Hitherto unpublished facts concerning the life of Lieutenant-Colonel James A. Shannon, former commandant of the University R. O. T. C., who was killed in action October 8, 1918, have recently been received by the CRIMSON. When the American forces began the great drive against the Germans in the Argonne region on September 26, Colonel Shannon obtained permission to leave an important post in the Personnel Bureau and go to the front. During the terrific fighting trained officers were in demand, and he was given command of a certain infantry regiment in the absence of its colonel. For his efficient service he was recommended for promotion to the rank of colonel, and being placed in command of the 112th Regiment Infantry, 28th Division, led that regiment in the assault and capture of Chatel-Chehery on October 7. While organizing his command there for a further advance against the enemy, he was mortally wounded. About 7 A. M. a fragment of shell struck him in the neck, breaking a cervical vertebra. In the evening he called for a chaplain and asked him to read some verses from the Bible. When the chaplain had finished reading, he exclaimed, "That's great stuff, isn't it?" Shortly afterward, at 2 A. M., Colonel Shannon died. He was buried with full military honors, with several of his classmates and intimate friends present, in the U. S. Military Cemetery at the village of Froidos.
Prominent at West Point.
Lieutenant Colonel Shannon was born at Granite Falls, Minn., May 25, 1879. He received his early education in the public schools of Duluth, and was there prepared by private tutors for the entrance examination at West Point. During his stay at West Point from June, 1898 to June, 1903, he was cadet corporal and cadet lieutenant, vice-president of his class, and an athlete of prominence. He won his "A" as quarterback of the 1902 team. Upon his graduation he became second lieutenant of cavalry, and later received the following promotions: first lieutenant cavalry, March 11, 1911; captain cavalry, August 15, 1916; major National Army, August 1917; and lieu tenant-colonel General Staff Corps, August, 1918.
From May, 1905, to June, 1908, Colonel Shannon served in the Philippine Islands, and from 1911 to 1914 took part in several expeditions against the hostile Moros in Mindanao. He was present at the assault and capture of the famous Moro stronghold at Bud Dajo. On September 2, 1908, he was married to Miss Imogene Hoyle, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Eli D. Hoyle. He served in Mexico with the Villa Punitive Expedition from March, 1916, to February, 1917, and was selected by General Pershing to command the famous Apache Indian Scouts. Soon after his return from Mexico Colonel Shannon was detailed as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University and was on duty here in the spring and summer of 1917. In August of that year he was assigned as major to the 42d ("Rainbow") Division at Camp Milis, N. Y.; in October he went overseas with it. Shortly after his arrival in France he was selected by General Pershing to organize and conduct the Personnel Bureau of the American Expeditionary Forces. In accepting this important position, he sacrificed his great desire to serve with the front line combat troops.
Splendid in Athletics.
He excelled in athletic sports; was a splendid horseman, an honor graduate of the U. S. Mounted Service School, and was one of the best polo players in the Army. He was particularly noted for his high moral character, for his quiet but earnest religious convictions, for his efficiency in the conscientious performance of every duty. He was a born leader of then--one of the best known and most highly esteemed officers of the Army. Since his death he has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery in action near Chatel-Chehery, October 5 and 6, when he led an officers' patrol to a depth of three kilometres within the enemy lines. The news of his loss has been received with consternation and sorrow by his many friends in the University and the Army