New Castle News

Closer Look

June 2, 2014

National Guard to dedicate howitzer, honor students

NEW CASTLE — The Pennsylvania National Guard will recognize local students for their work in restoring a World War I howitzer.

The weapon, a French M1897 75 mm howitzer, will be dedicated at a ceremony at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Cunningham Armory, 820 Frank Ave.

The gun was restored by students from the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, who had begun the project in November 2012.

Volunteers stripped old layers of paint, repaired damaged areas, then primed and repainted the howitzer.

The ceremony also will recognize the 1-107th that served during World War I.

While working on the howitzer, students read accounts of the 1-107th’s engagements during World War I.

The 107th traces its lineage to 1861, when it was known as Hampton’s Battery. The unit also participated in the Civil War, World War II and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Unit members also have been called upon to assist during natural disasters and other emergencies in the area, most recently during snowstorms last February.

In addition to the 1-107th’s battalion headquarters, New Castle is home to one of the National Guard’s field maintenance shops.

Approximately 120 National Guard soldiers are assigned to New Castle. The National Guard contributed an estimated $4.7 million economic impact to the region in 2013.

 

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