42nd. Division of the American Expeditionary Forces

Memorial | History | Units | Campaigns | Misc. | Homecoming

I was recently contacted by a military historian named Lise Pommois concerning Greenfield's Memorial to the 42nd. Rainbow Division of World War I. I took several pictures of the memorial and emailed them to Mr. Pommois. He has agreed to forward any information he has about members of the Division who were from the Greenfield area. I remember as a child that Division members held an annual reunion in Greenfield with many of them staying at the Elliott Hotel. I remember one of them being named Forrest Washburn and talked to him many times. I believe Mr. Washburn passed away in the 1960s. In the interest of reconstructing and maintaining a history of Greenfield, if anyone has any information about the Rainbow Division that could be posted on this site and forwarded to Mr. Pommois it would be greatly appreciated. 

Click photos to enlarge.
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On 1 Aug 17, the War Department directed the formation of a composite National Guard Division. When formed, the 42d Division contains National Guard units from Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota. Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.  On 20 Aug 17, the division began concentrating at Camp Mills, NY. Overseas movement commenced on 18 Oct 1917 and was completed by 8 Dec 1917.

83d Infantry Brigade:
165th Infantry Regiment
166th Infantry Regiment
150th Machine Gun Battalion
84th Infantry Brigade:
167th Infantry Regiment
168th Infantry Regiment
151st Machine Gun Battalion
67th Field Artillery Brigade:
149th Field Artillery Regiment (75mm)
150th Field Artillery Regiment (155mm)
151st Field Artillery Regiment (75mm)
117th Trench Mortar Battery
Divisional Troops:
149th Machine Gun Battalion
117th Engineer Regiment
117th Field Signal Battalion
117th Train Headquarters and MP
117th Ammunition Train
117th Supply Train
117th Engineer Train
117th Sanitary Train (Ambulance Companies & Field Hospitals 165, 166, 167, 168)
Champagne-Marne Meuse-Argonne
Aisne-Marne Lorraine
St. Mihiel Champagne

Company "G", 166th Infantry was made-up largely of National Guard Soldiers from the small town of Greenfield, Ohio and the surrounding area. Naturally several of these soldiers were casualties of the war being killed at Chateau-Thierry and Meuse-Argonne and other places.  Sometime after WW-I a memorial plaque was erected in the town square of Greenfield as a memorial to these fallen comrades.  There was also a Chapter of the Ohio Rainbow Division Veterans Assn. there - Company "G" Chapter.  Of course it no longer exists.

As for Reunions - there never was a National Rainbow Reunion in Greenfield because the town is not large enough to accommodate it.  I am not sure if there was ever an Ohio State Reunion there.  If so, it most likely was before WW-II.

Cpl. Forrest Washburn, 94197 - home town, Greenfield was a member of Company "G", 166th Infantry.  I don't find his name on any casualty lists, so I presume that he survived the War but I don't have any further information about him.

Cpl. Robert A. Smart, 94126 - home town Greenfield was a member of Company "G". 166th Infantry was killed at Chateau-Thierry on August 1, 1918. I assume that there is, or was at one time, an American Legion Post in Greenfield, and if so it may have carried the name of "Robert A. Smart Post".

This is as much information as I have.

Yours in Rainbow

Jim Spruance, Secretary, Ohio Chapter, 42nd. Rainbow Division

Additional Roster Information
Smart, Arthur D., Pvt., 408 Dickey Ave., Greenfield Ohio.
Smart, Roy M., Pvt., 408 Dickey Ave., Greenfield Ohio.
Mottie, Robert Leslie, PFC, Greenfield, Ohio. Served in Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Defense Sector campaigns. Recipient of Purple Heart.
Peter J. Weiss, My father, Peter J. Weiss, was a member of "G" company. He was a recipient of the Silver Star while serving in France. He was native to Cleveland and passed away in 1972 at age 77. He played for Doc Wilce and Ohio State's first Rose Bowl team in 1920. A small old news clipping I have says, "Three more Cleveland Yanks have been cited for such bravery as their commanders announced would 'stand as examples' to their comrades. He spoke often about Greenfield as the home of the 42nd. Bill Weiss bweiss@insight.rr.com  3/13/04

According to former Greenfielder, Andy Hafler, the Greenfield Republican newspaper in May, 1918 and Thursday, June 18, 1918 contained a list of those returning home from the war. The list contained the following names:

Lt. Bob Duncan, Top Sgt. McElroy, Herb Brunch, Bill Sheiffer, Dutch Deafner, Dave Towel, Russ Tudor, Joe Anderson, Copey, Harry Hafler, Mayor Byram, Fisher (?), Jim Zimmerman, Glen Shrock and Capt. Don Caldwall. Apparently all these men are depicted in drawings by Glen Shrock.

Before I begin I really need to thank you for your web page, I have been trying to find out more of the 42nd Div. and it's not been easy for me.

To start, my husbands Grandfather, Charles Galloway Hammond ( Gally ) was with the 42nd Div in 1917. He was from Roanoke, VA. I have a large picture of the 117th THMP but we have no idea which one he is. Is there a Roster anywhere to associate with this photograph? I have had no luck at all. We have all his medals and display them proudly around our house but when someone asks which one he is we can't tell them. I have(  HOPEFULLY ) scanned and attached the awards letter when he received the DSC in 1919 for extraordinary heroism in action on July 15, 1918, signed by Major Adjutant General James E. Thomas. We also have what appear to be belt buckles that have the letters GOTT MIT UNS surrounding a crown with leaves on the bottom, do you have any idea as to what they are?

I really appreciate the time you have taken to read this and any information as to where I should go next would be greatly appreciated.



Gini Hammond

Mrs. Charles Galloway Hammond III 


Forward information to rainbow@highland-ohio.com