Artifact of the Week: Banner of the 115th Machine Gun Battalion

Jessica A. Bandel

The men of the 115th Machine Gun Battalion were sworn into active Federal service in August 1917 and joined the 119th and 120th Infantry Regiments in forming the 60th Infantry Brigade of the 30th Division. The brigade was known as the “North Carolina Brigade” because most of the men had been pulled from the North Carolina National Guard. Brig. Gen. Samuel L. Faison—a Duplin County native and West Point graduate—served as brigade commander.

The battalion served in the Canal Sector in Belgium, July 16, 1918 to August 30; Ypres-Lys offensive in Belgium, August 31 to September 2; and in the Somme offensive in France, from September 24 to October 20. Returning home in March 1918 and demobilized shortly thereafter, the battalion determined to entrust their blue and red silk unit banner to the Hall of History, a precursor to the North Carolina Museum of History, in 1919. At nearly one hundred years old, the banner remains in the great care of the museum to this day.