THIRD DIVISION GUN COMPANY STOPPED FOE
Evansville Courier, Sunday, May 4,1919
Lieut. Paul Funkhouser Assisted in
Checking Germans at Chateau Thierry
It has been definitely established that Lieut. Paul Funkhouser, son of A. W. Funkhouser, one of the Evansville boys who paid the supreme sacrifice in the great war, played a part in stopping the Germans at Chateau Thierry. He was liaison officer of the Third Division divisional motorized machine gun battalion (the Seventh), and with two assistants led the battalion 100 miles to Chateau Thierry, where it was thought to have been the only Indiana boy in the battalion.
In a letter from First Lieut. D. S. Hose to Mr. Funkhouser, the lieutenant, who knew Lieut. Funkhouser, says in speaking of a divisional inspection by Gen. Pershing:
"The division as a whole was inspected by Gen. Pershing yesterday, and I was proud to note that we were the only
machine gun battalion in the division that had won a flag. We had our flag out, but the others had none. We have a record that any one can be proud of, and I truly think you have reason to rejoice over the fact that, though your son gave his life to the cause, he was largely instrumental in getting that flag for us."
Official History Printed
The official history of the Seventh Machine Gun Battalion, just printed, shatters the story that the marines stopped the Germans at Chateau Thierry, and shows by the official record that that work was accomplished by the Seventh Machine Gun Battalion and that the marines were never at Chateau Thierry and took no part in stopping the Germans at the Marne. The history concedes that the newspapers and magazines which gave credit to the marines did so in perfectly good faith, and while giving full credit to the marines for their gallant service at Belleau Wood wholly acquit them of any desire or effort of claiming credit for work performed by the Seventh Machine Gun Battalion at Chateau Thierry. The nearest point to Chateau Thierry reached by the marines was ten miles and they did not get into action until in June. The Seventh Machine Gun Battalion stopped the Germans at Chateau Thierry on May 31, 1918.
The Seventh Machine Gun Battalion was the divisional motorized machine gun battalion of the Third Division, then under command of Maj. Gen. Dickman. On May 30, the Third Division, then in training 100 kilometers south of Chateau Thierry, received orders to proceed to the Marne. The Seventh Machine Gun Battalion by reason of being able to move on its own
transportation reached Chateau Thierry a day in advance of the other units of the Third Division and went into action as soon as it arrived at Chateau Thierry, at 6 o'clock in the evening on May 31.
The history proceeds: "The enemy had already reached the town, and almost immediately the one machine gun battalion, consisting of but two companies with a total strength of twenty-three officers and 349 men, supported by but a mere handful of Senegales (French colored colonials), found itself in action.
Town Given Up as Lost
The town had been given up for lost but for the timely arrival of this organization undoubtedly would have been lost. The fight for the possession of the bridges was stubborn, hard and continuous, and, although it was their first time in action and although the Germans were apparently well supplied with artillery and their own artillery support practically nil for the first two days, these men, already greatly fatigued, having ridden for thirty hours in Fords, seven or eight men to a Ford with all their equipment, making rest impossible, not only held the bridges, but stopped effectively and finally the entire advance of the German army at that point.
Without any exception whatever, the Seventh Machine Gun Battalion was the first American unit to enter the town and when they were relieved on the fifth day of June, 1918, hardly a man had closed his eyes in sleep.
Loss they suffered; loss they inflicted all out of proportion to those they received. Honors in France they have in abundance; the French were quick to recognize the magnitude of the service which had been rendered to France and to the Allied cause by this organization.
As a result of this citation by Marshal Petain, the colors of the battalion were decorated with the Croix de Guerre, an honor seldom conferred, and an honor that will be theirs as long as the battalion exists as a unit and long afterwards in the hearts and minds of its members; an honor that will carry with it pride and reverence; pride in work well done, and reverence because in performance of that work members, whose names and memories will live forever, gave their lives that justice and Liberty might be saved to the civilized world.