View of the Past: A piece of World War I French field artillery

This week’s view features the piece of World War I French field artillery that once guarded the O’Fallon American Legion Post’s log cabin home at the northwest corner of Washington and Vine.  The 75 mm, 24 foot long gun weighing 7,420 lbs. was acquired from the Rock Island Arsenal and delivered by truck to the Post in April 1935.  It was free but packing and shipping, paid with local donations, was $70.  What survived the first World War didn’t survive the second.  On Aug. 29, 1942, the gun was sold to a
Belleville scrap dealer with the proceeds used to buy war bonds.  It was felt that the metal it contained was needed more for the war effort.  The cabin was moved to Community Park in 1976.

Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society