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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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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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November 2020

Sculpture_WABC

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

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

Doughboy Foundation logo giving tuesday

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


Preparations Underway for Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial in 2021

1921 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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


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

Thanksgiving headlines 2018

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


What Thanksgiving Dinners Looked Like During World War I Rationing

sailor with drumstick

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


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

Yanks Behind the Lines cover

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


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

James Ford Bell

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


Michael Neiberg remembers the World War I roots of Veterans Day

Veterans Day flag

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


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

Otis Duncan

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


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

Mary Muirhead's World War I dog tag

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


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

Bugler American Legion

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


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

US-Irish flags

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


Minnesota family recovers century-old letter from World War I

Minnesota letter

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


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

Cecelia Otto

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


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

Fur N Feathers book cover

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


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

The Great War™ card game card back

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


Doughboy MIA for November 2020

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

Frank Ellenberger

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

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

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

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

Laura Ellenberger

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

Jeremy Wayne Bowles

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

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

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


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise makes great Christmas gifts!

Coin set

2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Set

No longer available from the U.S. Mint!

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

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

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

Coin stand personalized

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

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

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



Fred Hitner

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

 

Fred Hitner

Submitted by: Robin Hitner {Great Nephew}

Fred Hitner was born around 1893. Fred Hitner served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

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

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

Read Fred Hitner's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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October 2020

Bells of Peace, November 11, 2020: participate live and local, or virtual

Bells of Peace with Zoom

Based on a number of inquires from people who would like to participate in Bells of Peace, but are concerned about social distancing, we are going to hold live Bells of Peace tolling events via ZOOM on 11/11 at 11:00 a.m. local for each of the US times zones, including Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii. Learn more about this coast-to-coast and all points west virtual event, and/or contact us about holding your OWN online Bells of Peace tolling event.

Also see our 2020 Bells of Peace social media SHARING aggregator page  If you tag your participation posts with #BellsOfPeace, we will include your post both in the Bells of Peace post page on the website and also INSIDE the app in the Share Your Experience section.

Click here to get an update on the initiative and learn about more ways you can participate, and to download the Bells of Peace app..


Virtual Talk November 6: The Making of Stars and Stripes Over the Rhine

Kai Sprenger

The Germanic-American Institute (GAI) in St. Paul, MN presents a free virtual talk with historian Dr. Kai-Michael Sprenger on Friday, November 6, at 6:00 pm CST. Sprenger, leader of a project of the Institute for Regional History at the University of Mainz , has researched the long-term social and cultural impacts of this occupation on the region and on German-American relations. This research produced a a traveling exhibition, “Stars and Stripes Over the Rhine,” covering these and many other aspects of the American occupation, which has visited institutions and museums in both the U.S. and Germany. Click here to learn more about the exhibition, and find out how to sign up for the virtual talk on November 6.


Camp Sherman lesson plan wins preservation award in Ohio

Camp Sherman award 2020

The Ohio World War I Centennial Committee produced a series of lesson plans on various World War I topics, including Camp Sherman and the Mound City Earthworks. The State Historic Preservation Office of Ohio recently announced its annual state historic preservation awards. The Camp Sherman and the Mound City Earthworks: A Unique Story of Preservation lesson plan was recipient of the Public Education and Awareness Award. The lesson plan was written by Ohio World War I Centennial Committee member Paul LaRue in collaboration with the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park and the Ohio History Connection. Click here to read more about the prestigious award, and how, though the World War I Centennial is over, the value of quality World War I lesson plans and educational resources are more important than ever.


New book on the World War I origins of Propaganda & the Information State

Hamilton book

John Maxwell Hamilton, a member of The Historical Advisory Board for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, has released a highly acclaimed new book on the history of American propaganda. "Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda" tells the story of the enduring threat to American democracy that arose out of World War I: the establishment of pervasive, systematic propaganda as an instrument of the state. Click here to learn more about the book, and how to get your copy.


How World War I American Propaganda Grew Out of a Society of Illustrators

James Montgomery Flagg, “Wake up, America!"

"It’s worth recalling that modern propaganda became a global enterprise during the First World War, rather than the second. For the US, that conflict was brief, lasting less than two years. But the ideological output was prodigious."  Writing on the hyperallergic.com web site, author D.B. Dowd recalls how George Creel, chairman of the new Committee on Public Information, created the Division of Pictorial Publicity. Out of this organization came many of the familiar WWI posters that Creel thought "must play a great role in the fight for public opinion." Click here to read the entire article.


The Political Legacy of World War I

John E Moser

John E. Moser writes on the CATO Unbound web site that "World War I was arguably the most important conflict of the twentieth century, bringing down four great empires and redrawing the map of Europe. The effect on the United States was quite different." In the U.S., "the war redefined the role of the federal government" and "redefined the relationship between Washington and its citizens, and set precedents to which subsequent presidents would repeatedly refer." Click here to read the entire thoughtful essay on how The Legacy of the Great War is very much alive in our nation today.


Woodrow Wilson Got the Flu in a Pandemic During WWI Peace Talks

Wilson mug

While the nation continues to battle with the COVID-19 flu pandemic in 2020, the echos of the World War I flu pandemic continue to be heard. As it turns out, President Donald Trump is not the first Chief Executive to be felled by a pandemic flu. As Dave Roos notes on the History.com web site, "On the night of April 3, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson began to suffer from a violent cough. His condition quickly worsened to the point that his personal doctor, Cary Grayson, thought the president might have been poisoned." However, "The culprit wasn’t poison, but the same potent strain of influenza nicknamed the “Spanish flu” that would eventually kill an estimated 20 million worldwide, including more than 600,000 in the United States. Wilson’s illness was made even worse by its timing—the president was left bedridden in the middle of the most important negotiations of his life, the Paris Peace Conference to end World War I." Click here to read the entire article on how Wilson's flu may have kept "The War to End All Wars" from achieving that objective.


How "a box of letters and pictures" led to "World War I: the Marne Miracle"

The Marne Miracle cover

Dan Breckinridge Moore recalls that "I was given a box of letters and pictures by my cousin containing letters my father wrote to her grandmother, (his sister) from France and Germany in 1918 and 1919."  One of the letters described "the incredible turn of events in the Second Battle of the Marne." Inspired by his "bravery and fortitude," Moore wrote "World War I: the Marne Miracle" in his father's honor. Click here to learn more about the book, and the amazing story of how the 38th Infantry Regiment turned the tide of the war to the Allies.


Lebanon, PA soldier’s sacrifice recalled by Camden VFW Post No. 3238

Clarence Vinson

Pvt. Clarence Vinson of Lebanon, PA was killed in action just eight days before the Armistice that ended the fighting in World War I. In recognition of Vinson’s service and sacrifice, the Camden Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3238, was dedicated in his honor in March 1935. Click here to learn more about this son of "an ordinary family" went off to serve his nation in World War I, and left an enduring legacy.


Rin Tin Tin: The World War I True Story

RinTinTin

At the very end of World War I, American Corporal Lee Duncan picked up two dogs from a litter of German shepherds discovered in the rubble of a kennel near Saint-Mihiel where his unit fought. He named them Nénette and Rin Tin Tin, to evoke the little woolen puppets that the children of Lorraine offered to allied soldiers as a lucky charm. Nénette died during the return crossing to the United States, but Rin Tin Tin, arrived safe and sound on American soil, and quickly demonstrated the exceptional abilities which led him straight to the movie sets of Hollywood. Click here to learn more about how a Doughboy and his dog created an amazing movie and television legacy.


Six Incredible Roles by Dogs in WWI

Soldier with dog

America loves its pets, and according to ownership statistics, dogs are the favorite. More than 60 million American households own a dog, and this shows no signs of slowing down. People love to choose from good dog breeds and find the next member of their family. However, dog’s aren’t always reserved for being a pet. They can be great guards, investigators, and can play many other roles. In fact, back in World War 1, dogs had several roles that were instrumental in the success of various operations. Click here to learn about 6 of the roles that dogs performed in WWI.


How America Entered WWI with a Bang

Cantigny

"The Battle of Cantigny, the first major assault of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front in World War I, proved that Americans 'would both fight and stick,' said Maj. Gen. Robert Lee Bullard, commander of the 1st Division," writes William Stroock on the National Interest web site. Click here to read more, and learn how Cantigny played a key role in AEF Commander General John Pershing defeating "not only the Germans, but also the Allied commanders who had tried so hard to erase the independence of American units that fought on the Western Front."


Remembering World War I

Pershing mug

Ron Montonye, Pierce County, ND Veterans Service Officer, was reading a book titled “Yanks – The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I” written by John S.D. Eisenhower. He notes that "As I read this book, it reminded me of many facts that I had either forgotten, or never learned, about World War I. I would like to share a few of these facts, and some thoughts of mine, with you."  Click here to read Montonye's entire column from the Tribune newspaper in Pierce County.


Ohio WWI vet honored century later

Mike Serrott

Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware, OH serves as the final resting place for veterans of every war in which the United States has been involved. When Mike Serrott and his coworkers decided they wanted to honor one of them with a brick at the Veterans Memorial Plaza located at the Ohio Army National Guard Readiness Center on South Houk Road, Serrott knew exactly where to look. Click here to read the entire article, and learn how a a veteran from World War I received the honor.


Doughboy MIA for October 2020

James Uber

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Note: As the Covid-19 still has the National Archives closed, thus limiting our abilities to utilize our #1 source for information, Doughboy MIA is taking another long, hard look at many of our active cases. Over the next few months we will be using the space here to update you on the progress of these, as well as present some of our findings on other cases we consider closed. 

This month we update you on :

CPL James Uber,  Co. E/112th Infantry/28th Division

James Lester Uber was KIA on October 8th, 1918 in the Argonne Forest. Records are sketchy about whether he was buried on the battlefield where he fell, or whether he died in a field hospital and was buried near there. Either way, following the war his remains were never found, despite several attempts by GRS personnel. 

On Veteran's Day, 2018 during a ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in France, a group from the SGT York Foundation was approached by a French boy and his mother who presented a dog tag to them that the boy had found out on the former battlefield. It belonged to James Uber. The tag was brought home and wound up in the hands of a LTC in the Pennsylvania National Guard, who began trying to track down Uber's family. When we at Doughboy MIA heard the story we launched our investigation and it is our belief that the found tag most likely had been fixed to Uber's battlefield grave marker. In that case, we speculated that if we could locate the area where the tag was found, that would give us a starting point to initiate an investigation using today's technology to search for Uber's remains. The issue was that no one had gotten the boy's name. Then, just as we began plying contacts in France to find the boy, Covid descended and scotched our plans.

Recently however, with restrictions in France eased up some, one of our team members - showing dogged determination - managed to actually locate the boy and his family. An interview with him is in the works, but with the new restrictions just announced for France and Germany, it looks like it will be some time before we can get into the field to do initial investigations. Nevertheless, we are excited to see movement in this case.

Wish you could help us account for America's missing servicemen from WW1? You can! Consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA today. Simply go to www.ww1cc.org/mia and click the donation link. It's quick, easy, tax deductible, and our non-profit organization uses the money to continue research and, soon, to mount field expeditions - all of which costs money. Your donation gives you the chance to help out and be part of the solution. Remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Small flag

8" x 12" World War I Centennial Flag

Perfect for display on Veterans Day at the grave sites of those who served in the United States armed forces during World War I, "The War That Changed the World."

The WW1 Centennial Flag is made of durable nylon and measures 8 inches x 12 inches. This flag has the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto it and is secured on a 15.75" wooden dowel with a decorative ball on top.

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.



Harry Malott

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

 

Harry Malott

Submitted by: Gerri Brown

Harry Malott served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 04/03/1917-11/1918.

Story of Service

HARRY E. MALOTT, PFC
Veteran of World War 1
Enlisted - April 3, 1917 – Discharged-Nov. 1918
Landing in Hoboken, New Jersey
Paraded in New York City, N.Y.

On April 3, 1917 Harry Malott and his cousin Oliver Smith came to Canton, Illinois to enlist in the army in World War 1. Harry returned from the War In 1918. He had been wounded a couple times but never went to a doctor. His cousin Oliver was killed in battle in World War 1. Oliver is buried in France.

When applying for enlistment in the U. S. Army on April 3, 1917, when weighing in Harry was too light and they were going to reject him. He left and drank a lot of water to add weight and returned to weigh again. He was sworn in April 6, 1917, Company 1, 18th infantry as a Wagoner. He served overseas in Europe in World War 1 in France and Germany.

Read Harry Malott's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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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.

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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.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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