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Here Is The Real Story


The Indian Magazine
Volume 1, No. 12 — July 1, 1919

To the Editor of The Indian:

Now that the Second Division holds such a prominent position in the allied armies from its splendid work during the recent war, probably it would not be amiss for me to give to the division, through the medium of The Indian, a correct history of the origin of the divisional emblem, viz., the star and Indian head.

About the 25th of March, 1918, when the division was occupying the trenches in the Toulon-Troyon sectors, Lieut. Samuel T. Swift, Second Supply Trains, was ordered by the then motor transport officer, Second Division, and commanding officer of the Second Supply Train (Lieutenant Colonel William F. Herringshaw) to proceed to the sector then occupied by the Twenty-sixth Division, for the purpose of bringing back to the Division a large convoy of Ford light delivery trucks. In reporting his observations of what he had seen in other motor organizations during his trip, he suggested that the Second Supply Trains had not an official design, such as all of the similar organizations of allied armies had. Colonel Herringshaw immediately issued the following order:

HEADQUARTERS SECOND SUPPLY TRAIN France, March 28, 1918. MEMORANDUM:

A design is desired for use on our trucks similar to those used on the truck trains of other armies. Designs should be simple, easily distinguishable, and should not be liable of confusion with other markings, and should have some special significance. Only one design will be used but there will be three prizes awarded, as follows:

1st Prize-40 Francs
2nd Prize-25 Francs
3rd Prize-10 Francs

Designs will be passed on by a board appointed later. Suggestions, with a rough sketch, should be submitted to Headquarters by noon, March 31.
By order of Lieut. Col. Herringshaw.

2nd Lieutenant,C. A. C.
George F. A. Mulcahy,
Adjutant.

Designs were submitted from the companies as stated in the order, and also from M. S. T. U. No. 303, with the result that the judges chose an Indian head for their first prize, and a five-pointed white star for the second prize. Colonel Herringshaw laid the star and Indian head upon separate parts of his desk, and after a few minutes hesitation, he placed the separate Indian head over the star, and announced that the star and Indian head combined, as he had placed them, would hereafter be the official design of the Second Supply Train. It continued to be such until one day during the early part of June, 1918, the then divisional commander, Major General Bundy, had occasion to bring his automobile to the shops for some repairs, and ordered that the star and Indian head should be painted on his automobile. He also remarked that he was proud to have his car wearing the design of an organization within his division, that was functioning so brilliantly as the Second Supply Train was during the present (Chateau-Thierry) drive.

In due time, later on, came the divisional order, authorizing it as the official divisional insignia for all motor and animal drawn vehicles in the division. Then came the additional order designating the various shields and backgrounds upon which the star and Indian head is superimposed, thus designating the various units of the division, and adopting it with these additional backgrounds as the divisional shoulder insignia, to be worn by the officers and men of the division.

I know that the division will welcome through the columns of your breezy magazine the fact that Colonel William F. Herringshaw, now the assistant chief motor transport corps officer, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C., and at that time commanding officer of the Second Supply Train and the motor transport corps officer of the Second Division, is the originator of the divisional emblem, viz., the star and Indian head.

DANIEL J. CANTY,

Captain, Motor Transport Corps.

The Indian Head Divisional insignia was originated during the stay in Lorraine. The Supply Train commander, Lieutenant Colonel William F. Herringshaw, had been attracted by the devices used by the French to identify their trucks, so he called upon his train to submit designs for a 2d Division insignia. The Indian Head, submitted by Sergeant Louis B. Lundy, Company "A", 2d Supply Train, modified by a design submitted by Sergeant John Kenny, Company "B", 2d Supply Train, was adopted. This device appeared upon the trucks in April, 1918 and was later accepted as the insignia of the Division and was officially recognized shortly after the Armistice.26
262d Supply Train Memo., Mar. 28th. Letter 2d Supply Train to 2d Div., Apr. 12th with indorsement of approval April 14th. Correspondence 2d Div. with GHQ, Oct. 20th-Nov. 6th, 1918.
 
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