Memorial Day 2010

IC RAILROADERS form the 715th Engineer Railway Operating Battalion 1942

WATERLOO, IA Daily Courier 1942

IC RAILROADERS form the 715th Engineer Railway Operating Battalion

Announcement was made Monday of the call to service of the 715th Engineer Railway Operating battalion, a part of the Engineer corps of the United States army, to be officered by employees' of the Illinois Central Railroad company. This battalion is to be under the command of Lt. Col. T. P. Crymes, Illinois Central trainmaster at Memphis, Tenn., and will have units staff of officer’s four employees of the Iowa division of the railroad, two of them from Waterloo. '

Ranking as captain will be John R. Wartchow, 1607 West Fourth street, who for the past five years has been track supervisor at Waterloo.His duties in the army will be equivalent to those of a division engineer un a peace-time railroad, having supervision over maintenance of track on an operating division. Mechanical Engineer.Ranking as first lieutenant will be Rollin J. Chinn, 339 Saxon street, who has been erecting shop foreman in the Waterloo shops for the past year. His duties in the railway battalion will be those of mechanical engineer, concerned with the upkeep-of the motive power of the division. 

Other Iowa division men who will receive officers' commissions in the new organization are V. D.Raessler, formerly of Waterloo but now bridge and building foreman for the railroad at Cherokee, who will rank as first lieutenant and have duties similar to those of a peace-time supervisor of the bridges and buildings along the right-of way of the division, and Charles E. Weiler, former member of the Iowa division civil engineering staff at Waterloo but now assistant track supervisor at Freeport. 111., who will be a second lieutenant, with duties equivalent to those of an assistant engineer, having charge of civil engineering work. Also Other Roads. 

The rest of the 20 officers of the new battalion have been appointed from the other divisions of the Illinois Central system. Similar organizations are being sponsored by several. of the larger railroads of the country and are now in training. The 715th Engineer Railway Operating battalion is similar to battalions sponsored by the Illinois Central during and after World War 1, and provides a complete force for the operation and maintenance of a 50 to 100 mile division of military railroad. It will be made up of battalion headquarters, maintenance of way company, maintenance of equipment company, headquarters and service company and transportation company, and when fully recruited will number in the neighborhood of 800 men. 

Qualified men under 45 years of age with previous railroad experience may enlist at the office of the battalion, room 300, Dowve building, Michigan avenue at Twelfth street, Chicago, between the hours of 10 a. m. and 9 p. m. All types of railroad men except clerks.

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