Group portrait of the men in Company E, 117th Ammunition Train, 42nd (Rainbow) Division in World War I

Picture was taken at Camp Merritt, New Jersey in 1919*. I thank Dick Webb ( for identifying the location. The company left for France in November 1917 and served until the armistice in November 1918. The company had duty in the army of occupation of Germany until well into 1919.

My father, George Watkins Anderson (Sr.), from Kansas City, Missouri, was a sergeant in this unit. He is in the photo in Section 4 - easily spotted as the one holding the company mascot or sentry dog.

The original 38 inch photograph is in the possession of my sister, Marjorie Nash of Chanhassen, Minnesota The photo was scanned into five TIFF files by my nephew, Robert P. Anderson, also of Excelsior Robert kindly gave me a copy of the TIFF files (totaling 340 MB) on a CD. To reduce the file size for posting on the Web, I divided the five files into 9 sections, reduced the resolution to 72 dpi and saved them in JPEG format. The total file size in this form is about 408 KB.

Another nephew, George W. Heine III of Pueblo, Colorado, has several pages on his Web site devoted to the Army service of George Anderson. Included are transcribed letters written home from France. George was a faithful writer of letters to his parents and nine brothers and sisters. I have a complete collection of these handwritten letters from France, saved by his mother and handed down to me.

I have no identification for anyone in Company E other than my father. If anyone can furnish further identification, I will post it on this page. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has information about this Army unit.

Since posting the photos on June 11, 2001, I have obtained a roster of the men in Company E, kindly sent to me by J. Wm. Keithan, Jr. of Seattle, Washington, Archivist for the Rainbow Division Veterans Association (RDVA), There were 192 men on the roster when the company left for France, but only 175 in the group portrait when they returned. There is no way, as far as I know, to connect the names on the roster with the faces in the photo.

*Update September 6, 2010: Terry Krautwurst has done a prodigious amount of research on the history of Co. E, 117th Ammunition Train, and has proved that this photo was taken at Camp Morrison, Virginia, between May 2 and May 9, 1919.

Anyone with an active interest in the Rainbow Division is urged to contact the RDVA at

George Anderson
Pleasanton, California
July 7, 2001

Section 1 of photo
Section 2 of photo
Section 3 of photo
Section 4 of photo
Section 5 of photo
Section 6 of photo
Section 7 of photo
Section 8 of photo
Section 9 of photo

Closeup of Sgt. George Anderson

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Last modified 30sep2011 11:12 gwa