Wednesday, June 4, 2014NEW CASTLE, Pa. - The Pennsylvania National Guard hosted a special ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the Cunningham Armory in Lawrence County dedicating a newly restored howitzer while honoring local students for their volunteer work.
The National Guard's 1-107th Field Artillery Battalion dedicated the French M1897 75mm howitzer restored by students from the Lawrence County Vocational School. The students had been working on the project since November 2012. The volunteers stripped old layers of paint, repaired damaged areas, primed and repainted the howitzer.
The ceremony also honored the service of the members of the 1-107th during World War I. While working on the World War I-era howitzer, the students learned about the 1-107th's engagements during the war.
The 107th traces its lineage to 1861 as Hampton's Battery. The unit also participated in the Civil War, World War II, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have also been called upon to assist during natural disasters and other emergencies in the local area, most recently during snowstorms this February.
In addition to the 1-107th's battalion headquarters, New Castle is also home to one of the National Guard's field maintenance shops. Approximately 120 National Guard soldiers are assigned to New Castle. The National Guard contributed an estimated $4.7 million economic impact to the region in 2013.