African American Officers Mule Rearing doughboys with mules gas masks The pilots Riveters African American Soldiers 1 pilots in dress uniforms

Articles & Resources

Pennsylvania in the First World Warpopy Keystone


Descendants and Friends of the 314th - remembrance oganization dedicated to honoring and preserving the story of their fathers, grandfathers, and family members in the First World War.  The 314th Infantry was a regiment of the 79th Division, American Expeditionary Forces.

Home Before the Leaves Fall - Great War web site created by organizations and individuals in the Mid-Atlantic region.

GREATER PHILADELPHIA in the GREAT WAR- online database of the thousands of Philadelphia-area residents who served in the First World War.

Roads to the Great War: Penn State Goes to War: How an American College Supported the War Effort - how Penn State supported the war

Pittsburgh World War I History - A Short History of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania Soldiers in World War I (1917-1919) - a special feature on the contributions of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania to the Great War carried at the time in the Pittsburgh Press is re-created here.

World War I Memorial Inventory Project - A project to mark the war's centennial by assembling a comprehensive online inventory of World War I memorials and monuments in the United States.  Pennsylvania has WW1 memorials that still need to be documented.

313th Machine Gun Battalion - information about men of the 313th Machine Gun Battalion, 80th Division, who served in World War I by Andrew Capets.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania at War
Pennsylvania at War - Facebook

Click here for Pennsylvanians who died serving in the British armed forces


Watch for Western Front Association  East Coast Spring 2018 Symposium Announcement!
Western Front Association - East Coast Branch
presents:WFA LOGO2
The Fall 2017 World War I History Symposium
Maryland War Memorial Building
101 N. Gay St., Baltimore, MD 21202
Date Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sign-in, meet and greet, and refreshments begin at 8:30am with opening remarks at 9:30am.
Mail in registration deadline: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Download Fall, 2017 Event Flyer and Registration Form


Philadelphia in the World War 1914-1919, Philadelphia War History Committee, 1922 - compiled by the committee as a tribute to Philadelphia's contribution to the U.S. war effort.  Permanent record of the wartime activities that took place in Philadelphia during WW1.

Pittsburgh in World War I:  Arsenal of the Allies, Elizabeth Williams, 2013 - written by a Pittsburgh native, this narrative recounts the Pittsburgh area's contribution to the war effort.

Philadelphia: The World War I Years, Peter John Williams, 2013 - Pete Williams, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia tells the story of the changes that swept through the city during WW1.

Toward the Flame:  A Memoir of World War 1, Hervey Allen, New York, 1926 - First hand account written by a Pittsburgh native and Lieutenant in the 28th Division.  Includes the flame-thrower attack on his company in August, 1918 at Fismette while under French command.

To Conquer Hell:  The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 The Epic Battle That Ended the First World War, Edward G. Lengel, New York, 2008 -  A most readable summary of American involvement in WW1 focusing on America's largest and costliest battle, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Sep.-Nov., 1918.  Draws in part on the diaries and memoirs of American soldiers who fought in WW1, and includes the stories of all three Pennsylvania divisions, the 28th, 79th and 80th, in the Meuse-Argonne, along with the 92nd and 93rd Divisions in which African-Americans  from Pennsylvania served.  One of the best.

Betrayal at Little Gibraltar, William Walker, New York, 2016 - A story of disobeyed orders, careless handling by the A.E.F general staff of plans for taking Montfaucon, that led to a debacle at the very beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that cost untold American lives, and it's final cover-up by General Pershing himself.

With Their Bare Hands: General Pershing, the 79th Division and the Battle for Montfaucon, Gene Fax, New York, 2017 - How the 79th Division was given the task of taking the critical high ground of Montfaucon on the first day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, a task for which the inexperienced unit was unfit.  This mismanagement of the initial attack by the U.S. high command led to the stalling of the entire offensive.

28th Division: Summary of Operations in the World War (PDF), American Battle Monuments Commission, 1944 - front-line infantry historical study, including casualty and strength tables, compiled by ABMC.

79th Division: Summary of Operations in the World War (PDF), American Battle Monuments Commission, 1944 - front-line infantry historical study, including casualty and strength tables, compiled by ABMC.

80th Division: Summary of Operations in the World War, American Battle Monuments Commission, 1944 - front-line infantry historical study, including casualty and strength tables, compiled by ABMC.

92nd Division: Summary of Operations in the World War, American Battle Monuments Commission, 1944 - front-line infantry historical study, including casualty and strength tables, compiled by ABMC.

93rd Division: Summary of Operations in the World War, American Battle Monuments Commission, 1944 - front-line infantry historical study, including casualty and strength tables, compiled by ABMC.

 First World War in General

The Guns of August (1962) & The Proud Tower (1966) - Barbara W. Tuchman, in single volume by Library of America (2012), Edited by Margaret MacMillan, includes the essay "How We Entered World War I".  The Guns of August won a Pulitzer Prize and covers the first month of the war.  The Proud Tower covers the 25 year period leading up to the First World War.  Some of the finest writing about The First World War.

Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980), David M. Kennedy.  Pulitzer prize winning author.  Covers the events in the United States during the nineteen months of American belligerency.  Uses the occasion of the war as a window into early twentieth century American Society.  The First World War truly marks the genesis of modern American society.

The Great War (BBC 1964) Part 01 of 26 - On The Idle Hill Of Summer - 26 part video series produced by the BBC for the 50th anniversary of the First World War.  First Broadcast: Saturday 30th May 1964.  Veterans of the Great War were still living and numerous interviews with them are included.  An excellent telling of the story of WW 1 from beginning to end.  The page for each episode has a link to the next episode.

The Great War Channel on YouTube - a new video comes out each Thursday.  Created by Indy Neidell, it covers the war as it unfolded week by week.

Artifacts & Local History

Allentown Fairgrounds - Mobilization and Training Camp for Medical Department Units, Camp Crane, Allentown, PA
Camp Crane was established in May, 1917, primarily to afford a mobilization place for recruits for the United States Army Ambulance Service, the recruiting center for which was located in Philadelphia; later it was used for the mobilization of Medical Department units of all kinds.  Details about Camp Crane at the Allentown Fairgrounds.

Eddystone Munitions Company
Kurt Sellers
Major, U.S. Army (retired)

Eddystone Model 1917 Rifle
Kurt Sellers
Major, U.S. Army (retired)

Eddystone Model 1917 Rifle Bibliography
Kurt Sellers
Major, U.S. Army (retired)

Eddystone Rifle Plant - History of the Last Remaining Building
Kurt Sellers
Major, U.S. Army (retired)

The Eddystone Story
by Walter J. Kuleck, Ph.D.

Articles by Chris Gibbons related to the First World War published in The Philadelphia Inquirer

A Philadelphia Chaplain’s Heroic World War 1 Acts - published January 1, 2017

Beat the Drums Slowly - published May 26, 2013

In Search of Roman's 'Lost Boys' of World War 1 - published May 27, 2012

Love and Loss on the Home Front - published May 9, 2016

Philadelphian Gave His Life as Nation Found Its Soul - published May 25, 2014

Revelations in Quest for Roman Alum in World War I - published September 11, 2015

The Doughboys of St. Columba’s - published April 6, 2017

Last of the Doughboys - Published in the Philadelphia Daily News, May 25, 2007

Great War-related local history articles in The Luminary, the weekly newspaper that serves the Muncy, Montgomery and Hughesville area in eastern Lycoming County.

The working women of World War I

WWI private wounded in France

Muncy's American Legion bears name of WWI aviator

Razor or bullet, both became a close shave

Lauding local Legion Post's First Commander Raymond Lee Hill - May 15, 2017

Black Americans - Montgomery County - The outbreak of World War One caused a dwindling work force and a diminished flow of immigrants from Europe who had previously been hired as laborers.  At the same time wartime industrial expansion led to the recruitment of black workers, particularly in the steel industry.  The Alan Wood Steel Company of Conshohoken recruited black workers from as far away as Saluda County, South Carolina, and erected a tent camp for laborers until the new workers could find permanent housing.  Blacks held mostly undesireable jobs until the Second World War when further labor shortages compelled the company to offer blacks skilled jobs and to discontinue discriminatory promotion practices.   Blacks were also drafted separately into a segregated army.
Black draftees Airy and Dekalb Sts AUG 1 1918

Franklin County Red Cross Nurses Who Lost Their Lives During the First World War - Listed among the eighty-six names on the Franklin County War memorial in Chambersburg, PA are those of six Red Cross nurses who lost their lives during the World War.  By Suellen Burkey, used by permission of the Franklin County Historical Society.


Katherine Patterson IrwinNurse Katherine Patterson Irwin

Liberty War Scrap Book compiled in three volumes by Emily Price Flynn, Easton, PA.  The book was a  gift from her mother December 25, 1917.  From the collection of Charles A. Miller.

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scrap books

Wissahickon Valley Historical Society displays

WVHS IMG 0525a

WVHS uniform DSC 0337
Uniforms donated to WVHS by the Robert Detweiler family

WVHS WW1 artifacts

WVHS Stars and Stripes DSC 0338
WVHS Stars and Stripes DSC 0339
WVHS Stars and Stripes DSC 0340


Stories of Pennsylvania Soldiers

Harry Edwin Roach - Distinguished Service Cross
Holding the rank of Wagoner, Harry Edwin Roach was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, after risking his own life while evacuating wounded from Fismes and Fismette while under fire from German artillery, gas, and machine guns on August 10th and 11th, 1918.  Harry was an ambulance driver and five ambulances carrying wounded got through safely, one of which he drove.

Distinguished Service Cross Citation:
Wagoner, U.S. Army
110th Ambulance Company, 103d Sanitary Train, 28th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: August 10 - 11, 1918
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Harry E. Roach, Wagoner, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Fismes, France, August 10 - 11, 1918. Because of the destruction from shell fire of ten of the 13 ambulances of his company, Wagoner Roach worked for 48 hours driving through a shell-swept and gas-infested area, thereby making possible the evacuation of the wounded.
General Orders No. 15, W.D., 1919
Home Town: Philadelphia, PA

Harry Edwin Roach DSC Liberty Medal Harry Edwin Roach with Distinguished Service Cross and Liberty Medal

Harry Edwin Roach Ambulance
Driving ambulance

Harry Edwin Roach in uniform
In Uniform

Harry Edwin Roach in uniform2
Standing at Attention

Bridge across the Vesle River at Fismes Fismette 2015
Bridge Across the Vesle River at Fisme and Fismette 2015

Private Thomas McHale - Distinguished Service Cross
Submitted by his Great Nephew Dan Hilferty
He received the award in 1929 at a ceremony at the John Wanamaker store in center city Philadelphia.  He never told anyone he was receiving the medal.  His sister-in-law asked him why he was dressed up on a weekday, he replied that the Army wanted to give him a medal.  His sister-in-law told him that she was going to go with him.  She was the only relative to see him get the award.

Distinguished Service Cross_Citation:
Private, U.S. Army
Company D, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: July 30, 1918
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Thomas J. McHale,Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action at the Bois-de-Grimpettes, near Sergy, France, July 30, 1918. When the attack on the Bois-de- Grimpettes was held up by heavy enemy machine-gun and artillery fire, Private McHale volunteered to locate the enemy machine-gun nests.  After locating the enemy's positions he returned and with a platoon charged and cleared the nests, killing many of the crew, and successfully led the platoon to the outer edge of the woods where it was found that the enemy was preparing for a counterattack.  Private McHale returned and guided his company to the position occupied by the platoon where it later repulsed the enemy counterattack.  The courage, judgment, and leadership displayed by Private McHale were a great inspiration to the other members of the command.
General Orders No. No. 16, W.D., 1929
Home Town: Philadelphia, PA

Pvt. Thomas McHale

Lt. Morrell SmithLt. Morrell Smith

The Story of 2nd Lietenant Morell Smith native of Newtown, Pennsylvania, Company 'C', 310th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Forces, killed in action during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, 18 October, 1918.  His remains were discovered and identified mid-1924.  By Mike Donovan and Jon Guy.

Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher passed away from pneumonia in Embarkation Hospital, Philadelphia upon return from France.         Born Oct.12, 1892, Newport, Pennsylvania.  Died Jan 23, 1919

Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher pictures

Sgt. Paul Fleisher

Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - letter home

Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - overseas

Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - overseas

Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - overseas

Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - with his unit

Private James Francis Curry, 2659635, Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania.  Inducted at Akron, Ohio, 27 May 1918. Infantry training at Camp Gordon, Georgia, May 1918 - July 1918.  Served overseas with the AEF, U.S. 42nd 'Rainbow' Division, 165th Infantry Regiment, Company 'L'.  Engagements: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Advance on Sedan, July 1918 - April 1919. 2nd Co., 1st. Tr. Btn., 158th Depot Brigade, May 1919. Honorably discharged at Camp Sherman, Ohio, 13 May 1919.  Submitted by Mary Curry Jones.

Private James Francis Curry

Private James Francis Curry - Veteran's Compensation Application

Richard J. Cory, USMC - Strafford, PA

Richarrd J Cory USMC

1st Lt. Albert Clinton Wunderlich, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 79th Division -
killed 28 SEP 1918
Read Full Story by Matt Schultz, American Legion Post 65, Lansdowne, PA


Edward Morris Walker

Edward Morris Walker

Edward Morris Walker Record of Burial PlaceEdward Morris Walker Record of Place of Burial - Department of Military Affairs

memorial marker Edward Morris Walker2Edward Morris Walker Memorial Marker

LT Edward A. Hadeen
Lt Edward A Hadeen
Lt Edward A Hadeen2

2nd Lt. Alfred Langstaff Test
- volunteered to serve in The First British Ambulance Unit for Italy at the age of seventeen.  Because of his youth, his father had to sign with his approval of the application.  Upon arrival in England, Alfred Test was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the British Army, "without any qualifications or training".  He served in the Italian theater of operations driving an ambulance and carrying wounded soldiers from October, 1917 until his discharge in January, 2019.  

2nd Lt. Test recorded his experiences in a diary in which he states that on Nov. 12, 1918, the day after the armistice, he and a fellow British Red Cross volunteer drove their ambulance east from the Piave River area to Trieste, where they found and proceeded to care for over 100,000 Italian prisoners of war who were without food or medical care.

For heroism under fire, 2LT Test was awarded the Italian War Merit Cross, and received two blue chevrons from the British Red Cross Society.
DSC 2162a2nd Lieutenant Alfred Langstaff Test in British Army uniform

DSC 2162bItalian War Merit Cross awarded to 2LT Alfred Langstaff Test

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Authorization - British Red Cross service chevrons for Alfred Langstaff Test

Information was supplied by Lawrence Bailey for William F. Taylor Jr., Della Taylor, Daniel Adams Bailey, Maj Gen Charles Justin Bailey, Alexander C. Bailey, Harry R. Bailey, and Morris Bernard Colyer.

William F. Taylor Jr. - (1893 - 1918)  Died of Wounds - Lived in Harris Twp, Centre County, died on October 5, 1918 in a base hospital in France of wounds received in action.  It is supposed by his descendants that he was wounded in the drive in the Meuse-Argonne sector.  He was 23 years old, having served in CO H 314th INF, 79th Division, American Expeditionary Forces.

Della Taylor, William's mother wore a Gold Star Mother's ribbon
Gold Star Ribbon

Daniel Adams Bailey - Served with the he 28th Infantry Division,  Lived in Pikes Township, Clearfield County, and was a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, from the 34th district, serving from 1963 to 1970.
Daniel Adams Bailey

Daniel Adams Bailey

Maj Gen Charles Justin Bailey -  lived inTamaqua, Schuylkill County. He was the commander of the 81st Division of the US Army in WW I in France from 1918 to 1919.  He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1880 and in the same year was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st Artillery Regiment. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Order of Leopold (Belgium), the Croix de Guerre with palm, and was an officer of the Legion of Honor.
Charles Justin Bailey
Maj Gen Charles Justin Bailey

Alexander C. Bailey, Philipsburg, PA, served with the 305th Brig. Tank Corps.

Harry R. Bailey - served as a Pvt., Ordnance Dept. World War I

Morris Benard Colyer - Linden Hall, Centre County, served with the Wagoner Supply Co. of the 33rd Infantry [Division?]

Raymond Birmingham McCormick - was an 18 yr old student at Villanova, he joined the Student Army Training Corps. Almost immediately contracted the 1918 influenza and ended up in St Joe's Hospital. He said the hardest time was late at night when he could hear the gurneys going down the hall to the elevator taking the dead to the morgue.
Got his honorable discharge, went out to Gettysburg area to the Carlisle Barracks, the War College, to teach horsemanship to the students.
Raymond Birmingham McCormick
Raymond Birmingham McCormick

Raymond Birmingham McCormick draft 1

Raymond Birmingham McCormick draft 2
Raymond Birmingham McCormick draft registration card

Raymond Birmingham McCormick 2

Raymond Birmingham McCormick 5
Raymond Birmingham McCormick at right

Victory Parade and Arch, West Chester, PA
Victory Arch West Chester PA

Victory Parade and Arch West Chester PA 10

Victory Parade West Chester PA 1

Victory Parade West Chester PA 2

Victory Parade West Chester PA 7

Victory Parade West Chester PA 8

Victory Parade West Chester PA 9
Victory Parade, West Chester, PA

Charles Rosario Spano in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Troop B submitted by his Granddaughter Diana Spano

Insert & upload images/pdf/ppt
Charles Rosario Spano Passport with picture - 15 JUN 1920

Charles Rosario Spano, U.S. Army,
Dates of service: June 13, 1916 to June 4, 1920

With gratitude and in honor of my paternal grandfather, Charles Rosario Spano,  I am posting the following details of his active duty service during World War l.  The information is collected from original documents and copies in my possession, and from memories of conversation with my father, Vincent Rosario Spano (deceased), son of Charles, who also served in the US Army during World War II in Korea with the Counter Intelligence Corps.  I am the oldest granddaughter, and also a veteran having served in the US Regular Army during the Viet Nam Era.    After the war, Charles Rosario Spano settled in South Philadelphia and lived at 717 Christian Street.

Charles Rosario Spano was born in Italy (Sicily) and served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France, 2nd Cavalry, Troop 'B' under the command of General John J. Pershing.  He was naturalized on March 12, 1920 and was honorably discharged on June 4, 1920.

According to his enlistment record he served in the Toul Sector, France, Defensive, the St. Mihiel Offensive, the Battle of Aire River, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive between April 14, 1918 and November 11, 1918 remaining in France until June, 1919.

He received, along with other soldiers in his company, letters of commendation signed by General Pershing and his Commanding Officer, Major General Peter E. Traub.  A bronze victory button was awarded and remarks of his excellent character and honest and faithful service were mentioned in his records.

Thanks to the World War l Centennial Commission for the opportunity to recognize my grandfather.

Charles Rosario Spano documents

Charles Rosario Spano Enlistment - 13 JUN 1916

Charles Rosario Spano Commendation from Maj Gen Peter E. Traub - 1 OCT 1918

Charles Rosario Spano Departure msg. from Gen. J. J. Pershing - 28 FEB 1919

Charles Rosario Spano Passport with picture - 15 JUN 1920

Charles Rosario Spano Naturalization - 12 MAR 1920

Charles Rosario Spano Honorable Discharge - 4 JUN 1920

Pennsylvanians who died serving in the British armed forces during the First World War

This information was kindly provided by Michael O'Brien from research for his book Twilight of the Special Relationship: Americans who Fought and Died in the British Armed Forces 1914-1921

Augustus White, Berwick, aircraft mechanic, influenza, 19 October 1918.

Private Edmund Garretson Cook, Philadelphia, 4 Battalion Grenadier Guards, mortally wounded 1 August 1917 at Passchendaele.
Edmund cookEdmund Cook

Lt. Dillwyn Parrish Starr, Philadelphia, 2 Battalion Coldstream Guards, killed in action 15 September 1916. His gravestone in The Guards Cemetery, Les Boeufs refers to Philadelphia.
Lt D P starrLt. Starr
Lt D P Starr grave
Lt. Star grave

 Meredith B. Lewis, born in Philadelphia, 43 Squadron, RAF, Missing 19 July 1918.
Lewis Draft 1Lewis Draft 2

Mortimer P. Crane, Philadelphia, Mount Airy, (his name is on the restored memorial), Mid air collision 15 July 1918.
Mt. Airy War Tribute
Mortimer P. Crane listed among the dead from Mt. Airy, Lovett Memorial Library,

Theodore Hostetter, Philadelphia, 3 Squadron RAF, shot down 29 September 1918.
Theodore Hostetterhostetter mem2

Rupert Spencer, Philadelphia, Airman 1st Class, 42 (Training) Wing, pneumonia in Canada, 5 October 1918.