[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”

Texas, New Jersey, Italy, and France: 1917-1918.

Price: $5,000.00

Softcover. Oblong quarto measuring 11" x 9". String-tied black cloth over stiff paper boards. Contains 89 black and white or sepia-toned silver gelatin photographs measuring between 3" x 5" and 7½" x 9½" with captions. Additionally included are five newspaper clippings. Good only with spotting, large chips on the rear board and last few pages, and worn edges, with near fine photographs.

A photo album kept by Captain Ray W. Charlton while serving with the Motor Truck Group at Fort Sam Houston in Texas beginning in August 1917. The album begins with two large photographs: one of the men in the company and another of an aerial view of the area. Charlton was the Group Adjutant when he began compiling this album and later became the commander of one of the renumbered units, Motor Cycle Company 303. Among his many photos are 16 that show the cyclists in group formations and training as well as in individual contests. One of the photos is captioned “Sgt. White making good long jump” and shows a motorcycle and rider mid-air. Many of the images depict camp life, truck convoys, and bivouacs shelters.

One photo, showing marching soldiers, is captioned “Negro rioters taking exercise on 3rd Cavalry Parade under guard of the 19th Infantry during their trial at Fort Sam Houston, Nov, 1917.” In one of the most ignominious events in the history of the U.S. Army, 156 soldiers from the 24th Infantry Regiment, who had had more than their fill of hostility, discrimination, and harassment by the citizens and police of Houston, went on a rampage that resulted in the deaths of 17 people during one night: nine civilians, five police officers, and three black soldiers from the regiment.

Although a ‘provisional’ motorcycle company was part of the U.S. Army contingent deployed in 1916 to protect the southern border from Mexican insurgents, it was not until the following year when the U.S entered World War I that three ‘regular’ units were organized as part of the Ft. Sam Houston Motor Truck Unit. They were initially identified as Motor Cycle Companies #1, #2, and #3, but later renumbered. The army had already determined to form a number of similar companies for dispatch duties and purchased thousands of motorcycles (equal numbers of Harleys and Indians) and was recruiting cyclists by running advertisements in magazines.

A splendid collection of photographs detailing the first military motorcycle company.


Item #425942

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[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”. Ray W. CHARLTON.
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”
[Photo Album]: "Officers of Motor Truck Group" - The First ‘Regular’ U.S. Army Motorcycle Companies, “Uncle Sam’s Hurdlers of Death”