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    New York's 69th Infantry wins annual shooting match with Massachusetts Guard unit

    69th Infantry wins shoot out with Massachusett's 182nd Infantry

    Photo By Spc. Amouris Coss | U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Palapoli, a maintenance supervisor assigned to H Company,...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Chisom Olajide 

    New York National Guard

    CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, CORTLANDT MANOR. N.Y. – The Logan Duffy Trophy, the shooting award the New York National Guard’s 1st Battalion 69th Infantry and the Massachusetts National Guard’s 1st Battalion 182nd Infantry compete for each year, is back in New York following the 2019 competition at Camp Smith Training Site.

    The New York team of six Soldiers outshot the Massachusetts contingent by a score of 1030 to 1012 to bring the trophy back to the 69th Infantry’s home at the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City.

    Staff Sgt. Matthew Melendez, the co-captain of the 69th Infantry team and a sniper section leader, said the New Yorkers entered the match wanting revenge for a loss to the Massachusetts team in 2018.

    “Our loss last year to the Massachusetts team sparked a fire in us to do better and win this year,” Melendez said. “We revamped our training this year by spending five to six hours at the range for two weeks competing against each other, after our annual training.”

    Melendez, who is also a police officer in the New York Police Department, was the high scorer in the match with 263 points.

    The overall marksmanship of the New York team improved both individually and as a group because of their hard work, he said.

    The 69th Infantry team had three soldiers who were returnees and three who were competing for the first time. Along with three infantrymen the 69th team included a maintenance supervisor, a wheeled vehicle mechanic and a combat medic.

    The 182nd Infantry Regiment had four soldiers who were returnees and two who were competing for the first time. Their team was comprised of five infantrymen and one combat medic.

    Staff Sgt. Geoffrey Curtis, a first time competitor, scored the highest shot of 259 from the Massachusetts team.

    Both the 69th Infantry and the 182nd Infantry have historic roots and a historic rivalry as Irish-American National Guard regiments.

    The interstate competition and marksmanship rivalry among these two Irish-American regiments started in 1936.

    The purpose was to encourage competitive marksmanship and to enhance and develop the spirit of camaraderie between the two military organizations of similar background and heritage.

    The competition is named after Gen. Lawrence Logan of Massachusetts and General Edward Duffy of New York, who were both the Commanders of their Regiment during the Spanish-American War.

    This year’s match started with a competition between both battalion commanders, Lt. Col. Joseph E. Whaley, of the 69th Infantry and Lt. Col. Shane T. Maxon, of the 182 Regiment.

    In his opening remarks Whaley praised the Soldiers of both regiments and the comradery between their Soldiers.

    “We’re both proud of our soldiers and they are the best of the best in a friendly competition.” Whaley said. “Both sides will share their experiences with the winning team and they will come back stronger next year.

    “This match helps with morale and sets a good a tone and healthy competition among the two organizations,” Maxon said. “It promotes some of the more elites marksmen in the two groups.”

    “It’s a struggle to get the extra time for the soldiers practice at the range outside the annual training,” Maxon emphasized. “So I look forward to them having more time to prepare for next year.”

    The trophy itself is a silver five-gallon bowl, crafted by Reed and Barton Silversmiths of Taunton, Massachusetts in 1936.

    The ownership of the trophy is a joint proposition governed by a deed of trust drawn up by Col. Francis V. Logan and Col. Alexander E. Anderson in 1936. The trophy is owned jointly by the two organizations but, actual possession is retained by the organization winning the annual rifle match.
    The two battalions have been friendly rivals for almost 150 years.

    The relationship between the 182nd Infantry and the 69th Infantry began, when Col. Michael Corcoran of the 69th Infantry, New York State Militia, rode out of Fort Corcoran, Arlington, Va., to visit neighbouring Fort Cass. While there, he paid his respects to Col. Thomas Cass of the 9th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The Fighting 69th of New York had met the Fighting Irish of Boston.

    The first match for possession of the trophy was held on Oct.12, 1936 at Camp Curtis Guild in Reading, Massachusetts. The match was won by the 101st Infantry Regiment --who later merged with the 182nd Infantry to become the 1-182nd Infantry.

    Since it had been agreed the site for the match would change each year, in 1937 the 101st travelled to Camp Smith, Peekskill, New York. That year the 69th emerged as the victor.

    With the onset of World War II, annual competition was impossible. The 101st, having won the match in 1939, the last year of pre-war competition, retained the trophy in Boston during the war.

    In 1958, Gen. Edward F. Logan, Commander of the 101st and Gen. William D. Lynch, Commander of the 165th (69th NY) reinstated the competition. On Oct. 11, 1958, the first post-war match was fired at Camp Curtis Guild, Massachusetts with the 101st keeping the trophy in Boston.

    The match remained an annual event between the 69th and the 101st until 1996 when the 101st Infantry merged with the 1-182nd Infantry to become the 1-182nd Infantry (Mechanized).

    Matches were suspended in 2001 due to the events of September 11th. To continue the tradition, on Oct. 2, 2010, the competition resumed and is again held annually.



    Date Taken: 09.12.2019
    Date Posted: 09.12.2019 13:39
    Story ID: 340133

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