Attached is a seven page memoir recalling the experiences of the U.S. Navy Railway Artillery Reserve during the First World War, penned by veteran Bill Cunningham, who served as an officer on one of her five rail-mounted batteries. The unit was lead in collaboration by a hard-charging U.S. Army artillery officer but commanded by U.S. Rear Admiral Charles Plunkett (1864 - 1931), a veteran of the Spanish-American War. Cunningham described his first encounter with the admiral, who he first mistook as a member of the YMCA:
"I looked up to see a tall stranger approaching. He wore a pair of black, I said black, shoes beneath some badly rolled puttees. He didn't have on a blouse, but wore an enlisted man's rubber slicker open down the front, and badly rust-stained around the buckles. His battered campaign hat had no cord of any sort He was strictly the least military object we'd seen in a couple of years, if ever."
Click here to read about the woman who entertained the U.S. troops during the First World War.
This site has more articles about the rail-mounted guns of the First World War.