August 17 to December 7, 1917




Members of 1st MG Bttn on Lewis gun range, Quantico, 1917
from The Wartime Scrapbook of Pvt Roland F. Stanton, USMC





17 Aug 1917

The Sixth Machine Gun Battalion was organized at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, by order of the Major General Commandant, United States Marine Corps, on August 17th, 1917. The Battalion was designated as the First Machine Gun Battalion, consisting of Headquarters Detachment, the 77th and 81st Companies, and two companies to be designated later.

Captain Edward B. Cole, Marine Corps, was designated as Commanding Officer of the Battalion. Second Lieutenant Thomas J. Curtis, M.C., Adjutant. Second Lieutenant John P. Harvis, M.C., Quartermaster.

Each company was equipped with 16 Lewis machine guns and 33 machine gun carts. These carts were a light two wheel affair with side car wheels, and were drawn by hand. According to the Table of Organization at that time, there were two of these carts to every gun, -- one cart known as the gun cart carried the gun and five boxes of ammunition (1410 rounds), the other known as the ammunition cart carried six boxes of ammunition (1692 rounds).

~~ Curtis & Long, History of the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion, Fourth Brigade, U.S. Marines, Second Division, and Its Participation in the Great War.

Both photographs in this section, the first showing one of the Lewis machine guns belonging to the 1st Machine Gun Battalion at Quantico in 1917, and the other showing members of the 1st MG Bttn working on one of their gun carts, are from The Wartime Scrapbook of Pvt Roland F. Stanton, USMC. Pvt Stanton was a member of the 1st MG Bttn.

27 Aug to 7 Dec 1917

From August 27th to December 7th, the battalion remained in Quantico, Virginia. During this period the battalion was put through a course of intensive training, being instructed in the nomenclature of the Lewis machine gun, machine gun drill in close and extended order; the tactical use of machine guns; building concrete pillboxes at night for machine guns in defense of a trench system; organization and direction of fire; target practice: signals, flags, flash and sound, and telephones: transmission of orders and messages; reconnaisance: reports and sketches: liaison agents (runners); terrain exercises.

The training trenches, Quantico, 1917
from The Wartime Scrapbook of Pvt Roland F. Stanton, USMC



For further information (memoirs, diaries, photographs, etc) on the training of the 1st Machine Gun Battalion at Quantico in 1917, consult these personal accounts & effects of 1stMGB members:

Alpheus Appenheimer

H. Fletcher Davidson

Robert M. Montague

Roland Stanton







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