U.S. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS
Hall of Fame
Colonel Earl J. Atkisson
Colonel Earl J. Atkisson organized, trained, and commanded the First Gas Regiment from August 1917 until March 1919. As a captain, Atkisson was tasked to raise the 30th Engineer Regiment (Gas and Flame). In ten months he recruited all officers and enlisted men, equipped and trained the Regiment, and deployed to France.
In August of 1918, the 30th Engineers was redesignated the First Gas Regiment of the American Gas Service. In spite of Allied experience in the First World War, Colonel Atkisson had to first convince skeptical American field commanders of the value of offensive gas operations.
He was so effective that eventually, in a five month period (17 July to 11 November 1918), the Regiment participated in 133 separate actions using poison gases, smoke, and high explosives.
For his exceptional command, Colonel Atkisson was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.