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Cunningham Armory & Troop F - Shenango Twnp PA

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In May 1904 a cavalry unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard, known as Troop F, was organized in New Castle under the distinguished Capt. Joseph V. Cunningham. Without a dedicated armory they rented out quarters at various locations in downtown New Castle. In the coming years the unit was often re-designated with other names (such as Troop K), but was always known as “Troop F” to the locals. In 1916 the men spent time in Texas guarding the border against attacks by Mexican insurgents led by Pancho Villa. During the Great War (World War I) the troop was broken up, to the dismay of the local men, and served with various other units within the 28th Infantry Division. (c1930)


During the early 1930’s efforts to construct a dedicated armory for Troop F gained steam. The city donated land along Frank Avenue at Cascade Park and construction finally began in April 1936. The Cunningham Armory, designed by local architect A. L. Thayer, was built with stone quarried in Shenango Township. The funds and labor were supplied by the federal government, as part of the a work relief program known as the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Progress was slowed by financial shortfalls and the armory took several years to complete – and was finally dedicated in May 1940. The building would serve as the home of the local Pennsylvania National Guard unit, as well as play host to community events such as concerts and boxing matches. The beautiful hand-crafted structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in May 1991. (c2012)


After World War I the unit was reorganized several times and was finally modernized as an artillery unit in late 1940. The men, now part of the 229th Field Artillery, saw action in Europe during World War II. The unit was expanded and later served in the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. In September 1995 the 229th was merged to become part of Pittsburgh-based 107th Field Artillery Regiment. In May 2004 two members of the unit were killed in action near Fallujah, Iraq. Today, the armory remains the home of the Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 107th Field Artillery Regiment, of the 28th Infantry Division. (1947)


Cunningham Armory is named in honor of attorney and military veteran Joseph V. Cunningham (1872-1925), a native of Wayne Township, who organized Troop F in 1904 and commanded it for the next ten years. (Feb 2016)

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Comment

  1. I am retired Army having served on Active Duty for 8 years and spent the remaining 28 years of service going between the Army Reserves and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. I was in HQ’s Co, 28th Inf Div. having served in many capacities. I was a chauffer for General Goss. Later, I was the Officer Aide to General Duane Smith. I am doing ancestral research on a few uncles who served in the 107th Artillery Regt. and who spent time in A Btry……in the 1930’s. Do you have any records of unit service and activity dating from that period at your location? I understand HQ’s unit is located at New Castle and A Bty is located in Oil City. Are the records possibly still maintained at FIG? I would appreciate any information I can use as “a start point.” Thank you…..Bill Stahl

    Bill Stahl · 07/24/2017 05:09 PM · #