Pike County field battery receives farewell party

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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“It doesn’t take a hero to order men to go into battle.  It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”  From December 11, 1940, Pike Countians plan an impressive farewell party.

“Battery ‘F’, 117 Field Artillery, Pike County’s own contribution to National Defense will leave early Monday morning for Camp Blanding, near Jacksonville, Fla., for a year’s intensive training.

Pike County will want to give these men an impressive farewell and God-speed, and beginning at 3:15 o’clock Friday afternoon, December 13th, this very thing will be done—and in a big way.  Every person in Troy and Pike County is invited to take part in this appreciation meeting.  Originally scheduled to leave on Tuesday morning, Captain Joe Davis stated today that later orders gave the moving orders as Monday morning.

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Headed by Secretary J. W. Craig, of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, every organization in Troy is enlisted in the plan for making this farewell party to the National Guard something that will be pleasantly remembered by the individual members and demonstrate in some measure, the appreciation of Pike Countians for the contribution to the Nation’s First Line of Defense.

Quick work had to be done in order to move up this farewell which was originally scheduled for Monday afternoon, but now set for this coming Friday afternoon.

The program so far outlined calls for the formation of the parade at the Armory on East College Street at 3:15 p.m. Friday.  Battery “F”, with full equipment will of course occupy the place of honor in the march.

Moll’s High School Band, the State Teachers College Majorettes 40 strong, the State Teachers College Band, the Troy Troop of Boy Scouts, the American Legion and possibly other organizations will take part in the parade.

The parade, according to present schedule, will move promptly at 3:30, going west on College Street to North Three Notch, thence south to the Court House.  Maintaining formation the parade will halt on the East front of the Court House where Dr. Emmett Kilpatrick, Commander of Pike County Post of the American Legion, will deliver the ‘Community Good-bye’ address.

Immediately following, the parade will march to the National Guard Armory where the most impressive of all military ceremonies, “Retreat,” which includes the lowering of the colors to the strains of the National Anthem, will be gone through.

There are probably not many large American flags in  the city but the merchants and places of business are asked to use every means to decorate their premises in patriotic colors.  If the word can get around sufficiently, there will be hundreds of visitors in Troy Friday afternoon, and our town must make a splendid showing.

These members of Battery ‘F’ are leaving their homes and firesides for a year, it is known, and maybe longer, so the least that stay-at-homes  can do is to give them an impressive farewell.

Troy can do this job in a big way if everybody will cooperate, so let’s do that very thing.  The joint efforts of everybody will put this Farewell Party over in fine order and make all of us feel better.  After all, these soldiers are OUR soldiers—our First Line of Defense—so let’s prove to them that we are appreciative.”

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.