, the Regimental Commander ordered 1st Battalion into action at about 1100 hours against machine gun positions that were delaying the infantry advance. At 1500 hours, the 2nd Battalion also emplaced, and at 1600 hours, the entire regiment delivered a rolling barrage in support of the 318th Infantry, delivering 2600 rounds during 80 minutes of firing. On the morning of 5 November, the 320th relieved the 321st and moved forward with both battalions in close support of the infantry. At 1100 hours, 2/320th occupied southwest of Beaumont and fired at machine gun positions near La Thibaudine Ferme and La Harnot Erie Ferme in support of the 317th Infantry, and later in the afternoon, Battery B occupied south of the Stonne-Beaumont Road and fired on the village of Yoncq. After nightfall, the regiment fired another 500 rounds at Yoncq. This was the last "considerable firing" done by the regiment before moving to Sivry-Imecourt-St. Juvin (8-9 November), Monblainvill-Apremont (10 November) and Les Islettes, where it received news of the armistice on 11 November. The entire 157th Brigade remained near Les Islettes until 18 November, and then moved to Ste. Menehould before regjoining the 82nd Division in the Tenth Training area.

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