Fred Boschen


Major General Frederick Wegener Boschen

(1876-1942)

Spanish-American War Veteran
Philippine-American War Veteran
Boxer Rebellion Veteran
WWI Veteran
Financial Agent for the CCC
Chief of Finances, U.S. Army

Frederick Boschen was born May 9, 1876 in Brooklyn, New York to Nicholas Boschen and the former Caroline Augusta Wegener. He attended Browne’s College there as a teenager. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he enlisted in the U.S. Army on May 2, 1898 as a medic with the 47th Infantry. He served well it seems because on September 9, 1899, he was commissioned as a Colonel with the Hospital Corps. Prior to WWI, he served at the Mexican border during the Pancho Villa Expedition under General Pershing, the Philippines, and Alaska. He also served in China during the Boxer Rebellion.

About 1908, Boschen designed a recoil plate to increase the efficiency of the Maxim Machine Gun. During the early 1910s, he was professor of military science at the University of Arkansas.

1917

Boschen came to Waco as an Army commander at Camp Macarthur. It was during his time there on April 20, 1918 that he became a mason at Waco Masonic Lodge. During those years, our lodge was performing 1,000 initiations per year to keep up with the high number of candidates serving in the Army.

Almost immediately after becoming a Mason, Bro. Boschen was called to service in France. As a lieutenant-colonel in the 89th Division of the 353rd Infantry, he served in the Battle of St. Mihiel from September 12-15. Then, while serving in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive(the largest attack in U.S. Military history), he was exposed to a gas attack and wounded on October 23 while tending to his injured companions. This forced him home to the States. French General Francois Passaga described Boschen’s service at St. Mihiel: “he was an officer of exceptional courage who displayed great energy and coolness.”

Upon returning home, Boschen took up residence in the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC and his Army office was in the Lemon Building. He joined Glen Allen Masonic Lodge 131 of Virginia. Soon, he was appointed to serve as the head of the Army Soldiers’ Home(now known as the Armed Forces Retirement Center) in Washington DC.

1936

When President FDR created the Civilian Conservation Corps, Brother Boschen was selected as the financial agent for the CCCs. On April 23, 1936, he was promoted to serve as the Chief of Finances for the U.S. Army, and remained in that role until his retirement after 40 years in the service with a rank of Major General.

Brother Boschen died on April 1, 1942 after serving in four wars and holding an extraordinary number of titles with Army. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

A list of medals Boschen received during his service:

Silver Star Citation (later Silver Star Medal) during the Spanish-American War.

Philippine Congressional Medal during the Philippine-American War

Mexican Service Medal during the Pancho Villa Expedition

French Legion of Honor during WWI

Croix de Guerre With Palms/Gold Star during WWI

New York Conspicuous Service Cross with Rosette

Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster