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Mail Tribune 100, March 31, 1919

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

March 31, 1919


With the booming of a 76 MM German minenwrfer cannon and the shrill sounds of the city siren whistle the gaily beflagged train of war trophies and relics arrived in Medford at 9 o’clock Monday morning, switched to a side track and quickly was besieged by a crowd of sightseers, and from then on until the train pulled out for the next stop, a short one at Gold Hill. It is estimated that not less than 5000 persons, including the pupils of the schools, viewed with much interest the collection of trophies captured from the Germans and the assemblage of war implements used by the allies.

The high school band discoursed music for the occasion and the local national guard company kept the throngs in order, doing splendid and much needed work, especially when hundreds of eager people all tried to crowd into one place at a time.

Altho the German field pieces, heavy guns and rifles of the German, French and American armies, sabers, gas masks and all sorts of war equipment aroused much interest, the piece de resistance of the whole outfit in the minds of the majority of the people was the small French tank, known as the mosquito tank. It was the first war tank ever seen in Medford. The heavy metal listening post also attracted much attention.

The lectures explaining the war implements, given by soldiers who had served with similar equipment in France were a much appreciated feature. And during the train’s stay here, Robert E. Smith, state chairman of the Victory loan campaign, and other orators accompanying the train, made telling speeches of appeal for the people to subscribe liberally in this forthcoming loan.

As the French mosquito tank was the most interesting of the war exhibits, also C. Clarence Likens, of Portland, wearing a Croix de Guerre with a palm for distinguished gallantry won while serving with a similar tank at the Argonne woods battle, who lectured on the tank, was the big attraction among orators.

Likens won his fame when the tank of which he was gunner became mired in a shell hole, and he and his driver dismounted the machine gun from it and took the gun across No Man’s Land, thru a hail of shells and bullets, and delivered it to the attacking infantry. The driver was killed while en route. Not only that but in the same battle Likens carried a wounded lieutenant off the battle front to safety. For his conduct in this battle he was given the Croix de Guerre, a palm, a citation and a special citation.

News from 100 years ago