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

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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the united states world war one centennial commission

March 28, 2017

America on the Brink of World War I

Women in Factory

In April 1917, the America that was nearing the decision to enter the Great War was an utterly different place from the nation we know now. In a fascinating article, reporter Jim Garamone of DoD News looks back at where our nation and its people stood weeks away from the Declaration on War on April 6, 2017. To say the nation wasn't ready for war is very much an understatement, but the United States was a country of tremendous potential, and so was its military. As Garamone writes: "It would take time for American military power to grow, learn and mature, but it would be decisive in The Great War." Read this in-depth review of the situation in America and the world when we made the decision to go to war on April 6, 1917.

 


National Archives launches the new Remembering WWI app to access moving and still images from 100 years ago

 

Pull Over

In preparation for the 100-year anniversary of the United States entering WWI in April, 2017, the US National Archives recently launched Remembering WWI, an iPad and Android application that invites audiences to explore, collaborate, and engage with the Archives’ extensive collection of World War I moving and still images. The app is now available for free in the iTunes and Google Play stores. The app provides an unprecedented collection of WWI content digitized and preserved as part of the larger Wartime Films Project, much of it never-before-seen by the public. This includes photographs and films originally shot by the US Signal Corps on behalf of various armed forces units during the 1914–1920 timeframe. Using the archival content within the app, you can create your own collections and build and share new narratives around the people, events, and themes you’re exploring. Read more about the app here.


Four new WW1 exhibits open April 6th at Smithsonian museums in DC

Smithsonian X

On the day of that the United States marks the centennial of the nation's entry into the Great War, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC will open four new exhibits on World War I. The new exhibits will look at Women in Uniform, Gen. John J. Pershing and World War I, Modern Medicine and the Great War, and Artistic Expression in the Great War (in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum). The ongoing exhibit on "Advertising War: Selling Americans on World War I" continues at the museum. Check out all, the exhibits here.


WW1 Centennial News

WW1 Centennial News

WW1 Centennial News is going to broadcast live from KCMO on April 5, 2017 at 12 noon EDT.

We are going to give you a behind the scenes, sneak peek at the people and the talents that have put this event together.

Join us live and you can ask our guests questions via the chatroom.

Subscribe to the video podcast on iTunes and get the show delivery automatically to your mobile device to enjoy at you convenience.

Episode #12 is posted now - Check it out online or subscribe.


WwriteBlog

Wwrite Blog

This Week's post features Fulbright Scholar, writer, and WWI poetry expert, Connie Ruzich. Her blog, "Behind Their Lines," introduces readers to lesser-known poetry of the Great War, which she calls lost voices and faded poems. This week, she will present "Rain on your old tin hat," a narrative about Lt. John Hunter Wickersham, poet and WWI Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient."

If you have a news item regarding WWI and writing, please contact: jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org.


Get Fundraising WW1 Poppy Kits from the Official Mechandise Shop - $64.99

WWI Poppy Kit

These WW1 Poppy Kits contain 60 Poppy seed packs each.

Raise money for your organization by getting $2 or more per seed pack.

The red poppy has become the internationally recognized symbol of remembrance for veteran sacrifice. It all began on a war-torn battlefield during World War One, when the crimson petals caught the eye of a soldier named John McCrae, inspiring the poem – “In Flanders Field”.  The flower celebrates the service of more than 4.7 million Americans who served during WW1, and honors the 116,516 who died on the battlefields of Europe. 

When assembled, WW1 Poppy Kits are 4 x 4 x 5" and feature McCrae's poem, as well as an area where you can brand the kit to your organization for fundraising, with a label you can print yourself. 

Each poppy seed packet contains approximately 100mg of seeds.

Shipping for the kits is free with your support of the program

This and many other official commemorative products are available at the official merchandise shop.


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William Seach

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

 

William Seach

Submitted by: William "Bill" Seach (grandson)

William Seach served in World War 1 with the United States Navy.  He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his service in China during the Boxer Rebellion, prior to World War I. When he died in 1978, he was the oldest. and longest-living, recipient of the Medal of Honor, and the last surviving US veteran of the Boxer Rebellion to receive the medal. His story was shared with us by his namesake grandson, Bill Seach:

During WW I, William Seach was Gunnery Officer on board Troop Transport U.S. Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln was torpedoed/ sunk May 31, 1918 by the German submarine U-90. Lt Seach was wounded, but taken on board and briefly made a prisoner aboard the U-90. The German U-Boat crew had no idea they had captured a Medal of Honor recipient.

In 1898, as an Ordinary Seaman, Seach was in to China during the Boxer Rebellion. As part of the relief expedition of the Allied forces, Seach distinguished himself by meritorious conduct in a number of incidents, and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

After the torpedoing in 1918, Seach was held on the submarine with another USS Florida shipmate, Lt Edouard Izac, who would himself be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in escaping his German wartime captors.

Read William Seach's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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the united states world war one centennial commission

March 21, 2017

The National Cryptologic Museum reads the Zimmermann Telegram: how a single decoded message changed history

Zimmermann Telegram

Cryptology was a huge part of the World War I effort, yet the story is one that is not widely known.  Lou Leto, of the National Cryptologic Museum, reached out to us the other day to talk about the activities that the Museum is planning for the World War I Centennial. These activities include some interesting new exhibits, and fascinating public programs. From the decoded Zimmermann Telegram to the original Choctaw Code Talkers, the Museum's WWI exhibits illustrate how secure communications were as essential to success on the battlefield in WWI as they are now.  Click here to read more about these new exhibits, and the stories behind them.


French Embassy to host series of WWI events in New York and other U.S. cities

 

Poster France

One hundred years after the United States entered World War One, the French Embassy seeks to shed light on this momentous occasion through a series of exhibitions, talks, concerts, and screenings beginning in New York City and continuing across the US throughout 2017.  Kicking off a major nationwide centennial commemoration this spring, the French Embassy has assembled a series of events in New York City as part of a yearlong program “How 1917 Changed the World”. Centennial activities will continue throughout the year from Boston to Chicago and Atlanta. Click here to read more about this national educational effort.


Examining how World War I impacted the trajectory of U.S.-Japanese relations

kawamura

Dr. Noriko Kawamura is associate professor of history at Washington State University. Kawamura’s research focuses on the history of war, peace, and diplomacy in the Pacific World. She teaches the history of U.S. foreign relations, U.S.-East Asian relations, U.S. military history, and modern Japanese history. She is also the author of Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War. She also co-edited Building New Pathways to Peace and Toward a Peaceable Future: Redefining Peace, Security, and Kyosei from a Multidisciplinary Perspective. We caught up with Dr. Noriko Kawamura, recently, and talked to her regarding her recent Pritzker Military Museum and Library presentation on Japan's role in WWI. Click here to read this perceptive interview.


"How little we remember of the war"

Dunham

Jed Dunham is a former student & athlete at Kansas State University. Returning to Manhattan, Kansas in 2014 to attend a lacrosse reunion, he paused as he entered the stadium where he had played a "thousand times" and took a photograph of the plaque which honors the 48 students from Kansas State who had died in the First World War.  From this unlikely genesis grew an interest in this WWI connection to KSU that led to a remarkable project which he called 48 Fallen / 48 Found. Jed's story is unique, and he gave us a rundown on his project, in his own words. Click here to read this article about lost history rediscovered.


WW1 Centennial News

WW1 Centennial News

WW1 Centennial News grew out of a weekly sync-call that kept everyone involved in the centennial run-up stay up-to-date on preparations, events and organizing.

This year, is has evolved into a public facing, weekly, fast paced look at WW1 THEN - what was happening 100 years ago this week, and WW1 NOW - Centennial commemorations around the world.

The 20-30 minutes weekly program is now also available as a video podcast on iTunes.

Check it out online or listen anytime on your mobile device by subscribing to the Podcast.


WwriteBlog

Wwrite Blog

This week's WWrite Blog post features veteran Kayla Williams, Director of the Center for Women Veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and author of the acclaimed memoir, "Love My Rifle More Than You." 

In her post, Williams discusses the pathbreaking military career of Loretta Perfectus Walsh in WWI. While she was not the not the first woman to fight on behalf of America, she was the first to officially enlist, as a woman, earning equal pay and benefits.

If you have a news item regarding WWI and writing, please contact: jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org.


Get ready for april 6th and fly the centennial colors!

Flag At Legion Headquarters

April 6th is just around the corner and so is your WW1 centennial commemoration event.

Let the world know what's going on with the official WW1 Centennial Commemoration flag.

There is still time. Order it TODAY!

This and many other official commemorative products are available at the official merchandise shop.

 


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Private Angelo Iossa

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

 

 

private-angelo-iossa.html

Submitted by: Angelo R. Iossa (grandson)

Private Angelo Iossa served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: 5 April, 1918 to 22 August, 1919.

 

Private Angelo Iossa, my paternal Grandfather, served in WWI from 5 April, 1918 to 22 August, 1919 with the American Expeditionary Forces, 3rd Division, 7th Infantry Regiment’s (Cottonbalers), Machine Gun Company.

 

According to his Birth Certificate, Honorable Discharge, and Enlistment Record, which were given to me at my Father’s passing, Angelo was born on 17 February, 1896 in Marigliano, Italy. He worked as a rose grower in Madison, NJ (Nicknamed: The Rose City) prior to his induction into the United States Army on 20 November, 1917 in Morristown, NJ.

 

He received his Army training at Camp Green, which was established at Charlotte, North Carolina in 1917. The 3rdDivision, currently known as the 3rd Infantry Division (Rock of the Marne), was first organized and assembled at Camp Green several months before joining the Doughboys already on the Western Front. He told me it wasn’t always a pleasant experience being an Italian immigrant and training in North Carolina, but he knew the call to fight for peace, democracy, and economic stability was greater than any personal sacrifice made during the process of attaining these common objectives of that time and place in history.

Read Private Iossa's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

 

 

 

 

 


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March 14, 2017

VFW joins WW1CC Poppy Program

 

VFW Poppy

One of the largest veterans service organizations in the world, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), has officially partnered with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission for the Commission's innovative new veterans-awareness program: the WW1 Poppy Program, rolled out by the Commission two weeks ago. Founded in 1899, the Veterans of Foreign Wars is the oldest major veteran’s organization in the nation, and its membership, combined with that of its Auxiliary, stands at nearly 1.7 million people. They fund and manage programs that support veterans, service members and their families, as well as communities, worldwide. Click here to read more about the VFW joining the WW1CC Poppy Program, and how the program will help build the National World War One Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, and assist local VFW Post projects.

 


Will Smith preps 'Harlem Hellfighters' series for History Channel based on Brooks' book

 

Will Smith

Harlem Hellfighters, the fact-based graphic novel by World War Z author Max Brooks, is heading toward a six-hour limited-series on History Channel, developed by actor Will Smith's production company. Hellfighters, illustrated by Caanan White, was based on the real-life U.S. Army's 369th infantry division, an African American unit fighting in Europe during World War I. Breaking down racial barriers, the unit spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and went on to win countless decorations. They faced tremendous discrimination during the war and even when they returned from the front as heroes. Brooks is a long-time supporter of the Centennial Commission. Read more about the upcoming series here.


Congress and the World Wars exhibit opens at the U.S. Capital Visitor Center

Dr Matt Field

To commemorate the centennial of U.S. entry into World War I in 2017, the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center presents a two year-long exhibition, Congress and the World Wars. Through constituent correspondence, petitions, political cartoons, and posters, visitors will be able to see how Congress responded to the issues facing the nation and how that response impacted the lives of Americans and redefined the nation within the world. Dr. Matt Field, Exhibits and Education Program Specialist from the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, is curator of this exhibit, spanning WWI and WWII. He gives his insights on the exhibit, including the important connections between Congress’s actions in April 1917 and December 1941, the remarkable continued relevance of Congress’s actions during World War I to today, and the similarities between the actions during World War I and World War II. Click here for more about the exhibit.


Brooke USA organization honors the million US horses that served in WWI

Brooke logo

The USA’s World War One Centennial Commission has made Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign an official Centennial Partner, recognizing how America’s horses and mules contributed to the nation's war effort. Of the one million American equines who went to Europe, only 200 returned. In total, eight million horses and mules died in WW1. The role of Horse Heroes will be to remember the American horses and mules who served alongside their brave soldiers. Read more about this equine tribute here.


100 Cities /100 Memorials

Memorial image

This week we have a post about Cape May County - where a volunteer has asked the city's help to refurbish their local WW1 Memorial. And they don't know about the 100 cities / 100 Memorials program. Do you know about a local project that could benefit from a matching grant? We are asking for your help in connecting those projects and us together.


WwriteBlog

Wwrite Blog

This week, the WWrite Blog features another Women's History Month post with Navy Veteran and writer, Jerri Bell. Bell discusses Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a Navy Yeoman who enlisted during WWI as a journalist and afterwards went to work for the Red Cross in Paris to help war refugees.

This experience inspired her dynamic career as a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Stoneman's The Everglades: River of Grass is considered an environmentalist masterpiece and is often compared to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.

If you have a news item regarding WWI and writing, please contact: jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org.


In 1917, it was proven angels do exist.” Metal Sign 14.95

Angels do exist

Happy Women's month! Looking back at images of The Great War and recognizing the sacrifices made by a generation one century ago, inspired the designs of our metal signs collection.

We hope you appreciate the combination of history and humor in each design.

This and many other official commemorative products are available at the official merchandise shop.


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

Herbert Lowe Parsons

Submitted by: Lori Parsons (granddaughter-in-law)

Herbert Lowe Parsons served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 5-19-1918 to 4-27-1919.

Herbert Lowe Parsons, my husband's grandfather, served in World War 1 as an ambulance driver. Originally with the 2nd Missouri Ambulance Company with the Missouri National Guard, his company became part of the 35th Infantry Division when the United States declared with Germany.

Research shows that his ambulance company, the 138th Ambulance Company, was part of the 110th Sanitary Train within the 35th Infantry Division. His ambulance company set up dressing stations and evacuated wounded at Bussang, Vittel, Gerardmer, Fraize, Auzeville, Neuvilly, Vauquoise Hill, Cheppy, Charpentry,

Submit your family's Story of Service here

 

Herbert Lowe Parsons


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March 7, 2017 

AASLH joins the WW1 Poppy Program

 

AASLH Poppy Program

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission (WW1CC) welcomes the partnership of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) in the new WW1CC Poppy Program, the Commission's great new grassroots awareness and fundraising effort. AASLH is a national association that provides leadership and support for its members, who preserve and interpret state and local history, in order to make the past more meaningful to all people. AASLH has over 6,000 members across the country. The  Poppy Program can help raise revenue for your historical society while raising money for the National WW1 Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC. Read more about AASLH and the Poppy Program here.


Monahan officially sworn in as WW1CC Commissioner during Legion winter meeting

Monahan swearing in

John D. Monahan of Essex, Connecticut was sworn in as Commissioner on the United States World War One Centennial Commission during the American Legion’s 57th annual Washington Conference last week. He was appointed to this position by the American Legion. He has served the Legion in the past as commander of La Place-Champlin American Legion Post 18 in Essex, Conn. and in various post, state and national levels. A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Monahan served in uniform both as an enlisted soldier and as an officer. His swearing in brings the Commission to its full authorized number of 12 commissioners. Read more about the ceremony and the Commission here.


National Museum of American History announces World War I exhibits

Smithsonian

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will commemorate centennial of the official United States involvement in the First World War with a number of displays, exhibits, and programs.  The Museum holds a variety of collections demonstrating the transformative history of World War I and of the United States’ participation in it. The objects and their stories help illuminate civilian participation, civil rights, volunteerism, women’s military service, minority experiences, art and visual culture, medical technological development and new technologies of war and peace. Read more about the Museum's plans for commemorating the Centennial here.


Living history performer recreates life of influential WWI figure Dr. Isaiah Bowman

Batson-Bowman

Doug Batson is a living history performer, a former military geographer, and an expert in the geography of World War I. He brings these passions together when he does performances portraying Dr. Isaiah Bowman, then-Director of the American Geographical Society (AGS). In January 1918, President Wilson tapped Dr. Bowman to lead "The Inquiry," a group of distinguished geographers who served as a precursor to today's National Intelligence Council. With its vast collection of maps and reports, The Inquiry propelled America onto the world stage at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference -- and together, they developed President Wilson's Famous "14 Points". Read about Batson's thoughtful portrayal of the man whose pioneering work in WW1 is still shaping our national security structure today.


U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Tracy Crow Writes About WWI Female Marine Sergeant Lela Leibrand (Ginger Roger's mother)

Wwrite Blog

To kick off Womens History Month, the WWrite Blog features U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Writer, Tracy Crow, author of the critically-acclaimed memoir, "Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine", "On Point: A Guide to Writing the Military Story" and the anthology, "Red, White, and True: Stories from Veterans and Families, WWII to Present".

For this week's post, Crow discusses WWI Female Marine Sergeant Lela Leibrand, one of the first 10 women to join the Marine Corps. Leibrand was also mother to star Ginger Rogers. A great read!

In July 2017, she, along with co-editor Jerri Bell, will release the anthology, "It's My Country Too: Women's Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan".

This past weekend, the WWrite blog launched its weekend update, writerly news: all things writerly happening on the Commission's website for the past week plus, feature various news items about WWrite Bloggers including recent publications, public talks, and conferences. If you have a news item regarding WWI and writing, please contact: jennifer.orth-veillon@worldwar1centennial.org.


White Ceramic Mug: $12.00

Coffe Mug

Cup 'O Ja or Tea Time  - enjoy a hot steamy beverage in an official WW1 Commemorative coffee mug.

This and many other official commemorative products are available at the official merchandise shop.

 


Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Donation Plane 1

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shinichi Takenouchi

Shinichi Takenouchi

Submitted by: Michael Itamura (grandson)

Shinichi Takenouchi served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known July 1918-March 1920.

 

My grandfather was a cook during his almost two years of service in the Army. He was born on Maui, the first son born to Japanese Immigrants to Hawaii. I know little about his time in service as he died when I was only 4.

I have been able to piece together where he was based on photos from his albums and that he was recorded at being at Fort Ontario, NY in the 1920 census.

Submit your family's Story of Service here

 


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February 28, 2017

"Remembering World War I is essential"

 

Monique Seefried

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is preparing for a major national event on April 6th, 2017, to mark the 100th anniversary of America's entry into the war. The event will take place at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. Monique Brouillet Seefried, Ph.D., is a Commissioner on the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. Seefried has been a regular lecturer on World War I, its causes and its consequences. In an interview she talks with us about the event, the significance of the Centennial of WWI, and why the decision by the U.S. to enter the war is so important for the nation to commemorate 100 years later. Click here to read the entire interview.


"Give those who are gone a voice and keep them from ever fading from history"

Finding the Lost Battalion cover

Historian, author, and long time WW1CC web site contributor Robert Laplander has been very busy. He just released the third edition of his landmark book "FInding The Lost Battalion"; he is working on a new book about that unit's Commander, Charles Whittlesey; and he has been involved with the highly-anticipated PBS/American Experience series THE GREAT WAR. In addition to all that, Robert has been doing deep research with his "Doughboy MIA" section of the WW1 Centennial Commission web site, working to account for the World War I casualties who are still listed as 'Missing'. Click here to get a full update on all Robert's activities, and learn why he is dedicating so much effort to these WWI projects.


Add your centennial commemoration event or activity to the national register

National Event Register

The WW1CC U.S. National WW1 Centennial Events Register U.S. National WW1 Centennial Events Register is a living document of exhibits, commemorations, and events happening around the entire country. It is designed to help people find local things to see & participate in during the centennial period, part of teh Commission's role as a national clearing house for centennial activities. If your organization is planning an event (or many events) to commemorate the Centennial of WWI, put them on the Commission calendar--click here to learn how.


WWrite Blog: Actor/Writer Darryl Dillard on the Great War's Influence for Black Male Actors Today

WW1 Poster and modern magazine

The image is of a WWI Military Recruitment Poster next to a 2008 Vogue Controversial Cover with Lebron James and Gisele Bundche.

To prove loyalty to the country and gain respect, blacks volunteered in droves to join the war and fight for their country side by side with whites.

Read this fascinating article by actor/writer Darryl Dillard as he explores the reality of the times and the implications for today in this week's feature article in the WWrite blog.


100 Cities / 100 Memorials: Kevin Fitzpatrick's excellent post about the WW1 memorial restoration project on Governors Island, NY

Governors Island NY

New York City has untold numbers of monuments and memorials spread out across its five boroughs, from the large Grant's Tomb to the modest Balto statue. There is one public park that has the highest concentration of World War I memorials in the city: Governors Island. A military base for two hundred years, the island roads are named for soldiers killed in the Great War and there are more than twenty bronze tablets dotting its 172 acres. For the centennial of the war, this project is to restore and replace three of these tablets: two for soldiers killed in hand-to-hand combat, and one for General John J. Pershing.

Read about this great 100C/100M project being spearheaded by Kevin Fitzpatrick


The WW1 Poppy Kits are in the official WW1 Centennial Merchandise Shop

Poppy Kit

Basically, a partner organization can make a $64.99 donation and get a poppy seed kit, containing 60 poppy seed packets.

Then, the partner organization can turn around, and distribute the poppy seed packets for $2 a piece or more -- and the partner organization can keep that.

In this way, we raise money for the National World War I Memorial in Pershing Park, and we help our partner organizations to raise money for their own agenda.

Order the kit in the Official WW1 Centennial Merchandise Shop

Learn about the program at ww1cc.org/poppy


Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Donation Plane 1

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Gaines Gentry, Jr,

David Gaines Gentry, Jr.

Submitted by: Barbara J. Selletti 

David Gaines Gentry, Jr. served in World War One with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 01 Apr 1918-03 Apr 1919.

 

David was a Private in Co. B/E, 105th Ammunition Train, 30th Division of the Army. He was a 22 year old cotton mill worker in Jonesville, SC at the outbreak of the war. He had only recently married with a young one on the way.

 

For a young man who hadn't traveled more than 100 miles from where he was born and lived, the prospect of not only serving in the military must have seemed exotic, but also traveling over the ocean to another county.

Submit your family's Story of Service here


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