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July 2023

Hello Girls CGM briefing Rayburn Building 07112023

Nearly 100 Congressional staffers and interns answered the call on July 11 to attend a briefing about the Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2023 in the Rayburn House Office Building. The Standing Room Only attendees heard compelling presentations on why America’s First Women Soldiers deserve the recognition of the Congressional Gold Medal 100 years after their essential military service in World War I. Speakers included (facing camera, left to right): James Theres, Writer-Director of the award-winning documentary “The Hello Girls”; Phyllis Wilson, President of the Military Women’s Memorial; Catherine Bourgin, granddaughter of Hello Girl Marie Edmee LeRoux; Dr. Allison S. Finkelstein, Senior Historian at Arlington National Cemetery; and Daniel Dayton, Executive Director of the United States World War I Centennial Commission.

Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Campaign Climbed Capitol Hill In July

Hello Girls banner July 11

The campaign for the 2023 legislation introduced in both House and Senate chambers of Congress to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the WWI U.S. Army Signal Corps telephone operators, known as "The Hello Girls," shifted into higher gear this month. A July 11 presentation on Capitol Hill for Congressional Staffers and interns explained the high importance of passing the two measures during the 118th Congress. Enthusiasm for the legislation was evident among the attendees.

But Congress will be going on recess for August and early September. During this recess period, you can help us keep and build momentum for this effort by reaching out to your Senators and Representatives while they are in their state offices, and telling them that you support this legislation which honors the brave American women who made tactical communications work for U.S. and French military forces on the front lines of World War I, but were denied veterans status and benefits after the war. 

Click here for our toolbox that makes the process of reaching out to your Representative and Senators very straightforward. Please get in touch with your Senators and  Representative during the Recess, and tell them that you want them to support the Hello Girls  Congressional Gold Medal legislation in the 118th Congress. 
When their nation called in 1918, the Hello Girls answered -- please answer their call in 2023!

Jari Villanueva Appointed Executive Director Of The Doughboy Foundation

Jari Villanueva

The Doughboy Foundation, which supports programs, projects and activities that educate the public about America’s participation in World War I, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jari Villanueva as the new Executive Director. Jari retired from the United States Air Force where he served for 23 years with the Air Force Band in Washington DC. He was the Director of Military Funeral Honors for the State of Maryland from 2008-2017 and served as an officer in the Maryland Defense Force, the state militia. Since 2012, Villanueva has headed Taps for Veterans, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing live buglers for military funerals. He also founded Taps Across America, an annual event where thousands of participants sound Taps on Memorial Day during the National Moment of Remembrance. Click here to read more about Jari, and the great experience he brings to his new role at the Doughboy Foundation starting in September.

The National World War I Memorial:
An Important Addition To Our Inventory Of Monuments And Is Long Overdue

National WWI Memorial sign

Richard P. Howe, Jr., writing on his eponymously named RichardHowe.com blog, takes an in-depth look at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC this month. Howe does an excellent job of cataloging the pieces and parts of the memorial, along with detailed information about significant portions and aspects of the work, noting that it "combines an effective mix of text and visuals in a prime location." Click here to read the entire article, and see why Howe's advice to readers regarding the Memorial is: "Next time you are in Washington, make a point of visiting it."

Daily Taps at the National WWI Memorial

Honoring Sgt. Dan Mahon, USA

On July 6, 2023, Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC was sounded in honor of World War I veteran Sgt. Dan Mahon, 306th Field Artillery/77th Division.

Daniel R. Mahon, MAJ, USAF BSC (Ret.) sponsored the Taps ceremony in honor of his grandfather, who was in the 306th Field Artillery, 77th Div., constituted largely from New York City's/Manhattan immigrant populations. The 306th was equipped with French 155mm howitzers, which generally put them some distance from the frontline trenches but nonetheless close enough to provide fire support and as a result, were the frequent target of German counter battery fire. Sgt. Mahon was awarded a Silver Star for action at Chery- Chartreuve in 1918.

As an interesting side note: the 306th Field Artillery has a place in music history. John Philip Sousa's Field Artillery March was written at the request of Lieutenant George Friedlander, of the 306th FA in 1917. The chorus of that march became the Army Song still sung today.

  Sgt. Dan Mahon

The Daily Taps program of the Doughboy Foundation provides a unique opportunity to dedicate a livestreamed sounding of Taps in honor of a special person of your choice while supporting the important work of the Doughboy Foundation. Choose a day, or even establish this honor in perpetuityClick here for more information on how to honor a loved veteran with the sounding of Taps.

Taproot Theatre Takes On Story Of American Women Who Helped Win WWI

Taproot Theatre Hello Girls production snip

The Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle, WA has a mission to tell stories of hope. “The Hello Girls” tells the story of the American women whose long-unrecognized service to the Army on the front lines of World War I moved the war effort toward victory and moved women on the home front closer to the right to vote. And though it’s not immediately obvious from the script, it’s a story with a strong Seattle connection. Click here to read the entire article, and learn how women from The Evergreen State played an outsized role in this World War I story.

Brunswick County, NC World War I Veteran Receives Purple Heart

Robert Bollie Stanley

A North Carolina man was recognized for his efforts during WWI, thanks to efforts from his family & community groups. The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range and The Brunswick Town Chapter of National Society Daughters of the American Revolution received word that Pvt. Robert Bollie Stanley was awarded his Purple Heart posthumously along with additional medals for his sacrifices in the Great War. Click here to learn how these organizations and Stanley's family members organized a tribute to this WWI Brunswick County veteran and only known POW.

Military Students Visit World War I Sites During History Trip To Western Europe

Liberty University students approach the American Monument on Hill 204 at Chateau-Thierry

During a nine-day military history trip last month to Western Europe led by Department of History Online Dean Dr. Carey Roberts, a group of Liberty University students and one professor (most of them veterans) took an impromptu visit to two landmarks of American World War I history — Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood — to observe their own unique connections to that era in history. Click here to read more about this ad hoc expedition into WWI history, and how it became "a really cool example of how this group of Marines and Army vets worked together.”

This Hispanic WWI Soldier Was First To Earn Distinguished Service Cross

Marcelino Serna

The generation that fought World War I is now gone, but their legacy of bravery continues to live on. One of those figures was Private Marcelino Serna of El Paso, one of the most highly decorated men of the war. As an immigrant, he fought with uncommon bravery to defend his new home. In 1917, the United States entered World War I and initiated the first draft since the Civil War. Federal officials stopped Serna in Colorado and asked his draft status. In spite of his status as a Mexican citizen, Serna, like so many other immigrants, volunteered to fight for his new country. Click here to read Serna's whole story, and find out how this immigrant became "The most decorated man in the U. S. Army."

Livingstone Band Director Joins Paris Tribute To World War I Regiment

Anthony Jones

In World War I, an all-Black regiment from Harlem earned a reputation for battlefield ferocity but left behind another legacy in Europe — jazz. In July, Livingstone College Band Director Anthony Jones joined a group in Paris to pay homage to the regiment that became known as the Harlem Hellfighters. “It’s something else,” Jones said. The regiment, formally known as the 369th, and its band, the 369th Regimental Army Band, led by James Reese Europe, created a feverish European love for jazz. Click here to read the entire article, and learn how the 369th Experience Band recreates the sounds of its namesake. 

A North Dakotan’s Long Road Back From ‘Shell Shock’ In World War I

Shell Shock patient

In 1917, a young man from Grand Forks named Leon Brown joined the U.S. Army as an infantryman, after leaving his studies at the University High School. Brown became a machine-gunner and went to the battlefields in France for the American Expeditionary Force. “While in action on one of the front lines” in early 1918, wrote the UND Quarterly Journal, Leon Brown “was severely injured by shell shock, which affected the heart, a type of ‘hidden wound’ so often suffered in this war.” Click here to read Leon's entire story, and learn how the "shell shock" diagnosis of WWI has evolved to today's understanding of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

A Name Not Found On The Wall Of Honor: A Forgotten Story Of WWI Sacrifice

Ohio courthouse

Four years ago, Paul LaRue of the Ohio WWI Centennial Committee was writing an article on Ohio Counties memorializing their World War I deaths in service. While reading period newspapers to research the local World War I deaths in service, he stumbled across a tragic but fascinating article. Charley Speaks was a young man from Ohio who quit his job to volunteer for military service in 1917, but tragic circumstances intervened. Click here to read the unfortunate story of the volunteer, and how not all those who wanted to serve in WWI are remembered.

Meet The American Who Inspired American Legion Baseball: John Griffith, World War I Vet And Sports Pioneer

John Griffith

Major John Griffith envisioned a nation made better, healthier and stronger — more powerful and patriotic — and forged by youthful competition that preached good citizenship. To this day, his legacy thrives on baseball fields across America and in the highest levels of intercollegiate competition. Griffith, a World War I veteran, inspired the creation of American Legion Baseball. Click here to read more, and find out how the nation’s oldest organized youth baseball league, founded 98 years ago this month, had its genesis in fitness and health problems among military personnel in WWI.

WWI History Exhibit At Parkersburg, WV Convention and Visitors Bureau

Parkersburg residents Cecil “Zeke” Gabriel and Louise Marsh

The Greater Parkersburg, WV Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a new World War I exhibit through August 12 that focuses on two Parkersburg residents who lived and served in the Great War during the turbulent years of 1917-1919. The remarkable exhibit was created by local resident Michael Coker, a graduate student at Northern Kentucky University, as the capstone project for his master’s of arts, public history degree. Click here to learn more about this intriguing exhibit, which Coker says he hopes "in some way helps to shine the light on two ‘ordinary’ people who lived and breathed in such dark times.

The Battle Of The Skirt: How Flappers & WWI Transformed the Fashion Industry

Han Yu

Writing on the the Columbia University Press web site, professor Han Yu of the Department of English at Kansas State University, and author of the new book The Curious Human Knee, takes a look at how the evolution of women's fashion, in particular skirt length, was influenced  by certain factors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among them: the efforts of "water curists and women’s rights activists" and World War I. Click here to read the entire article, and find out how the war's devastation in France had an unanticipated effect on fashion that lasted long after the fighting was over.

Women’s Fashion In WWI: 1914–1920


In an article on the Bellatory web site, writer Delores Monet explores how "Women’s fashions of 1914–1920 were heavily influenced by World War I as well as the women’s suffrage movement." Her survey covers the status of international women's fashion in the years leading up to the war, and looks at how the side effects of four years of general conflict impacted what women's expectations were, as well as what they wore. Click here to read more, and learn how WWI helped dethrone Paris as the fashion capital of the world, creating a new rival in New York. 

The Old Man and War:
Ernest Hemingway’s Wartime Service
in World War I And Beyond

Ernest Hemingway WWI uniform

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, whose adventurous lifestyle and world-famous literary oeuvre both captured the public’s imagination as much as his literary work. His fans probably know that he was involved in not one but three major European conflicts, but might not realize that his involvement once even went beyond the limits of law. Click here to read more, and learn fascinating details about Hemingway’s action in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II.

US To Destroy Last Chemical Weapons, Closing Deadly Chapter Dating To WWI

Chemical Munitions

At a sprawling military installation in the middle of the rolling green hills of eastern Kentucky, a milestone is about to be reached in the history of warfare dating back to World War I. Workers at the Blue Grass Army Depot are close to destroying rockets filled with GB nerve agent that are the last of the United States’ declared chemical weapons and completing a decadeslong campaign to eliminate a stockpile that by the end of the Cold War totaled more than 30,000 tons. Click here to read more, and learn how chemical weapons, first used in modern warfare in WWI where they were estimated have killed at least 100,000, will be gone from the U.S. inventory by September 30.

Doughboy MIA for July

Samuel J. Hochfelder

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Samuel J. Hochfelder of Company L/106th Infantry Regiment/27th Division.

Hochfelder was born in January, 1899 to Louis and Rose Hochfelder, Hungarian immigrants. He was one of five children and was born in the Bronx, New York. Following America's declaration of war, Samuel joined the army on June 7th, 1917 and was first assigned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard. The 23rd was later federalized as the 106th Infantry. With them he went to France aboard the USS President Lincoln on May 10th, 1918.

In France the 27th Division was one of two divisions brigaded with the British as the US 2nd Corps, fighting in the British sector. The 106th first moved into the lines on June 25th, 1918 in Belgium, distinguishing itself in combat. On September 1st, 1918, the 106th Infantry was engaged in heavy action in the midst of the Ypres-Lys Offensive. About 10:00 am that morning, in the midst of a heavy artillery barrage, Hochfelder was hit directly by an artillery shell and was reported "mutilated beyond recognition". His comrades had no time to bury him properly and thus his remains were pulled into a nearby shell hole. Unfortunately his grave was never found.

Want to help solve the case of Private Samuel Hochfelder? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization today. YOU can be part of the recovery efforts!

Remember: A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store


Poppy Hat 

  • Classic white relaxed golf cap
  • Low profile six panel unstructured
  • Standard pre-curved visor
  • Washed chino twill
Poppy Hat Detail
  • Fabric strap with antique brass sliding buckle
  • The front features our beautifully embroidered poppy design
  • Doughboy Foundation logo embroidered on side
  • Decorated in USA
  • Cap imported, TAA compliant

Proceeds from the sale of this item will help build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the Doughboy Foundation.

Anthony Finocchio

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org


Anthony Finocchio

Submitted by: Danielle Murray {Great Grand Niece}

Corporal Anthony Finocchio born around June 19, 1892. Corporal Anthony Finocchio served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Corporal Anthony Finocchio was a member of Company F 316th Infantry AEF, 79th Division.

He was my maternal Grandmother's Uncle. There is an excerpt in the History of Company F 316th Infantry AEF, 79th Division that describes him "to a T".

While in a dugout, a German shell hit the trench. He was knocked to the ground, in the mud. "He wiped the mud off his leggings (he was the neatest soldier in the regiment), shrugged and smiled. Just then another round of shelling hit the dugout, destroying the roof and killing him and others." This was November 8th,1928 - 3 days before Armistice was signed.

Read Anthony Finocchio's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.