Lost Battalion Hall: 90 years since the battle in the Argonne 1918

All Photos: David Pambianchi
All Photos: David Pambianchi

In our search for happier memories, we may forget the cost and the lessons that bring us the freedoms we enjoy. October 3rd through October 7th marks 90 years since the heroic actions of The Lost Battalion (The U.S. Army 77th Division), during a battle near Charlevaux, France. In honor of their sacrifice and heroism, a New York City Recreation Center in Rego Park bears their name.

Basketball coach Rick Diaz with teens ages 10 15.
Basketball coach Rick Diaz (Left) with teens ages 1015

Trapped in the Argonne Forest, surrounded by German forces, despite heavy loses and many wounded, American troops held off the enemy under a barrage of deplorable conditions and mishaps. With carrier pigeons as the only means of communication (one-way), the soldiers suffered through 5 days of exhaustion and starvation, were fired upon by their own artillery, and had the first air drops in history unload their medical and food supplies out of reach and into enemy hands. Numerous acts of valor during the desperate battle resulted in the decoration of over 25 soldiers with Distinguished Service Crosses and 5 soldiers and 2 Airmen with the Medal of Honor.

Vanessa DeChiara weightlifting.
Vanessa DeChiara weightlifting

Time has taken our brothers, yet they remain in spirit. At Lost Battalion Hall members learn perseverance and camaraderie through sports activities such as basketball, build strength through weightlifting or test their courage and stamina boxing. At most, we imitate the qualities of those whose bravery and suffering helped insure our freedom.

Alex Volkov in Red Gloves, Boxing coaches Steve Maiorano and Tony Paolillo, David Mendoza in Blue Gloves.
Alex Volkov(Red Gloves), Boxing coaches Steve Maiorano and Tony Paolillo, David Mendoza(Blue Gloves)

The Lost Battalion Hall recreation center also offers various programs and events for seniors, and notably sports and educational programs for children: perhaps this best honors World War I Veterans as well as all our veterans.

Let us be reminded:

“If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”

— Thomas Paine

Lost Battalion Hall.

Queens Blvd. Bet 62nd Ave. & 62nd Rd.

Rego Park, NY 11374

(718) 263-1163


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Special note: The month of October 26-30 will also mark almost 65 years since the courageous actions of the World War II “Lost Battalion” 36th Infantry and 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

David Pambianchi is a New York writer, who loves to tell stories about the city, the people, the entertainment, the sport and the businesses that catch his attention.

Novel: Carrots & Apples: Parenthood, Divorce and Public Corruption