Eugene Joseph Bernard Breen



Eugene Breen had served during the Mexican conflicts. He was arout of the service when the war broke out with Germany and re-enlisted on Mch 20, 1917. Apparently, they either were still in town or close by at camp Merritt and they played this game on the Beech Sack High School today.

The article seems to not st game they played against T.F.O.P., 13-1 and they sayin won the second rain delayed game 9-1. Eugene Breen who coached the Company G. team was requesting a third or rubber match game to decide the short series before they shippseparate the two games, but what I believe it isg was that Company G. lost the fired outtreet grounds which would have been a field near Hackens to a southern camp.

I (Bob MT.F.O.P stands for:

“Theater Force Opening Package"

"Force projection reeli) do not know what T. F. O. P. stands for as of June 2009? *

* Credit to a Web Design II student in January 2010

quires a TFOP that is rapidly deployable, modularly configured, and designed to open an Army theater CSS infrastructure. The TFOP must have the capability to establish the Army theater distribution system and conduct those operational-level support tasks required to meet ASCC early entry support responsibilities.


One thing is for certain many of the soldiers who left Hackensack to serve in the Great War loved Baseball!! At every camp, whenever the opportunity arose, they seemed to play. The influence of these men must have effected those that followed through both World War II and Korea, many soldiers from Hackensack during these wars always sought out baseball for their main activity. In the movie Brewsters Millions made in 1985, it had previously been made a movie seven times. Based on the book written by George Barr McCutcheon's 1902 novel Brewster's Millions, the comedy depicted baseball and life in America at the turn of the century 1902. The book mentions playing baseball in Hackensack which makes one believe Hackensack's unusual commitment to the National Past Time was well known throughout the country at the turn of the century.

2----COMPANY G. BOYS WIN AT ANNISTON October 11, 1917

Company G. moves to the Southern Camp and the most important thing to the men serving and the familys back home is how good our boys are against another's nine on the diamond. The article reports the boys are receiving the World Series scores by the inning.


Eugene Breen who was serving his third enlistment with Company G. had been honorably discharged in January while at Camp McClellan at Anniston, Alabama because of a slight physical defect. I do not know what the defect was. After a few months out of service, he was then drafted by the National Army and this letter dated May 29, 1918, appears to be when he was making the trip to be stationed at Fort Dix . The other men called him major probably because he was the oldest at age 26, and also because of his experience. He signs the letter –PRIVATE EUGENE BREEN, better known as “Major.” By the tone of the letter, he appears to be in a position of responsibility even though he does not have rank yet. He is obviously very well liked and respected.


Eugene Breen in this letter again seems to be in a position of authority over the boys from Hackensack even though he is still writing as a private. After telling of some activities, he brings up baseball. The NY Giants played the Camp Dix team and the Giants won 5-3 in front of 20,000 soldiers at the camp. He also mentions that the company had been quarantined for three weeks on account of measles breaking out in the barracks. This could have been the signs of the weakening immune systems of the men at Camp Dix . The unforeseen outbreak of the Spanish Influenza was about to strike over the next few months. It would take a tremendous death toll on the soldiers at the Army camps throughout the country. At this point in Eugene Breen's life, at the age of 26, he was enjoying baseball whenever the opportunity arose and serving his country state side not far from home.


On this day, two small articles appeared in the paper which was the beginning of the revealing of tragic events for three Hackensack young men. A telegram was sent to Eugene Breen's father telling him of the fact that his son was stricken with the deadly flu and was seriously ill.

Another Hackensack young man, John Park Hart, who lived on Prospect Avenue was seriously ill with the flu in a camp at Gettysburg . I have not come across another article as of yet (June 14, 2009) mentioning he died from the flu, but we do have a record of his death on the plaque at the Hackensack Library. This plaque was put up by the Girls Patriotic League of Hackensack, N.J. Men killed in battle or those who died of the Spanish Influenza were all listed on the plaque as having made the supreme sacrifice. On the plaque, his name reads HART, JOHN PARK.

6----GENE BREEN DIES IN CAMP October 5, 1918

This article is the most comprehensive account of his military service. The article also reveals how well known and liked Eugene Breen was in Hackensack . Eugene Breen died on October 4, 1918 and this Record newspaper article report was the very next day.


This article tells of Eugene Breen's body being brought back to his parent's house on Myer Street in Hackensack for burial. The service was held at Holy Trinity Church.

8----CONDOLENCE FROM FRANCE November 30, 1918

This letter to Eugene Breen's parents from Company G. Boys from Hackensack reveals again how well known and liked Eugene was throughout Hackensack . The letter was written by a George E. Hedges and he had other men sign the letter who shared his sorrow. I (Bob Meli) grew up in Hackensack and attended Fairmount School, the Middle School, and the High School, and I knew a George Hedges very well during those years (1960-1973). George's family lived on Willow Avenue and then when George was 7 or 8 years old, they moved to Catalpa during the early 1960's. George lived there till he married, and his parents, I believe, were still there till they passed away. His father was a firemen and I would think they are related to the George Hedges who wrote this letter. If anyone knows please let me know?

Written by:
Bob Meli
June 15, 2009



Click here to view the State of NJ Department of State of World War I Casualties: Descriptive cards and photographs researched by George Toriello.


Background image of Camp Dix during World War I obtained from: