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\',, M AG A Z I N E
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MAY. 1944 tt------
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\', The 744th Takes Over ,--:
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Maintenance of way men of the 744th rehearse
lor combat as they help Milwaukee Road section
men repair the Washington Avenue viaduct track
in Minneapolis.

The 744 th
T coming
HERE has been an air of home-
around Minneapolis and
St. Paul since early March when the
744th Railway Operating Battalion,
"the Milwaukee Road's own," moved
into our shops and onto our rails for
a period of intensive training.
After spending the winter in Fort
Sam Houston, Tex., where it was ac-
tivated, the battalion's luck held
good as it moved north with the spring to its new home at Fort Snelling,
Below-circle: No Army railroad could run a few miles out of Minneapolis.
long without ils blacksmiths. and our shops There is a rightness about a Milwaukee Road outfit training on its own
in St. Paul bear out the fact. Shown. I. to r"
are: Pfc. Simon I. Markovich, formerly with home ground that bodes ill for our enemies. Of course, being determined
lhe Carnegie lllinois Steel Co.; Carl Lande,
blacksmilh; Pfc. lames R. King, who worked to contribute to the brilliant record of the Military Railway Service in this
as a blacksmith in the Navy Yard crt Pearl
Harbor before being called to the Army.
war, these boys could be expected to '''ark hard at the business of learning
Below-righl: L. to R.: Pfc. Julius M. Fischer,
the Army's brand of railroading, but being on their own home ground seems
who is training as a brakeman; H. V. Dunt- to generate a little extra enthusiasm for the task at hand.
ley, swilchman: and Ll. Col. R. E. Sherer, Our premises have an unmistakable G. I. look as the boys in khaki go
T.C" slalioned al Fort Snelling.
about their business with a lantern or a spike maul or a welding torch in
one hand and a salute in the other, but the old Milwaukee friendliness is
unchanged. It shows on the face and in the manner of every officer and
enlisted man on the job, whether he learned to railroad with us or not-
and many of them did not. The unit is sponsored by the Milwaukee
P. J. Madig .
Yard. "brie/s,?n (exlreme ri h
men and ,an lncom' 9 f), Ira;"",
SW,tchmen t ,"g grou>:> 0/ asler at th S
a fhe chang soldier eng' e t. PaUl
e 0/ the shift~neers, fire_

Pvt. Sam Zeitman. formerly a welder at

Takes Oyer
the Philadelphia Navy Yard. welds a line
seam on a wrecked box liar at the Minne-
apolis shops. At the right is Chris Hyllestad.
welder. Standing in the car is Lt. Robert
A. Howell, former car foreman on the Cen-
tral of Georgia at Albany. Ga., who is now
qeneral car foreman of the battalion.

It's Old Home Week in the Twin CitJies of them is beginning to feel and act
As "Our Own" Trains on Our Own Trains like a dyed-in-the-wool Milwaukee
Road man.
Road and largely officered by our represented than any other railroad. Many of the men, fortunately,
own men, under the command of ~Iost of Men Are Former Rails have little to learn, aside from the
Lt. Col. W, J, Hotchkiss, former About 75 per cent of the men in Army's strategic variations on the
superintendent on the H&D Division, the battalion as a whole, and 90 per familiar railroading theme. Others
but only a small percentage of the cent of those in the operating com- are breaking new ground in the mat-
,I enlisted personnel hails from our
own road. However, despite the
pany, were railroading on one line
or another before entering the Army,
ter of how to lift a tie, operate a
lathe, or run an engine. The super-
censorship hush-hush on the number Just about every railroad in the visors agree, though, that the over-
of men in the battalion and the per- country-as well as a few ship yards, all result is in the railroad's favor.
centage that comes from the Milwau- drug stores, high schools, farms and The men are more' of a help than a
kee, it can be said that the desire law firms-are represented. They hindrance-which was to be expect-
of newly inducted men from our own come from all parts of the country, ed, as it has been Colonel Hotchkiss'
ranks to get into the 744th has re- from all income brackets and from desire from the beginning to acquire
sulted in our being somewhat better all walks of life, but every last one as many experienced railroad men
The ollicers of the ?44th Railway Operating Battalion are shown Capt. Elbert F. Utter; Lt. Claude B. Richardson, Seattle, Wash. Back
below. For the sake 01 brevity, the railroad from which each man row: Lt. Ralph I. McKinney; Lt. Thor Monrad; Lt. Ferdinand A. Ziebell
hails is indicated only for the Milwaukee Road men. and this only (Milwaukee Road man. but location not designated); Lt. lose ph P.
by showinq where he was formerly employed; it is permissible to Welch, Milwaukee Terminals; 2nd Lt. David ',B. Armstrong; Lt. Robert
show only a limited amount of information concerninq these men. A. Howell; 2nd Lt. Cyrus S. Broadstone; 2nd Lt. E. B. Camper; 2nd
Front row. I. to r.: Lt. Malthew P. O·Loughlen. Madison Division; Lt. Robert O. Kedney; Lt. John D. Reed. Kansas City Division; 2nd Lt.
2nd Lt. Henry F. Lucas'. Chicago, 111.; WOIG Dean E. Dornberger; Foster I. Phillips, LaX&R Division; 2nd Lt. Wm; T; Hankins; 2nd Lt.
Lt. Forrest I. Hosler; 2nd L't. Leo C. Curley; Lt. lohn W. McReynolds. Blanchard L. Pritchard. Not shown in the picture 'are Lt. Hobart M.
Marion, lao Middle row: Lt. Charles D. Rice (chaplain); Lt. Daniel Aggers. lormerly employed in Miles City; Lt. 'William J. Winfree; 2nd
Gerone; Lt. Girard; LI. Edward Gongaware. LaX&R Division; Lt. Col. Lt. Lambert D. Keating. formerly employed in Chicago; and 2nd Lt.
W. I. Hotchkiss. Aberdeen, S. D.; Mai. lames D. Shea, Aberdeen. John A. Smoak.
S. D.; Capt. W. W. Hay. La Crosse, Wis.; Capt. Roscoe L. Allen;
officials 11 a v e ing, in a general way, the depart-
met a number ments,
of times with One company furnishes dispatch-
the battalion's ers, telegraphers, station agents and
staff officers to the cooks of the unit. Another com-
discuss operat. pany, in charge of maintenance of
i n g matters, way, keeps the tracks laid and re-
training paired. Another company performs
schedules. and the important task of keeping all
safety. . equipment in tiptop condition; they
Battalion are the boys who get down under
Patt~rned and look up. Another company com-
After posed of the train and engine crews,
Railroad is responsible for moving the trains
after the other companies have made
Having read things ready. These are the skills
the many which the men of the 744th are per-
press accounts fecting on our trains, in our shops,
of the vel' y and on our tracks in the Twill Cities
nearly impos- and at outlying points along the
sible t h i n g s line where actual combat conditions
This picture was taken at a recent safety A I'm y r a i I-
meeting which the officers of the battalion can be more readily simulated,
and officers of the railroad held at Fort roaders have been doing in North When, where, and whether these
Snelling. The three soldiers in the foreground,
looking at the safety glasses, are, I. to r.: Sgt. Africa, Iran, Alaska, and Italy, most men will match their courage and
William Mayhall. Pvt. William Weisser, and of us know in a general way what the
M/Sgt. Jack David. In the second row are: skill against that of the enemy on
F. M. Washburn. company safety engineer, function of a railw"ay operating bat- some flaming front is anyone's guess,
Maj. James D. Shea, Lt. Col. W. J. Hotchkiss,
G. M. Dempsey, general inspector, division talion is. There is no debating the but of this we can be certain: When
of safety, and M. L. Medinger, safety engi- fact that a railroader is a railroader
neer. the call comes, they'll do their job
for keeps; and that a soldier in the right; they'll do it fast, definitely,
Army of the United States is a G. 1. and for keeps. They'll do it Mil-
as possible. The manpower which guy right down to his thick shoe soles. waukee Road style,
the railroad lost to the Army is being and ready to offer deadly proof of
partially repaicl. the fact, but in a rail way battalion •
The smoothness with which the the two can be found combined to Fire your dollars at America's enemies.
Milwaukee Road and the Army are perfection. Put 10 per cent of your earnings into War
working together can be traced to The purpose of such a unit is dual. Bonds every pay day.
the interest our operating officers are Like all soldiers, they are fighting •
taking in the battalion's training. Di- men, qualified in
rect telephone connections have been the weapons and
established through the office of Su- trained in the art
perintendent Bagnell in Minneapolis, of warfare. But
thereby making it possible for Col- over and above
onel Hotchkiss and any official or that, the y a I' e
supervisor anywhere on the railroad capable of taking
to get in touch with each other al- o vel' any and
most immediately. Groups of our eve I' y kind of
railroad e qui p-
ment the y can
lay hands on and
The Cove.. using it to get
men and mate-
At the close of a long day
spent in a tour of the Twin City rials where they
Terminals, where the 744th is a I' e needed. As
in training, these three key fig. soldier - railroad-
ures in the intensive training ers, they are an
program pause in front of the
battalion headquarters building adaptable, un-
at Fort Snelling to study a dia- beatabe, incred-
gram showing the terminals and ibly . resourceful
the converging lines of railroad combination.
where G.!. crews are rehearsing
for war. D. T. Bagnell, terminal Their courage
superintendent, is shown be- has already been
tween the battalion commander, proved in t his
Lt. Col. W. J. Hotchkiss (right), war and their ac-
former H&:D Division, superin.
tendent, and Maj. James D. complishm en t s
Shea, former trainmaster at read like fiction.
Aberdeen, S. D., who is execu- A railway op-
tive officer of the battalion. erating battalion
The Milwaukee Magazine ex- This group of G.I. telegraphers is but one of several now in training
presses its appreciation to the is patterned after with the 744th. learning how to "send the word Over there." or some-
U. S. Army Signal Corps for a division of a where. In the left background are: Lt. Col. W. J. Hotchkiss; Super-
this picture and those on pages mtendent D. T. Bagnell of the Twin City Terminals; Lt. M. P. O'Lough-
civi lian railroad, len. former train dispatcher at Madison. Wis.. and now director of
4, 5 and 6. the various com- the telegraphy school; T/Sgt. D. E. Pratt, instructor of telegraphy.
SjSgl. Melvin A. McGoon, former agent at Weaver. Minn.. and now
panies represent- an ins tructor. is shown in the immediate foreground.