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Douhitt group 1200Arthur J. Douthitt (left) of Kentucky was killed in action in WWI serving with the U.S. Army. A New Testament he carried to war has been donated by his family to the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO.

Kentucky WWI soldier's New Testament heading to museum 

By Nathan Havenner
via the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer newspaper (KY) web site 

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, Missouri.

Nicole Morton Goeser said she wants to share the story of her great uncle, a native of Stanley, with his own community.

While Douthitt was killed in action, reportedly by an enemy sniper while serving with the U.S. Army in France, his New Testament, kept safe in a red Velvet tobacco tin, was recovered from the battlefield. In February 1923, his widow Lillian Douthitt received an unexpected letter from a Mr. Fred Robak of Birmingham, England.

“In going through my brother-in-law’s effects a few days ago, I found amongst them a testament and inside the cover is a note asking in case of accident for someone to return it to you,” the letter read.

On the inside cover of the New Testament given to him by his mother in 1904, Douthitt had written, “In case of accident, will someone please send this little testament to my dear wife, Mrs. Arthur J. Douthitt, Stanley, KY, USA.”

Considering that five years had passed since the close of WWI in 1918, Robak wanted to make sure he had the proper address before sending the tin and New Testament back to Kentucky.

“I just know that letter was sent to Great Aunt Lillian first because the gentlemen had her husband’s testament and he wanted to make sure that he had the correct address first,” Goeser said.

After the death of Lillian Douthitt in 1966 and her daughter, Hazel, in 1978, a daughter her father was never able to meet, the tin and New Testament passed to Goeser’s mother, Elizabeth, before being given to her.

It has been a treasured family keepsake, one that has helped keep the memory of Douthitt alive and well through the decades. 

 

huizenga purple heart 032621U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, presented the Purple Heart posthumously to New Haven's Charles Conklin, who died in World War I. Huizenga praised the courage and resilience of Conklin and all those who fought in World War I.

Grand Haven, MI man killed in WWI honored with Purple Heart 

By WOODTV.com staff
via the WOOD TV television station (MI) web site 

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A soldier from Grand Haven who died in World War I finally received his Purple Heart Friday.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, presented the Purple Heart posthumously to Charles Conklin, praising the courage and resilience of those who fought in World War I.

“We are just honored here today, aren’t we all, as we think about Charles and the sacrifices of those generations,” Huizenga said.

Conklin’s name is on American Legion Post 28 in Grand Haven. He was the first Grand Haven resident killed in the war on May 7, 1918.

The Purple Heart will be on display at the American Legion Post.

 

wwi memorial american doughboy gettyimages 486990175Both World War I and the 1918 influenza pandemic were devastating events in history. So why did memorials for one event overshadow the other?

How World War I's Legacy Eclipsed the 1918 Pandemic 

By Elizabeth Yuko
via the History.com web site 

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.

World War I was devastating, leading to around 20 million deaths worldwide. Deaths from the 1918 pandemic were even more staggering: At least 50 million people, including 675,000 Americans, died from the disease. But the legacy of World War I overshadowed the pandemic, making the unprecedented loss of life from the flu almost an afterthought.

“When the flu impact resolved, people engaged in a kind of collective amnesia,” says Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD, a medical anthropologist specializing in public health emergency preparedness at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. “At the same time though, there still was the collective trauma of the war. And so you had processes of post-war rituals and remembrances and monuments.”

Investment in World War I Memorials

For an event to become entrenched in the collective memory, it requires the public to be actively engaged in remembering it, according to Maria Luisa Lima and José Manuel Sobral in Societies Under Threat: A Pluri-Disciplinary Approach. This happens through referencing the event among family members and in everyday conversations, as well as commemorating it in monuments, rituals, archives and narratives.

“The contrast between the investment in memorialization of the war and what happened with the Spanish flu is huge,” say Lima and Sobral. They point out that, unlike wars, pandemics don’t offer the same “monumental benchmarks” that lend themselves to a monument or public commemoration, like a particular battle or the signing of a treaty.

Commemorations to mark World War I emerged quickly in the wake of the war—and in a variety of forms. School textbook narratives were updated, Veterans Day was established, and monuments and memorials were placed at sites across the country.

 

The Jihad Legacy of World War I 

By Wolfgang G. Schwanitz
via the the Foreign Policy Research Institute web site

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?

Historians deal often with European powers—particularly, the Triple Entente or Allies and their empires—but not many focus on the Central Powers and their actions in the Middle East. This essay discusses the background of the German-Ottoman axis, the change of the jihad doctrine, and the call for a “partial jihad” to ignite “war by revolts” in the Allies’ Muslim-majority colonies.

From Berlin to Istanbul

SULTANKaiser Wilhelm II riding with Sultan-Caliph Abdul Hamid II in 1898.As the German Reich emerged in 1871, its British, French, and Russian neighbors were growing their colonies into empires. Rivalry between the empires intensified, and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck led his primary policy toward building the German empire. To maintain the status quo in the Middle East, he followed a secondary policy without seeking colonies. The “German Mideast founding years” began in 1884: three decades of commercial, cultural, and peaceful expansion. But von Bismarck kept the question of which powers would get parts of the fading Ottoman Empire open in order to avoid hostile pacts forming by neighbors in Central Europe.

In 1890, Kaiser Wilhelm II retired the Chancellor. The monarch feared that Germany’s neighbors would import soldiers from abroad and use them in Europe against Germany. The Kaiser developed a new policy: align with the Ottomans, and, in case of an all-out war in Europe, turn Muslims against their colonial masters. In 1896, Max von Oppenheim, his diplomat in Cairo “to watch Islam,” pointed him to the prophet Sayyid al-Kailani of Baghdad’s al-Qadiriyya Brotherhood. He allegedly had “a huge sway in India” and could ignite an Islamist revolt. The Kaiser need only to give the signal: If London loses India, then its global might will end.

Before the Kaiser visited Istanbul’s Sultan-Caliph Abdul Hamid II in 1898, von Oppenheim’s Report #48 (of 467 until 1909) told him about a pan-Islamic Afro-Asian movement with anti-Christian brotherhoods against colonialists. Should the Sultan turn defensive jihad to an offensive one, empires could crumble as the al-Mahdiyya Brotherhood had demonstrated in Sudan. Pan-Islamists wanted to end any Christian’s rule, so the Sultan was a worthy ally for Germany. As a result of von Oppenheim’s advice, the Kaiser vowed to be the “protector of the 300 million Muslims” in Damascus.

In 1900, a pan-Islamist movement was not only a matter for Germany with its 57 Orientalist lecturers at 21 universities. The Italian Iranist Italo Pizzi wrote on Islamism and jihad L’islamismo e la guerra santa and Islamismo. At Cambridge, scholars debated the Sultan’s role. George P. Gooch argued since he did not descend from the prophet, he was no true caliph. Nevertheless, Muslims accepted his power to proclaim jihad against “infidels.” His army had 750,000 men and “gained power by telegraph.” In the 1890s, his men killed Armenians. Jews lived there, too. Edward G. Browne defined pan-Islamism as a union for a theocracy. He stressed Berlin’s “intrusion” with the reform of the Ottoman military, railway building, and sympathetically leaning to Islamists. 

 

1000w q95Joint service pallbearers carry the Unknown Soldier remains of World War I from the USS Olympia to a horse-drawn caisson to transport the body to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., November 9, 1921. Among the saluting officers is Gen. John Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces. New York Army National Guard Maj. Hamilton Fish, who served as commander of Company K, 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the “Harlem Hellfighters,” an all-black unit of the New York National Guard, introduced the federal resolution in December 1920 as a U.S. Congressman to create an Unknown Soldier memorial on November 11, 1921. Courtesy photo. 

NY National Guardsman Led Fight for Tomb of the Unknown 

By Col. Richard Goldenberg, New York National Guard
via the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

LATHAM, N.Y. – 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 FishNew York Army National Guard Maj. Hamilton Fish, in an undated 1919 photo from World War I. Fish served as commander of Company K, 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the “Harlem Hellfighters,” an all-black unit of the New York National Guard. After the war, Fish was elected to Congress in 1920 from New York and introduced the resolution to create an Unknown Soldier memorial. Courtesy photo.Hamilton Fish III was a 32-year old lawyer with a Harvard degree who could trace his roots back to the last Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, the original settlers of Connecticut, and the first Adjutant General of New York when he ran for Congress in 1920.

He was a progressive Republican member of the New York State Assembly before World War I and signed on to serve as a company commander in the 15th New York Infantry (Colored) of the New York National Guard.

When war came, he 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. He took the medals and his famous name and ran for Congress from the Hudson Valley.

The British and French had interred unknown Soldiers with great ceremony on November 11, 1920 to commemorate the 908,000 deaths sustained by the British Empire and the 1.3 million French dead.

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 do the same. He became the lead advocate for a memorial to an American Unknown Soldier.

The purpose, according to Fish, was “to bring home the body of an unknown American warrior who in himself represents no section, creed, or race in the late war and who typifies, moreover, the soul of America and the supreme sacrifice of her heroic dead.”

“There should be no distinction whatever either in the matter of rank, color or wealth,” Fish said. “This man is the unknown American Soldier killed on the battlefields of France.”

Fish introduced Public Resolution 67 of the 66th Congress on December 21, 1920 to do just that.

The resolution called for the return to the United States of the remains of an unknown American Soldier killed in France during World War I. Those remains were to be interred at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery. 

America’s war dead had been buried in France near where they fell in combat. At the close of the war families were given the option of having the remains returned or interred in American cemeteries being built in France.

There was a precedent for these Soldier cemeteries in the 108 national cemeteries built to inter the remains of Civil War Soldiers and veterans since 1862. There was no precedent to honor a single Soldier.

 

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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Header 10292020

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

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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.

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

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