Thursday, September 25, 2014

Need Help! National Guard Armored Cars 1920s & 30s and a bit of Outlaw History

It took me awhile to find my photograph that I obtained many years ago, but I finally found it today (see below).  So, I am now trying to find out more about it.  Does anyone knows what this is?
Click to enlarge
Here is what I can tell you, there is nothing written on the back of the photograph, except the number "13".  So that is no help.  As you can see written on the truck, it belongs to a Machine Gun Company of an unknown Regiment.  But it does have the abbreviation for Missouri after the word, Regiment.  With that little bit of information and the large spotlight mounted on it, I am very sure that it was an armored car for the 2nd Artillery Regiment (Anti-Aircraft) / 203rd Artillery Regiment, (Anti-Aircraft), Missouri Army National Guard.  Below is a rough history of the regiment taken from the 1934 book, History of the Missouri National Guard, by the Military Council, Missouri National Guard.
203rd Unit Crest (Left side - the right side would be facing the opposite direction)
The 2nd Artillery Regiment, (Anti-Aircraft) was started in July 1920, but not complete until July 1921.  It was re-designated to the 203rd Artillery Regiment, (Anti-Aircraft) in April 1924.  Then later it was renamed again to the 203rd Coastal Artillery Regiment (Anti-Aircraft) before 1934.

Now here is the crux that I can't figure out.  It clearly states in the photo that it belongs to a Machine Gun Company, but all of the units in an artillery regiment are called "Batteries".  I can't find any reference to a Machine Gun Company.  Now there are two possible answer to this.  First is that several of the Batteries that made up the 2nd Artillery, carried the lineage of Machine Gun Companies from the 128th, 129th, and the 130th Machine Gun Battalions.  Or, secondly, and I think this is the right answer, that there was a separate Machine Gun Company created on July 7, 1920, under Captain James A. Frow in Nevada, Missouri.  It was this company that was to become the nucleus for the whole artillery regiment.  I also believe that this might explain why the markings on the vehicle does not say Machine Gun Battalion on it, which could support that this truck might be for one of the batteries that came from the 128th, 129th, or 130th MG Battalions.
The six police officers killed at the Young Brothers Massacre
Another interesting thing about this unit was on January 2, 1932, Battery F of the 203rd was called out to support the local law enforcement officials in Greene County & Springfield, Missouri, after the largest lost of life of law enforcement officers in a single shoot out to date, normally referred to as the "Young Brothers' Massacre" (only the 9-11, 2001, terror attack and the Milwaukee bombing in 1917, killed more police officers in a single event in the USA.)  The events of the Young Brothers Massacre are very sad indeed, leaving the Greene County sheriff and five Springfield police officers dead of the eleven men that went to arrest the two brothers.  Both the brothers escape before the return of more police men and the National Guard who had orders to use their machine guns on the house if necessary.  More can be read on the massacre at the Wiki site here or with this book, The Young Brothers Massacre, by Paul & Mary Barrett (which I have read) or another book, "We're Dead, Come On In", by Bruce Davis (I have not read this one yet).  An additional note; "F" Battery would get the rating of "Excellence" during their 1932 annual training at Fort Still, for their machine gun scores by Federal inspectors.  Had the Young Brothers waited to fight it out, I think the National Guardsmen would had made short work of them.
After reading a bit more on the Young Brothers Massacre again, it got me thinking about the Indiana National Guard that was used to guard the Crown Point Jail in 1934 where John Dillinger escape with the use of a wooden gun.  In some reports I have seen, it states that the National Guard had armored cars there.  So I would also like to know what unit was there and what kind of armored cars that they had at the time.
The National Guard scene from the 2009 movie, Public Enemies
 Any help will be very helpful,


Photos from the St Louis Civil War Roundtable meeting with Dr. Mark Lause

Last night I went to the monthly St. Louis Civil War Roundtable meeting which had as their guest speaker, Dr Mark A Lause, an author of several Civil War books (see below).

His lecture was very interesting and mainly focused on the first half of General Price's 1864 Raid (also the subject of his book, Price's Lost Campaign.) But he also covered a bit of the last half of the raid, which will be covered in his upcoming book, The Collapse of Price's Raid.  

He is also working on two other books on the Civil War.  Unfortunately, I forgot to write down what they were where, but I remember that one of them is about the rise of Spiritualism / Mediums during the Civil War and afterwards in the USA.  It might be interesting as I have read about this topic before this lecture.  With the huge lost of lives which have never been at these levels before the Civil War in the USA, many of the families of lost soldiers turned to Mediums to have seances to talk with their lost loved ones.  I wish I could remember what the other book was about.

List of Civil War books by Dr Mark A Lause and links to

Price's Lost Campaign: The 1864 Invasion of Missouri
The Collapse of Price's Raid: The Beginning of the End in Civil War Missouri
A Secret Society History of the Civil War
Race and Radicalism in the Union Army (About the Frontier Division in Kansas specifically)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Whimsical Wednesday & Quick Update

First, the Whimsical Wednesday moment
Schrödinger's cat conducts an experiment
Well, this will be a short update.

I still have not done much in the line in gaming other than getting in one game with Blake, Don, & Curtis in a Colonial battle of British vs Egyptians using The Sword & The Flame.  Don and I were the Egyptians and were facing equal British forces under Blake & Curtis.  Amazing, we won!  Not only did we win, but destroyed the British force (only 4 guys of 48 figs escaped off the board)...but we were pretty much bloody too.  I think we had 9 guys out of 48 figs and we passed are army morale rolls, multiple times! Unfortunately, none of us took pictures!

So, on the reading front, I finished a couple of books since my last post and now on to another book.

1920 - The Deadliest Year for St. Louis Police by Ken Zimmerman Jr
2912 Washington and the Murder of Arthur Huddleston by Ken Zimmerman Jr

King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild

I am off work next week and plan to do some work in the basement or maybe even paint miniatures.  But as I mention before, I will be attending the lecture on Price's Raid and attending the 150th anniversary of the Pilot Knob reenactment.



Monday, September 1, 2014

Another update

I am sorry to say that I still have nothing to talk about for gaming, but I did do some work on my 40K Tau infantry and packed up a banker’s box and a half of RPG books to put in a local used game auction on September 27th.  (Link)  (I however will not be able to attend this auction as that weekend I will be in out of town to watch the 150th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Pilot Knob!)  I guess with everything that has been happening, I just been having basic lack of any motivation, but I have been lacking motivation for miniature gaming for a long time before everything too. 
I blame this for my mental illness

As for the issues in Ferguson, everything appears to be normal, but we are not out of the woods yet as the Grand Jury still has not decided on if there is enough evidence that the police officer may have done something illegal.  So we may have a second round of rioting depending on how the rioters feel about the Grand Jury’s findings.  Hopefully, they will be peaceful regardless of the findings.
I also blame this guy too
So in trying to be more upbeat for the rest of this entry, let’s talk about some fun stuff!  A long time ago, I put in a pre-order for the solo board game, ‘Codeword Cromwell:  The German Invasion of England, 8 June 1940’ by Fifth Column Games.  I got it a while back, but with everything going on I forgot to mention that I got it.  It looks pretty, but I have not read the rules yet.  I will try to do something soon with it so to get up some kind of a review on it here.  No promises when that will happen.   I also have the solo board game on the Falklands conflict, ‘Where There Is Discord’ from Fifth Column Games for a while and more or less finish reading the rules, but have not tried the game yet to see if I got a handle on the rules.  Again that is something I need to do in the future so I can put up a review. 
What it seems to be my current enjoyment
On the reading front, I had not been reading much at all over the past couple months and only really started to pick back up in the last week.  I am now 70+% through Fort Davidson and the Battle of Pilot Knob: Missouri’s Alamo, by Walter Busch.  I am really glad that I reading it now.  While all of the other books that I read on the Battle of Pilot Knob, this is the only one that goes into depth about the building of the fort, garrison life at the fort, and the post-war efforts to save the fort and make it into a historical park.  It has to sacrifices the details on the battle to cover those other items, but details of the battle can be easily read in the excellent book, Pilot Knob: The Thermopylae of the West, by Cyrus A. Peterson.

In addition to reading Fort Davidson, I am currently listening to the abridged version of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris K Goodwin while I am driving.  I am over 90% of the way through that too.  It is a very good book and the audio speaker, Richard Thomas (John Boy from The Walton’s), has a good voice to listen to.  I am feeling the need to visit the Lincoln Library in Springfield, IL, very soon.   Plus, I am seriously thinking buying the unabridged version to listen to as I really enjoyed this one.  To give you an idea of the amount of material that I am missing by listening to the abridged vs. the unabridged version is the following:  the abridged version is almost 9-1/2 hours long, while the unabridged version is just over 41-1/2 hours long!

Speaking of books and authors, in the next St. Louis Civil War Roundtable meeting, September 24, the guest speaker will be Dr. Mark A Lause, who authored the book that I just recently finished, Price’s Lost Campaign: The 1864 Invasion of Missouri, and will be releasing the second volume to that book soon, entitled The Collapse of Price’s Raid: The Beginning of the End in Civil War Missouri.  I am looking forward to attending that presentation.
Finally, I bought a bunch of books on Kindle, some were free and most were under $5, if not $10.  I have a plastic bowl that I put my loose change in and whenever it is filled up, I take it to a coin machine at a nearby grocery store.  If I use it to get cash, then I lose about 10% in getting dollars…or I can get credit at 100% of what I put in it.  So, here is a list of what I bought, plus see if you can pick a common theme for most of the books!:
Border State Contest: Civil War Comes to Missouri in 1861, by Dick Titterington

Sterling Price Returns: The Southern Counteroffensive to Retake Missouri in 1861, by Dick Titterington

The Battle of Carthage, Missouri: First Trans-Mississippi Conflict of the Civil War, by Kenneth E. Burchett

An Account of the Battle of Wilson's Creek, by Holcombe Aams

Civil War Springfield (Missouri), by Larry Wood, Douglas W. Bostick

The Battle of Massard Prairie, Arkansas: The 1864 Confederate Attacks on Fort Smith, by Dale Cox and William Cox

The Battle of Westport: Missouri's Great Confederate Raid, by Paul Kirkman and Douglas W. Bostick

The Battle of Mine Creek: The Crushing End of the Missouri Campaign, by Jeffrey D. Stalnaker

Adaptation Of The Vessels Of The Western Gunboat Flotilla To The Circumstances Of Riverine Warfare During The American Civil War, by Lt.Cmd. Nicolas F. Budd

Whip and Spur, (An officer’s personal accounts from the 4th Missouri Cavalry US) by George E. Waring Jr.

First Kansas Colored Volunteers: Contributions of Black Union In the Trans-Mississippi West, by Michael Carter, Kurtis Toppert, & Walter Seager

A Pair of Boots, a Hat, and a Gallon of Beer, (about the 13th Illinois Cavalry) by J. Roger Kearney

1920 - The Deadliest Year for St. Louis (Missouri) Police, by Ken Zimmerman Jr.

The Malvinas War from the Argentinian Viewpoint, by Lt. Col Ricardo Albert Puche

Pebble Island (Elite Forces Operations Series), by Jon Cooksey and Francis McKay

Heroes of Jadotville: The Soldiers' Story, by Rose Doyle

The War in Nicaragua, by William Walker

The Story of the Filibusters, by James Roche

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, by Adam Hochschild

Q Ship vs U-Boat: 1914-18, by David Greentree and Peter Dennis

Dyatlov Pass Keeps Its Secret, by Irina Lobatcheva, Vladislav Lobatchev, and Amanda Bosworth

Urbain Grandier: Celebrated Crimes, by Alexandre Dumas père
What I fear
Hope to have some good gaming news in my next entry!