369th Band

The role of the famous 369th Infantry ‘Harlem Hellfighters’ band, led by James Reese Europe, has been widely told. If you’re not familiar with the story, you can read about it here or at Blair’s 2017 post on the subject here.

However, the 369th’s band wasn’t the only one playing jazz. The 370th Infantry band, a sister regiment to the Hellfighters, was another. Both of these units began as National Guard formations, the 369th was the 15th New York and the 370th was the 8th Illinois.

Here’s an article about the five bands.

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official living in Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and has memberships in the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Indian Military Historical Society and the Salonika Campaign Society.