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Dispatch Newletter

The WWI Centennial Dispatch is a weekly newsletter that touches the highlights of WWI centennial and the Commission's activities. It is a short and easy way to keep tabs on key happenings. We invite you to subscribe to future issues and to explore the archive of previous issues.

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September 2020

Doughboys board ship for UK

Sculptor Sabin Howard (right) supervises the loading of the first 11 clay figures of the sculpture for the National World War I Memorial into a shipping container at his studio in Englewood, NJ this month. Protected by custom-made bracing and referigation in the container, the figures are now aboard ship and on their way to Pangolin Studios in the United Kingdom, where they will be rendered into bronze using classical casting techniques. The entire sculpture is forecast for completion in 2023. For more information on the National World War I Memorial, visit ww1cc.org/memorial.


"Poppyganda: The Historical & Social Impact of a Flower" webinar October 9

Matt Leonard

Register now for our next webinar on Friday, October 9, 2020,1:00 pm EDT: "Poppyganda: The Historical & Social Impact of a Flower." The Poppy is an enduring symbol of WWI. It is an icon that embodies a century of attitudes toward that incredible conflict; however, the poppy's association with warfare predates 1914, and its legacy is still evolving today.  Dr. Mathew Leonard (left) is a modern conflict archeologist at the University of Bristol in the UK - a very interesting field in its own right. In 2015 he authored "Poppyganda" which is not only a very clever book title, but also a very clever book, as he charts the history of the flower of remembrance through its history, and its role from the conflict on the western front to today.

Poppyganda cover

We will also introduce you to the Bells of Peace National Bell Tolling program, show you how to pledge, organize, and to Toll The Bell in remembrance of those who served in WWI on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. We will also preview our free Bells of Peace Participation App that will help you be a part of our community remembrance.

As a bonus feature, we will close the webinar the short 6 minute documentary “Immigrants and WWI” from our "How WWI Changed America" teaching and learning resources.

Click to Register for the Webinar Now!


Sign Up to Participate for the 11/11/20 "Bells of Peace” National Bell Tolling and Receive Free App Download Info

Bells of Peace screen shot 092920

Don’t forget to sign up to participate in the “Bells of Peace” national bell tolling in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed in World War I.  Click here to sign up to participate and receive info about the free “Bells of Peace” participation App.

You may also enjoy reading our daily WWI “Countdown” posts to 11 am on 11/11/2020. The “Bells of Peace” posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter follow the 100-day offensive that lead to the Armistice in 1918.

The new Bells of Peace Participation App will include: 7 bell sounds that will toll at 11am local time on November 11; an “Aggregator” so you can share stories, pics and plans for your “Bells of Peace” remembrance by using #BellsOfPeace. With the App you can toll manually or set it to “Toll” automatically at 11am local.  The Bells App will toll, as per the tradition, 21 times, 5 seconds apart on all the phones.

Plan your remembrance now, virtual or in-person, and share ww1cc.org/bells with your friends, family and organizations!


Reading, PA WWI veteran laid to rest after 54 years thanks to Exeter woman

Lewis Hamilton flag

When Ayden Biancone's grandmother moved into a new house 15 years ago, she found something unexpected in the back of a cupboard: a cardboard box containing a paint-can-like cylinder holding the ashes of Lewis Hamilton, who died in 1966. Ayden learned of the can when her grandmother put the house up for sale in 2020, and decided that the ashes deserved a more permanent home. “I thought, ‘We have to find his family,’ ” she said. “This was someone’s loved one.” Click here to read more about her search for Hamilton's identity, his World War I service that she discovered, and the fitting funeral, so long delayed, that finally took place due to her efforts.


Did racism deprive Latino WWI hero Marcelino Serna of the Medal of Honor? He deserves it, advocates say.

Marcelino Serna

In vintage photos, Marcelino Serna wears his World War I Army uniforms that are festooned with several of his battle medals. But one medal is missing — the Medal of Honor — that should have been draped around his neck a century ago, Latino advocates, legislators, and historians said. They’ve launched the latest effort to persuade the federal government to posthumously award Serna the medal, the nation’s highest honor for battlefield heroics, arguing it was denied because of racism and xenophobia. Click here to read the entire article, and learn more about "the most decorated World War I soldier from Texas" and why he deserves the nation's highest honor.


Silk and Steel at National WWI Museum & Memorial highlights surprisingly important role of women’s fashion during Great War

Silk and Steel

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is pleased to invite you to itsr newest special exhibition, Silk and Steel: French Fashion, Women and WWI, open to the public as of Sept. 25.

Silk and Steel highlights the surprisingly important role of women’s fashion during WWI, especially in France. During a time of global upheaval, women were taking on new responsibilities and roles, and fashion adapted to the necessities of these new actions, scarcity of materials and ever-present societal needs.Dresses, capes, posters and accessories tell the story. Through the lens of fashion, come see this exciting exhibition that shows how the war impacted domestic life, created new businesses and provided new opportunities for women. Click here to read more about this exhibit, and how the Museum is making their facility safe for visitors during the COVID pandemic..


"Letters from a Yankee Doughboy": Stafford author shares grandfather's accounts of World War I

Raymond W. Maker

Bruce “Doc” Norton and his wife, Helen, had dug into the pile of letters once before. At their home in Stafford County, Norton typed and Helen dictated words penned from freezing trenches and decimated villages somewhere in France during World War I. But when the computer on which they’d begun their work disappeared, the project to bring the letters to life stalled. Months passed, and now it was 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. Helen was no relation Pfc. Raymond W. Maker of Framington, Mass., a wireman who strung communication lines on the muddy battlefields of France in 1918. Nor had she ever met the man--Bruce's grandfather. But Helen wanted to see the letters brought to life. And she knew that Norton—a combat veteran and career Marine infantry officer-turned-author of military history—was just the person to make that happen. Click here to read more about how the husband and wife team turned the letters into a book, and the amazing historical discoveries they made in the process.


“Patriot Priest of Picardy” ministered to Doughboys on the front lines in WWI

William Anthony Hemmick

Patricia Daly-Lipe first met Msgr. William Hemmick, her mother’s only living relative, in 1961, when she was 19 and had just completed her sophomore year at Vassar College. Her mother had died the year before and Daly-Lipe wanted to meet her uncle, about whom she knew very little except that he was a Canon of St. Peter’s Basilica. The man she met "was a jovial gentleman who was friends with everyone from the Pope, to royalty, to the little boy on the street looking for food. He befriended those he met at Mass and those he knew on the street, those who lived the high-life and those who lived through and survived the ravages of war." It was not until years later, after his demise, that Daly-Lipe came to know about her uncle's extraordinary role in WWI. Click here to learn more about how Hemmick's calling led him to support those in battle, and the book that Daly-Lipe has written to tell his amazing story of service.


The Sedition and Espionage Acts Were Designed to Quash Dissent During WWI

Sedition and Espionage Act

When the United States finally decided to enter World War I in 1917, there was opposition at home by those who wanted America to remain neutral in the European conflict and groups who actively opposed the draft, the first of its kind in the country. Fearing that anti-war speeches and street pamphlets would undermine the war effort, President Woodrow Wilson and Congress passed two laws, the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, that criminalized any “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the U.S. government or military, or any speech intended to “incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty.” Vestiges of these laws, viewed as some of the most egregious violations of the Constitution’s free speech protections, still linger today. Click here to learn more about the panic that spawned this legislation, and how court cases over the years eliminated most of their overreach.


How Fundraising Fraud Became Big Business After World War I

Post-war charity fraud article

Organizations that soft-hearted Americans were warned against in the years after the First World War, whether ineffectual charities with nefarious scams or just mismanaged, were making a whole lot more money after the armistice. The drives that raised funds for the war effort and foreign relief during the war had inadvertently created an army of consultants ready to offer their services to every church, league, and club in the country. Raising money for a cause — or, pejoratively, systematic begging — was a new sector in the economy of sentiment, and it was big business. Click here to read the entire article and learn how public generosity after WWI, as now, needed to be tempered with public oversight to avoid fraud.


They Were There: American Women Physicians and the First World War

Women Doctors

During World War I, for the first time in American history, women participated on a large scale in war efforts through the military and other government agencies. Although much is known about the importance of medicine during WWI, most of the focus has been on male physicians who served abroad. Tens of thousands of women went abroad as nurses, ambulance drivers, and relief workers, but the contributions of women physicians in the war are less well known. An article on the The Permanente Journal web site sheds light on these underrecognized women leaders of WWI. Click here to explore the barriers these doctors faced, and the opportunities they created for women in the century since the end of World War I.


"The 1918 flu is still with us": Deadliest pandemic ever still causing problems

Pandemic

In 1918, a novel strand of influenza killed more people than the 14th century’s Black Plague. At least 50 million people died worldwide because of that H1N1 influenza outbreak. In the middle of today’s novel coronavirus outbreak, some are turning to the conclusion of past pandemics to discern how and when life might “return to normal.” The Washington Post has received a few dozen questions from readers who want historical context for our current epidemic. But how did the deadliest pandemic ever recorded come to an end? “The 1918 flu is still with us,” said Ann Reid, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education who successfully sequenced the genetic makeup of the 1918 influenza virus in the 1990s. “It never went away.” Click here to read more, and learn how the lingering lineage of the 1918 flu can still be discerned in the current international pandemic.


Did unusual climate conditions influence WWI mortality and the subsequent Spanish flu pandemic?

Flu victims

Scientists may have spotted a once-in-a-century climate anomaly during World War I that likely increased mortality during the war and the influenza pandemic in the years that followed. Well-documented torrential rains and unusually cold temperatures affected the outcomes of many major battles on the Western Front during the war years of 1914 to 1918. Most notably, the poor conditions played a role in the battles of Verdun and the Somme, during which more than one million soldiers were killed or wounded. The bad weather may also have exacerbated the Spanish flu pandemic that claimed 50 to 100 million lives between 1917 and 1919. Scientists have long studied the spread of the H1N1 influenza strain that caused the pandemic, but little research has focused on whether environmental conditions played a role. Click here to read about the new study in the American Geophysical Union journal GeoHealth, and how scientists analyzing an ice core taken from a glacier in the European Alps were able to  reconstruct climate conditions during the war years, and its malignant war mortality and public health side-effects during that period..


Arlington County, VA Recognized for Clarendon War Memorial Project

Arlington Memorial wins award

Arlington County, Virginia’s Historic Preservation Program staff and Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) were honored with a Commission Excellence Award in the category of Best Practices: Public Outreach/Advocacy from the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) in August, recognizing the work of County staff and the HALRB on the Clarendon War Memorial Interpretive Project. The Clarendon project was sponsored in part by the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. Click here to find out more about this great local World War I memorial project, and the well-deserved NAPC award that it received.


Doughboy MIA for September 2020

Albert Louis Agnew

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is PVT Albert Louis Agnew, ASN 56619, Company A/28th Infantry Regiment/1st Division. Born October 23rd, 1895 in Keokuk, Iowa, Agnew was working in Huntington, West Virginia when he enlisted in the US Army at Ft. Thomas, Kentucky on April 2nd, 1917. He was a small man, just five feet four and a half inches tall and weighed just 125 pounds. Agnew shipped out with the first contingent of American troops sent to France on June 7th, 1917 aboard the SS Antilles and thus served with the 1st Division. He saw action in the US’s first all American effort, the Battle of Cantigny, where he was wounded by machine-gun fire and cited for bravery.

That summer of 1918, the 1st Division participated in the Battle of Soissons. There the 1stDivision was brigaded to the far left of the battle line, with the 28th Regiment just right of the French 153rd Division. On the morning of July 18th, 1918, the 28th went into action with their 2nd and 3rd Battalions in assault and the 1st Battalion in reserve. All through the 18th the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were pounded unmercifully at a place called Missy Ravine. A later write up on the battle noted how bad it was for these two battalions:

The commanders of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions decided they needed to combine forces to reach the eastern edge of the ravine. Wading elsewhere through the waist deep swamp, the combined force made it up the eastern bank of Missy Ravine and captured all the guns by 9:30 am. While still under heavy machine-gun fire, the men formed a consolidated line 300 yd (274 m) east of Breuil. Having lost all of its officers, 2nd Battalion was reorganized into five small platoons plus a machine gun platoon, each commanded by a sergeant.

The next morning the 2nd and 3rd tried to attack again at 4:00 am but were stopped cold. In order to kick start the drive in the 28th’s sector, the fresh 1st Battalion was now called up to lead the attack in. This battalion included PVT Albert Agnew. When the fighting ended on July 19th, The 28th Infantry Regiment had struggled as far as Ploisy Ravine and still maintained contact with the French 153rd Division on their left. That afternoon of the 20th the 28th attacked again, but were held virtually in place by intense German machine gun and artillery fire and it was there that PVT Agnew was killed. The battle would not wrap up (an Allied victory) until the 23rd. Soissons was a turning point; from then on until the end of the war, the Germans facing the American troops were in retreat.

Following the war, PVT Agnew’s battlefield grave was never located. Then, on February 13th, 1925, two sets of remains were found buried in the same hole near the Commune of Ploisy. The first set of remains were identified as those of PVT Dewitt Facundus of Company D/28th Infantry, KIA on July 20th, 1918. The other set however went unidentified and were designated as U-1661. The collar discs on these remains indicated the man had been in Company A/28th Infantry, but there were no other identifiers. A check of the lists of unlocated for Company A of the 28th Infantry in that area and time frame of battle showed one man missing – PVT Albert Agnew. However, no dental records existed for PVT Agnew and without any way to ID the remains found one way or the other, they were laid to rest at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery at Belleau Wood as Unknown. PVT Agnew’s case remained open until investigations were suspended on August 20th, 1932 and the case permanently closed. PVT Agnew’s name was later carved into the Wall of the Missing at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery chapel.

The likelihood of the remains designated U-1661 being those of Albert Agnew are very high, but at this time there is no determination that can be made.

Wouldn’t you like to be part of the important work we do in accounting for the missing US service personnel from The Great War? Well sure you would! Why not consider a tax-deductible donation to Doughboy MIA? Just hop on over to www.ww1cc.org/mia and make your donation today, and know you did your part.

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


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA ¼ zipper fleece sweatshirt. An informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, “Doughboys” especially used to refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One. Largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army, this poignant lone silhouette of a 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. Proceeds from the sale of this item 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.

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



Ernest L. Wrentmore, Jr.

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

 

Ernest L Wrentmore Jr.

Submitted by: K.C. Picard-Krone {State World War 1 historian}

Ernest L Wrentmore, Jr. was born around 1904. Ernest Wrentmore 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

Ernest L. Wrentmore, Jr. was the 12 year (10 months) old son of Maude Vinora and Dr. Ernest Wrentmore Sr of West Farmingham, Ohio who decided on the morning of September 28, 1917 to skip school and enlist in the Army. A big, strapping boy who easily passed for a young man on the brink of manhood, Ernest was five foot six in his stocking feet, and weighed over 145 pounds. He easily passed the physicals and no one questioned the vital statistics he scribbled down on the enlistment documents: Henry E. Monroe of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, age 18.

His distraught family became aware of his disappearance when Ernest didn’t return home that night and they started a search of the area. Finally a clue to his whereabouts surfaced eight months later when the Army mailed an overseas card to their home address in May. By this time he had already made the perilous trek through the German submarine infested waters to the Western Front in France.

Read Ernest L. Wrentmore, Jr.'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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August 2020

Doughboys Ship to UK in 2020 webinar

"Doughboys Leave New Jersey for UK - in 2020!" Webinar Friday, September 11

In 1917 and 1918, America sent many Doughboys “Over There” from our shores in New Jersey, headed for the UK and the nation’s entry into World War I. In September 2020, the first 11 figures of the 48-figure bronze sculpture “A Soldier’s Journey” being created for the National World War I Memorial are getting ready to ship out for the foundry in the UK, where, like the raw Doughboys of 100 years ago were turned into an incredible fighting force, the clay sculpted figures will be cast into enduring metal.

Before this first contingent ships out, you have a last and unique opportunity to view the entire 48-figure ensemble, assembled in the Englewood, NJ studio where they are being created by sculptor Sabin Howard, during our "The Doughboys Leave New Jersey for the UK - in 2020!" webinar on Friday, September 11, 1:00 p.m. EDT.

This webinar is the last chance to see all 48 figures assembled at full scale in one place until the completed bronze sculpture is installed at the national WWI Memorial in Washington, DC several years from now.

Mitch Yockelson

We will open the webinar with an update on the Memorial construction, and reveal when the fences are coming down for public access to the National WWI Memorial. Next, historian and author Dr. Mitchell Yockelson (left) will give us some insight into what was happening in New Jersey 100 years ago as the newly minted soldiers and raw recruits prepared to embark for the war zone and combat.

Sabin Howard mug

Then Master Sculptor Sabin Howard (right)  will walk us through the 48 clay figures, in different stages of completion, which are being created for eventual casting into bronze.  You’ll get a close look at the intricate details of the sculpting from the artist himself, and a deep understanding of the creative process.

And apropos our theme, we are closing with the short documentary "How WWI Changed America: Going To War”.

Click here to register for this unique webinar.  Advance registration is required, so sign up now!


Updates to WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer” App published in August

App updated Aug 2020  

A new release was published in late August that was the result of extensive user testing done the previous month. Release 1.2 iOS &1.4 Android feature a new “Getting Started” explainer video at the top of the app. Post-update testing resulted in all testers successfully using the app within a couple of minutes of starting it - a dramatic improvement.

Many other usability features have been updated to make the WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer not just easier to get going on, but also easier to use and enjoy. Testing and refining continues.  Click here or the image at left to download the latest version.


Countown: 100 Days to Bells of Peace 2020 logo

Update on "Bells of Peace” National bell tolling in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed in World War I

The Countdown to Bells of Peace is continuing on our social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, headed for November 11, 2020, when everyone is invited to toll the “Bells of Peace” in honor of all those who served and sacrificed in World War I.

Everyone who wants to participate but does not have a bell to toll, the Doughboy Foundation has committed to updating the Bells of Peace App for 2020. For those who are not familiar with it, the App allows users to select from 7 different bell sounds that will toll at 11am local time on November 11th. Since that is Veterans Day, the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month is the time to remember our Doughboys. With the Bells of Peace App open on their phones, organizations, individuals and groups can toll the bells together, 21 times, 5 seconds apart.

Unlike years past, the 2020 update of the Bells of Peace App will focus on allowing users as groups or individuals to test their tolling in advance to be sure the moment comes off without a hitch. Additionally, we are creating a social media aggregation inside the app so that anyone participating can share theirs as a group (even if all participants are remote) by posting to the #BellsOfPeace hashtag.

You can download the limited 2019 version NOW to play with the bell sounds because the same app will update to the 2020 version in October. Got to your phone’s App store and search for Bells of Peace.


Change coming for segregated Loudoun County, VA World War I memorial

Loudoun County plaque

The bronze plaque on the Loudoun County World War I Memorial has stood in the heart of Leesburg for nearly 100 years. Located on the county courthouse grounds, the plaque lists the names of the 30 service members from Loudoun who died during war. Segregated by two engraved lines, on top are the names of 27 white service members; below are three Black men who equally gave their lives for America.

The dividing line may soon be gone.

Click here to read more about efforts to change the plaque in time for the 100th anniversary of the memorial’s installation.


World War I chemical munitions cleanup finally ‘complete’ in Washington, DC

Cleanup in DC complete

The decades-long effort to clean up a World War I chemical munitions hazardous site in Washington, DC (reported on here previously) located just southwest of the American University campus, is now complete, according to the project’s manager. Click here to read more about what it took to finally render “the mother of all toxic dumps” safe again.


Flying tribute planned for Wichita, KS World War I Medal of Honor aviator

Bleckley mug

The Bleckley Airport Memorial Foundation is on a mission to ensure a piece of history flies the skies of Wichita all to honor 2nd Lt. Erwin Bleckley, one of eight to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the "Lost Battalion" episode, and one of the only four members of the U.S. Army's Air Service to be awarded Medals of Honor in WWI. Click here to read more about the effort to put the aircraft that Bleckley flew to back into air worthy status.


Ludovicus Maria Matheus Van Iersel: An Immigrant Hero of World War I

Ludovicus Maria Matheus Van Iersel

During the First World War, thousands of foreign-born citizens and immigrants joined the United States military as the nation tried to meet the massive manpower requirements of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Of these immigrant combatants, 13 received the Medal of Honor for their wartime valor. One of these men, Ludovicus Matheus Van Iersel, volunteered to serve again in the Second World War -- in the U.S. Marine Corps!.  Click here to read the fascinating story of this American fighting man from the Netherlands, and his service in two wars.


100 Years Ago: Dedication of the World War I Memorial in Scranton, PA

Scranton snip

The Lackawanna Historical Society's History Bytes publication, Janice M. Gavern, Deputy Commander, Woman Veterans Issues, for the 15th District American Legion, Department of Pennsylvania, tells the story of the creation of the World War I Memorial in the Scranton, PA's Nay Aug Park. Click here to read the entire story of how citizens determined that the sacrifice of the 242 men and six women from Scranton who gave their lives in World War I would be remembered.


World War I changed American attitudes about women’s suffrage

Suffrage sign

While American women had been fighting for the right to vote for decades prior to the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, it was not until World War I that their cause for political independence regained momentum, argues legal scholar Pamela S. Karlan. Interviewed on the Futurity web site, Karlan discusses what the 19th Amendment accomplished and the challenges that persist today. Click here to read the entire interview.


World War I Austerity Couldn’t Stop the Fashion Show - "a patriotic duty"

Lucile - or Lady Duff Gordone

Modern shoppers can frame almost any purchase in moral terms. Think of all those people getting takeout to support local restaurants during the pandemic. As theater historian Marlis Schweitzer explains, one foremother of this attitude was British fashion designer Lucile, or Lady Duff Gordon. She promoted luxury consumption as a patriotic duty in the face of government-backed austerity campaigns during the First World War in New York. Click here to learn more,including Lucile's insistence that “it was the duty of every wife, sweetheart and mother to spend as much on dress as they could possibly afford in order to make the best of themselves for the sake of the men in the trenches.”


A pandemic, never-maskers, and open-air meetings: Welcome to 1918

Mask or jail

As America and the world continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons from World War I and the Spanish Flu Pandemic continue to resonate. Writing in the Edmonds Beacon newspaper in Washington state, Betty Lou Gaen recalls how the disease had killed over 5,000 of the state's residents by 1918. Adrija Roychowdhury writes in The Indian Express newspaper of "Lessons from the 1918 Spanish flu: When mask laws triggered protests in the United States." On the the history.com web site, Becky Little explores "'Mask Slackers' and 'Deadly' Spit: The 1918 Flu Campaigns to Shame People Into Following New Rules." TEN magazine, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, carries an article about how "During the deadly flu pandemic, Fed drove vital funding for World War I" in 1918. But if you have already heard enough comparisons between the COVID-19 and Spanish Flu pandemics, try this: "Another WWI throwback: Trench Fever Spread by Lice Found in Denver."

Stay healthy out there!


Doughboy MIA for August 2020

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Homer A. Armstrong, of Philomath, Oregon.

Homer Alexander Armstrong was born January 18th, 1892 in the town of Paddock, in Gage County Nebraska to Irene and John E. Armstrong. Homer was one of three sons; himself, and younger brothers Clarence and John Jr. There had also been two girls born – one before Homer (Minnie, in 1888) and one just before Clarence (Louisa, in 1893) but both died in infancy.  John Senior himself died in 1899 shortly before John Junior was born, and in 1904 Clarence died at age 9. In about 1910 Homer went to live with his mother’s sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Alex J. Brown. Then, when Irene died in 1915, John Jr. joined them and they all moved to Philomath, Oregon.

Shortly before the declaration of war, Homer made the decision to enlist in the Oregon National Guard and was assigned to Company K of the 3rd Oregon Infantry, based in Corvallis. When the 3rd Oregon Infantry Regiment was federalized, they became the Headquarters Company of the 162nd Infantry Regiment/41st Division. After receiving training, Homer left with the 41st for France on December 12th, 1917.

In France the 41st Division was redesignated the 1st Depot Division and immediately began feeding its infantry units piecemeal into combat units to fill battle casualties. Homer was sent to the 32nd Division as a replacement sometime after May 1918, being assigned to Company D of the 127th Infantry. In late July the 32nd moved into the Chateau Thierry sector to relieve the 3rd Division, which had seen heavy combat over the previous three months.

On the night of July 29th, the 127th Infantry moved into the front lines under a terrible artillery barrage. At 1430 hours on July 30th, 1918 the 127th went over the top and followed a rolling barrage into the Bois des Grimpettes. They pushed through the woods until they were stopped by machine gun fire from the right flank. On this flank, from positions in the Bois de Cierges, the Germans continued to oppose every effort to advance, but the 127th gained the edge of those woods and established themselves there. During the night the Germans launched a counter attack from the Bois de Meuniere and a bayonet melee raged for hours in the dark, tangled woods, until the attacking force was finally routed.

On the morning of July 31st, the regiment was again in action, pushing their attack through the Bois de Meuniere and into the village of Cierges and beyond. North of the village they were held up by a withering hail of machine gun fire from Bellevue Farm, which the Germans had organized into a very strong center of resistance and which the U.S. artillery had failed to smother.

It was there, north of Cierges during heavy fighting that afternoon that Homer Armstrong was killed by machine gun fire. His comrades buried him in a hasty battlefield grave that day, the position of which was reported to Graves Registration Service. Nevertheless, when GRS officials went looking for the grave after the war, it could not be located. Homer remains missing to this day, and is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau, France.

Postscript:

At the beginning of 2020, Doughboy MIA was contacted by Mr. Eric Niemann, the Mayor of Philomath, Oregon. The city council wished to honor Homer among the veterans from their town, but they were finding little information and asked if we could help. Slowed by Covid but undeterred, the Doughboy MIA team went to work and chronicled Homer’s story in a full report and sent it to Mayor Niemann. The result was that a city resolution was passed proclaiming July 31st ‘Homer Armstrong Day’ in Philomath. Thus it was that, 102 years after his death, Homer was again remembered, and will be every year from now on; to be forgotten no more.

And a man is only missing if he is forgotten.

This is a beautiful example of your donations at work. Because of your donations the research materials needed to investigate and chronicle Homer’s story were available to us. Thank you! You made a difference with us. And if you haven’t donated and would like to in order to be part of our work, hop on over to our website at www.ww1cc.org/mia and make your tax-deducible donation today.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Mug

White Ceramic
WWI Centennial
Mug

Featuring the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can enjoy your favorite beverage in this 15-ounce ceramic mug and honor the sacrifices made by American soldiers, sailors, and Marines in World War I.  

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

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

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



Lewis Lawrence Lacey

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

 

Lewis Lawrence Lacey

Submitted by: Laura Lacey Caldwell {Daughter}

Lewis Lawrence Lacey born around 1895. Lewis Lacey 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

Military Biography

Corporal Lewis Lacey served in France during the Great War as a proud member of the 42nd Division of the American Expeditionary Forces.

The eldest son of Dr. Lewis and Forney (Beaumont) Lacey, he was born in San Antonio, Texas, on March 27, 1895, and raised in Austin, Texas, where his father established his medical practice on Congress Avenue, a stone’s throw from the Texas state capitol building.

Lewis Lacey, like his three younger brothers, was educated in the Austin public schools and later attended the University of Texas in that city. During his youth, when the stifling heat of summer blanketed Austin, Lewis and his brothers would spend their school vacation camping, swimming, fishing and hunting at nearby Lake Austin. Those early camping experiences undoubtedly helped prepare him for the primitive living conditions in the hastily constructed military training camps both in the United States and in France, where sometimes his only shelter was the pup tent he carried in his backpack.

On May 25, 1917, just one week after Congress passed the Selective Service Act, but before the first draft, Lewis, aged twenty-two years, enlisted in the Texas National Guard in Austin. He listed his occupation as “actor”, a career he had begun in high school and continued on stage in local Austin theaters. On July 5, 1917, he was conscripted to Camp Mabry, near Austin. From there he was transferred from to Camp Bowie, outside Ft. Worth, Texas, and assigned to Truck Company #2, 117th Supply Train, 42nd Division. While there he began his “Dearest Mother” correspondence, which he continued faithfully throughout the war.

Read Lewis Lawrence Lacey's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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July 2020

Bells of Peace Header image

Countdown: 100 Days to Bells of Peace runs August 4 to November 11, 2020

Announcing Bells of Peace, A World War I Remembrance, November 11, 2020, when everyone is invited to toll the “Bells of Peace” in honor of all those who served and sacrificed in World War I. To kickoff “Bells of Peace,” on August 4, 2020, join us for a 100-Day Countdown” to November 11, 2020 on our social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The “100-Day Countdown” features stories commemorating the 100-day offensive on the Western Front leading up to WWI Armistice, November 11, 1918 when the guns fell silent and the bells tolled on the Western Front, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Click here to read more about the Countdown, and learn how you, your family and friends, your organizations, and your communities can toll the “Bells of Peace” and remember this pivotal moment in our Nation’s history and all those who served in World War I. 


WWI Hero in new AUSA Graphic Novel

Henry Johnson graphic novel AUSA

Sgt. Henry Johnson, a member of the famed “Harlem Hellfighters,” is the subject of the newest graphic novel in the Association of the U.S. Army’s series highlighting Medal of Honor recipients. Medal of Honor: Henry Johnson features the story of Johnson, who served on the Western Front of World War I with the 369th Infantry Regiment, an African American unit that later became known as the “Harlem Hellfighters.” Click here to read more about the new book, and the incredible bravery of Henry Johnson that the volume spotlights.


Arrest made in Missouri for Doughboy statue vandalism at courthouse

Damaged Doughboy Statue

The "Spirit of the American Doughboy" statue, sitting on the Pettis County, Missouri  Courthouse lawn, was vandalized over the July 4 weekend. The saber and gun are bent and the statue’s hand is cracked. Barbed wire circling the monument is also broken. On July 24, the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office took a suspect into custody.  Fortunately, the damage was not intentional, but occurred when a person "determined they would climb the statue for purposes of having a picture taken on it." Click here to read more about the damage caused to the E.M. Viquesney statue, and the investigation that identified the culprit who caused it.


WWI soldier desegregated baseball

Branch Rickey

Branch Rickey was an Army officer in the Chemical Warfare Service during WWI. In his unit, coincidentally, were future baseball greats Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson. Rickey would also take a place in baseball history, thanks to his decision to do the right thing. In October 1945, as general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey signed infielder Jackie Robinson, an African American, for the Dodgers' minor league team. Robinson's later success with the Dodgers from 1947 to 1956 led other owners to seek Black talent. Click here to read more about RIckey's great service to the nation in war and peace.


How baseball resumed play after World War I on Patriots Day in Boston

Baseball return 1919 snip

As Major League Baseball struggles to restart play amidst the challenges of COVID-19, looking back 100 years to baseball getting back on the diamond after World War I may offer some lessons. Writing on the Society of American Baseball Research web site, author Dixie Tourangeau notes that "Every day ships entered Boston Harbor with returning troops from Europe, bringing joy and relief to awaiting households, but they docked in the midst of continuing pandemic burials." Click here to read more, and learn how baseball and America worked through the legacy of the recent war and the omnipresent pandemic to make sure "Play ball!" was heard again in major league ballparks.


Artist turns World War I posters into calls for Americans to wear face masks

Miss Liberty with mask

A series of retro illustrations offer a modern take on American propaganda posters from World War I — showing what the images might have looked like if they were made to promote mask-wearing to try to contain the novel coronavirus Clara Aranovich, a writer and filmmaker who has also worked as a period researcher for the TV series "Mad Men," is the brains behind the re-created posters, which have been shared thousands of times on Instagram since early July. Click here to read more about (and see images of) Aranovich's artwork, meant to inspire a sense of camaraderie in the same way many people united to support America's efforts in World War I


The U.S. Military and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919

Deaths per 1000 soldiers flu 1918-1919

Writing a decade ago for the Public Health Reports at the National Institutes of Health, researcher Carol Byerly took a hard look at how "The American military experience in World War I and the influenza pandemic were closely intertwined." The pandemic "sickened 20% to 40% of U.S. Army and Navy personnel" with highly deleterious effects on induction, training, and availability of military personnel. She notes that "During the American Expeditionary Forces' campaign at Meuse-Argonne, the epidemic diverted urgently needed resources from combat support to transporting and caring for the sick and the dead." Click here to read the entire article, and learn more about the 1918 pandemic, and lessons we can take way a century later from the military's response.


Centennial of 19th Amendment Exhibition Open National World War I Museum and Memorial

19th Amendment exhibit National WWI Museum

The National WWI Museum and Memorial commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment, prohibiting the denial of voting rights on account of gender, with a new exhibition dedicated to telling the story of the women’s suffrage movement. Votes & Voices explores the history of the fight for women’s right to vote, largely from the perspective of those who fought for enfranchisement more than 100 years ago. Click here to read more, and learn how "World War I and the women’s suffrage movement are inextricably tied together.”


Outdoor events in August at the National World War I Museum and Memorial

Movies at memorial

Outdoor events allowing for social distancing are among the August offerings from the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The Summer Movie Series returns on Friday, Aug. 13 with a screening of the ground-breaking film They Shall Not Grow Old from Oscar-winner Peter Jackson. Guests can come together on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 5-8:15 p.m. for the socially-distanced Jazz on the Lawn: A Modern Picnic. The event celebrates the spirit of the early 1920s with the hottest jazz band in town, Grand Marquis, as well as former Mayor Sly James and DJ Hartzell Gray. Rounding out the slate of outdoor events is the annual program Living the Great War from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29. This free program features the Living History Volunteer Corps and vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. Click here to read more about these and other August activities at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, and how to sign up to attend.


Largest WWI Mobile Museum travels America but calls Marlow, OK home

Keith Colley

Keith Colley, owner of the incredible WWI Mobile Museum (see previous articles here, here, and here) has been interviewed by his local Oklahoma television station.  His traveling schedule has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced him to cancel 238 scheduled showings. But he’s spent that time making the museum better. Click here to read the entire article, and learn when the WWI Mobile Museum expects t be back on the road again.


Millennial’s Alter Ego is Forgotten Female Surgeon From World War I

Lillian Fehler

Most war reenactors are older men, but 27-year-old Lillian Fehler stands out for designing uniforms that are historically accurate down to the tiniest details. In an interview during the 2019 Camp Doughboy event at Governor's Island in New York City  Fehler talked about how she decided to recreate the persona of Dr. Anna Tjomsland, a real-life surgeon who served in World War I, and was one of about 55 female surgeons to put on a uniform for the American military during the First World War, but one of only 11 to get assigned overseas.  Click here to read more about Fehler's intensive research and meticulous work that brings the story of a unique and independent female doctor back to life.


When the Serbian Flag Flew Over the White House during World War I

Serbian flag white house 1918

On July 28th in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson gave the order to fly the flag of Serbia over the White House. This was one of a number of acts that reflected the solidarity of Americans with the Serbian people who suffered so tremendously during the First World War.  At the start of the conflict, thousands of young Americans of Serbian descent volunteered to cross the Atlantic and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with their cousins. Malvina Hoffmann’s famous poster urged people to make donations to assist the people of Serbia. Pupin, Mabel Grujić, and others collected not only money, but also thousands of tons of humanitarian aid for the poor and for displaced refugees from Serbia. Click here to read more about American assistance to Serbia during and after World War I.


South Carolina Public Radio replaying World War I programs

Fighting on Two Fronts SC Public Radio

In July, South Carolina Public Radio replayed three programs about World War I and South Carolina, hosted by Dr. Walter Edgar. The replays can be listened to online from wherever you are. The programs include "Fighting on Two Fronts: Black South Carolinians in World War I"; "South Carolina in WWI: The Military"; and "Conversations on S.C. History: Women and World War I".  Click here to read more about these three World War I programs, and how your can access them by radio in the South Carolina Public Radio listening area, or online elsewhere.


Most decorated Texan of The Great War

George Lawson Keene

On July 22, 1917, a young soldier from East Texas was recovering from serious wounds, while coping with the effects of a mustard gas attack 72 hours after fighting his second two-day battle in seven weeks. George Lawson Keene, who always went by his middle name, grew up in his birthplace of Crockett. His roots ran deep in the Piney Woods with both parents direct descendants of early settlers. Click here to read more about how the "fearless Texan" found himself in the middle of one of the pivotal battles of WWI, and emerged with the Army’s second highest medal - the Distinguished Service Cross.


Smedley Butler’s fiery speech to WWI veterans is still relevant today

 Smedley Butler

In 1932, some 25,000 World War I veterans descended on Washington, DC to to demand that the government keep its word about an early payment of a bonus they had been promised following victory in the First World War. On July 19 of that year, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler took to the stage at the largest so-called Bonus Army camp in the Anacostia Flats area outside of downtown D.C. There he launched into a fiery tirade that remains relevant to military veterans, and Americans at large, even to this day. Click here to read more about Butler's speech, and why it remains pertinent and important almost eighty years later.


Mutt the Cigarette-Delivering French Bulldog & Other Animals of World War I

Mutt

During World War I, a plethora of “good boys” and dog breeds participated in tasks that would be deemed unusual in today’s modern wars. Among them were dogs who pulled carts with machine guns on the other end, while others hauled supplies. Bruce, a black-and-white British companion, acted as a messenger running urgent orders up and down the Western Front. Rats were a nuisance in the muddy trenches and were so prevalent that the French trained smaller dogs as rat-catchers. Mutt, a French Bulldog (left) belonging to the YMCA Cigarette Dog delivery service, was wounded twice while trying to improve the morale of soldiers in the 11th Engineers. Click here to read more about the many animals (many of surprising species) who made their mark serving American and other forces in World War I.


Doughboy MIA for July 2020

https://app.mobilecause.com/form/pWRVJw

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

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

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

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

Even with Covid upon us, we continue to research our missing Doughboys and need your help! Please consider giving 'Ten For Them' - make a donation of just $10.00 to Doughboy MIA and know that you did your part toward making as full accounting as possible of our missing soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines from the Great War. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia and make your tax deductible donation to our non-profit organization today. And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Lest We Forget Book Cover

"Lest We Forget: The Great War"

World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library 

As the United States commemorates the centennial of World War I, 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. The story of WWI is told through the memorable art it spawned―including posters from nations involved in the conflict―and a taut narrative account of the war’s signal events, its major personalities and its tragic consequences; and the timely period photographs that illustrate the awful realities of this revolutionary conflict. Most importantly, this book is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and what would become the Air Force. Proceeds from the sale of this book help fund the new National WW1 Memorial in Washington, DC

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



George Henry Knatz

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

 

George Henry Knatz

Submitted by: Geraldine Knatz {Niece}

George Henry Knatz born around March 11, 1897. George Knatz 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

George Henry Knatz was born on March 11, 1897 in New York city to parents Anna Bergner and Charles (Carl) Knatz . George began his first military service with the New York State Guard when he was 20 years old. He enlisted on June 18, 1917 and was mustered in the next month to Company G, 14th New York Infantry.

For service during WWI, the men of the 14th Infantry which included George were added to strengthen the 23rd New York Infantry. The men were stationed from New York City up the Hudson River to protect the water supply.

George was only with the Guard for a few months when a presidential order drafted the entire unit into the 106th U.S. Infantry in October 1917. There were 3003 men in in the 106th and George was assigned to Company G.

Private First Class George Knatz left for Europe on May 10, 1918 from Hoboken on the ship President Lincoln. This would be the last time the President Lincoln ferried soldiers to France. But no one knew it at the time. The dangerous part of the voyage was near France as the ship made its way through submarine invested waters. The ship arrived safely in Brest, France on May 23rd. There, George and his fellow soldiers disembarked.

Read George Henry Knatz'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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June 2020

App alternate 3

The National World War I Memorial Virtual Explorer App will be available July 3 on both the Google Play and the Apple AppStore. There are no costs and no in-game purchases required. It is suitable for any age above 14 years old with some depictions of battles and wounded soldiers.

Innovative Augmented Reality App for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. available on July 3

The Doughboy Foundation is announcing the release of The National World War I Memorial “Virtual Explorer” app on July 3. The free, innovative Augmented Reality smartphone app, for iOS and Android mobile devices, allows users to take a virtual field trip to the National WWI Memorial, being built in Washington DC, from wherever they are in the world.

Developed by the Doughboy Foundation under an education grant from Walmart, the mobile device App places a scaled version of the entire 1.8-acre WWI Memorial park into anyone’s back yard, driveway, living room, or (when schools reopen) classroom… but that is only the beginning. Click here to read more about this amazing app that gives students, teachers, veterans, history buffs, and anyone the ability to explore America's WWI past using the tools of the future.


The 369th Experience band concert to rerun on WETA DC public TV and web in July

369th Experience

WETA Arts, a half-hour magazine-style show featuring Washington, DC-area arts and artists, will lead the July edition with an encore presentation of “James Reese Europe”, the story of a renowned jazz bandleader and commander of an all-Black unit in World War I, featuring The Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz, Jason Moran, and the reenactment band The 369th Experience, The band was sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. The original episode segment can be viewed here:https://watch.weta.org/video/weta-arts-february-2019-ozigr4/  The new episode will feature an amazing group of additional DC-local Black artists, as well, and will be streaming  on the WETA website https://weta.org/arts and via the PBS Passport app, starting July 5 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.


Public-private partnerships developed during WWI had profound impact on American civilian society after the war

Mark Hauser

By his own admission, Ph.D. student Mark Hauser "knew very little about the First World War before I began graduate school, but I was always vaguely aware it was important."  Mark's recently completed dissertation provides an interesting new perspective on just how important the war was to America, making the case "that World War I changed Americans’ relationship to mass culture is both a history of the military and a business history."  Click here to read more about how Mark's research illuminated a relatively unexplored aspect of the impact of World War I on America.


Maryland couple finds live World War I artillery shell in their home flower bed

MD WWI artillery shell

A woman and her husband in northeast Maryland found a live World War I artillery shell while digging in a flower bed. After the startling discovery, Kelly and Shannon Thomas, of Belair, MD, left the round where they found it and called the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. “After examining the device, it was determined that the best course of action was to conduct an emergency disposal to render the ordnance safe,” the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal said in a news release. “Bomb Technicians disposed of the potentially dangerous round on the scene.” Click here to read more about this very unexpected find of a "connection" to World War I for a suburban household a century later.


Texas researcher discovers, honors African American World War I vets

Carolyn Warren Bessellieu

It was a single gravestone that prompted Carolyn Warren Bessellieu’s sometimes challenging, sometimes emotional, but satisfying quest for African American World War I service information. The discovery in "an unmarked African American cemetery" of a headstone of a WWI veteran named Tobie Harris started Bessellieu’s quest. "My great-uncle Holiday Bennett use to tell me many stories of World War II. I was fascinated to see what I could find on those who served in WWI.” Click here to read more about Bessellieu’s research, and how it led to a personal discovery of her own family's connection to World War I..


United in the Great Cause: Allied and American military relations during WWI

United in the Great Cause

On May 28 1917, less than two months after the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies, 191 U.S. Army officers and men led by Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing boarded the British ocean liner RMS Baltic and sailed for England. President Woodrow Wilson had dispatched this group as the nucleus of the American Expeditionary Forces, an army that eventually comprised over one million American soldiers in Europe. Writing in Army History Magazine, author Tyler Bamford takes an in-depth look at how this unprecedented interaction with the armed forces of allied nations helped prepare U.S. forces for "an enormous task for which the U.S. Army possessed little institutional experience." Click here to read more about what they learned, and how the hasty U.S. and British Army introduction to cooperation during World War I "laid the foundations for the unique, informal Anglo-American military relationship in the interwar period."


World War I marked the birth of New York Life’s volunteerism commitment

New York Life volunteerism

When the United States entered World War I in April of 1917, New York Life shared the nation’s fighting spirit and rallied to help mobilize America’s troops. The company offered its deep financial and human resources to support the war effort. And the volunteerism born then—from fundraising to moral support to military service—would live on as an abiding value for decades to come. Click here to read more about how the culture of the company, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, was shaped by the organization's experiences in World War I.


Book Review: "First Americans: U.S. Patriotism in Indian Country after WWI"

Navtive American knitter

Writing for the H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online web site of the University of Michigan, reviewer Matthew Villeneuve looks at Thomas Grillot's book First Americans, calling it "a study of Indigenous patriotism in the aftermath of World War I. While the historiography on American Indian participation in the First World War often focuses on the battlefield experience of Indigenous people, Grillot's study examines the ways Indigenous veterans, along with their Euro-American comrades, made meaning out of Indigenous participation in the War to End All Wars after the armistice."  Click here to read more about how Grillot's book "sheds light on the process by which the symbolic repertoire for the expression of Indigenous pride came to include such icons as the American flag, citizenship, and the figure of the GI." in the war's aftermath.


National WWI Museum and Memorial gets $125,000 from NEH for Digitization and Transcription of WWI documents

Soldier's letter for transcription

The National WWI Museum and Memorial announced a grant for $125,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize and transcribe letters, diaries, and journals from soldiers and family members originated from World War I. “This gift is essential as it allows the organization to take a major step forward in our efforts to digitize and transcribe our entire collection of letters, diaries and journal entries from the Great War, “said Museum President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor. “Making the content from these incredible first-person accounts available is important because it allows people to connect with those who experienced the 20th century’s founding catastrophe.” Click here to read more about the grant, and how it will support and further the work taken on by the Museum while it was shut down for the COVID pandemic.


Five Dog Breeds that Served in WWI

Rags

Dogs are man’s best friend, and at times that means we have brought them with us into the worst parts of what we do. The use of dogs in war is nothing new, but their role changed over time. In the First World War dogs were used extensively by all sides, with different breeds managing different roles. Emily Green, Founder and Chief Editor of the DoggieDesigner.com web site, takes a look at five specific breeds which played (sometimes outsized) roles for American and other military forces in World War I.


Cole County, MO's Grace Hershey remembered as World War I heroine

Grace Hershey

One woman is named on the Cole County, MO World War I Memorial at the courthouse. Grace Hershey was a stenographer with the American Red Cross. Highly praised for her clerical skills in contests and courtrooms, the 31-year-old took a significant pay cut when she left her job with the state insurance department to go overseas. Her fiancé, Thorpe Gordon, had deployed to France in August 1918. Click here to read more about how her departure only a month later was "her patriotic duty to do what she can to help win the war."


Historian seeks volunteers to help digitize World War I burial records

Andrew Capets

Andrew Capets’ initial interest in World War I was finding out more about his grandfather’s unit, the 313th Machine Gun Battalion. That research led the North Huntingdon resident and amateur historian to write “Good War, Great Men,” which focused on his grandfather’s battalion and its exploits. Now, Capets has joined with a Nebraska man on a new WWI project: creating a searchable database of soldiers’ burial cards, some of which will be linked to a digital map showing where those soldiers are buried. Click here to read more about this grassroots effort to make World War I burial records more accessible to families and other researchers.


WWI Influenza pandemic continues to have resonances, lessons learned for 21st Century pandemic control efforts

Navy medical 1918 flu

As the nation continues to deal with the effects of COVID-19 influenza pandemic in 2020, a look back at the American experiences with the great Spanish Flu Pandemic during World War I can provide remarkable reminders of how a similar scourge was dealt with a century ago.

Navy, Marines Struggled With 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Remembering WWI soldiers who succumbed to the 1918 flu

As the 1918 Flu Emerged, Cover-Up, Denial Helped Spread

The Pandemic to End All Pandemics?: World War I, the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, and Urban America

1918: A Study in How Disease Can Shape Public Policy

Reading your own obituary: Samuel Bustard, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and the evolution of New York Metro Area soccer through World War I


One of the earliest Monuments to African American WWI Troops

372nd Infantry Monument

Paul LaRue, former member of the
Ohio World War I Centennial Committee, writes that "A unique monument stands in the rural French countryside. It is a monument to the 372nd Infantry, an African American World War I combat regiment. The 372nd Infantry Monument represents one of the earliest monuments erected to African American World War I Troops." Click here to read more about the 372nd, and how those who served in it "understood the significance of their service, and wanted to leave a monument in France to their fallen comrades."


Doughboy MIA for June 2020

Doughboy MIA webinar thumbnail

On May 29, 2020, Doughboy MIA was featured on the Doughboy Foundation / World War I Centennial Commission webinar series. Those who attended the webinar live learned about The Who, The Where, and The Ways and Means behind what it is we are doing to be sure that all of the MIA are properly remembered, and how you can be a part of the effort.

Click here to watch the recording of the webinar.

Click here to download the slide deck from the webinar.

Would YOU like to be a part of our mission of discovering what happened to our missing Doughboys from WW1? Of course you would, and you CAN! Simply make a donation to the cause and know you played a part in making as full an accounting as possible of these men. Large or small doesn’t matter – that you cared enough to help does. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia to make your tax deductible donation to our non-profit project today, and remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Flag large

Fly the World War I Centennial Flag

This WW1 Centennial Flag is made of durable nylon and measures 3'x5'.  This flag has the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto it and has 2 brass grommets to hang the flag.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this flag are designated for the National World War I Memorial.. You can show your support, and help promote the efforts, by proudly displaying your custom flag.

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

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



William E. Baker

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

 

William E Baker

Submitted by: Robert D. Baker {Great Nephew}

William E. Baker born around 1892. William Baker 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

I never knew much about my dad’s Uncle Bill, except that he was my Grandpa Baker’s brother and had dated my Grandma Baker’s sister and that he was killed in World War I in France. He had a gravestone in the Dayton, OH National Cemetery, but it was never clear to me whether his actual remains were in Dayton or still in France.

After being contacted by the Secretary of the American Legion Auxiliary, I learned that The William Baker American Legion Post 363 in Lucasville, OH, was named in honor of my Great-Uncle back in Feb, 1920. So I started researching.

William Edwin Baker was born in Nov, 1892, the fourth of five children of Charles & Mary Baker. The family lived in Scioto County, Ohio, at the time of William’s birth. Around the age of 16, William moved with his folks and younger sister to Jamestown, OH. Meanwhile, his oldest brother, George (my Grandfather), had migrated to Dayton. William decided to find out what big city life was like, so he followed his brother to Dayton, where he worked as a Janitor, a Packer, a Motor Assembler, and a Conductor on the Dayton Street Railway line.

Read William E. Baker's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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May 2020

WUAS News 9 report 05142020

Reporter John Henry of WUSA News 9 Television in Washington, DC presented an excellent report on May 14 concerning the status of ongoing construction progress at the new National World War I Memorial, and the planned but postponed dedication of the new Eisenhower Memorial. Click the image to read his story and watch the video.

Memorial Virtual Explorer app gets new look, new contents, public beta status

The National World War I Memorial Explorer augmented reality (AR) app, with great input from the initial beta testers, has been updated with expanded content, more functionality, and a new lead image and updated logo.

App update photo 05272020

The app has now expanded to public beta, and we're able to accommodate many more testers with a simplified request process.

More content is in production including Tanks, Military Battles, The life and family of General John J. Pershing, Artillery, a 360° Photosphere travel experience at the US Cemetery in Flanders, and a second exploration in the style of the "Sinking of the Lusitania" called "War in the Skies”.

We will be updating the existing beta release based on tester feedback in the next couple of weeks.  If you haven't volunteered to join our beta tester army, click here to sign up now!


National World War I Museum and Memorial Sets June Reopen Dates

Nat WWI Museum square

The National WWI Museum and Memorial will reopen to its members on Monday, June 1 and to the general public on Tuesday, June 2. “We have monitored the COVID-19 situation closely during the past few months and, in accordance with guidance from public health officials at the local, state and federal levels, we are ready to reopen America’s official WWI Museum and Memorial,” said Dr. Matthew Naylor, National WWI Museum and Memorial President and CEO. “We’ve spent considerable time developing a comprehensive reopening plan that allows for people to visit one of the world’s great museums and memorials in a safe and welcoming environment.” Click here to find out more about the Museum's plans and protective protocols to get visitors into the Kansas City facility again next week.


"To keep the memory of her father’s generation alive."

Samuel Hart age 14

Samuel W. Hart was only 14 years old when the United States of America entered the First World War on April 6, 1917.  Hart  "borrowed a pair of long pants from a friend of mine and proceeded to the Navy recruiting station and told them I was 16. I was sworn in on April 10th." This was just the beginning of a remarkable story of service in two World Wars that included being aboard the Navy troop ship USS President Lincoln when she was sunk by a German U-Boat in WWI, the aftermath of which earned one Navy officer the Medal of Honor.  A century later, his daughter Ava has stepped forward to remind Americans of this amazing story, and the patriotic service of her father and his older (there were none younger!) fellow Americans who stepped forward to answer the nation's call to war in 1917. Click here to read Samuel's incredible story, and his daughter's reminder that we should remember his service, and that of his fellow World War I vets, a century later.


In May of 1918, William Henry Johnson became "the One-Man Army" in WWI

WIlliam Henry Johnson mug

On May 15, 1918, William Henry Johnson fought off scores of Germans single-handedly in the Forest of Argonne in France, a performance that earned him praise from former President Theodore Roosevelt ,who eventually called him one of the “five bravest Americans” to serve in World War I. But Johnson, an African American, did not receive the Medal of Honor from his nation until a century after his extraordinary heroism. Click here to read more about Johnson's courageous service and the long effort to get him the recognition he deserved.

Writing in the New York Post on Memorial Day, Rich Lowry discusses Johnson's heroism in the context of  how African American soldiers, from the Revolutionary War to the 20th Century, "were always fighting a two-front war — against the enemy in battle and against prejudice at home." Click here to read Lowery's entire timely Memorial Day reminder of this "long African American military tradition of exceptional devotion."


Who are these people on these plaques?

Plaque

Connecticut USAF veteran Jeff DeWitt undertook a personal project in 2019 to find and photograph the plaques on local war memorials that listed only the names those who died during wartime service.  He found that "What struck me most about it all was how little I knew about each of those people. It was then that I decided to tell their stories." On the Norwalk WWI Memorial, "One plaque has only the names of those who died in service 1917 to 1919. I recognized three people on that plaque who are namesakes of our VFW and American Legion posts in town. The rest were a complete mystery to me." Click here to read how DeWitt went about solving those 100 year-old mysteries, and bringing forgotten stories of service to light again.


Two pandemics separated by a century

Flu Cases

"The current pandemic we are living in provides us a window into an earlier time 102 years ago," writes Paul LaRue of the Ohio WWI Centennial Committee.. "On Memorial Day of 1918 the United States was in the midst of the Spanish Influenza Pandemic." Click here to read Paul's article about the Fayette County, OH service members lost to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.

Writing in the Washington Examiner newspaper, J. Mark Powell notes that "a deadly combination of war and pandemic" made October 1918 the deadliest month in our nation's history. Click here to read the entire story about how "More U.S. citizens died then than ever passed away during any 30-day stretch before or since."

As today, in cities across the nation, dealing with the flu pandemic took center stage a century ago.  The WTTW television station recently looked into the question of "How Did Chicago Deal With 1918 Spanish Flu?"  The Hudson Heritage Association in Ohio was recently "Looking back at ‘displays of humanity’ in Hudson, OH" during the Spanish Flu Pandemic. The Oregon Historical Society asks "From Whence Did it Come and to Where Did it Go?: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Oregon."  The Knoxville History Project explores "Knoxville & The Spanish Flu: How 1918 was the same–and very different."  And the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA reflects on "Lives lost and the country at a standstill: A look back back at the 1918-1919 Spanish Influenza and its impact on Phillips and Abbot academies."


The 1918 Flu Pandemic Killed Millions. Why Is Its Cultural Memory So Faint?

Flu nurse

After writing in 1918 to question why "the 'forgotten' 1918–19 flu pandemic had so little effect on culture, policy, and public memory in the decades after killing between 50 million and 100 million people," author Rebecca Onion notes that in the time of SARS-CoV-2 "I find this historical phenomenon even harder to understand.." But, says Onion, perhaps literary scholar Elizabeth Outka has part of the answer. Click here to read Outka's analysis of how "the pandemic wasn’t 'forgotten'—it just went underground" and that the work of many notable authors of the period "was deeply affected by the flu in ways that aren’t so immediately obvious."


Quarantine leads Virginia military expert to chaplain's WWI pandemic efforts

Regis Barrett, OSB, Chaplain, U.S. Army

All he wanted was a little COVID-19 distraction, but the century-old photo of a military chaplain took an Albemarle County man on a 102-year time trip to a different state during a different deadly pandemic. In the time of COVID-19, with everyone warned to stay home as much as possible, military historian Art Beltrone found himself with a lot of time and home projects on his hands. He began to see the portrait of the chaplain in a different light.  Click here to read more about his research, and how “It turned out that he played into the 1918 pandemic in a big way.”


PA World War I Statue To Be Restored

Fallsington ststue

A statue of a World War I infantryman in Falls Township, PA’s Fallsington section will be restored. The limestone Doughboy statue that sits atop a small memorial at the intersection of Yardley Avenue, New Falls Road, Main Street, and West Tyburn Road has become weathered and damaged over the years. Acid rain and pollution have taken their toll on the statue erected to recognize the veterans and casualties of World War I. Click here to read more about the community restoration project for this century-old monument.


Battleship that survived both World Wars and atomic blasts is rediscovered

USS Nevada

The wreck of the World War I U.S. Navy battleship USS Nevada has been located 75 miles off the coast of Hawaii at a depth of nearly three miles. It’s a significant discovery, as the battleship represents one of the most storied vessels in U.S. history, having survived World War I, the attack on Pearl Harbor and a kamikaze suicide attack during World War II, and atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. USS Nevada was deliberately sunk by the U.S. Navy in 1948, but the vessel’s precise resting place was unknown, until now. Click here to read more about the rediscovery of a ship built over 100 years ago that continued to affect shipbuilding design for half a century later.


Doughboy MIA for May 2020

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

World War One.

It was the first war where America made the promise: 'Everyone comes home - nobody gets forgotten.'

And in the years following the war, America did her best to keep that promise to the best of her ability.

One hundred years later, Doughboy MIA has 4,452 reasons to continue that work.

Join us on a webinar Friday, May 29, and learn about The Who, The Where, and The Ways and Means behind what it is we do.

“A Man is Only Missing if He is Forgotten” is the slogan of Doughboy MIA, and after this webinar you’ll understand the efforts to ensure that all the MIA are properly remembered, and how you can be a part of the effort.

Click to Register for the Webinar

Would YOU like to be a part of our mission of discovering what happened to our missing Doughboys from WW1? Of course you would, and you CAN! Simply make a donation to the cause and know you played a part in making as full an accounting as possible of these men. Large or small doesn’t matter – that you cared enough to help does. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia to make your tax deductible donation to our non-profit project today, and remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Coin set

2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Set

No longer available from the U.S. Mint!

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

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

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

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

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


Fundraising Thermometer May 2020

Walter Wave Miguel

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

 

Walter Wave Miguel

Submitted by: Laurie Button {I have been researching him for 30 years - it’s a long but wonderful story.}

Walter Wave Miguel born around 1887. Walter Miguel 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

Walter Wave Miguel (3802505) was born to Henry and Nellie Miguel in Arnolds Park, Iowa on Oct. 5, 1887. He was drafted and called into service July 22, 1918.

Wave received his training at Camp Pike near Little Rock, Arkansas before sailing for France on the Katoomba from the Port of New York Sept. 1, 1918. He was originally assigned to Company H of the 330th Infantry, but was transferred to the 5th Division’s 11th Infantry, Company L in mid-to-late October 1918.

Read Walter Wave Miguel's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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