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Doings Of Battery B

328th Field Artillery American Expeditionary Forces

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 COOK VILAS P. BLACKMER Serial No. 2,026,552 Millington, Mich. Inducted at Camp Custer, September 29, 1917. Was sent to Cooks’ School, at Camp Custer, where he graduated and became Sergeant Belbeck’s right-hand man, or Second Cook. An amusing incident which all the boys will remember occurred at the camouflaged kitchen in the Montauville position. We were fed only before sunrise and after sunset. Rations were so low that each man could only be given a spoonful of beans, which morsel to tired, hungry, fighting men was more tantalizing than satisfying. It was dark and Blackmer had two Batteries to feed. It may here be said that a cook has the powers of a Corporal in the army. Blackmer was short and stocky, and when opposed in duty could exhibit a temper and caliber that would back down the most aggressive. This particular night the lines were formed to get their beans. The officers, thinking that their rank could command a larger supply of food ahead of the men, reached through the men standing in line. Some of us will remember the forbidding picture that Blackmer presented as, armed with a big club, he stood on the hot kitchen and in language more forceful than refined, declared that the next man who thrust his mess-kit forward out of turn would have his head smashed. Will we ever forget that feed of turkey at Ponta-Mousson, Christmas, 1918, which Blackmer prepared? It was just as much in the line of military necessity that each man should get that poor spoonful of beans as it was for the cannon to be fed with shells, and we had a Fighting Cook who could and would see that it was accomplished. REMEMBER THIS? Colonel Hopkins passes an order that we should all go out of public mourning—in other words, if we wore black neckties they must not show. Page one hundred fifty-one

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