The farmers, gardeners, and victory gardens of WWI 

By Veronica Naujokas
via the Cecil Daily newspaper (MD) web site 

ELKTON— With spring just around the corner, gardeners and farmers across the county are gearing up to begin planting. As always, everyone is hopeful that a bumper crop will result, not only providing an abundance of food, but also giving much deserved satisfaction for all of the hard work put in. I thought it would be nice to take a little trip back in time and pay homage to all of the farmers and gardeners who kept everyone fed during World War I.

60409562ebadc.imageA January 1918 Burpee Seed advertisement noting the extreme food shortage and cautioning against waste of seeds.During WWI, Europe’s food supply had been seriously depleted. European farmers had been called to serve on the front lines, abandoning their farms and resulting in a mass farming crisis. Farmlands were quickly turned into battlefields, causing significant destruction of once rich soil.

As the war waged on, Europe’s ability to keep its soldiers and general population fed was becoming more and more difficult. As a result, the United States was called upon to shoulder the demand for mass quantities of food that was desperately needed overseas.

This month marks the 104th anniversary of the development of the National War Garden Commission. Created in March 1917, the commission was developed in response to the food crisis that raged in Europe.

The commission was organized by Charles Lathrop Pack, an American, who, along with others proposed that food production could be greatly increased simply by having people grow their own foods at home. By doing this, families would be self-sufficient and thus reduce the demand on the public food supply, which was desperately needed to keep soldiers and European civilians fed.

Victory gardens, as they were called, were heavily pushed by the United States in an effort to get people to grow their own food as a means of fighting the food shortage. The U.S. urged its civilians to cultivate gardens in their own back yards, as well as in their local community parks.

In the months following, newspapers across the United States were rapidly spreading the news and pleading for people to grow their own food wherever possible, and for farmers to do their part by complying with the government’s request to plant specific crops, such as corn.

Maryland and Cecil County participated fully in this effort as well. All citizens, including children were encouraged to contribute by growing their own food.

Cecil County newspapers from the time show a variety of advertisements and articles dedicated to the cultivation of gardens, as well as the reduction of food waste and the need for substituting certain foods, such as corn for wheat in cooking. From competitions on which gardens could grow the best produce to the governor himself calling on the youth to do their part by tending to gardens, our county and state was fully committed to the effort.

 

PFC George Dilboy was first Greek-American awarded Medal of Honor in WWI 

via the USCIS Detroit District and Field Offices and Application Support Center 

Born in the Greek settlement of Alatsata, which is today located in western Turkey, George Dilboy and his family emigrated to America in 1908 when he was 12 years old. They settled first in Keene, New Hampshire, and then in Somerville, Massachusetts. Dilboy returned to mainland Greece to fight as a volunteer in the Greek Army in Thessaly in the First Balkan War of 1912 and in Macedonia during the Second Balkan War of 1913.

USCIS MOH Dilboy2xGeorge DilboyReturning to Somerville in 1914, he went to school and worked for a few years before volunteering to fight in the U.S. Army in the Mexican Border War from 1916 – 1917. He obtained an honorable discharge, but within months, Dilboy re-joined the U.S. Army as a private first class to fight in the trenches of France during World War I.

On July 18, 1918, near Belleau, France, Dilboy and his platoon secured a vital observation point along a railroad embankment. After an enemy machine gun positioned 100 yards away opened fire on the platoon, Dilboy stood on the railroad track, fully exposed to view, and immediately returned fire. Failing to silence the gun, Dilboy disregarded his own safety, fixed his bayonet, and rushed forward through a wheat field toward the machine gun.

He made it within 25 yards of the gun when he was hit several times, nearly severing his right leg above the knee. Despite these injuries, he continued to fire into the emplacement from a prone position, killing two of the enemy, dispersing the rest of the machine gun crew, and securing the area for his platoon. Dilboy later died of his injuries.

At the request of his father, Dilboy’s body was returned to his birthplace in Greece. After a funeral procession through the streets of Alatsata—said to have been witnessed by 17,000 mourners—his American flag-draped casket was placed in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Presentation to lie in state. However, the church fell into disrepair during the three-year Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1923, and Dilboy’s grave was desecrated.

In September 1922, President Warren G. Harding sent the USS Litchfield warship to Turkey to recover Dilboy’s remains. A Turkish guard of honor delivered his casket to an American landing party and Dilboy was returned to the United States. On Nov. 12, 1923, he was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, where his gravestone proclaims his Medal of Honor status.

Dilboy had the distinction of being honored by three U.S. Presidents: Woodrow Wilson, who signed the authorization awarding the Medal of Honor; Warren G. Harding, who brought him back to Arlington National Cemetery; and Calvin Coolidge, former Governor of Massachusetts, who presided at his final burial. George Dilboy was the first Greek-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor during World War I. Gen. John Pershing listed George Dilboy as one of the 10 greatest heroes of the war. 

 

flagThe Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act would award the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, or the Hello Girls, with the Congressional Gold Medal for their service and fight to be recognized as veterans.

Sen. Moran helps introduce legislation to honor “Hello Girls”

By Sarah Motter
via the WIBW television (Topeka, KS) web site 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Jerry Moran is helping to introduce new legislation to honor the “Hello Girls” of World War I.

Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says he and Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced legislation to honor the service of the women that operated switchboards which connected communications for the American and French forces on the frontlines of World War I.

“Connecting more than 150,000 calls per day, and doing so six times faster than their male counterparts, female switchboard operators played a crucial role in WWI,” said Sen. Moran. “Despite their service, it took decades for them to receive veteran status and therefore be recognized as some of our nation’s first women veterans. This Congressional Gold Medal will serve as way to honor the trailblazing Hello Girls and recognize their important contributions to our history.”

According to Moran, the Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act would award the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, or the Hello Girls, with the Congressional Gold Medal for their service and fight to be recognized as veterans.

“The Hello Girls were true patriots who answered America’s call to action by serving as crucial links between American and French forces on the front lines during World War I,” said Sen. Hassan. “These bilingual women are considered some of America’s first women soldiers, and I am proud to join efforts to award them with the Congressional Gold Medal to honor their brave and selfless service.”

Sen. Moran said the Hello Girls were recruited after male infantrymen struggled to connect calls quickly or communicate with their French partners. He said the bilingual women were deployed to France to serve at military headquarters and command outposts in the field beside American Expeditionary Forces. He said despite their outstanding service and the military oath they swore, they were denied veteran status and benefits upon their return home.

“I am so proud of my grandmother, Grace Banker, and the women of the Signal Corp with whom she served in WWI,” said Carolyn Timbie, granddaughter of Grace Banker, who was the Chief Operator of the Hello Girls. “They fought for 60 years to get their recognition as veterans, and I only wish my grandmother had lived to see this day. I’m excited knowing the world will now hear their story, with the distinction of a Congressional Gold Medal, along with the children, grandchildren and other descendants of these heroic women whose recognition is long-overdue!” 

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August 2021

Taps Pershing Birthday 09132021

Special events at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC on Monday, September 13 will honor General of the Armies John “Blackjack” Pershing on the date of his 161st birthday. At 5:00 p.m., Daily Taps will be played as usual by a bugler in World War I “Doughboy” uniform. At 6:00 p.m. there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of General Pershing in honor of his birth on September 13, 1860 in Laclede, Missouri. After the wreath ceremony, “echoing taps” will be sounded in succession by three buglers in World War I “Doughboy” uniforms. At 6:30 p.m. at the Memorial (weather permitting), the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” will present a concert created to honor the legacy of General Pershing. The musical selections will focus on influential military music during WWI, as well as music that Pershing may have heard in France that inspired the creation of "Pershing's Own". The program features works by James Reese Europe (Gen. Pershing’s favorite band leader and composer), John Philip Sousa, Astor Piazzolla, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The National World War I Memorial is located on Pennsylvania Ave. and 15th Street in Washington, DC.

Virtual App for schools

National WWI Memorial and World War I History Come to U.S. Schools this Fall Through New Technology

The Doughboy Foundation is bringing the new National WWI Memorial from Washington, D.C. to schools and homes all over America with a new release of the award-winning Augmented Reality App called The WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer". The "Virtual Explorer" app brings a walk-around-inside-it digital 3D model of the National WWI Memorial to students and educators utilizing iOS or Android tablets, available in many K-12 schools, or the smartphone already in nearly every pocket. Students, teachers, or anyone who cannot come to Washington, D.C. can take a virtual field trip to the National WWI Memorial. More than that, the WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer" App is filled with interactive and experiential WWI history. Click here to read more, and learn how your school can take advantage of all the great educational resources the updated app offers.


Congressional Gold Medal approved for 369th Infantry "Harlem Hellfighters"

Harlem Hellfighters

The tough-as-nails Black infantrymen that gave America’s enemies hell in World War I will be awarded Congress’s highest honor posthumously under a new law passed by Congress and signed by the President. The 369th Infantry Regiment, a New York National Guard unit known more commonly as the Harlem Hellfighters, will receive the Congressional Gold Medal under the law — more than 100 years after waging brutal trench warfare in Europe for 191 straight days.  Click here to read more about how the long-delayed honor was finally approved for the unit.


Rep. Cleaver Re-Introduces Bipartisan Bill Awarding Congressional Gold Medal to the “Hello Girls” of World War I

Representative Cleaver

U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) announced the introduction of H.R. 4949, a bipartisan bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal—the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress—to over 220 American women who served as telephone operators with the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War I. The “Hello Girls” were the first female soldiers to be deployed to a combat zone and were instrumental in the war effort in France throughout WWI. Their efforts to connect American and French forces on the front lines of battle by helping to translate and communicate command orders were an integral component to the eventual victory for the Allied Powers. Click here to read more, and learn how essential the Hello Girls were to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. 


Giant clay soldiers charge into battle as WWI memorial sculpture takes shape

sculpture work

The mammoth clay sculpture that included figures #13 and #14 weighed 300 pounds, and because of its weight, sculptor Sabin Howard called it “the monster.” It depicted two American soldiers, one wounded, charging into battle during World War I. And it was going to require Howard and four other men to lift it off its metal stand, wrestle it about 20 feet to a display wall and fix it in place. Howard was worried. It would be a disaster if it fell. “Okay,” he said. “Let’s just do it.”  Click here to read the entire Washington Post feature story about the ongoing creation of the monumental sculpture for the national World War I Memorial.


Worth the visit: Our time at the World War I Memorial in Washington, DC

Dr. Frank E. Boston

Writing on the Veterans of Foreign Wars Pennsylvania Department web site, George Whitehair and Leigh Ferrier described their visit to the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC this summer, while in the city for meetings and collaborations to continue their push for national recognition for an American hero and WWI veteran, Dr. Frank Erdman Boston (left). Click here to read the entire article, and learn why the authors think that "Dr. Boston would be proud of the memorial built to honor those that served and those that made the ultimate sacrifice in World War I."


The Spot Where World War I for the US Finally Ended...in New Jersey

New Jersey treaty signing memorial

Mere steps away from the Burger King in Bridgewater, NJ, you’ll notice a strangely landscaped, infrequently visited slice of history. Though the Somerville Circle is traversed by thousands each day, few realize how close they are to the place where World War I officially ended in the United States, on July 2, 1921. Click here to read the whole story, and learn how. in an now-obscure corner of the Garden State, the Great War to an official end.


A High Stakes Game of Cat and House: How America Hunted Subs During WWI

U.S. sub hunters WWI

When Congress voted on April 6, 1917, to declare war on Imperial Germany, the task before the U.S. Navy was clear: it needed to transport and supply over a million men across the Atlantic despite the Imperial German Navy’s ferocious U-Boat campaign, which reached its peak that month, sinking over 874,000 tons of shipping.  Indeed, Germany’s decision to recommence unrestricted submarine warfare in February was one of the decisive factors driving the United States, into finally joining “the war to end all wars.” Click here to read more, and learn how the Navy worked out the countermeasures and weapons need to get American Doughboys across the Atlantic safely, and help bring the Great War to an earlier end.


World War I Was Much More Than Trenches in France

Soldiers over the top

"It’s clear the Great War still casts a long cultural shadow," writes James Holmes in The National Interest, but "A partial or garbled understanding of history means any guidance we distill from it is partial or garbled as well." To this end, he warns that "it’s crucial to remember that entrenched combat in the West is far from the whole story of the Great War." Click here to read the entire article, and learn why "False lessons of history could beget bad decisions in the here and now, while wise lessons bolster our chances to excel.


The Mystery of the Missing Page of
Ellen La Motte’s The Backwash of War

Ellen N. La Motte

"It was late in my process of researching Ellen N. La Motte’s extraordinary wartime book, The Backwash of War, that I made a fascinating discovery about its contents. Or, more accurately, I made a fascinating discovery about what is absent from its contents. I realized a key page is missing. And that missing page speaks volumes." Thus author and scholar Cynthia Wachtell describes the beginning of a tantalizing mystery that she later solved in the creation of a new, expanded version of La Motte's groundbreaking book. Click here to learn the whole story of how the century-old riddle was answered, and what Wachtell learned in the process about La Motte and WWI America.  


U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division presents awards to WWI Veterans’s Family

3rd ID snip

The U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, presented a long-awaited Purple Heart Medal and World War I Victory Medal to the granddaughter and extended family of one of their own, 103 years after he was killed in action in France. “It’s overwhelming. It’s beyond belief. It’s really a miracle it happened,” said Kay Beasley Toups, Beasley’s granddaughter and his closest living relative. Click here to read the entire article, and see photos of the inspiring presentation ceremony.


Town Seeks to Match Grant Funds for Repair of WWI & Other War Memorials

Franklin Doughboy Memorial snip

The Franklin, MA Town Common has 11 war memorials, “and most of them need a little bit of work – some need major work,” says Dale Kurtz, Franklin Veterans Services officer. At the end of April, Franklin received a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission of $18,338 for the monuments, but that’s under half of what it will need to complete the whole project. Click here to read more, and learn how the town plans to raise the matching funds to complete the work on the WWI and other war memorials.


The Aftermath of Wisconsin’s Experience as the “Traitor State”

Leslie Bellais

"As I began a new job as a curator, mainly in charge of clothing and textiles, at the Wisconsin Historical Society in the early 1990s, I had no idea that it would lead me to an abiding interest, almost a passion, regarding the history of Wisconsin’s home front during World War I," writes Leslie Bellais. Where the new-found passion led her was a Ph.D. dissertation, which in turn led to an important chapter in the new book Home Front in the American Heartland: Local Experiences and Legacies of WWI.  Click here to read more about Leslie's work, and the lessons she has drawn from her research into World War I.


The War Nurse: Bringing to Life the Brave Nurses of World War I

Tracey Enerson Wood

Coming from a multi-generational military family, novelist Tracey Enerson Wood "thought it was time to explore a woman who served in war time."  The result: her new book The War Nurse, the story of Julia Stimson, an American nurse asked to recruit sixty-five other nurses to relieve those of the battle-worn British, months before American troops are ready to be deployed.  Click here to read more, and learn how the research for her novel and its writing taught the author a lot about WWI changed the world, and continues to affect it even today.


Doughboy MIA for August 2021

Edward M. Beneker

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Edward M. Beneker. The son of Henry and Kathrine Beneker, Edward was a farmer born in South Gate, Indiana on September 20th, 1895. He entered military service on March 28th, 1918, and trained at Camp Taylor, Kentucky before being assigned to Company D, 115th Infantry, 29th Division at Camp McClellan, Alabama. With them he sailed overseas in June 1918 and saw action that summer.

Reported WIA on October 23rd, 1918, his status was later changed to KIA, though his grave was never located. Nothing else is known at this time.

Want to help us find Private Beneker and others like him? Please consider a donation today. Doughboy MIA is a non-profit, tax-deductible organization--every dime of your money goes toward finding the answers surrounding these boys. Visit www.ww1cc.ord/mia today and be part of the solution!

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.

And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Merchandise from the Official Doughboy Foundation World War I Store

Poppy Mask

"Remember them" Poppy Face Mask

  • A Doughboy.shop exclusive!
  • High quality, dual-layer, machine washable fabric
  • Outer: 100% Cotton jersey knit
  • Inner: Polyester 135gsm with Anti-Microbial protection
  • Adjustable elastic ear straps for a comfortable fit
  • Flexible wire frame over the nose for secure fit
  • Width: 9.5” / 24cm x Height: 6” /15.5cm
  • Screen printed poppy design “Remember Them” inscription
  • One size – fits most adults

Proceeds from the sale of these masks 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.



Paul & Stanley Wikarski

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

 

Paul & Stanley Wikarski

Submitted by: Kent Wikarski {nephew}

Paul Wikarski (r) was born around 1887, Stanley Wikarski was born around 1891. Paul & Stanley Wikarski served in World War 1 with the United States Navy and United States Army, respectively.

Story of Service

Brothers Paul & Stanley Wikarski children of Polish immigrants were born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Paul the older of the two lied about his age and entered the Navy when he was only sixteen and a half years old. Paul served as a Chief Gunners Mate aboard the U.S.S. Ohio as part of the Atlantic Fleet during WW!. Just four years earlier, in 1914, he took part in the invasion of Veracruz while serving on the U.S.S. New Hampshire. Paul died of accidental drowning during his 5th enlistment period in 1922 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Stanley enlisted in the Army and completed basic training at Fort Custer, Michigan as a member of 85th Infantry. Because of his contractor experience, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion 310th Engineers, a divisional support regiment later assigned to the V Army Corps 1st Army under General Pershing. Records show that the 310th Engineers deployed in support of the Division at various battles. At some, point Stanley was exposed to a poison gas attack. Like many men, he died prematurely due to post war afflictions. He died at the National Home for Disabled & Solders in Milwaukee in 1932.

Both Paul and Stanley are buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit Michigan.  The Photo was probably taken in 1919/1920 while Paul was on leave.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.


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July 2021

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Winner of the 2021 Communicator Award for “Best Use of Augmented Reality” from the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, the WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” app will release an updated version on August 15, timed to be available for use in classrooms and home schools this fall.

Updated WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” App publishing August 15, just in time for the New School Year

The Doughboy Foundation is bringing the new National WWI Memorial from Washington, D.C. to schools, classrooms, dining rooms, dens, backyards, and driveways all over America with a new updated release of the award-winning Augmented Reality App called The WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” scheduled for release on August 15. 

App How WWI Changed America  

The “Virtual Explorer” app brings a walk-around-inside-it digital 3D model of the National WWI Memorial to students at home or in school classrooms using iOS or Android smartphones and tablets, available in many K-12 schools.

Students, teachers, or any interested party can access the National WWI Memorial themselves, wherever they are, rather than needing to go to Washington, D.C. to experience and explore it. More than that, the WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” App is filled with interactive and experiential WWI history. Click here to read all about the new and expanded WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” and learn how to download it to your phone or other mobile device on or after August 15.


Honoring the Doughboys: Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial 

Taps Bugler

Taps is sounded each day at 5:00 p.m. at the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. The National World War I Memorial is located on Pennsylvania Ave between 14th and 15th Streets. Taps is sounded by a bugler from Taps for Veterans to honor the memory of 4.7 million Americans who finished a fight they did not start, in a land they had never visited, for peace and liberty for people they did not know. The sounding honors those Doughboys who did their ‘bit’ for their country. The daily sounding of Taps began Monday May 24th and will continue through Veterans Day, at the foot of the flagpole at the Memorial. Click here to read more about the daily sounding, with cooperation of the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission, The Doughboy Foundation, The America Battlefield Monuments Commission, the National Park Service and Taps For Veterans. 


Champagne and Hot Dogs: How the Allies Celebrated the Fourth of July During World War I

July 4 in Paris

“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more,” John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776. For 245 years the Fourth of July has been synonymous with hot dogs, red, white, and blue outfits purchased from Old Navy, and fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks. Precisely as our Founding Father predicted. But in 1917, as war continued to rage on the Western Front, the newly arrived American Doughboys expected little pomp and circumstance to mark their nation’s independence. However, leave it to the nation’s oldest ally, the French, to throw a party. Click here to read more about how America's Independence Day was celebrated in Europe in 1917.


A Destiny of Undying Greatness:
Kiffin Rockwell and the Boys Who Remembered Lafayette 

Mark M. Trapp

"Most Americans with a passing knowledge of history know of General Pershing’s July 4, 1917, march through Paris with the newly arrived American troops to the tomb of Lafayette where, on behalf of America, Pershing’s aide Colonel Charles Stanton uttered the famous words “Lafayette, we are here.” But too many are unaware of the actions and sacrifices of Kiffin Rockwell and other American boys dating back to the outset of the Great War more than two and a half years before Pershing’s arrival."  Author Mark M. Trapp helps build more awareness of that pre-1917 service by Americans in WWI with his new book A Destiny of Undying Greatness: Kiffin Rockwell and the Boys Who Remembered Lafayette. Click here to read more about the book, and learn how a chance encounter with an unusual first name began five years of research that changed the author's life.


Ernest Peixotto: Enlisted World War I American Artist on the Western Front

Ernest Peixotto

In late July 1914, American artist Ernest Peixotto and his wife, Mary, returned from a sketching trip in Portugal to the small studio-home in the French village of Samois-sur-Seine that had been their base for 15 years. A week later, Germany and France declared war on each other. Overnight, the atmosphere of gaiety disappeared. The Allied victory at the Marne dashed hopes on both sides that the war would be brief, and the Peixottos decided to return to the United States. Four years later Ernest Peixotto would return to France as one of eight artists attached to the American Expeditionary Forces. Click here to read more about Peixotto's experience as a uniformed artist, charged with the often conflicting tasks of documenting the war for the historical record while creating stirring images of American soldiers in battle that could be used for propaganda at home.


17 photos that show how your great-grandpa got ready for World War I

close shave

Basic training follows a predictable pattern. A bunch of kids show up, someone shaves their heads, and they learn to shoot rifles. But it turns out that training can be so, so much better than that. In World War I, it included mascots, tarantulas, and snowmen. Click here to view a collection of rarely-seen photos from the We Are The Mighty web site and learn about what it was like to prepare for war 100 years ago when the United States entered World War I.


Check Out Mammoth Cave's Hidden World War I Memorial in Kentucky

Mammoth Cave WWI Memorial

In the years between the first and second world wars, most people thought World War I really was the “War to End All Wars,” and they reacted appropriately. Memorials were raised all over the country to men who died in the trenches “over there.” At the time, there weren’t really national memorials dedicated to those who died in America’s wars, and those that were built weren’t in Washington, D.C. After the unprecedented destruction and loss of life that came with World War I, municipalities across the United States began dedicating memorials to their local war dead. Click here to read more, and learn how the people of Barren County, Kentucky, through the local American Legion post, placed the tribute to their fallen loved ones inside of nearby Mammoth Cave. 


From WWI to former President Obama's time in office, Elizabeth Francis has seen the world through many changes

Elizabeth Francis

Elizabeth Francis was born in 1909. William Taft had just become President of the United States. The NAACP was in its infancy, only a few months old. At 7, Francis watched women fight for the right to vote. She lived through World War I and the Spanish Flu. She survived the Great Depression and lived through World War II. The March on Washington happened days after her 54th birthday. She saw the images from Vietnam and kept up with the space race. She's seen technology evolve and saw a monumental shift in civil rights for Americans. Click here to read more about Elizabeth, and see video of her drive-by 112th birthday celebration in Houston.


Turning Sons into Sammies: Just Call Fort Worth's Camp Bowie “Camp Quick”

Camp Bowie

Imagine the Fort Worth of a century ago. Imagine what the Star-Telegram at the time described as “a wind-swept, untrampled tract of a prairie” on the western edge of town. Now imagine that in just three months that wind-swept, untrampled tract of prairie would become decidedly trampled, would become transformed, would become a city of thirty thousand people. But this instant city would be different. It would have a rifle range, an artillery range, battlefield trenches. And its population of thirty thousand would be mostly male. Click here to learn more about the Army’s Camp Bowie in the summer of 1917, and how, in terms of America’s response to the nation's declaration of war against Germany in World War I, Camp Bowie was Camp Quick.


The American and Joint Origins of Operational Depth in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign during World War I

Thomas Bruscino

Writing for the Marine Corps University Press,  Thomas Bruscino notes that "A common view is that the U.S. military adopted wholesale the Soviet concept of operational depth in the 1970s and 1980s. However, a closer look at U.S. Army concepts, doctrine, and planning reveals that the concept, word, and definition of depth existed in the U.S. military prior to the 1970s. The beginnings of depth in the U.S. Army predate even the great interwar Soviet theorists. The American idea traces to the World War I era, during which it was made manifest in the Joint campaign and operations known as the Meuse-Argonne offensive." Click here to read more about how this key military doctrine emerged from one of the bloodiest battles in American history during the closing months of World War I.


WWI Informs the Future of American Sea Power at the U.S. Naval War College

United States Battleship Division Nine

The U.S. Naval War College (USNWC) and the Naval War College Foundation (NWCF) have used the centenary of the first “great war” and the pandemic of 1918 to reconsider the historical influence upon contemporary discussions of future maritime strategy. Research in original documentary sources has enabled practitioners at the USNWC to develop fresh strategic perspectives about the future of American sea power. Just as Admirals Stephen B. Luce and Alfred Thayer Mahan used history with an applied purpose, the NWCF has encouraged contemporary historical research with the gracious support of the Pritzker Military Foundation, on behalf of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. Click here to read more, and learn how the experts continue to discover fresh historical perspectives about the lasting influence of the First World War upon contemporary concepts of American sea power and the future of maritime strategy in the twenty-first century. 


The World War I Army-Navy Baseball Game Played for the King of England

Americans playing baseball in France in 1918

On July 4, 1918, the biggest sports competition in Europe wasn’t soccer, rugby, or cricket. Rather, two teams of “Yanks” — one from the Army and another of Navy personnel, drawn from soldiers and sailors sent to England for World War I — squared off in what British newspapers called the “extraordinary baseball match” pairing teenagers off hometown sandlots with major leaguers. The game brought a stoppage to wartime London and was watched from the stands by no less than King George V and Winston Churchill. Click here to read more, and learn how this game, the brainchild of Rear Adm. William Sims, grew out of the desire to improve morale among the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe.


Remembering a Manitou Springs, CO World War I Veteran

George Eber Duclo

A few years ago, Matt Cavanaugh was standing in Memorial Park in Manitou Springs when he noticed an enormous rock in the middle of the park. It was a platform for a bronze statue of a World War I-era soldier, a “Doughboy,” lunging forward towards Pikes Peak, as if to meet some unseen danger. But, Cavanaugh wondered, who was he? Click here to read more, and follow Cavanaugh's deep dive into into historical records and old newspapers that revealed the statue's honoree: Marine Corps Pvt. George Eber Duclo. 


Biographies of 140 PA WWI veterans in “Greene-Dreher in the Great War”

Greene-Dreher in the Great War

Bethel School in Honesdale, PA may have closed decades ago, but there has been no shortage of learning there. On Sunday, July 11 Bethel School held an open house and a lecture. The old wooden desks were occupied with those eager to learn something new once again as local historian Bernadine Lennon presented a lecture entitled “The Army within the Army.” The lecture focused on the volunteers and other unsung heroes that kept the American armies fighting. Click here to learn more, and read about the efforts to identify and honor the local men and women who served the nation during World War I.


World War I soldier Farley Lafore Lock and his namesake VFW post

Farley Lafore Lock

Springfield, IL’s Lafore Lock Post 755 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this month, is named after World War I U.S. Army Pvt. Farley Lafore Lock. Lock died Oct. 18, 1918, of wounds he suffered from an artillery shell the day before in the Verdun sector of France. Born in 1896, Lafore was one of 10 children (eight of them boys) of Nelson and Gretta Lock.  Click here to read more about Lock, and learn how, when Springfield veterans of World War I formed Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 755 in April 1921, its members voted to name the post after him. 


Free speech wasn’t so free 103 years ago, when ‘seditious’ and ‘unpatriotic’ speech was criminalized in the US

Eugene Debs

Just over a century ago, the United States government – in the midst of World War I – undertook unprecedented efforts to control and restrict what it saw as “unpatriotic” speech through passage of the Sedition Act of 1918, signed by President Woodrow Wilson on May 16 of that year. The restrictions – and the courts’ reactions to them – mark an important landmark in testing the limits of the First Amendment, and the beginnings of the current understanding of free speech in the U.S. Scholar and lawyer Eric P. Robinson has studied the federal government’s attempts to restrict speech, including during World War I, and the legal cases that challenged them. Click here to read more, and learn how these cases from WWI helped form the modern idea of the First Amendment right of free speech, and how the conflict between patriotism and free expression continues to be an issue a century later.


Doughboy MIA for July 2021

Juet Caudle

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Corporal Juet Caudle.

Not much has been discovered about our man this month, with further efforts hobbled by the continued closure of the National Personnel Records Center, which continues to try and catch up on their backlog of work due to Covid closure. What we do know is that Juet W. Caudle was born 14 October 1898 in Millville, Kentucky to George and Lida Caudle. He was the oldest of the five children the couple would have. They were a farming family, who owned their own land. Juet is occasionally listed as George J. Caudle and Jewet or Jewel Caudle.

It appears that Caudle may have enlisted before the war (1915) while underage. What is known is that he was among the first of our troops that arrived overseas in June, 1917 with the 18th Infantry, 1st Division. Fighting all the way through the engagements the 18th Regiment was involved in during their first year in France, Caudle went into the Soissons Offensive with them on July 18th, 1918. Corporal Caudle is sometimes listed as having been killed in action on the first day of the offensive, while the ABMC officially lists his date of death as July 21st, 1918. Unfortunately nothing more is known about his case at his time. He is memorialized on the Tablets to the Missing at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau, France.

Want to help us find out more about Caudle and the other 4,423 missing American service personnel from the war? Please consider making a donation to our 501(c)3 not for profit organization. Just visit www.ww1cc.org/mia today and make your tax deductible donation today. That way you’ll have done your part to help us account for our missing boys too. Help us keep their memories alive.

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store

Books --Lest We Forget & Honoring the Doughboys

Lest We Forget: The Great War World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. One of the nation’s premier military history institutions pays tribute to the Americans who served and the allies they fought beside to defeat a resourceful enemy with a lavishly illustrated book.  It is an official product of the United States World War One Centennial Commission and is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and what would become the Air Force. It serves as a lasting reminder that our world ignores the history of World War I (and the ensuing WWII) at its peril―lest we forget. 

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a stunning presentation of contemporary photographs taken by the author that are paired with diary entries written by his grandfather, George A. Carlson, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. Jeff Lowdermilk followed his grandfather's path through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and returned with these meticulously crafted photographs and his own engaging stories that bring the diary to life for contemporary readers. Lowdermilk's passion for World War I and military history began as a young boy when he listened to his grandfather tell his stories about serving as an infantryman-- a "Doughboy"--in Europe during the Great War.

Proceeds from the sale of these books 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.



Julia Ann Stahl

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

 

Julia Ann Stahl

Submitted by: Sandra L Sager {great great niece}

Julia Ann Stahl born around 1875. Julia Ann Stahl served in World War 1 with the Red Cross. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Julia Ann Stahl was born March 12, 1875 in Cass County, Michigan. She was the last of eleven children born to immigrant parents Phillip and Barbara Stahl. Julia’s father died one week after she was born, and she was raised by her mother on the family farm near Dowagiac, Michigan.

Little is known of Julia’s early years or why she chose a career in nursing. She may have been affected by the death of her sister Anna Louisa in 1885.

Julia moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in her early 20s and enrolled in the University of Michigan School of nursing which was established in 1891. She completed the rigorous two year nursing program and graduated in 1898 at the age of 23. Julia stayed in Ann Arbor after her graduation and began her professional nursing career. In June of 1907 Julia was elected vice-president of the University of Michigan Nurses’ Alumnae Association, and in February 1914 she was elected as a member of the board of directors of the Washtenaw County Graduate Nurses’ Association.

When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, the Dean of the Detroit College of Medicine asked for and received approval from the Red Cross and the Army Medical Department to establish and equip a medical unit staffed by faculty, staff, graduates, and students of the Detroit College of Medicine (later known as Wayne State University). Nurses were recruited from area hospitals, and Julia Stahl was 42 years old when she volunteered.

Read Julia Ann Stahl's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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June 2021

Amy Band April 16 Photo 2

The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" is pictured participating in the "First Colors" event at the National World War I Memorial April 16 in Washington, DC. This Thursday, July 1st (weather permitting) "Pershing's Own" will be performing its first live concert at the National WWI Memorial at 6:00 p.m. EDT.

U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" presents "Rush Hour Concert" at the National WWI Memorial in DC July 1

General John "Black Jack" Pershing created the U.S. Army Band in 1922. On Thursday, July 1st (weather permitting), "Pershing's Own" will be presenting its first concert at the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, near the statue of General Pershing. at 6:00 p.m. EDT.

The National World War I Memorial is located on Pennsylvania Ave. NW between 14h and 15th Streets.

The band performed at the "First Colors" ceremony which opened the Memorial to the public on April 16.

"Pershing's Own" is hoping to inaugurate an ongoing series of summer concerts at the Memorial, saluting its founder, as well as honoring America's heroes, and providing memorable musical experiences on summer evenings in the nation's capitol.

The program for the July 1 "Rush Hour Concert" will include:

  • Summon the Heroes - by John Williams
  • Black Jack March - Written in honor of General John "Black Jack" Pershing
  • Jupiter from The Planets by Gustav Holtz
  • The U.S. Field Artillery March
  • La Virgin de la Macarena (with trumpet soloist SFC Lorenzo Trujillo)
  • Music from The Incredibles
  • Armed Forces Salute
  • America the Beautiful
  • Stars and Stripes Forever

Can't make it downtown to the National World War I Memorial on Thursday? You can watch a special live online Independence Day Concert by the U.S. Army Band at 4:00 p.m. on July 1, as "Pershing's Own" shares a virtual birthday greeting to celebrate the return of some of our personal freedoms and the tenets upon which our country was forged.

More information about the band's origin and history can be found at https://www.usarmyband.com.


“Little Sure Shot”: Annie Oakley in WWI

Annie Oakley poster

Annie Oakley is renowned for being probably the best Woman Sharpshooter to ever live. Through her talent with firearms, she became a national celebrity in the United States during the late 1800s and into the early 20th century. While she was most famous for her feats of skill and shooting tricks during her time performing with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, she was also a huge supporter of the war effort when the United States entered into World War I. As Charles Pauley reports, she participated in a number of ways, and even tried to raise a small army to be used at the United States’ disposal. Click here to read more, and learn how (allegedly) at one point, she had the opportunity to “prevent” the war with a single shot. 


The (Lost and Found) World War I Diary of Private Rabb Forest Mobley

Rabb Forest Mobley

In the late 1980s, the chance discovery of a notepad of lined paper on a sidewalk in Menlo Park, California was the beginning of a 30-year odessey by Mike Forester to identify the creator of what appeared to be the diary of an American World War I Doughboy, from June 28th through October 3, 1918. Forester's dogged and detailed research paid off with the eventual identification of the diarist as Private Rabb Forest Mobley. But that wasn't the end of the story. Click here to read more, and learn how Forester's research eventually reunited the diary with Mobley's family over 100 years after it was written.


Learning about WWI, and Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Book on Battlefield Preservation in 4 Months

Charlotte Yeung

Most rising high school seniors have enough to keep them occupied just looking forward to graduation, and deciding where to go college or work. But Charlotte Yeung had a little time on her hands, and while an intern at the American Battlefield Trust last year, she decided to write an illustrated (by her) book on battlefield preservation aimed specifically at children. Click here to read more, and learn how, in the process of authoring her newly-published book Isabelle and the Magic Bird, she learned a lot about both World War I, and the importance of memorials honoring those Americans who served their nation in wars.


The Lafayette Escadrille: Americans who flew with French in World War I

Lafayette Escadrille Memorial

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, writer Bob Alvis wanted to look back at America’s involvement in World War I, and specifically those daring young men in their flying machines: a group of volunteers who would become legendary in the world of American aviation: the famous Lafayette Escadrille. But his research for the article in Aerotech News took some unexpected turns. Click here to read more, and find out about those early day American volunteers and the true meaning of their sacrifice on the world’s behalf, and the restoration of the memorial to their service in France.


Lakewood, WA Helps Relocate and Restore Living World War I Memorial

Michael Farley

The City of Lakewood, Washington is recognizing two men who have helped preserve a living memorial to the thousands of American soldiers who died in World War I: the Boulevard of Remembrance Oaks. Shortly after WWI, 500 oak trees were planted along the highway running from Fort Lewis to Tacoma, a memorial to those who served and died in the war. But in the decades since the highway was expanded into I-5, encroaching upon the boulevard, and only 31 of the original 500 oaks remain standing. Click here to read more, and learn how two men who have been working on a solution to restore the memorial trees have been honored by the city.


How a WWI battle still influences USMC: "Retreat? Hell! We just got here!"
is "103 years old and still badass" 

Lloyd Williams

The phrase "Retreat Hell!" has been the motto of one of the Marine Corps’ most-decorated infantry battalions for more than two decades, and has long served as a motivational quote to inspire Marines past and present. Writing on the Task and Purpose web site, Paul Szoldra (a Marine himself) recalls how "on June 2, 1918, a captain named Lloyd Williams thought to say the iconic cool guy quote in the heat of battle during World War I, and in so doing cemented himself in Marine lore."  

Writing on the Business Insider web site, Benjamin Brimelow gives the context for the famous saying in the Marines' orders from Headquarters: "No retirement will be thought of on any pretext whatsoever" in Belleau Wood, and discusses how the Marine's first battle in World War I still influences the Corps a century later.


Gripes are growing: Don’t mess with Las Olas and its tree-lined median originally planted as a World War I memorial

Las Olas palms 1920s

Palm trees planted in the median of Las Olas Boulevard as a World War I memorial in the 1920's were the beginnings of the iconic Fort Lauderdale boulevard that won a national competition for most beautiful street in America some years ago. But the coming redesign of the 2.4-mile historic corridor has tongues wagging and keyboards clacking, with residents blasting their opinions on social media and in emails to City Hall. “Removing … the center trees is crazy to me,” one man from Las Olas Isles griped. Click here to read more about the project, and the divisions it has created in the communities along the famous road.


World War I artifacts discovered in American Legion attic in MA

Ralph J Lord,

Nearly everyone can identify with the feeling of finding long-forgotten items stored in the attic. But when the items are more than a century old, such a find becomes newsworthy. Commander Mike Ferro of the Akroyd Houde Post 132 American Legion recalls that Marlborough resident Matty Sargent, a Navy reservist and ardent history buff, recently asked about taking a look in the attic to see if there were any interesting artifacts stored up there. Click here to read more, and learn how what Sargent unearthed in the Post attic sheds new light on the World War I service of area residents, and even created something of a family reunion a century later.


Long Island Veterans Memorial Plaza:
In Remembrance of Our WWI Veterans

Copiague monument

Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY assigned students in certain courses to study the history and literature of World War in the Spring of 2021. A few students elected to fulfill an experiential learning requirement visiting, researching, and writing about a WWI memorial on Long Island. Click here to read the report of student Jun-Yi Wu on the WWI Memorial at the Copiague, Long Island train station, which was created just after WWI, but augmented significantly during the war's Centennial.


Norwich, CT program honors WWI Doughnut Girls, helps build memorial

Donut Girls

Norwich City Historian Dale Plummer connected the dots meticulously to make a solid connection between National Doughnut Day on June 4, and the effort to resume fundraising to restore the city’s World War I howitzer and create a lasting memorial to local soldiers of that war. Click here to read more, and learn how the event also raised awareness of the many nonfighting groups that played a role in the Great War, such as the Knights of Columbus, American Red Cross, YMCA, and other organizations.


A new volunteer effort in Dracut, MA aims to remember those fallen in WWI

Richard Silvio

Dracut, MA is a small town, but it is not lacking on volunteers. From the Dracut Scholarship Foundation to Old Home Day, the people of Dracut always come together for a good cause. One new volunteer project underway in town is being organized by Dracut High School student Richard Silvio, founder and president of the World War I Rededication Committee. Its purpose: to restore the town's WWI memorial, and to educate the public on Dracut’s efforts during World War I. Click here to read more, and learn how and why a high school student has taken the lead in remembering and restoring the town's World War I legacy.


After World War I, American families were asked if they wanted their dead brought home; 40,000 said yes

Casket

In a massive and little-remembered project after World War I, the U.S. sent out 74,000 questionnaire cards asking the families of dead soldiers if they wanted the body of their loved one shipped home for burial, and then tried to fulfill their wishes. The repatriation effort came about as the United States was preparing for the solemn homecoming of the lone unknown soldier in November, 1921. Click here to read more about the challenges, obstacles, and successes of the colossal task which "Neither the United States nor any other nation up until that time had ever attempted."


After 100 years, soldiers are no longer segregated on Durham’s WWI memorial

Durham WWI memorial

When the Durham, NC WWI memorial went up in 1921, it listed Durham County men who'd died in the war, with the names of the white soldiers etched into the front of the monument, and the names of the Black soldiers on the back. This year, the city unveiled a plaque in front of the memorial, complete with historical context and a full list of the men who died in that war. Click here to read more, and learn how the names on the revised memorial are organized not by race, but in alphabetical order. More than a hundred years after those men could have died together in a trench, they are listed together in a prominent place in their home county, which they once departed never to return.


Lost Generation: Toledo-centric film focuses attention on World War I

Jim Nowak

Glimpses from the Great War, a documentary more than 30 years in the making by filmmaker Jim Nowak (left), tells the story of World War I through the eyes of Pvts. Howard Sweet and William Claus, both Toledoans who served together in the Ohio National Guard's 37th "Buckeye" Division with the 135th Field Artillery from 1917 to 1919. The last surviving veteran of the World War I died in 2012, but the last stories of the war didn't die with her. Nowak's film provides a glimpse of why: while Claus passed in 1993 and Sweet in 1994, Nowak interviewed both in 1986. Click here to read more, find out where to view the documentary, and learn how his own family tragedy led Nowak to record the videos at the core of the film.


Rep. Jacobs Asks Navy to Name Ship After WWI-era Filipino-American Hero

Telesforo Trinidad

Rep. Sara Jacobs of California has asked the Navy to name a new ship after Telesforo Trinidad, a Filipino American sailor who received the Medal of Honor in 1915. Trinidad, who saved his crewmembers after boiler explosions aboard the armored cruiser USS San Diego, is the only Filipino American and the only Asian American sailor to receive the Medal of Honor. A future USS Telesforo Trinidad would be the first warship named after an American of Filipino descent. Click here to read more about the recommendation that Trinidad’s name be used for a future Navy surface combatant.


Life after the WWI 1918 flu has lessons for a 21st Century post-pandemic world

Masks 1918

A widespread sense that time has split into two -- or pandemics creating a "before" and "after" -- is an experience that's associated with many traumatic events, say experts. This social phenomenon is both psychologically and practically relevant, in that pandemics -- including the 1918 influenza and Covid-19 pandemics -- significantly affect how we assess and act on risk, or stay resilient, but also how we work, play and socialize. Click here to read more, and learn how the startling and harrowing nature of the 1918 flu and its fatal consequences induced a sense of caution that, in some places, had permanent implications for how people would respond to disease outbreaks in later decades, and may be reflected again in our own pandemic a century later.


Doughboy MIA for June 2021

Leroy Sealy

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Leroy Sealey, Machine Gun Company, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division. 

Sealey has the distinction of being the first MIA we are featuring from the famous ‘Harlem Hell Fighters’, the 369th Infantry, of which there are 27 names on the MIA roll. The 369th was an all-black regiment created from the old 15th New York National Guard infantry regiment (the 15th ‘Heavy Foot’), an old and well-regarded regiment.

Unfortunately, with the National Archives still closed, we were only able to gather limited information on Sealey’s story. ‘Roy’, as he was generally known, was born in the British West Indies, most likely in 1896. His mother’s name was Marion and he was the middle of three children (two boys and a girl). It appears the family arrived in New York in about 1907. The family was living on west 99th Street in New York City when Roy enlisted in the 15th New York on August 8th, 1916. Following the declaration of war, he was called to active duty on July 15th, 1917 and assigned to Company I on July 25th. It is believed that with them he sailed to France aboard the USS Pochahontas, arriving in France on December 27th, 1917 though no shipping manifest has yet been found containing his name.

The 15th was federalized as the 369th Infantry in France and was first assigned labor duties at the docks, unloading incoming ships, before finally being assigned to the French army on April 8th, 1918. Welcomed into the French forces, they were issued with French weapons, helmets and combat gear and entered the trenches on May 8th, 1918.The regiment would gain an enviable combat record spending 191 days on the front line, more than any other U.S. regiment, and suffer some 1,500 casualties – almost a third of their numbers –  by the time of the Armistice, as well as the respect of the Germans they faced.

Roy Sealey was assigned to the Machine Gun Company/369th on June 4th, 1918, which was armed with the M1914 Hotchkiss heavy machine gun, and he would see combat in the Berzieux, Minancourt and Cahiere sectors. He was killed in action on September 28th, 1918 but nothing concerning his death is known at this time. He is memorialized on the Tablet to the Missing at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery at Romagne sous Montfaucon. In 1931 his mother participated in the Gold Star Mother’s Pilgrimage.

Wish you could help us account for America's missing servicemen from World War I? You can! Consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA today. Simply go to www.ww1cc.org/mia and click the donation link. It's quick, easy, tax deductible, and our non-profit organization uses the money to continue research and, soon, to mount field expeditions - all of which costs money. Your donation gives you the chance to help out and be part of the solution.

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Flag large

When you fly Old Glory this Fourth of July, add this World War 1 Centennial Flag to your patriotic display! The flag is made of durable nylon and measures 3'x5', with the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto it, and has 2 brass grommets to hang the flag.

Proceeds from the sale of these items will help complete the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. You can show your support, and help promote the efforts, by proudly displaying your custom flag.

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



Frank Robert Dannanfelser

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

 

Frank Robert Dannanfelser

Submitted by: Sandra Dunlap {great niece}

Frank Robert Dannanfelser born around 1887. Frank Dannanfelser served in World War 1 with the United States Navy. The enlistment was in 1907 and the service was completed in 1926.

Story of Service

My great great uncle Frank Robert Dannanfelser was orphaned at the age of 10. Sent south to Savannah, GA to live with an aunt, he ended up being admitted to the Bethesda Orphan Asylum instead. After aging out of the orphanage about 1905, he worked as an electrician in Savannah until 1907.

On 14 May 1907, he enlisted in the US Navy and was sent off to Norfolk, VA, to the USS Franklin. In August of the same year, he was transferred to the USS Ohio (BB-12) at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and left in December on President Theodore Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet" world cruise.

Navy life apparently agreed with him as he re-enlisted multiple times. Early in his career, he was primarily attached to battleships, cruisers, and destroyers with a smattering of shore duty stations. The longest shore duty time was gunnery school at the Naval Gun Factory, Washington Navy Yard from June 1911 to January 1912.

Read Frank Robert Dannanfelser's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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May 2021

Taps Bugler-2 05282021

The Doughboy Foundation continues its mission to “keep faith with the American Doughboy” with a daily playing of “Taps” at the National World War I Memorial every evening at 5:00 p.m. ET, rain or shine. The pilot program runs from May through Veterans Day. If you are in DC, please stop by the Memorial at 5:00 p.m. any day to see this performance.

Daily playing of Taps inaugurated at the National World War I Memorial in DC

The Doughboy Foundation, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission’s longtime partner, will continue its mission to “keep faith with the American Doughboy” by honoring those who served; commemorating the events of a century ago; and inspiring visitors to learn, remember, and reflect on how World War I changed our country and the world through commemorative and educational programs. To that end, one of the Foundation’s signature initiatives will be to honor the Doughboys with a daily playing of “Taps” at the National World War I Memorial every evening at 5:00 p.m. EDT, rain or shine in a pilot program running through Veterans Day. Taps will be sounded daily by buglers from the Taps for Veterans organization at the foot of the flagpole at the northwest corner of the Memorial. Click here to learn how you can support Daily Taps at the Memorial and other Doughboy Foundation programs.


Hamby Milley award

Hamby receives Distinguished Public Service Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

Terry W. Hamby, the Chair of the United States World War I Centennial Commission, received the Distinguished Public Service Award from General Mark A. Milley, USA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  during a ceremony May 28, 2021 at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.  The award was presented in recognition of Hamby's "extraordinary contributions as the Chairman of the World War I Centennial Commission." In particular, the award highlighted Hamby's leadership of the Commission "to completion of its mission to build the United States National War Memorial in Washington, DC." Click here to ready more about the award ceremony for the Commission's Chair for a job well done.


Virginia Boy Scout Troop lends hands to honor Americans who served in WWI

Scouts folding flags

A Boy Scout troop in Richmond, Virginia, over a century old itself, lent its hands recently to acknowledge those whose help enabled the April 16, 2021 opening of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC honoring the 4.7 million Americans who served their nation in uniform 100 years ago. As part of the activities after the recent Father & Son Hike, Troop 400 folded flags that were flown over the Memorial so that they could be placed into presentation cases for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission World War I Memorial Donor and Patron Recognition Program. Click here to read more about the Scout troop 's timely assistance to help thank those who helped build the Memorial.


Brancy and Dugan Release The Journey Home: Live from the Kennedy Center

The Journey Home: Live from the Kennedy Center player

On May 28, 2021 Vocal Arts DC in collaboration with Avie Records released The Journey Home: Live from the Kennedy Center. Inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, the concert, which sold-out at the time, explores timeless themes of longing, loss, love, and the search for peace in the wake of catastrophe. Accompanying the album, the duo has released a film of the performance, which includes interviews with historians and military personnel, and explores the long overdue process of creating a national memorial to World War I in Washington, DC, including interviews with the United States WWI Centennial Commissioners. Click here to read more about these new releases, and find out where to listen and watch.


Piece of World War I history returned to Wichita, KS, honoring local airman

Lt. Erwin Bleckley

A piece of World War I history returned to Wichita Friday, May 28: an airplane that looks exactly like the plane Lt. Erwin Bleckley flew during his last mission during the First World War. The plan with the plane, once it’s restored, is to have it displayed at Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport, available for thousands to see and to learn a little about the plane’s history and why it’s important to Wichita. Lt. Erwin Bleckley died at the age of 23 on Oct. 6, 1918 on a mission to drop supplies from the sky. He later received the Medal of Honor for his bravery. Click here to read more about this aircraft, and why it is "a very big deal for the city of Wichita to bring this airplane home."


American Legion Magazine spotlights new National WWI Memorial in DC

Legion June magazine

The June 2021 American Legion Magazine digital edition looks at the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. The extensive coverage  looks at the memorial’s commemorative elements, and how the WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer and WWI Memorial Visitor Guide apps help explore the site. Plus, John D. “Jack” Monahan, The American Legion’s representative on the U.S. World War One Commission, previews “A Soldier’s Journey,” the Sabin Howard sculpture to be installed in 2024. Click here to read more about the June American Legion Magazine's coverage of the new National World War I Memorial


To Find Their Brothers: The Trek of Two Montana Nurses in World War I

Butzerin and Welborn

On the occasion of National Nurses Day on May 6, Ed Saunders wrote a thoughtful article about two Montana nurses who served their nation during World War I. Eula Bernice Butzerin (left) served in a Red Cross hospital in Kansas City, MO. Susie Lee Welborn joined the Army Nurse Corps, and served at Base Hospital 53 at Langres, France. But the two nurses shared more than their state and profession: both had to perform a sad duty after the fighting stopped. Click here to read more about the family tragedies that each Montana nurse suffered Over There in World War I.


General Pershing inspired film cast member to join USAF, becoming pilot

Roberto Duran

Roberto Duran, a Captain in the United States Air Force, is currently flying for Air Force Special Operations Command. After Duran graduated from college and before he was commissioned, he auditioned for and was cast in Pershing’s Paths of Glory, a documentary film which features Pershing Rifles members, a Pershing Angel, and Blackjacks who travel and mark incidents in the life of General John J. Pershing, the great World War I Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces. Duran, a Pershing Rifleman from Texas and college graduate from Louisiana State University, was a serious, stabilizing force among the diverse group of high energy, military cadets still in secondary school. Click here to learn more about Duran, what he learned during the making of the movie, and how General Pershing inspired to to a career in the military.


Doughboy MIA for May

Private Wesley J. Creech

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is

Born 15MAR1886, in Hallsboro, North Carolina, Wesley Jackson Creech was the fourth of six children that Henry and Martha Creech would rear. He signed his 05JUN1917 draft card at Bolton, North Carolina, where he listed himself as a lumber inspector and two months later married Miss Francis Williamson, age 19.

Creech received his draft call shortly thereafter, reporting for duty on 01OCT1917 and was sent to Camp Jackson for induction. From there he went to Camp Sevier for infantry training and was placed in Company C, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th ‘Old Hickory’ Division. Departing Boston, Massachusetts for overseas service on 12May1918 aboard the transport Bohemian, Creech’s division was brigaded with the British in the Somme sector that summer.

Records show Wesley Creech as being killed in action on 31AUG1918 and buried by a British unit, however later identification of his grave by American Graves Registration personnel proved fruitless. As such, he is memorialized on the Tablets to the Missing at the Flanders Field American Cemetery at Waregem, Belgium.

Want to help solve Pvt. Creech’s case? Consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA at www.usww1cc.org/mia. It takes only a moment and your tax deductible contribution can be as large as you want or as small as $10.00 on our ‘Ten for Them’ program. Your contribution helps us make a full accounting of all 4,425 US MIA’s from WW1 and keeps these lost men from being forgotten.  Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks. Remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official Doughboy Foundation Store

Window decal

“Doughboy”
Window Decal

Featuring the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can proudly display this poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers.

  • Measures 3.5″ x 6″
  • All weather screen design on vinyl

Proceeds from the sale of these items 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.



Helma Caroline (Anderson) Evans

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

 

Helma Caroline (Anderson) Evans

Submitted by: Douglas Evans {Grandson}

Helma Caroline (Anderson) Evans was born around 1894. Helma (Anderson) Evans served in World War 1 with the United States Navy. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Helma Caroline (Anderson) Evans was born on September, 2, 1894. Always fiercely independent, and against her parents' wishes, she enlisted in the US Navy in September of 1918. Helma was assigned as a bookkeeper and assistant to a Navy Commander known as the "Chief Bookkeeper" at the Washington Navy Yard.

She achieved the rank of Petty Office 3rd Class (E-4), and her rating was Yeoman 3rd Class (YN3). During WWI, female Navy Yeoman were known as "Yeomanettes," and she proudly wore that moniker. Helma was honorably discharged in July of 1919. She was awarded the WWI Victory medal.

While in the service and after the war ended, she participated in a number of parades and ceremonies in support of her fellow Sailors, Marines, and Army troops. Helma also marched in parades in New York City, Providence RI, and Boston, MA, in uniform, in celebration of Armistice Day.

Read Helma Caroline (Anderson) Evans's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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April 2021

First Colors from NE

First Colors Ceremony opens the new National WWI Memorial to the public

The National World War I Memorial First Colors Ceremony on April 16 was viewed live by more than 11,000 people on the event website, and the Pentagon streamed it live on every military installation around the globe via defense.gov.

Tens of thousands of people have visited the First Colors site since the event, where the full show is available on demand. It has also been viewed thousands of times on the World War I Centennial Commission YouTube channel. In the future, the American Forces Network will air a 60-minute version of the event worldwide.

PBS News Hour picked up the flag raising through the end of the show and this clip has been viewed online more than 14K times (and counting). 

The First Colors Ceremony made news in every single state.

If you haven’t seen the First Colors Ceremony yet, click here to watch the historic event now or later on the event web site.


Memorial Webinar May 2021

The National World War I Memorial is OPEN! This webinar will make your visit happen

Join us on Friday May 14, 2021 at 10am PT / 1pm ET for an exclusive insider tour of the new National World War I Memorial that opened to the public on April 17, 2021. This webinar will be a great introduction to all kinds of people, especially tour guides, travel planners, and interested visitors, students, teachers – anyone and everyone who wants to learn more about the new Memorial. Get ready for Memorial Day with key information and insights about Washington, D.C.'s newest war memorial. We will provide you with:

  • Background and History of the location
  • The Story of how the WWI Memorial went from concept to opening
  • Tour of design features and insider tidbits
  • The history of WWI to which the Memorial speaks

AND the FREE WWI Memorial APPs:

  • One app for use when you are VISITING the WWI Memorial in DC.
  • One app which brings the WWI Memorial remotely to any classroom, living room, or yard.
  • “How WWI Changed America” - A downloadable web site on the social & cultural impact of WWI

There will be lots of great information, and words from the people who got the Memorial built.  Click here to learn more, and register for this useful and informative webinar on May 14.


WWI Memorial opening ceremony featured song developed at Binghamton

Hello Girl snip

On April 16, the National World War I Memorial site in Washington, D.C., was unveiled in a livestreamed ceremony of the Inaugural Raising of the Flag. The event covered the history of World War I and included numerous speakers whose family members served in the war. Viewers learned about the “Doughboys,” the “Hello Girls” and other veterans who gave their service to the country. The Binghamton University community played a role in this event, as a song about the “Hello Girls,” which was written in Johnson City, was performed at the ceremony. Click here to learn more about the Hello Girls, and the music made in cooperation between the Goodwill Theatre, the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City and the Prospect Theater Company in New York City that was part of the event.


Waging war for her grandmother: N.H. woman fights to honor 'Hello Girls'

Carolyn Timbie

As she was helping her parents move from their home a decade ago, Carolyn Timbie of Atkinson, NH stumbled upon what she calls "an amazing treasure trove" of items from World War I -- things her grandmother Grace Banker had saved from her time in WWI as the commander of the Hello Girls telephone operators. Some 60 years after Banker's death, Timbie is now helping historians and U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan of NH understand the work done by Signal Corps women during the war, when they became known as the Hello Girls. Click here to read more, and learn about the proposed Congressional Gold Medal to honor the service and legacy of the Hello Girls.


Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Twenty-One Steps cover

Author Jeff Gottesfeld had, in his forties, gotten into the habit of visiting national cemeteries on Memorial Day. A chance encounter in 1915 at Los Angeles National Cemetery with several headstones marked "UNKNOWN" sparked an idea: a children’s book about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and "the Tomb Guards who have kept watch there every minute of every day since July 2, 1937."  Click here to learn more about how this project took shape in unexpected ways, and how the author learned about himself as well as the Tomb in the process of writing Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Answering the Call: Erie County, Pennsylvania in World War One

Answering The Call cover

In 2018 thirteen people, including teachers, veterans, historians, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, all from varying backgrounds, thought that Erie County should be commemorating the American engagement in World War One. Each of them had a distinct connection to WWI. The outcome: a series of projects illuminating the county's role in the Great War. Their efforts culminated in the last thing that they anticipated at the beginning: a book. Click here to read more about the creation of the volume, and how it will support the perpetual maintenance of the World War One Memorial in Erie County.


Viewing World War I through the eyes of women journalists

Chris Dubbs

Author Chris Dubbs notes wryly that he occupies "a narrow slice of scholarship in the history of World War 1—its journalism. Having so focused a view on such a vast subject means that I filter all the drama of WW1 through the reporters who covered it."  Dubbs' fourth book on WWI journalists came out in April 2021—American Women Report World War I: An Anthology of Their Journalism. As Dubbs himself notes: "A fourth book on WW1 journalists, you ask? Would not three, or two, or even one, have been enough?" Click here to learn why Dubbs was compelled to add another volume to his canon, and how he needed to "draw out the full picture of women’s role, a news story that was overlooked by male correspondents."


“Give me an opportunity, I will do it” ― Dr. Frank E. Boston & World War I

Dr. Frank Boston

George Whitehair, enjoying his twilight career as a Writer, Editor, and Researcher, "had just finished compiling a fun and upbeat book of short stories highlighting the contributions of immigrants" when a good friend mentioned that he might want to add Dr. Frank Boston (left) to his list. Out of that small suggestion has come a large project to recognize the accomplishments of a remarkable individual in both war and peace. Click here to read more, and learn about an amazing individual: "the first veteran African-American in the US to start both a hospital and ambulance corps, both of which are in operation today."


In The Trenches of World War I

Wallace Martin Stockberger

The Friends of the Frankfort Public Library presents “In the Trenches of World War I” during the month of May. The group has been working with several entities to discover compelling stories of WWI and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located in Arlington National Cemetery. As well as onsite exhibitions and programs throughout the month, the event offers a virtual presentation on May 6 by military historian and best-selling author, Patrick O’Donnell. He will discuss one of his latest books, The Unknowns, The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home. Click here to learn more about the program, and how to register to attend the virtual presentation that intends to illuminate the saga behind the creation of the monument and animate the tomb by giving voice to those who served in WWI.


Why was the Sinking of the Lusitania so Controversial?

Remember the Lusitania

Writer Allyn Lawrence notes that "If you asked people a reason for the United States of America entering the First World War, one of the most common answers would be the sinking of the RMS Lusitania." However, Lawrence also notes that "...the Lusitania was just one of the thousands of ships sunk by the German Imperial Navy during World War One. Yet, to this day, it is remembered as a major precipitant of the United States joining the war. Why is this? Why was the sinking of the Lusitania so controversial? Why was this event so important?" Click here to read more, and learn how some individuals who went down with the ship may have had an outside impact on public opinion in America.


WWI America invites audiences into a nuanced understanding of World War I

WWI America poster

Although it was fought thousands of miles away, WWI war transformed the United States from a relatively provincial power on the world stage to a full-fledged global, military-industrial leader, held together by a newly powerful federal government and charged with confident patriotism. WW1 America, on view through May 30, 2021 at the Irving, CA Archives and Museum, also shows that there were darker sides of the American experience during the years 1914 to 1919. Click here to read more, and discover how this exhibition reveals that WWI "was nonetheless always in dialogue, sometimes violently, with the day’s upheavals, shaping the nation in profound and lasting ways. Indeed, so many issues from this period cascade down the years to our own time."


World War I brought challenges to the home front — in Vermont and the U.S.

Bellows Falls, VT

"When 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip fired two shots from a pistol in the streets of Sarajevo on a late June morning in 1914, Vermonters had no idea what troubles the incident would trigger for the people of their state." So begins writer Mark Bushnell's look at how World War I changed life for the citizens of The Green Mountain State. Writing on the VT DIGGER web site, Bushnell notes that initially "Vermonters remained unscathed by the horrors enveloping so much of the world, but their good fortune didn’t last. Events finally dragged Vermont men off to war, sparked the deadliest epidemic of the last century, and led to a crackdown on civil liberties in the state." Click here to read the entire article.


How Military Sled Dogs Became Essential Resources During WWI

sled dog snip

When one thinks of war, snow doesn’t usually come into the picture. But part of World War I was fought in the Vosges, a mountain range in France. Soldiers had to contend with cold and snow as well as the other dangers of war. The snow presented challenges that didn’t exist in other areas. How would the soldiers get supplies, ammo, medicine, and transport their injured soldiers? Their horses found it difficult to move through snow, and when they did, it was slow going. Click here to read more, and learn how military sled dogs came into the picture, and became vital in winter theatres during World War I.


Doughboy MIA for April

PVT Jerry Harris

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is PVT Jerry Harris of the 120thInfantry/30th Division. 

Jerry Harris was born 16 May 1896 and raised in the town of Roanoke Rapids in Halifax County, North Carolina, the second of four children born to Sarah and Frank Harlour. He was working in a cotton mill when he enlisted in the North Carolina National Guard on 26 May 1917, being assigned to Company H, 3rd N.C. Infantry Regiment. When his unit was called into federal service that summer, it became Company H of the 120th Infantry, 30th Division. With them Harris traveled to France aboard the SS Bohemian on 12 May 1918.

Harris stone

The 30th Division, alongside the 27th, was assigned to the US 2nd Corps and brigaded with the British. They fought in the Ypres-Lyes Sector that summer and in the final Somme Offensive as part of the great ‘final offensive’ by the allies of the war. It was during this offensive that Harris was killed in action on 29 September 1918.  Currently, no other specific details of his death are known, but following the war the Graves Registration Service was unable to locate his battlefield grave and thus he is still listed as officially missing in action and his name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Somme American Cemetery at Bony, France. His family also erected a memorial stone for him at Cedarwood Cemetery in Roanoke Rapids. 

Want to help us dig deeper into the case of PVT Harris? Consider a tax deductible donation to our non-profit organization and help us solve his case! Simply visit www.ww1cc.org/mia today and consider a gift. Every dollar helps us find out what happened to our missing boys, and YOU get to help. 

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official Doughboy Foundation
and WWI Centennial Merchandise

Poppy Mask 2

"Remember Them" Poppy Face Mask

  • A Doughboy.shop exclusive!
  • High quality, dual-layer, machine washable fabric
  • Outer: 100% Cotton jersey knit
  • Inner: Polyester 135gsm with Anti-Microbial protection
  • Adjustable elastic ear straps for a comfortable fit
  • Flexible wire frame over the nose for secure fit
  • Width: 9.5” / 24cm x Height: 6” /15.5cm
  • Screen printed poppy design “Remember Them” inscription
  • One size – fits most adults

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial and the Doughboy Foundation.



Arthur E. Winslow

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

 

Arthur Winslow

Submitted by: AD1 (AW) Darren Winslow, USN (Ret.) {Nephew}

Arthur E. Winslow was born around 1895. Arthur Winslow 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

Arthur Winslow enlisted on June 6, 1917, he was the "First to Enlist" and has an American Legion Hall named after him, (American Legion Post #1 Rockland Maine).

After enlistment he was transferred to Augusta June 8, 1917 Company F 2nd Infantry, Maine National Guard. He sailed for overseas in the latter part of September 1917. He was promoted to Pvt 1st Class December 1, 1917 and assigned to Company F, 103rd Infantry.

He was mortally wounded in the Toul Sector on June 16, 1918 and died on July 6, 1918, at evacuation hospital No. 1 He was buried in a cemetery at Toul, word of his death was received in Rockland on July 16, 1918.

On November 11, 1927 "Armistice Day" The American Legion held services to honor the first two soldiers from Rockland that paid the supreme sacrifice, they named a block of main street in downtown Rockland "Winslow Holbrook Square" 

Read Arthur E. Winslow's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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March, 2021

Sinise button with FC logo and date bold

With only two weeks to go, we are counting down the days until we raise the Flag of the United States of America for the first time over the newly constructed National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC. We are honored to celebrate this momentous occasion with each of you via live broadcast on April 16. Please click on the video above to hear more from our host, Award-Winning Actor, Gary Sinise.

First Colors Ceremony will Introduce America's New World War I Memorial

First Colors Logo

The United States World War I Centennial Commission in cooperation with the Doughboy Foundation, the National Park Service and the American Battle Monuments Commission is sponsoring a major event to celebrate the inaugural raising of the American flag over the nation's soon-to-open World War I Memorial in Washington, DC on Friday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. EDT / 7:00 a.m. PDT. Click here to read more about this milestone event, and find out how to register to view the live broadcast of the historic ceremony. (The First Colors Ceremony is not an in-person event.)


Senators introduce Gold Medal legislation to honor “Hello Girls”

Hello Girls gold medal snip

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has introduced legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the female military telephone operators who kept American and French GIs connected during World War I. The Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act would award the medal to the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Also known as the Hello Girls, the bilingual female switchboard operators connected more than 150.000 calls per day during the war, doing so at a rate six times faster than their male counterparts. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., Ranking Member Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced the legislation. Click here to read more about this new effort to recognize the Hello Girls with the Congressional Gold Medal.


How World War I's Legacy Eclipsed the Deadly 1918 Pandemic

Doughboy pandemic snip

World War I came to an end on November 11, 1918—nine months after the first cases of what was referred to as the “Spanish Flu” were reported in the United States. Against the backdrop of the war, the 1918 influenza pandemic surged at a time when people were already experiencing scarcity in everyday supplies, coping with having loved ones serving overseas, and living in a wartime economy. A second global crisis had started before the first one ended. Click here to read more about how the legacy of World War I overshadowed the pandemic, making the unprecedented loss of life from the flu almost an afterthought.


WWI Helped Women Ditch the Corset

Corset article snip

Massive cultural shifts during and after World War I helped free women from confining roles—and the confining corsets that bound them to the previous age. Writing on the History.com web site, Jessica Pearce Rotondi notes that "The evolution of the bra re-shaped the image of what a woman could be, whether she was serving in the war effort, fighting for the right to vote, or dancing in a flapper-style dress at war’s end." Click here to read more, and learn how an American socialite patented the “brassiere” on November 3, 1914, the year World War I broke out in Europe. 


Kentucky soldier's New Testament headed to National WWI Museum

Arthur J. Douthitt

Nearly 100 years have passed since a New Testament carried by Arthur J. Douthitt into battle during World War I made its way back to his widow in Kentucky from France. Now, it will be donated to the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO. Nicole Morton Goeser said she wants to share the story of her great uncle, a native of Stanley, KY with his own community. Click here to read more, and learn about how this Kentucky soldier's Bible became and will remain a touchstone for memory of his service.


'Hello Girls' Kept World War I Communications Humming

Hello Girls 2

As the first American forces began arriving in France that summer, they found the communications network in disarray. In three years of combat, telephone lines were shot, shelled and bombed faster than they could be repaired. Army Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, found this situation intolerable. He had, however, noted the efficiency and competence of Britain’s Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps as they expertly kept England-based phone lines humming. Click here to learn more about how Pershing, having recognized a good idea when he saw one, created the Hello Girls that supported the American Expeditionary Forces so effectively in WWI.


George Dilboy was first Greek-American awarded Medal of Honor in World War I

George Dilboy

Born in the Greek settlement of Alatsata, which is today located in western Turkey, George Dilboy and his family emigrated to America in 1908 when he was 12 years old. After returning to Greece to fight as a volunteer in the Greek Army in the First and Second Balkan Wars, Dilboy came back to Somervill, MA in 1914, where he went to school and worked for a few years before volunteering to fight in the U.S. Army in the Mexican Border War from 1916 – 1917, and then re-joining the U.S. Army as a private first class to fight in the trenches of France during World War I. Click here to read more, and learn about George Dilboy, who General John Pershing listed as one of the 10 greatest heroes of the war. 


The American farmers, gardeners, and victory gardens of World War I

Fruits of Victory poster

During WWI, Europe’s food supply had been seriously depleted. European farmers had been called to serve on the front lines, abandoning their farms and resulting in a mass farming crisis. Farmlands were quickly turned into battlefields, causing significant destruction of once rich soil. Europe’s ability to keep its soldiers and general population fed was becoming more and more difficult. As a result, the United States was called upon to shoulder the demand for mass quantities of food that was desperately needed overseas. Click here to learn more about the development of the National War Garden Commission in response to the food crisis that raged in Europe.


Commemorative Bricks Support Local Maryland WWI Memorial Restoration

Bladensburg memorial snip

A 40-foot-tall monument standing at the intersections of Bladensburg Road, Baltimore Avenue, and Annapolis Road in Bladensburg, Maryland, serves as a reminder of the 49 area residents who died in World War I. This monument, commonly referred to as the Peace Cross, is owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George's County which has embarked on a mission to restore it. Click here to learn more about the Peace Cross, and the commemorative brick program developed by the department to support fundraising efforts for the Peace Cross' restoration.


NY National Guardsman Led Fight for Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Hamilton Fish III

The United States has a Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers today because a New York National Guard Major and freshman Congressman thought it was necessary 100 years ago. Hamilton Fish III, a 32-year old lawyer with a Harvard degree who could trace his roots back to the beginnings of New York, led Company K of what became known as the 369th Infantry Regiment, which went down in history as the Harlem Hellfighters. He earned a Silver Star, and the French War Cross. Fish thought that the United States, which had suffered 116,516 deaths – 53,402 in combat and 63,114 to disease-- between April 1917 and November 1918, should have a memorial to an American Unknown Soldier. Click here to learn more about how Fish, then a Congressman, introduced the federal resolution to create an Unknown Soldier memorial on November 11, 1921.


The Jihad Legacy of World War I

Wolfgang G. Schwanitz

Writing for the Foreign Policy Research Institute web site, Senior Fellow in the Middle East Program Wolfgang G. Schwanitz notes that "Known as a pious Muslim, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said in 2015 that it is most difficult to change religious rhetoric and how people use their faith. The outcomes will take many years: 'Radical misconceptions [of Islam] were instilled 100 years ago. Now we can see the results.' He may been referring to the German-Ottoman jihadization of Islamism in the early 20th century. So, what happened in World War I?" Click here to read the answer to Schwanitz's question, and learn how yet another key geopolitical aspect of the 21st Century had its origins in the chaos of World War I.


Doughboy MIA for March 2021

Corporal William Michael Barnett

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Corporal William Michael Barnett, USMC ASN271629, 84th Company/3rd Battalion/6th Marine Regiment/4th Brigade/2nd Division A.E.F.

Born in Oswego, New York on June 1st, 1892, Barnett enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on August 3rd, 1917 at Syracuse, New York. He trained at Parris Island, S.C. and upon graduation from basic training was assigned to the 119th Company at Quantico on January 8th, 1918. With them he departed for France on February 25th, 1918, where he received advanced combat training in the Toulon Sector.

In late May, with the Germans threatening Paris direct, the 2nd American Division received hurried orders to shore up crumbling French lines near Château-Thierry. The 6th Marine Regiment (which along with the 5th Marines and 6th Marine Machine Gun Battalion composed the 4th Brigade of the 2nd Division) took up positions southwest of Belleau Wood and was ordered to seize the town of Bouresches, as well as clear the southern half of Belleau Wood itself. The operation began on June 6th and these attacks were the beginning of a month-long struggle that resulted in both Marine Corps glory and heavy casualties.

On June 13th, 1918, Barnett received assignment to the 84th Company, 6th Marine Regiment as a replacement for a combat casualty. By that time, he was a Corporal. After 40 days in the sector, during which time the regiment would incur 2,143 casualties, the 6th Marines were pulled off the line for rest and refitment before again being brought into the maelstrom, this time in the Battle of Soissons.

On July 16th, the regiment was rushed to the Villers-Cotterets Forest where, on the morning of July 19th, 1918 the 6th Marines attacked in force, alone, from the town of Vierzy toward Tigny but were stopped short of their objective by extremely heavy artillery and machine gun fire. It would prove to be the single costliest day the regiment would ever face with many companies seeing upwards of 50% casualties and some as high as 70%.

It was during the attack forward that morning that Corporal Barnett was killed in action by a German sniper. He was later buried in a temporary grave in a field just outside Vierzy. However, following the war Graves Registration Service personnel were never able to locate that grave.

Want to do your part? Stand up and dig in with us by visiting www.ww1cc.org/mia

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official Doughboy Merchandise Store

First Colors Commemorative Coin 500

“First Colors” Commemorative Coin

Exclusive new design for 2021! Double-sided Bronze alloy medallion design commemorates the Doughboys of WWI, and the first raising of our nation's flag over the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC on April 16, 2021. Two-Color Soft Enamel, 1.75″ in diameter.

Our mission is to remember those who served in WWI. These commemorative gifts help make that happen.



Albert Robert Laske

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

 

Albert Robert Laske

Submitted by: Jean Burns {granddaughter}

Albert Robert Laske was born around 1894. Albert Laske served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Feb. 1918, Albert "Bert" (24 yrs. old) received induction orders to enter the Army, during World War I. He is to serve in the 25th Spruce Squadron, Vancouver Barracks, in Vancouver Washington. This Squadron is to harvest wood that will be used to build the planes they need for the war. In Dec. 1918, Bert is discharged honorable and thanked for his service, but since the war is ending, his service is no longer needed.

About the 25th Spruce Squadron: “The states of Oregon and Washington form the backdrop for one of the most interesting dramas of the First World War. When the U.S. entered the War, it was quickly discovered that the nation had no capacity to build warplanes in quantity. Even though the U.S. had invented the airplane, by 1917 the European powers had already spent years developing it for warfare, and deploying it in deadly combat. Those nations were trying to produce enough machines to keep the skies occupied over the front lines in France.

Read Albert Robert Laske's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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February 2021

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Dispatch subscribers: keep an eye on your email for a personal invitation to watch a Live Broadcast of The Inaugural Raising of the Flag of the United States of America over the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, featuring award-winning actor Gary Sinese and many other notable speakers. Not a subscriber? Subscribe now to be sure you receive your own invitation to watch this historic broadcast.

Sculpture video NJ

It's 58 feet long and 10 feet high:
New Jersey sculptor's World War I monument will speak for a nation

An in-depth look at the process of creating the sculpture for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC was recently published on the NorthJersey.com web site, and later picked up for national viewership by USA Today. Reporter Jim Beckerman interviews sculptor Sabin Howard and the whole team at his studio. Click here to read the entire interview, and watch the absorbing video.


Teaching and learning WWI in 2021 animated gif square

Last Chance: sign up for webinar today!

Click here to register TODAY to attend this FREE 2021 webinar for educators and learners about the challenges, opportunities and importance for teaching and learning about “The War That Changed the World”. “WWI Education Webinar: Strategies and Tools for Teaching (and Learning) WWI in 2021” on Feb 26, 2021 1:00 PM EST -- today.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/
register/1274955613107522318

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Can't attend today? Register anyway to receive a link to the recording later.


New Book Gives Voice to the Men of the Famous Lost Battalion of World War I

The Lost Battalion: As They Saw It.

In the history of American participation in WWI, two stories remain the most recognized: that of Sergeant York, and that of the ‘Lost Battalion.’ Now another chapter in the tale of the Lost Battalion has been told in a new book by WWI author and historian Robert J. Laplander titled The Lost Battalion: As They Saw It. Most know the general story. Between October 2nd and October 7th, 1918 Major Charles Whittlesey of the 77th Division led nearly 700 men into the narrow Charlevaux Ravine during the battle in the Argonne Forest. They were quickly surrounded by the Germans and during their five-day siege in that ravine endured starvation, continual enemy attacks, a mistaken artillery barrage by their own forces, and an eventual casualty rate of nearly 72%. Click here to learn more about this new book that tells the Lost Battalion's story through the words of its survivors..


Black heroes highlighted in call for Peace Cross restoration funding

Peace Cross MD

The Bladensburg World War I Memorial, known as the Peace Cross, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, which includes the names of four Black soldiers who died in World War I, needs money for restoration. Calls for funding are being made specifically during Black History Month. “Funds are needed to begin this vital endeavor. To address the need, the Department of Parks and Recreation is fundraising to repair the Peace Cross,” Department Resource Development Officer Tracy Wright said in a news release. “We encourage the community to join us and help support the restoration of this historical monument which honors our fallen Black heroes.” Click here to learn more about the Peace Cross, the heroes it honors, and how its restoration can be supported.


Women Answered Call in World War I

Marguerite Martin

In World War I telephone operators were needed in Europe. General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, quickly saw that women—American women–would be better at telephone work than the men. The Signal Corps was all male, and they were not only assigned to string lines but to handle all communications, and were not doing well at the latter task. A call was put out throughout America for women to serve in Europe as operators. The preferred candidates were fluent in French and English. One of the women who answered the call was Marguerite Martin. Click here to read Marguerite's story, and learn how important the "Hello Girls" were to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.


Des Moines Hosted First-Ever African American Officer Training camp

Des Moines graduates

A page of Des Moines history is also part of Black history. In 1917, a thousand African American college-educated young men came to Des Moines for the Officer Training Program. They were joined by 250 Black non-commissioned officers for training from May through October. “Des Moines has a really proud legacy of having Fort Des Moines, which is a camp where the first Black officers for the U.S. Army were trained,” said Leo Landis, curator of the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Click here to read more, and learn about one of the soldiers who came back after his military days: James B. Morris, who is remembered still at the State Historical Museum of Iowa.


Creede, CO and WWI—A Knitter’s Tale

Mary_Elting_Folsom

“Grandma, do you know how to knit?”

It was the summer of 2000 and eleven-year-old Lizzie, a beginning knitter, hoped she’d found a mentor—her ninety-four-year-old grandmother, Mary Elting Folsom. Lizzie’s question took Mary back to 1917, several months after the US entered World War I.

"Yes, Lizzie, I do know how to knit. I learned during the summer of 1917, when I was eleven. Surprisingly, my teacher was a British army recruiter who had come to my home town of Creede, Colorado."

Located high in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado, Creede was a silver mining town when Mary was born in 1906. Click here to read Mary's story, and learn the surprising reason that a British army recruiter was there in 1917 to provide knitting lessons to her.


African American suffragist supported U.S. troops in World War I for YWCA

Addie Waites Hunton

When Kathy Coker was doing research at the Richmond, VA Public Library, In preparation for Black History Month, she uncovered the fascinating story of Addie Waites Hunton, an African American suffragist, activist, writer, political organizer, educator, and officer of the the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). If all that wasn't enough to make Hunton a noteworthy historical figure, she also became involved in the YMCA’s work abroad during World War I, travelling to France in June 1918 to work with the black troops of the American Expeditionary Forces. Click here to read the entire amazing story of Addie Waites Hunton, and the astonishing and outsized role she played in American history.


French-Built and American Flown: Meet the WWI Nieuport 28 Fighter Plane

Nieuport 28

When the United States military went “over there” to take on the Huns (the Germans) during the First World War, what it lacked in equipment it more than made up for in determination. This meant that Americans often relied on foreign equipment, and in the case of aircraft the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) used what it could get. After the French rejected the Nieuport 28C.1, which was introduced in mid-1917, in favor of the far sturdier and more advanced Spad XIII, the newly arrived Americans adopted the Nieuport 28 as a stop-gap measure, and quickly the American pilots made do with what they could. Click here to read more about how American aviators with obsolete equipment were nevertheless able to perform prodigious aviation feats in WWI. 


How Rockford’s WWI Camp Grant led to an African American community center

Rockford IL

Rockford, IL is home to one of the oldest African American community centers in Illinois, a direct descendant of World War I’s Camp Grant. For more than a year, Joyce Higgins has been the executive director of the African American Resource Center (AARC) at Booker Washington Community Center, 524 Kent St, but she’s been involved at the center for decades. “The Booker Washington Center would not even exist if it wasn’t for segregation,” she said. “It’s an excitement to tell this history…there’s so much of it.” Click here to read the story of how one of the 16 cantonments used to train soldiers in WWI gained a second life in the community after the conflict ended.


A rifle and a shovel — As a wagoner in World War I, early Pablo Beach, FL resident made his mark in history

Jesse Butler headstone

The oldest headstone in Lee Kirkland Cemetery, the historic African-American graveyard in Jacksonville Beach, belongs to Jessie Butler, a native Floridian who performed back-breaking work in a seaside mining camp known as Mineral City before serving his country overseas in World War I. The upright marble headstone, issued by the U.S. Government, denotes the little-known unit he served in during the war, and, most importantly, his rank – that of wagoner. Click here to read how Jesse Butler's special capabilities played an important role supporting the U.S. Army in World War I.


Elgin’s Black Soldiers Served Proudly in U.S. Armed Forces during World War I

Elgin IL soldiers

In the period leading up to WWI, the 8th Regiment of the Illinois National Guard would make history. This unit would become known as the 370th U.S. Infantry and was made up entirely of Black soldiers, officers and commanders. The 370th Infantry would see combat in France, becoming the first U.S. regiment in the French region of Alsace-Lorraine. Among its ranks was Elgin’s own Lewis P. Andrews. Click here to read his story, and learn how the 370th fought with such distinction in France and Belgium that the Germans who fought them gave the soldiers the nickname of Schwarze Teufel, “Black Devils,” for their ferocity in combat.


WWI Changed Us: How the Philippines Shaped America’s First World War

Philippines and WWI

Ever since U.S. troops occupied the Philippines in 1898, generations of Filipinos have served in and alongside the U.S. Armed Forces, including during World War I. Join historian Christopher Capozzola at the National World War I Museum and Memorial as he reveals the forgotten history of the military relationship between the U.S. and Philippines from the colonial-era Philippine Scouts to the present day. Learn how military service in the Philippines shaped the worldview of key World War I military figures (including General John J. Pershing), and how World War I affected the Philippines and other U.S. colonies. Click here to register for the free Zoom webinar, and learn more about this forgotten chapter of America's WWI experience.


Doughboy MIA for February

Samuel Roach

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Samuel Roach. Born February 12th, 1886, in Bradford, Ohio, Private Roach was an employee of the E.C. Atkins Saw Works in Indianapolis when he enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 16th, 1917. Sent to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky for muster, he took his training at Washington D.C., where he was assigned to Company D, 6th Engineer Regiment, 3rd Division. He left for overseas on December 6th, 1917, and was killed in action on March 29th, 1918 near Villers Bretonneux. He is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Somme American Cemetery, Bony, France. Interestingly, he was initially reported to the state of Indiana as having been returned and interred at Arlington national Cemetery.

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Coin Group

2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Set

No longer available from the U.S. Mint!

These Official World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Sets are still available here on the WWI Centennial Commission's online gift shop.

NOTE: Each set comes with 2 separate coins. Each set will accompany the Official Doughboy Design alongside your choice of Military Branch.

"The United Mint certifies that this coin is a genuine 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar, minted and issued in accordance with legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 16, 2014, as Public Law 113-212. This coin was minted by the Department of the Treasury, United States Mint, to commemorate the centennial of America's involvement in World War I. This coin is legal tender of the United States."

Coin stand personalized

Compliment your Centennial Silver Dollar with a special coin display stand with an engraved personalized plate to honor your World War I ancestor. This black wooden coin stand is 3-1/2 inches in height, 1-1/2 inches in width and 2-1/2 inches in length and features silver posts. This elegant stand is a perfect way to display your your Centennial Silver Dollar or any coins on your desk or shelf.

Proceeds from the sale of these items 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 United States World War One Centennial.



Frank Clyde Mercer

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

 

Frank Clyde Mercer

Submitted by: Michael Conn {Great Grandson}

Frank Clyde Mercer was born around 1887. Frank Mercer served in World War 1 with the United States Army Air Corps. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

The service of Franklin “Clyde” Mercer in the First World War began in support of the war effort as a 30-year-old, civilian, munitions worker for the Whitaker Glessner Company, a steel production company contracted to manufacture 155mm howitzer shells at its location in New Boston, a small Ohio village within the city of Portsmouth, Ohio.

Frank’s military draft paperwork show that he was employed with Whitaker Glessner on June 5, 1917, the date of his registration for the draft.

Eleven months later, on May 17, 1918, Frank would enter military service. He was accompanied by his uncle, Harzy Walls, 6 months his junior, who was also entering the service. Now 31 years of age, Frank departed the Ohio River Valley for Camp Sevier, a military training camp located in the upstate of South Carolina, near the city of Greenville.

It was here, following their formal induction and training into the Air Service of the National Army, that Harzy and Frank would part ways. Frank was assigned to the 15th Aero Construction Company as a carpenter and would spend the early summer months getting technical training at Camp Mills and Hazelhurst Field, near Garden City, New York while Harzy would train near Norfolk, Virginia at Camp Morrison with the 27th Balloon Company for the remainder of the war.

Read Frank Clyde Mercer's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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January 2021

First Pour video image

On this date, the 58-foot long, 38-figure Memorial centerpiece sculpture titled "A Soldier's Journey" reached a new milestone on its journey, as the sculpture's first elements were cast into bronze in a "First Pour." Click on the image above to view the video.

Honoring America’s WWI servicemen and women "in a noble and timeless medium fitting to their service.”

January 19, 2021 was a significant day for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. On this date, the 58-foot long, 38-figure Memorial centerpiece sculpture titled "A Soldier's Journey" reached a new milestone on its journey, as the sculpture's first elements were cast into bronze in a "First Pour." Click here to read more about, and watch a video of, the "First Pour" of the memorial sculpture at Pangolin Editions Foundry in the United Kingdom.


Education Webinar February square

New Education Webinar: Strategies and Tools for Teaching World War I in 2021

Calling All Educators… and Learners!

Please join our panel of World War I Educators on Friday, February 26, 2021, 1pm EST,: to learn some of the best practices now available for teaching World War I History in “classrooms, online, and hybrid," all of which will be a part of 2021.

We assembled a small group of educators from different areas and parts of the country to explore issues about teaching WWI from a real-world practical perspective:

  • How teachers are adapting in teaching especially social studies, during the Pandemic.
  • How do differing State standards affect teaching WWI
  • Best practices, clever ideas, and limitations when teaching WWI
  • Is teaching WWI through advanced placement (AP) European History & World History an option; 
  • How local WWI memorials can provide community engagement learning;
  • Feedback from students about what works; 
  • and more.

Also on the agenda, we will introduce you to some of the education tools created by the Doughboy Foundation during and after the Centennial of WWI, including the USB thumb drive Website “How WWI Changed America;” specific WWI handouts for the classroom and to prompt learning and conversation; plus the innovative “WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer App” that provides an interactive augmented reality field trip to the new WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C.;  and more.

Click here to register today to attend this FREE 2021 webinar for educators and learners about the challenges, opportunities and importance for teaching and learning about “The War That Changed the World”.

 “WWI Education Webinar: Strategies and Tools for Teaching (and Learning) WWI in 2021” on Feb 26, 2021 1:00 PM EST

 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1274955613107522318

 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Doc Hall’s WWI Casualty Records

Doc Hall

In the Spring of 2011, the late James “Doc” Hall (left) visited the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, to search for World War ll KIA records of the 35th Infantry “Cacti” Regiment, in which he served in Vietnam. During his visit, Hall came across the Graves Registration records for WW l. The names he uncovered reflected the profound diversity of those who served in the Great War: immigrants, native Americans and boys from cities and farms were called to serve. Hall’s discovery of a KIA named "Isaac His Horse Is Fast" fascinated him. Hall contacted two fellow Vietnam combat veterans, Richard “Dick” Arnold and William “Bill” Henson, and proposed an ambitious project: photographing the WW l records and recording their critical data to a spreadsheet. As Henson recalls: "None of us fully understood what we were to experience." Click here to read the entire article about how three Vietnam veterans set off on a mission to remember those who preceded them in the nation's service a century ago.


Candy Bar Market Exploded After WWI

Doughboy eating candy bar

Candy bars may seem quintessentially American, but they have origins in the World War I chocolate rations given to European soldiers. The American military followed suit, helping its Doughboys develop a sweet tooth they would bring home after the war. Throughout the 1920s, thousands of small, regional confectioners emerged to meet the demand, creating a candy boom brimming with catchily named bars based on popular expressions, pop culture icons, and even dance crazes. Click here to read more about the chocolate bar explosion, and the effort of new sweets makers to take a bite out of a candy business dominated by Hershey’s, the planet’s biggest chocolate maker.


Why Keep That? exhibition opens at National WWI Museum & Memorial

Why Keep That? snip

Collecting, cataloguing, conserving. The heart of a museum is its collection, but how do Museums make decisions and who gets to answer the question, “Why Keep That?”

Why Keep That?, the latest special exhibition at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, follows the journey of a collection item from the moment it is donated to the Museum, to the decision-making and archival process of our collections staff. To help illustrate, archival staff track the processing and digitization of a collection of 16 objects and share behind-the-scenes information about obtaining the artifacts, processing the items and storing and protecting them. Click here to read more about the exhibition, and how collections largely featuring ephemera – objects usually meant to be thrown away, like ticket stubs, advertisements and written scraps – are now preserved in a museum.


Hard Hat Turns 101; Impact on Industrial Safety Never Gets Old

hard hat 1919

Luckily for industrial workers everywhere, Lt. Edward Wheatley Bullard of the U.S. Cavalry climbed out of the French trenches with an idea that would spark the industrial safety movement: the hard hat. Bullard, the son of a mining equipment supplier, was inspired by the metal helmets Doughboys wore to deflect the hail of bullets raining down on them courtesy of the Kaiser. When he returned home, he invented the first commercially available industrial hard hat, called the Hard Boiled hat. Prior to its invention and subsequent production in San Francisco, gold and copper miners in California and Nevada basically wore leather caps—which might not be all that good at stopping hail, let alone the rocks or tools potentially pouring down on them. Click here to learn more from Bullard's great granddaughter about how this now 100-year-old equipment was invented and how it has redefined protecting the workforce.


AEF ‘Christmas Package Coupon’ helped soldiers during World War I

Christmas package coupon

The War Department recognized that the United States Army soldiers fighting in France in 1918 were about to endure their second Christmas far from home. To help combat the Christmas blues, each soldier was issued one Christmas package coupon. The soldier filled in his address and sent the coupon home to someone who he thought might send him a Christmas package. Click here to learn more from Linn's Stamp News about how this system worked, how the Doughboys benefited, and why this bit of WWI ephemera is so rare today.


The Volga Germans in Portland, Oregon during World War I

Charlie Bauer

The outbreak of World War I on July 28, 1914 was met with anxiety and fear by both the Volga German colonists living in Russia and their family and friends who had immigrated to the United States. The war exacerbated Russia’s Germanophobia and Slavophile tendencies. Ethnic Germans living In the United States faced Anti-German sentiment and propaganda reaching extreme levels after America entered the war in April 1917. Click here to learn more about how the war years were an anxious time for the Volga Germans living in Portland, OR. Although they valued their ethnic German heritage and language, they also considered themselves loyal Americans.


Forgotten for 100 Years

Thomas W Regan draft card

Michael T. Naya, Jr. normally writes articles focused on World War II and the Greatest Generation, but when his research introduced him to Kenilworth, NJ  resident Thomas W. Regan, a veteran of World War I, he decided to take time to write about him. Click here to read this thoughtful portrait of "an Irish immigrant who felt the need to serve his country so he answered the call to duty," whose "story deserves to be remembered especially today."


Doughboy MIA for Month

Leonard Charles Aitken

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is 1st LT Leonard Charles Aitken.  Born in Reno, Nevada on 10 June 1897, Leonard Aitken grew up in California, where he joined the California National Guard at 18 years of age. When the trouble broke out with Mexico, he reported for duty in June, 1916 and served along the border with the hospital corps, attending elements of what would, a year later, become the 160th Infantry, 40th Division. Following America’s declaration of war on Germany, on 7 April 1917, Aitken reported to the Officers Training School at San Diego and upon graduation, shipped to France in August, 1918 as a 2nd lieutenant with the 158th Infantry, 40th Division. There, on 20 October 1918, he was sent as a replacement officer to the 372nd Infantry, 93rd Division, then holding a section of the line in the Alsace sector near Hill 607.

On 7 November, while leading his platoon on a night action, Aitkens and his men captured several prisoners but unknowingly walked into the line of fire of a German machine gun nest, which opened up on them, killing or capturing all but two enlisted men of the patrol and freeing the prisoners. Without hesitation Lieutenant Aitken immediately advanced against the position with the intent of eliminating it, but he was shot twice in the chest and killed in the endeavor. The end result was that they captured 1 officer (Aitkens) and 22 men; however the date of Aitkens’ death is given as 8 November 1918.

Following the Armistice, GRS officials went on the search for Aitkens’ remains, but had little luck. Their hardest clue was a report that German officers had buried Aitkens with full military honors “in the churchyard of the tiny hamlet of La Paive, some 40 miles east of Epinal, France.” There being no town by that name anywhere in that area, this was almost certainly actually the town of La Pariee which is indeed in the area of the action of 7 November. Nothing was ever found however and his remains continued to be unlocated in the years following the war. As investigations continued, in January 1924, GRS sent a letter to Aitkens’ father requesting a civilian dental chart, but also admitting in the letter that in all probability he was among the Unknown burials, though how this information was considered is not stated in his surviving file.

A final attempt at some kind of identification came in December 1926 when the case files of Aitkens and one other officer from the 372nd Infantry were checked against a set of Unknown remains at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery morgue. It was a long shot, however, as the remains being checked came from a French cemetery in the Marne sector some 300 kilometers northwest of where both officers in question were at the time of their deaths. Not surprisingly, neither officer’s remains were a match and Aitkens’ case was officially closed in 1932 without resolution.

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of 1st LT Leonard Charles Aitken and all the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia today to make your donation, and sign up there to get more information on other ways that you may be able to help.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Jacket and Vest

You can wear your American pride and stay warm this winter with these two Made in the USA garments Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy. This poignant silhouette of a lone soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago.

Sweatshirt features: Navy with white Doughboy embroidery. 80% cotton/20% polyester,  9.5 Oz. High quality heavy weight pre-shrunk fabric. Sweatshirt has ¼  zip pullover with cadet collar and silver metal zipper. Ribbed cuffs and waistband with spandex. Cover-seamed arm holes. Mens’ sizes available Small and Medium.

Vest features: Black with white Doughboy embroidery. 100% spun polyester, 12.5 Oz. Premium anti-piling fleece. Vest has full zip front with two side seam pockets. Mens’ sizes available S – 2XL.

Proceeds from the sale of these items will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included. 

These and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.



J. Arthur Mayer

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

 

J. Arthur Mayer

Submitted by: John A Mayer {Son}

J. Arthur J. Arthur Mayer born around 1893. J. Mayer served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Veterans Day has always seemed special to me. My Dad, J. Arthur Mayer, was a WW I veteran and I grew up hearing his reminiscences. On the one hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day I felt compelled to record some of those “rememberies.” Our once close-knit family has spread to the four corners and there is no one left in the immediate family who seems much interested, so I’ll post it here in his memory FWIW. (Yeah, we skipped a generation. Dad was born in 1893, and was 50 before I was born in 1944. I’m the age of my second cousins. Many of my first cousins were WW II veterans.)

Dad was 24 when he was drafted off the farm. He entered active duty in July 1918, and was sent to Camp Pike, Arkansas for basic training, I think for 4-5 weeks. He was one of the older men in his group, and was offered NCO Academy training. But he said it was so hot and humid and generally miserable there that when his group was given the opportunity to “go to Brest”- the debarkation point for the American Expeditionary Force in France – that he volunteered for that. He said it was to escape the misery of Arkansas, but I suspect he also felt some duty to go in place of his older married brothers who were starting families and other married men.

Read J. Arthur Mayer's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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December 2020

Horses and Airplanes

French cavalry with an aircraft overhead, 1916. World War I was a time of incredible technological innovation and so is its remembrance in the 21st Century.

Technology & WWI: Then and Now

“'The soldiers rode into World War I on horseback and rode out in tanks and airplanes,' is a popular quote about WWI. 'The War that Changed the World' was a driving force for incredible technology advancement and innovation. So it is only fitting that WWI’s remembrance should also be imbued with innovation," writes Theo Mayer, Chief Technologist of the United States World War One Centennial Commission and The Doughboy Foundation. Click here to take a look at the 21st century technologies now being used for the remembrance and commemoration of WWI, including Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, podcasting, streaming, photogrammetry, 3D printing, and more.


Support the Doughboy Foundation
this giving season!

Doughboy Foundation figure

As you consider making donations this holiday season, we hope you will include the Doughboy Foundation in your year-end giving plans.

To give online, please visit the Doughboy Foundation web site here

Checks may be made out to the Doughboy Foundation and mailed to:

The Doughboy Foundation
PO Box 17586
Arlington, VA 22216

Online gifts must be made by December 31st at 11:59pm EST and checks must be dated December 31 to receive 2020 tax credit.

With your support, we look forward to launching new initiatives in this next phase of the commemoration of and education about WWI in the new year.


Pershing’s Paths of Glory comes to life

Pershing's Paths of Glory poster

Joe Hartnett and Dayle Hartnett, Ph.D.of the Pacific Film Foundation recount the inspiration and evolution of the new film Pershing's Paths of Glory, now available on DVD via Amazon.com, and to be available streaming on Amazon in 2021. The film is intended to help people understand the achievements of Pershing and his role in the defeat of the Central Powers in WWI. Click here to read all about how the movie came to be made, the process of filming on two continents, and the continuing importance of Pershing’s influence and legacy in the 21st century.


“Here is poetry’s abundance in the face of horror”

nternational Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology of Lost Voices

Connie Ruzich received a Fulbright Scholar award to live in England and research the ways in which poetry was being used in commemorations of the First World War. She collected "lost poems" from WWI and shared them in the Behind Their Lines blog, officially endorsed by the US World War I Centennial Commission. After six years, 250 posted poems, and over 500,000 views, the research from the blog has been extensively revised and published as a book: International Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology of Lost Voices. Click here to read more about the book and blog, what Ruzich learned from her research, and how poetry can provide "intimate views of war and destruction that can be otherwise too immense to grasp."


Confessions of a Sledge Hammer Antique Truck Restorer

Dave Lockard

"Packard Dave" Lockard, long-time friend to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, is an award-winning antique automobile/truck enthusiast who owns several World War I-era Packard military vehicles. We previously interviewed him on the occasion of his receiving two Antique Automobile Club of America national awards. Now Dave has written an "auto" biography of sorts to tell the tale of his acquisition of the WWI-era Packard vehicles, and his restoration odysseys during the past three quarters of a century. Click here to get started on the inside scoop about how a self-professed "pathetically incompetent" vehicle restorer came to be the owner of so many showpiece antique vehicles, for which he gives credit to his "amazing & giving friends" over the past fifty years.


The Hidden History of First Black Women to Serve in WWI U.S. Navy

Golden Fourteen

When Jerri Bell first wrote about the Golden Fourteen, their story only took up a sentence. These 14 Black women were the first to serve in the U.S. Navy, and Bell, a former naval officer and historian with the Veteran’s Writing Project, included them in a book about women’s contributions in every American war, co-written with a former Marine. But even after the book was published, Bell couldn’t get their story out of her head. “It made me kind of mad,” Bell says. “Here are these women, and they were the first! But I think there was also a general attitude at the time that the accomplishments of women were not a big deal. Women were not going to brag.” Click here to read more about how Bell was to track down the documents that acknowledge the lives and work of these Black Navy women in World War I.


VA county Supervisors Vote to Replace Segregated WWI Memorial Plaque

Loudoun County plaque

A memorial in the courthouse square to Loudouners who died serving in World War I will be replaced with one that does not segregate those service members by race. The plaque, on a stone monument, lists 30 names. Three of those are at the bottom of the plaque, separated by a line—the three Black people on the list, Pvts. Ernest Gilbert, Valentine B. Johnson and Samuel C. Thornton. The memorial was erected 1921, three years after the war, donated by the American Legion. Click here to learn how the plaque will be replaced with a new one with all of the names listed together.


Wheeling Park Doughboy in WV has his rifle back after year of restorations

Wheeling, WV Doughboy

Over one year later, the Doughboy statue in Wheeling Park in Wheeling, WV is back, and near a century old, is looking better than ever after a restoration. Covered in dents, bird droppings, rust head to toe, a missing rifle and a hand poorly reattached...the elements were not kind to this 88-year-old figure, but Wheeling was. Click here to read more about how individuals and local foundations raised a whopping $21,000 to fix the Doughboy, a cost the friendly city deemed deserving as he stands to remind the Ohio Valley of all who fought for our freedom in World War I.


Curious about World War I memorial, Washington State woman researches the names set in stone

Whidby Island, WA Memorial

Although she had walked by the World War I memorial numerous times when she still lived on Whidbey Island, Candace Nourse-Hatch didn’t know who put it there or the stories of the men on the stone monument. Nourse-Hatch’s great-uncle, Harry Nourse from the Maxwelton area on South Whidbey, is one of the eight men from Island County who died during their military service in World War I. They are memorialized on a stone monument in front of the Island County courthouse, right across the street from Coupeville Town Hall. Click here to read how Nourse-Hatch collected biographical and military service information about each of the men over the course of a year, and what she learned about them and the war in which they served.


Lynbrook's Doughboy Monument, 100, once center of 'village civil war'

Lynbrook's Doughboy Monument

In this day and age when some want to take down statues from past generations and wars, Lynbrook has its own statue that has stood for 100 years, as of this past October. However, the statue did cause some controversy in the 1930s, with one newspaper saying it caused a “village civil war.” That statue is the veteran’s Doughboy Monument (also called the Soldiers and Sailors monument in the 1920s), a statue of a World War I soldier which stands on a small plot of an island in Saperstein Plaza behind Lynbrook’s Long Island Rail Road station. It is the centerpiece of the village’s war monuments. On the four-sided pedestal below the statue are the names of 15 local soldiers killed in action in World War I. Click here to read more about the many travels and final installation of the Doughboy.


Port Jervis, NY rededicates World War I monument to veterans

Port Jervis, NY WWI monument

As many people celebrated Veterans Day in quiet ways on their own due to pandemic restrictions, Port Jervis, NY Mayor Kelly Decker and a small number of local musicians carried out a brief, socially distanced rededication at at the town's Skinners Park. In 1940, the 20-ton granite disc monument was “dedicated to the memory of the living and dead from WWI” This November’s rededication included the addition of a perpetual flame and a bronze plaque naming the 34 Port Jervis men who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty during World War I. Click here to read more about the history of the monument, and how the recent rededication ceremony took place.


WWI-era U.S. submarine found frozen in time on ocean floor by N.J. dive team

WWI-era U.S. submarine off NJ

A post-World War I-era submarine has been found on the ocean floor near the Delmarva Peninsula and appears to be fully intact and upright, a salvage rescue company said. The vessel is believed to be a decommissioned U.S. Navy R-8 class submarine sunk during a practice bombing exercise in 1936. “The discovery is historically important because R-8 is one of few American submarines resting in [accessible] East Coast waters that had yet to be located,” a statement from Atlantic Wreck Salvage said. Click here to read more about the submarine discovery, and when the wreck, currently "in pristine condition,” will be explored further to finalize the identification.


Baking During a Time of Crisis

Bakers in Paris 1918

In World War I, food scientists around the nation focused on bread making as essential to winning the war. Government commissions studied baking and milling to economize both the process and nutritional value, recognizing that wheat, having been essential in European food aid prior to U.S. entry into World War I in April 1917, was one of the major energy sources for Americans both “over there” and on the home front. Click here to read more, and learn how feeding more than 4 million Americans serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, while continuing to supply agricultural provisions for allies, was a tactical feat that relied upon military precision and a broad base of support among the population.


Doughboy MIA for December 2020

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

For our MIA article this month, Doughboy MIA is going to take the opportunity to introduce you all to some of the changes coming to us and our program in 2021. Many of you will have received an email recently asking your basic level of interest in what it is we do. Your response was overwhelming and appreciated! It is heartening to know how much America still cares for her lost sons from the war that changed the world! As we move forward through this new year, expect to learn more about us and what we will be doing.

First off though, this month we would like to address the main questions we face in our work: why, and why now? The ‘why’ encompasses a complex answer. First, it’s about commemoration. Commemoration is our primary focus; It isn't all about recovery of remains, but it IS about making an accounting. First and foremost, we look at the cases and try to make a determination as to what happened to these men. We have technology that can cross match details - they had shoe boxes of index cards and paper files to sift through. Our #1 goal is to tell their stories and keep them from being forgotten, researching and recording these men and what happened to them. There is no full record of them and this is a travesty that has stood for too long. No more will these men be forgotten if we can help it – and we will. As our motto states: a man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our secondary mission is attempted recovery of remains, if the situation appears possible. Today we have technology available to us that make the search beyond anything they could have dreamed of following the war. With that in mind the question of ‘why’ then begs the answer ‘why not’?

Yet the biggest reason for making any attempt at bringing them home boils down to one main reason really. America made a promise to her soldiers and families in 1917: she would bring everyone home. This was America's first major overseas operation. For the very first time we were going to send a major force to fight on foreign shores and there were many in the public with grave concerns about our involvement in what was generally considered a 'European affair'. To that end, America assured the public that she would care for her soldiers properly - dead or alive, we would all come home. However, following the war the number and type of casualties we would incur in France and Belgium posed the US with the herculean task of caring for 116,000 dead in just 19 months; 56,000 of these in combat. Public opinion had shifted as well, with a little over half of the families (59%) wanting their loved one brought home and the rest believing it was right to leave them in France beside their comrades. In the end, of the 75,000 burials in France only 31,000 would stay.

This included MIA's. Between 1919 and 1932 the GRS went to extraordinary lengths to find the missing (most of whom were buried in battlefield graves that were just never located; contrary to popular belief most were not 'blown to bits by shell fire') and identify the recovered remains that went as unknown. Their efforts were truly heroic and ongoing, exhausting every avenue available at the time. Beginning in 1932 the GRS took one last look at each and every file of a missing serviceman, making one final attempt for them before systematically closing the files. By 1934 all the files were closed, the cemeteries overseas were closed to further interment, and all search efforts were suspended. They had done all they could to keep the promise. The names of the missing were commemorated on the Tablets to the Missing at each of the US cemeteries overseas as a permanent memorial.

Since then a few sets of remains have turned up over the years and the military did what was proper for these men. It must be remembered: they are still United States service personnel and thus the responsibility of the US military. To that end the military still has a responsibility to them and a promise to keep to their families. Many families were devastated by the loss of their loved one, particularly as they were never 'found'. Time and again we at Doughboy MIA talk to current relatives that know the family history - that the loss left a hole in the family felt to this day. To that end, Doughboy MIA remains aware of the responsibility of America to these families. These men deserve a named grave for the simple fact they lost their lives in the service of their country and were promised we wouldn't leave them behind. Again, if they had had access to the tech back then that we do now, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The passing of the years does not eliminate the responsibility we have to these soldiers and their families.

That brings us to the ‘why now’? Basically it’s because this is very likely the last window of opportunity there will be. The tech is here now; that is what drew us to the possibility of recovery. But hand in hand with that is the fact that in another 20-30 years any remains recovered will likely be far too degraded for a positive DNA sampling, despite advances in tech. Further, by then yet another generation will have gone by. As each generation comes and goes, the legal line of DNA in a family stretches and thins. In another generation of two we won't be able to successfully gain a legal DNA sample from a bloodline. Thus, this window of opportunity we currently face today is likely the last opportunity for these men, and that window is closing. What kind of country would we be if we had that last opportunity and let it go by?

You can help too. YOU can be a part of the solution with us. Simply consider making a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization and help make it possible to keep these men alive. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia today to make your donation. You may also sign up there to get more information on other ways you may be able to help.

Above all remember: a man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Join us in helping keep them from ever being forgotten again.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Books

Lest We Forget: The Great War World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. One of the nation’s premier military history institutions pays tribute to the Americans who served and the allies they fought beside to defeat a resourceful enemy with a lavishly illustrated book.  It is an official product of the United States World War One Centennial Commission and is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and what would become the Air Force. It serves as a lasting reminder that our world ignores the history of World War I (and the ensuing WWII) at its peril―lest we forget. 

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a stunning presentation of contemporary photographs taken by the author that are paired with diary entries written by his grandfather, George A. Carlson, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. Jeff Lowdermilk followed his grandfather's path through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and returned with these meticulously crafted photographs and his own engaging stories that bring the diary to life for contemporary readers. Lowdermilk's passion for World War I and military history began as a young boy when he listened to his grandfather tell his stories about serving as an infantryman-- a "Doughboy"--in Europe during the Great War.

Proceeds from the sale of these books 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 United States World War One Centennial.



Henry Eugene Quinn

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

 

Henry Eugene Quinn

Submitted by: Diana Quinn Cotton {Granddaughter}

Henry Eugene Quinn born around 1899. Henry Quinn served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service, Addendum, & Personal Notes

PFC Henry E. Quinn served as a company runner in Co. F 28th Infantry 1st Division, American Expeditionary Forces, United States Army, during World War I and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Croix de Guerre, and Victory Medal with Five Battle Clasps.

My grandfather, Henry Eugene Quinn, was born in Anniston, Alabama, on January 31, 1899. He was the fourth of eleven children of William Eugene Quinn (1865-1945) and Emma Langdon (Fowler) Quinn (1873-1963). He stood 5’ 8” tall, had red hair, blue eyes, a fair complexion, and was covered in freckles. His nicknames were “Bud” (at home) and “Red” (in the Army).

In his World War I memoirs, written many years after the war, Henry wrote:

“March 1917—Applied for enlistment at Monroe (LA), was examined by a colonel Dr. who was rather rough in criticizing my physical condition, stated that I looked like a picked chicken, etc., account of being so skinny. I was not use to such criticism & talked rather rough to him in return. Sgt. was in the background motioning me to hush, etc., but I said my say. Col. flared up & stated, ‘He will do Sgt—I will get a waver on his weight tonight.’ I was 11 lbs. under weight.”

Henry briefly returned to Swartz, LA, to inform his family he had joined the Army and to tell them goodbye. His father “shook hands & told me that I had been my own boss for some time, but now I had a real boss.”

Read Henry Eugene Quinn's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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November 2020

Sculpture_WABC

Earlier this month, WABC-TV in New York City broadcast a story on the crafting of the sculpture for the National World War I Memorial. The television crew interviewed sculptor Sabin Howard and World War I Centennial Commission Commissioner Libby O'Connell in Sabin's New Jersey studio. Click the image above to watch the video and read the article on the WABC web site.

Save the Date this “Giving Tuesday” for the Doughboy Foundation

Doughboy Foundation logo giving tuesday

We proudly announce that on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the Doughboy Foundation (DBF) will join the global movement “Giving Tuesday,” that helps people and organizations transform their communities and the world. In tandem with this day, the DBF is expanding its mission of stewardship to support the National WWI Memorial, and the remembrance of all those who served and sacrificed in WWI; to keep the story of the War that Changed the World in the minds of all Americans so that the 4.7 million who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in #WW1 will never again be relegated to the mists of obscurity. This exciting time of Doughboy Foundation expansion will bring new programs and activities to all Americans to facilitate knowledge, understanding, and remembrance of WWI and all those who served. As many of you know, the Doughboy Foundation has been working hand-in-glove with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission for the past 5 years as we commemorated  #WWI, and have been building the National WWI Memorial site in D. C., scheduled to open in Spring of 2021. Please look for an email on Dec. 1, Giving Tuesday, about how you can help launch this next phase of commemorating WWI.


Preparations Underway for Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial in 2021

1921 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) Centennial Committee is preparing for the 100th anniversary of the burial of an Unknown American Soldier who fought and died in World War I and is buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. On the 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month in 2021 Americans will pause to recognize those who have sacrificed and those who will sacrifice in the future in the defense of America’s freedom and democracy.  “It is important to remember that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is not just about World War I, but it is about every individual who has ever served - or will ever serve - and America’s promise to them that they will never forget them,” says SHGTUSP resident Gavin McIlvenna. “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier fosters a unifying national identity that transcends our differences of politics, race or religion, and we have applied our best efforts to plan, develop and initiate a number of activities suitable for this solemn occasion of national importance.” Click here to learn more about the plans for the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Celebrating Thanksgiving amid a pandemic. Here's how we did it in 1918 – and what happened next

Thanksgiving headlines 2018

More than 200,000 dead since March. Cities in lockdown. Vaccine trials underway.  And a holiday message, of sorts: "See that Thanksgiving celebrations are restricted as much as possible so as to prevent another flare-up."  It isn't the message of Thanksgiving 2020. It's the Thanksgiving Day notice that ran in the Omaha World Herald on Nov. 28, 1918, when Americans found themselves in a similar predicament to the millions now grappling with how to celebrate the holiday season amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Every time I hear someone say these are unprecedented times, I say no, no, they're not," said Brittany Hutchinson, assistant curator at the Chicago History Museum. "They did this in 1918." Click here to read more in this USA TODAY article about the eerie similarities between two Thanksgiving observances one hundred and two years apart.


What Thanksgiving Dinners Looked Like During World War I Rationing

sailor with drumstick

In 2020, it's safe to say most of us just experienced a highly unusual Thanksgiving. Between eschewing gathering with family and friends to making do with different dishes due to food supply issues, it has seemed like one of the weirdest holiday seasons to date. But not so long ago, before the nation was grappling with the novel coronavirus, the United States was battling another foe: the Central Powers of World War I. As WWI raged on, Americans experienced five Thanksgivings during wartime before the Treaty of Versailles was signed, meaning that things looked decidedly different at the holiday dinner table. Click here to read more about what Americans were eating for Thanksgiving during WWI, including some eyebrow-raising items.


One of America’s Finest Hours in Humanitarian Aid is Little-known Today

Yanks Behind the Lines cover

Today, whenever there are civilians anywhere in the world in harm’s way—from a natural disaster to an armed conflict—the nearly universal response has been: “America will help.” That was not the case before World War I (1914–1918). Prior to that horrific conflict—and long before US aid programs such as the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, and the Food for Peace program—America was better known as a nation of shopkeepers more interested in the bottom line than in saving strangers in need. Author Jeffery Miller explores what helped alter that view: the American-led, nongovernmental CRB, which, working with its Belgian counterpart, the Comité National de Secours et d’Alimentation, helped save from starvation nearly ten million Belgian and northern French civilians trapped behind German lines during the four years of World War I, making it the largest food relief program the world had ever seen. Click here to learn more about how the CRB began the redefinition of how the world saw America, how America perceived its role in the world, and how worldwide humanitarian aid would be administrated in the future.


Thank-you letters from Belgium in 1915 point back to unlikely Minnesota hero

James Ford Bell

Handwritten by Belgian school girls caught in the middle of an adult clash, the letters from 1915 are frank and brimming with gratitude. Germany had invaded their country, British allies mounted a blockade to starve out the German soldiers, and millions of innocent Belgians faced starvation at the outset of World War I. A traveling exhibit of these translated letters — “When Minnesota Fed the Children of Europe” — visited the Mall of America in Minneapolis in October.  The girls’ letters were written generally to their American peers, but two unlikely men with Midwestern ties were pivotal players behind the massive relief effort that helped feed 150 million Europeans a century ago, from 1914 to 1923. Click here to read about the two men, one very well-known, the other known better now for his post-war business legacy that is still in operation today.


Michael Neiberg remembers the World War I roots of Veterans Day

Veterans Day flag

Writing on the US Army War College web site, historian Michael Neiberg recalls that "The first Veterans Day (then called Armistice Day), on November 11, 1919, was a solemn and serious event commemorated worldwide. The First World War left behind an estimated three million widows and six million orphans, in addition to eight million men killed in combat and unknown millions more who died in the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. Marking the one-year anniversary of the end of the fighting gave people a chance to honor all of the victims, military and civilian alike, of this terrible war." Click here to read more about how Armistice day changed from a WWI-focused commemoration to a day remembering all Americans who served their nation in uniform during war and peace.


Springfield, Illinois park renamed for World War I hero Otis Duncan

Otis Duncan

The Springfield Park District board voted in September to rename a near north side park after Otis B. Duncan, the highest-ranking Black officer to serve in the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I. “It gives us an opportunity to honor someone who is truly worthy,” park board president Leslie Sgro said of Duncan, before the vote. “I just love the idea we put forward this individual who has long been overlooked, I believe. His star is starting to shine in our community, as it should have for a century, but better late than never.” Click here ti learn more about Duncan, the American Legion post named in his honor, and the events that led to the vote on the 147th anniversary of Duncan’s birth.


Meet Mary Muirhead of Elgin, Illinois and the World War I Army Nurse Corp

Mary Muirhead's World War I dog tag

American nurses have a long and fabled history of selfless service during the most critical times of war. The nursing professionals’ contributions ultimately became the justification for a permanent female nurse corps, and when the United States entered World War I, there were only 403 Army nurses on active duty. But by November 1918, the number rose to 21,460. Mary Muirhead, born and raised in Elgin, IL, was one of those nurses. Click here to learn more about how she was one who answered the call for nurses to serve in the U.S. Army and naval hospitals and with base hospitals.


Grave marker dedicated to Buffalo Soldier who served in World War I

Bugler American Legion

A Buffalo Soldier from Toledo, OH who served his country during World War I finally got the sendoff to heaven he deserved. John M. Fields, a black Army private who served in France and was honorably discharged on July 21, 1919, had been buried at Forest Cemetery with no grave marker since dying on Dec. 28, 1960. That changed on Veterans Day this year.  Click here to read more, and learn how The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution took up the cause and got Private Fields the grave marker he deserved 60 years later.


A Plainfield, NJ World War I Story Reaches "Across the Pond"

US-Irish flags

In May 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, TAPinto Plainfield published an article announcing the Drake House Museum's online exhibit entitled “Plainfield During WWI and the Influenza Pandemic.” That article, it turned out, would connect the past to the present. Leanne Manna, a Trustee at the Drake House, curated the exhibit and posted it online. Rutgers University Intern Stephanie Quartsin and Nancy Piwowar helped to research and document the veterans. The article included the name of one casualty, Martin J. Kane, and a relative of his, who lives Ireland, found the article about the online exhibit. Click here to read more about how a family’s inquiry was answered, and the pieces of a puzzle over 100 years in the making were fitted together.


Minnesota family recovers century-old letter from World War I

Minnesota letter

A century-old letter written by a Nobles County, Minn., World War I veteran is in the hands of his granddaughter, thanks to a casual conversation among distant cousins at a family gathering. Henry Slater penned a letter home to his Wilmont, Minn., family on June 15, 1918, from somewhere in France. That the letter is now in the hands of Slater’s son, Jim, and granddaughter, Barb (Slater) Froiland, is a story in itself.  Click here to read more and learn how this letter home from the Great War has now found its way home again.


Reflections on “The Songs of World War One” Program from 1917 to 1919

Cecelia Otto

In March of 2017, Cecelia Otto debuted a concert program titled, “The Songs of World War One”. Writing on the americacansongonline.com web site, Otto notes that "I knew that people would learn and enjoy the program, but I had no idea how it would be received. It was a wonderful surprise to find out not only that people enjoyed the concerts, but that I performed the music well past the 100th anniversary of the Armistice – all the way to November of 2019." Click here to read Otto's entire article, and learn how her two and a half years of performing WWI songs connected her "with so many people nationwide who had their own stories and songs to share."


Fur N Feathers: Book honors animals and people who served in World War I

Fur N Feathers book cover

When the Arkansas Department of Heritage chose the theme of World War I for Heritage Month events during the war's centennial, it encouraged programs and activities across the state. Marie Wagner of the Chugach Arts Council Chugach Arts Council writes that the organization's "goal with this project was to use our talents and blessings to honor the animals and people that served in WWI and to bring awareness and support for animal welfare organizations. Coincidentally, we found that art itself played a crucial role in the war efforts." Click here to learn more about how the organization's efforts gained participation "from across the continent" in an art show, an exhibit, and a book, "Fur N Feathers: Animal Heroes of WWI..


How a World War I centennial exhibit evolved into an immersive card game

The Great War™ card game card back

The San Francisco War Memorial building complex was dedicated on November 11, 1932, as a memorial to all American veterans who served in The Great War. In 2018 the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission designated it as a 100 Cities / 100 Memorials awardee. Dana Lombardy was tasked in 2018 to create a centennial exhibit about WWI for the facility. Writes Lombardy: "The project consumed me. For eleven months in 2018 I lived for The Great War. But my extensive research resulted in another creation, one that might reach an even larger audience: a simple, fast-playing card game about World War One that could educate while it entertained." Click here to read more about the exhibit, the creation of the WWI game, and how such card games can educate while they entertain.


Doughboy MIA for November 2020

As Doughboy MIA wraps up their year and prepares for some big doings in 2021, we would like to repeat a story from November 2019 that hits close to home for us.

Frank Ellenberger

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is PVT Franklin Ellenberger - and has a special story!

Born on 12 July, 1892, Frank Ellenberger was from Wilmington, Ohio and was drafted into the army on 27 May, 1918. Sent to Camp Beauregard at Alexandria, Louisiana he was assigned training with the 41st Company, 159th Depot Brigade for indoctrination before being sent to Company I, 153rd Infantry Regiment, 39th 'Delta' Division. The 39th left for France on 6 August, 1918 and once Over There was re-designated as the 5th Depot Division (replacement division). From there, Ellenberger was sent to Company K, 128th Infantry, 32nd 'Red Arrow' Division in September, 1918. When the 32nd went forward to relieve the 91st Division during the Meuse-Argonne campaign on 4 October, 1918 PVT Ellenberger was among them.

The 32nd would be the first division to crack the Kriemhilde Stellung six days later, on 10 October, 1918, but by that time Ellenberger was already dead. A statement by his sergeant says he "saw Private Ellenberger killed instantly by fragments from a high explosive shell. Hit in the head... on October 7th, 1918 while in action near Epinonville." At the time Ellenberger's battalion (the 3rd) was supporting attacks made by the 125th Infantry south of Romagne sous Montfaucon who would, within a few days, capture the ground that the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery occupies today.

Laura Ellenberger

No record of his burial ever made it back to the Graves Registration Service however, and while two separate searches were made for him following the war, nothing further was ever found concerning his case and it was closed in December, 1919. His mother, Laura Ellenberger (right) made the Gold Star Mother's Pilgrimage to see her sons name on the Tablet of the Missing at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in 1931.

Jeremy Wayne Bowles

Then, on the evening of 4 November, 2019, our Assistant Field Manager here at Doughboy MIA, Mr Jeremy Wayne Bowles (at left, and popularly known as 'The Dayton Doughboy') was doing some research into Ohio soldiers that served in the war with his family's help when his mother happened to notice a name that rang a bell with her... Ellenberger. Later that night, just on a hunch, she pulled out the family tree to check that name and found an entry for a Private Franklin Ellenberger KIA in the war, who had been her great grandmother's brother. Jeremy checked the ABMC website to find out if this relative of his - whom he had not known about before - was buried in France or had come home, and found that he was MIA!

Infer what you want about this story, but it certainly would seem some sort of intervention was at work here for a worker with Doughboy MIA to discover through accident and hunch that HE was related to an MIA from that war - another example that a man is only missing if he is forgotten!

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise makes great Christmas gifts!

Coin set

2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Set

No longer available from the U.S. Mint!

These Official World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Sets are still available here on the WWI Centennial Commission's online gift shop.

NOTE: Each set comes with 2 separate coins. Each set will accompany the Official Doughboy Design alongside your choice of Military Branch.

"The United Mint certifies that this coin is a genuine 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar, minted and issued in accordance with legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 16, 2014, as Public Law 113-212. This coin was minted by the Department of the Treasury, United States Mint, to commemorate the centennial of America's involvement in World War I. This coin is legal tender of the United States."

Coin stand personalized

Compliment your Centennial Silver Dollar with a special coin display stand with an engraved personalized plate to honor your World War I ancestor. This black wooden coin stand is 3-1/2 inches in height, 1-1/2 inches in width and 2-1/2 inches in length and features silver posts. This elegant stand is a perfect way to display your your Centennial Silver Dollar or any coins on your desk or shelf.

Proceeds from the sale of these items 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 United States World War One Centennial.



Fred Hitner

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

 

Fred Hitner

Submitted by: Robin Hitner {Great Nephew}

Fred Hitner was born around 1893. Fred Hitner 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

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, I was told that I had a great uncle from Nashville, named Fred Hitner, who died in WWI. His name is listed on a World War I memorial statue located in Centennial Park in Nashville that I visited several times growing up. My dad had a picture of his grave and cross located in Belgium (see attached). It appeared to be a temporary mass grave. We had no pictures of himself in our possession. Unfortunately, my dad did not have much information on Fred except for his parent’s names and what looked like a typed draft of an obituary.

This unofficial obituary stated that he “lost his life in Waeregham, [Waregem] Belgium in the service of his country on November 11, 1918.” I could never find an official newspaper obituary. Other documents such as the Gold Star Records from the Tennessee State Library and Archives listed the same date and place. I thought how interesting that he died on the last day of war. I became extremely interested in finding out how and where he died.

Read Fred Hitner's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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