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

Dispatch Newletter

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

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September 19, 2017 

Hamby elected as new U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Chair



The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission has elected Commissioner Terry Hamby as the new Chair of the organization. The election took place during the Commission's quarterly meeting on September 13th, in Washington, DC.  Hamby was selected to follow Chair Robert J. Dalessandro, who has led the group since 2014. "This is a huge honor for me," Chair Hamby said in his acceptance. "Both my father and my great uncle served in World War I. My great uncle was lost in the Battle of the Meuse Argonne. I will put my whole heart into this job." Hamby is a Viet Nam-era veteran, serving in the Navy during the war, and later in the Army Reserve, retiring with 26 years of service in 1993. Read more about the new Chair of the Centennial Commission  here.

Wentworth alumni fight to save WWI Doughboy statue from auction block


The Doughboy statue that has stood in front of Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri since 1923, commemorating the sacrifice of Wentworth cadets in WWI, stands now in the center of a legal battle pitting alumni against the school they once called home. Financial troubles forced Wentworth to close its doors in 2017. The school and all its property, including memorabilia like old uniforms, badges, photographs — and the Doughboy statue, by the American sculptor Ernest Moore Viquesney, one of only 139 ever made — are destined for auction on Oct. 7 to pay the school's debts. But the Wentworth Alumni Association is fighting to stop the sale of the Doughboy, claiming that the alumni, not the school, are its rightful owners. Read more about this legal battle whose roots reach all the way back back to the Great War.

United Tribes Technical College powwow in North Dakota honors tribal WWI vets


The United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) honored World War I veterans at its powwow in Bismarck, North Dakota, on 9-10 September. The Powwow is one of the largest Native American powwows in the nation, featuring hundreds of drummers and dancers from tribes all around the world. During a special honor song, the names of more than 350 tribal citizens who served in the World War I era were announced. Their families and descendants took part in the ceremony, along with other veterans, and representative of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. Read more about the big powwow.

Met exhibit highlights how artists reacted to and represented World War I horrors

Met exhibit

Organized to commemorate the centennial of World War I, the World War I and the Visual Arts exhibition at the The Met Fifth Avenue in New York City will focus on the impact of the war on the visual arts. Moving chronologically from its outbreak to the decade after the armistice, World War I and the Visual Arts will highlight the diverse ways in which artists both reacted to and represented the horrors of modern warfare. The works on view will reflect a variety of responses, ranging from nationalist enthusiasm to more somber reflections on the carnage and mass devastation that resulted from the war. Read more here about this review of art's responses to the inconceivable carnage and destruction of WWI.

Naval War College hosts WWI period-accurate Army-Navy baseball game

Baseball and Uncle Sam

The Naval War College has announced that they will host a period-accurate baseball game between Army and Navy teams on Friday, September 29th at Cardines Field in downtown Newport, RI. The Army-Navy baseball game will be played in authentic uniforms of the World War I-era, and is a precursor to the opening of a new World War I exhibit at the Naval War College Museum this December. Baseball wasn't just for fun in 1917--it played a vital role in the arrival of U.S. forces into the WWI theater. Check out the fascinating historical background of this upcoming baseball contest, and Play Ball!.

WWI Centennial News Podcast

Podcast Logo

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

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WWI Centennial News SPECIAL

"Part 1: The Great Debate"

This week and next week, we are going to break format as we present a two-part special podcast version of  “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace”.

This two-part special is an adaptation from the live staged commemorative event the Commission produced on the April 6, 2017 centennial of America’s entry into  The War that Changed the World.

Edward Bilous as the artistic director, and Chris Christopher as the US WW1 Centennial Commission’s executive producer pulled together an amazing group of artists, historians musician, actors, and others for a live performance staged outdoors at the National WWI Museum and Memorial  in Kansas City to an audience of over 3,000 attendees.

For this two-part special we have excerpted key moments from the story that unfolds, the music that was performed and the readings from a cast of amazing actors, orators, musicians and other luminaries.

Part One examines the great debate in America about getting into the war.

WWrite Blog - A Common Language for Suffering and Healing: Greek Tragedy, Contemporary Veterans, and WWI: An Interview with Bryan Doerries

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As counterintuitive as it sounds, Theater of War Productions works to help heal contemporary combat veterans— with Greek tragedy. With over 600 performances and still counting, Theater of War represents one of the largest and most ambitious projects ever brokered between artists and the Department of Defense. The WWrite Blog was lucky enough to spend some time talking to artistic director, Bryan Doerries, about the ways in which Theater of War might enlighten us about the experience of WWI soldiers and military personnel throughout the Centennial year. Don't miss this week's post with one of America's most influential public artists!

Official WWI Centennial Marker Flag

Small official centennial flags

Get ready to honor our WW1 Doughboys for Veterans Day by ordering these small official WW1 Centennial Marker Flags.

They are perfect as remembrance grave site markers for our veterans on this special day - and by purchasing them you will also help to build America's National WWI Memorial in Washington DC honoring our Doughboys every day of the year. 

Get a dozen now as you #countdowntoveteransday. Ideal for the next few years during the centennial period!

The flags are made of durable nylon, and measure 8 inches x 12 inches, and feature the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto the fabric. The flag is secured on a 15.75" wooden dowel with a decorative ball on top . 

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

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Gilbert Nelson Jerome

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of 

Gilbert Nelson Jerome


Submitted by: Laura A. Macaluso



Gilbert Nelson Jerome's Military Service Record, State of Connecticut is mostly blank. His mother neatly typed up answers as she could, but page three, in which the state asks questions like, "what was your attitude toward military service?" and "what were the effects upon yourself of your overseas experience?' would not be answered, since her son was killed in his bi-plane on July 11, 1918 in France. 

Although twenty-nine year old Gilbert wasn't able to answer those questions, he wrote often to his mother while serving, and it's safe to say that his experiences in WWI were similar to many others, infantry and airmen alike. During training and later, in between sorties, Gilbert and his cohort experienced long periods of down-time, when they would try to keep themselves busy reading, writing letters home or playing games. These quiet periods were often shattered with bad news--such as the day when Gilbert learned his bunkmate Ernest Leach, a minster's son from Cape Cod, was shot down in the same plane Gilbert had flown earlier in the day. 

Certainly no one was safe in the Great War years, civilians or those in service were all under siege from the Spanish flu and other diseases, as well attacks from the enemy. But, those who flew--in paper thin airplanes with mounted machine guns--had high rates of casualties. It didn't matter if you were the son of a president (Quentin Roosevelt was killed in action) or the son of a minister. Many of them died, and as was the custom during war, each was buried where they fell--overseas and far away from their homes and families.

Read Gilbert Nelson Jerome's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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September 12, 2017

Governors Island living history event to mark NYC World War I Centennial

Camp Doughboy vertical

On September 16-17, World War I will be alive, with a full weekend of activities, ceremonies, and living history demonstrations on Governors Island. All activities are free and open to the public. Camp Doughboy will bring together living history re-enactors, vintage vehicles from a century ago, authors of World War I books, and active duty Army soldiers. They will even have a working World War I-era tank! “We are taking history out of the classroom, and opening it up to everybody." observed Dr. Libby O’Connell, U.S. World War I Centennial Commissioner. “Camp Doughboy gives people of all ages the opportunity to learn about the Great War”. Read all about this big WWI event in the Big Apple here.

Navy to survey wreck of sunken WWI cruiser

USS San Diego vertical

The Navy has announced plans to survey the wreck of the World War I U.S. Navy cruiser San Diego, on which six American Sailors lost their lives when she was sunk as a result of enemy action off the coast of New York on July 19, 1918. The survey's objective is to assess the condition of the wreck site and determine if the ship, the only major warship lost by the United States in, was sunk as a result of a German submarine-launched torpedo or mine. Ultimately, data gathered will help inform the management of the sunken military craft, which lies only a few miles south of Long Island. The announcement comes just weeks after the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the ship, and the survey, which is planned for Sept. 11-15, is timed to allow researchers to conduct a thorough examination of the site and prepare, then release, their findings around the date of the 100th anniversary. Read more about this underwater archeology expedition here.

"We as Americans, need to stand together and take the time to give 'The Great War' the Respect that is owed."

Keith Colley

One of the WWI Centennial Commission's Commemorative Partners is Keith Colley, whose World War I Mobile Museum we profiled last year. His museum has twelve galleries of exhibits, which can be set up & taken down in a matter of hours. True to the name, Keith's Mobile Museum has been traveling across the country, and he sets up the exhibits as part of state fairs, veteran commemorations, living-history activities, and even sporting events. He has been very busy over the past couple of weeks, with a summer schedule that has taken him from Delaware to Texas. We caught up with Keith to get the latest news about the museum, what he is trying to achieve, and what is up ahead for him and the mobile museum.

"We are hard pressed to give a clear answer to our questions relating to the past."

Bernhard Kast

When it comes to military history on the internet, one of the top Producers working today is Bernhard Kast. His YouTube channel, Military History Visualized, took a meteoric route to fame -- garnering over 16 million views of his 160+ video segments, which were all produced just in the past year. Bernhard is the real deal -- an expert in computers/gaming, an expert in history, an expert in teaching, and a gifted storyteller. He was born in 1980, Central Europe, studied Computer Science and History at the University of Salzburg (Europe, Austria) from 2001 to 2008. In his final semester, he had the opportunity to develop and teach a course in rhetoric “Modern Rhetorical Role Models”. Later on, he went to Hamburg to work as a Sales Engineer at a Consulting Firm in the automotive industry and as Junior-Online Marketing Manager at InnoGames a company in browser-based (and now also client-based) gaming. His latest work is a remarkable piece on World War I. Our WW1CC intern Michael Stahler talked to Bernhard about his work, and about how World War I continues to impact us today.

National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council WWI research competition for scholars under 30

David Hounshell

On the occasion of the centennial of World War I, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are pleased to announce an open competition for scholars under the age of 30 to research and write a scholarly paper on a major aspect of how scientists and engineers in the United States were engaged in the World War I effort. The focus, drawing on the creation of the National Research Council (NRC) associated with World War I, is on institutional changes  and the research enterprise in America. In effect, scholars should look at how the war experience shaped long-term relationships among scientists and engineers and U.S. policymakers regarding national security and public welfare.

Fort Sam Houston commemorates World War I centennial, honors 90th ID

90th ID

Soldiers and civilians gathered Aug. 25 for Fort Sam Houston’s WWI Centennial Ceremony honoring the 90th ID inside the historic Quadrangle here for an outdoor ceremony. As this year marks the national commemoration for the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into WWI, military basses across the U.S. are celebrating their storied unit’s involvement and accomplishments in ceremonies. And, Fort Sam Houston is no different. During the ceremony after the 90th ID colors were uncased and unfurled, 100-years to the day that the 90th Division activated at Camp Travis, what is now Fort Sam Houston. Read more about this moving commemoration ceremony and its participants here.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

German Occupation

Highlights of Episode #36:

Life inside German Occupied Belgium
|@ 03:15
Some memorable stories from the front - Mike Shuster
|@ 13:3 0
Preview of Camp Doughboy - Governors Island, NY 9/16-9/17
|@ 19:00
Preview of Pershing Days - Laclede, MO, 9/15-9/17 with Alicyn Ehrich and Denzil Heaney
|@ 20:15
$10,000 WWI academic competition
|@ 24:55 
Speaking WWI - Cooties! Yuk!
|@ 26:00
100C/100M with Jim Yokum on Santa Monica CA project
|@ 27:15
CBS Radio
|@ 33:15 
Phil Eaton - Coast Guard Winged Warrior of WW1
|@ 34:40
WWrite Blog on Champagne
|@ 35:35

And more...

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Devil Dog

Inspired by the WWI Marine Chauchat gunner, this 12” cold cast bronze collector statue is a tribute to those who fought in The Great War.

Imagine a scene somewhere in France late 1918. The term “Devil Dog” has its origins at Belleau Wood where a dispatch from the German front lines to headquarters described the fighting abilities of the Americans as fighting like “Teufel Hunden”- “Hounds from Hell.” The Marine gunner wears the AEF M1917 khaki drab uniform typically worn without collar insignia. His primary weapon is the French Chauchat (CSRG) machine gun, while a Colt .45 pistol serves as his sidearm. His backpack is lightly loaded for the assault and he carries extra 20 round magazines for the Chauchat in a French-made haversack. His gasmask, worn in the “ready” position, helmet and gear are all U.S. issue. These finely sculpted limited edition statues are cast and finished one at a time - no two are truly alike. Each limited edition statue is stamped with individual serial numbers and comes packaged in a high quality color presentation box. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will help fund the national WWI Memorial to be built in Pershing Park in Washington, D.C.

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

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Colonel Pashupati Joseph Sarma 

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Pashupati Joseph Sarma


Submitted by: Tanveer Kalo



Colonel Pashupati Joseph Sarma served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The dates of service are: Unknown .


Colonel Pashupati Joseph Sarma was born on September 29, 1893 in Calcutta, British India.

He arrived to the New York City on June 28, 1912 at age of 20 from Liverpool, England on the ship Mauretania. It interesting to note that his race was listed as East Indian in the passenger list.

Sarma settled down in Chicago, Illinois. He become a general medical surgeon in the city.

He registered for the U.S. military on June 5, 1917. According to the book History of Medicine and Surgery and Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago by the Chicago Medical Society, during the war, Sarma entered the medical corps of the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.

Read Pashupati Joseph Sarma's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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September 5, 2017 

World War I "Teaching Literacy Through History" educator development sessions take place in six cities for 2017-18 

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The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission has allied with the American Legion, and with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLI), to produce a series of programs to teach educators about World War I topics. Using a $50,000 grant from the American Legion, the Gilder Lehrman Institute will produce World War I-themed "Teaching Literacy through History" seminars in 6 cities throughout the 2017/2018 calendar school year. The Centennial Commission will assist in providing curriculum content, communication support, and other resources. The locations of the six seminars will be Anchorage, AK, Albuquerque, NM, Louisville, KY, San Diego, CA, Providence, RI, and Detroit, MI. Read more about this WWI education initiative here.

WWI American Veterans Centennial silver dollar design unveiling set for Oct. 9

Coin Competition

Coin World Magazine has announced that The United States Mint will unveil designs selected from a juried competition for the 2018 World War I American Veterans Centennial silver dollar on October 9 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the Association of the United States Army annual meeting and exposition. World War I Centennial Commission officials confirmed Aug. 29 the October unveiling date, but noted the event will not include release of the obverse and reverse designs for five silver medals honoring the branches of the U.S. military — United States Army, United States Navy, United States Marines, United States Air Force and United States Coast Guard. Read the entire Coin World Magazine article about the planned October 9 unveiling of the coin design here.

Bismarck Powwow to honor Native Americans who served in WWI

Sgt. John W. Smith

One hundred years after World War I, a powwow in North Dakota will honor Native Americans who served in the conflict before they were even considered U.S. citizens. They'll be remembered at the 48th annual International Powwow next weekend at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck. Several hundred family members and descendants of World War I Native servicemen are expected to participate in the ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 10. Names will be read of more than 355 veterans from five tribes who served in World War I, including Sgt. John W. Smith from the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Before he left he wrote a note on a picture of himself that said, "Forget me not." Read more here about this ceremony to remember and honor those who served.

WWI artifacts will have key roles at new National Museum of the U.S. Army


We are following with great interest the construction progress of the new National Museum of the U.S. Army. The museum will house a remarkable collection of artifacts that will tell the story of our nation's military history, from our very beginnings as a nation, right up to present-day.  We are pleased to learn that World War I will play a front-and-center role in that story. The Museum promises to have a truly world-class collection of artifacts from World War I, to include period uniforms owned by high-profile figures from the war, pivotal documents that shaped the war's outcome, weapons that were used in combat, and much, much more. Among the items that will have a permanent home there is a very special tank, the "Five of Hearts", which was a combat veteran from the battle of Meuse-Argonne, and which was recovered from the battlefield soon after the war, and returned to the U.S. as a special tribute to the the courage of those first tank soldiers to serve in the U.S. Army. We spoke to Dr. Patrick R. Jennings, Ph.D., Programs & Education Specialist at the National Museum of the United States Army, to hear more about this great museum, and about it's World War I artifacts.

Arlington, VA in World War I: "The effects of the war were not always far away."

Nathan Bynum

Nathan Bynum works as an Instructor/Producer with the "Document Arlington" community video project. He has spent the several past months leading a group of film students in the creation of a documentary film about Arlington County and WWI. Members of the World War I Centennial Commission attended a special screening of the film last week, and it was amazing. It shows a truly grassroots effort by local high students to engage with WWI in their community. We caught up with Nathan recently, and asked him about the World War I film project.

National World War I Museum & Memorial launches contest to reward teachers

Museum Teacher Adventure

As teachers and students go back to school, the National World War I Museum and Memorial announced the launch of a contest to “Send a Deserving Teacher on an Adventure!” The Museum is offering the public the opportunity to give something special to deserving teachers who make a difference in the lives of students with the grand prize winner receiving a trip to Kansas City for a personalized experience at America’s official World War I museum and memorial. Through Friday, Sept. 8, the public may enter a deserving teacher for the opportunity to win an adventure to Kansas City that includes airfare, hotel accommodations and admission to the National World War I Museum and Memorial for two (2) people (the nominated teacher and a guest of their choice), where they can meet with Museum collections and education staff and enjoy a personalized Museum experience. Read more about this opportunity to give a great teacher and outstanding trip.

Phil Eaton–The U.S. Coast Guard’s Winged Warrior of World War I

Phil Eaton

The Coast Guard and its aviators played a vital role in the World War I war effort. In 1916, Congress authorized the Coast Guard to develop an aviation branch, including aircraft, air stations and pilots. Coast Guard officers began to train at the Navy’s Pensacola Naval Flight School. Lt. Philip Bentley Eaton was one of these officers. On April 6, 1917, the U.S. declared war on Germany and the Coast Guard was transferred from the Treasury Department to the U.S. Navy. As Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Chatham on Cape Cod, Eaton led the first fight between U.S. naval aviation and the German U-Boat menace in U.S. waters. Read the entire absorbing account of this action, and Eaton's contributions as one of the Coast Guard aviators who have made their mark as members of the service’s long blue line. 

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Sioux Doughboy

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

Highlights Episode #35
"China, Japan &
Native American Soldiers

WW1 in China and Japan |@ 02:30
Mike Shuster - The fire at Salonika |@ 11:35
Dr. “Russ” McDonald on 49th UTTC International Powwow |@ 18:15
Speaking WWI - This week: “Field Day” |@ 24:50 
Joel Mize on 100C/100M project in Mussel Shoals, AL |@ 26:00
Chris Connelly - Story of Service about USMC grandfather |@ 34:20
Tanveer Kalo - former intern becoming subject matter expert |@ 40:30
The Buzz - This week in social Media |@ 41:50

WWrite Blog - Champagne, "champagne," and WWI

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This week's WWrite blog post is for literature, history, and, yes, champagne lovers.
Motivation for weary WWI soldiers? Champagne. In 1915, the French government voted to send "champagne," the bubbly, celebratory drink, as a morale booster to troops. Meanwhile, Champagne, the French region and source of the world's most elegant wine symbolizing celebration and peace, amassed severe wounds as a strategic point on Western Front. Don't miss this well-researched, insightful post about the region and its signature drink during WWI by journalist, Marsha Dubrow. Cheers!


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Flag At Legion Headquarters

Order an Official WW1 Centennial Flag in time for Veterans Day! $49.95

This WW1 Centennial Flag is made of durable nylon and measures 3x5'.  Now is the time to get This flag for your planned "Armistice" / Veterans day WWI memorial event.

If you are a state organization, American Legion Post, VFW Post, DAR Chapter or any other VSO planning an event this coming Veterans Day in commemoration of the Centennial of WWI - This is the right time to order your official US WW1 Centennial flag to fly proudly at your event. 

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

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Henry Winter Davis

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of 

Henry Winter Davis


Submitted by: Benjamin Woodard



Henry Winter Davis served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The dates of service are: Known 12 May 1918-14 Oct 1918. 

Born 2 Sep 1887 at Huntington, WV, to John and Mary Davis. Served in the WV National Guard before receiving a commission. Volunteered for immediate overseas service and sailed on MONGOLIA 11 Sep 1918.

Upon arrival attended American officers’ school at La Vanbonne, France; upon completion assigned to 165th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Division as a 2nd Lieutenant (Nov 1917). Assumed duties with headquarters company until Feb 1918 when transferred to Machine Gun Company. Served with this company in the Baccarat sector, Chasseurs, Champagne, Villers-sur-Fere, Murcey Farm, River Orcq, St. Mihiel sector and at Landres St. George.

Recommended for promotion shortly after regiment came out of Chateau Thierry sector. After service at Chalons-sur-Marne, awarded Silver Star. The citation reads as follows:

“By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Second Lieutenant (Infantry) Henry W. Davis, United States Army, is cited by the Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Second Lieutenant Davis distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving with Machine Gun Company, 165th Infantry Regiment, 42d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action near Chalons-sur-Marne, France, 15 July 1918, and by his brilliant leadership. 

General Orders: GHQ, American Expeditionary Forces, Citation Orders No. 1 (June 3, 1919)
Action Date: July 15, 1918".

Read Henry Winter Davis' entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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August 29, 2017

The spirit of the Doughboy formed the values of The American Legion


The thousands of veterans gathered last week in Reno, Nev., for the 99th National Convention of The American Legion heard a lot about how important World War I is to the nation’s largest veterans organization. The Great War, as it was then known, brought into existence The American Legion, which is why the World War I Centennial and The American Legion legacy are tightly intertwined, World War I Centennial Commissioner Jack Monahan explained to the Legionnaries in an important address to the convention.

Miller service  

Elsewhere in Reno, Monahan and many other Legionnaires participated in refurbishment and ceremonies at the grave site of Doughboy Lt. Col. Thomas W. Miller, who became the first Commander of the American Legion when it formed in 1919. Read more about Miller and the legacy of the Legion's founders here.

Inscriptions are sought for new national WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in DC

Mike Hanlon

Mike Hanlon, Editor/Publisher of, a Commemorative Partner of the United States World War One Centennial Commission, sent this missive to his subscribers recently:

With the approval of the design concept for the World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, the Centennial Commission and the Design Team are seeking help on one aspect of the final design.  They need the best selection of inscriptions to place on the monument to capture the spirit and sense of duty and sacrifice of those who served in the war.  These might be well-known expressions like that of Captain Lloyd Williams, USMC, who said, "Retreat, hell we just got here," at Belleau Wood, or it might be something one of your family members wrote in his letters or diary and has never appeared in print before.  In any case, this is the chance for those of us who have studied the war, or had family who fought in the struggle, to contribute and make our ideas and suggestions known.  Learn more about how you can contribute to this effort.

"The service of the Indian American community during World War I is an important aspect of our history."


Tanveer Kalo, a former intern at the World War I Centennial Commission, was profiled in the May 16 issue of DISPATCH about the collection of information on Indian American people who served in the U.S. military during World War I which he developed for the Commission web site. Recently he was invited to write an article on the same subject for American Bazaar Magazine, which was just published. Tanveer talks about the process and discoveries of his work, and how he is continuing his research even after returning to college, and highlights his personal favorite story of Manganlall K. Pandit, who served the US military in both World Wars.  Check out Tanveer's great article here.

"It’s the best job I’ve ever had."

Samantha Marie Ensenat

The World War I Centennial Commission has had an amazing number of college- and graduate-level interns. They come to us every semester, and during the summer, from all over the Unites States, and even places beyond -- China, South Korea, and Northern Ireland, to name a few. One of our recent  interns was Samantha Marie Ensenat, who came to us from Florida International University in Miami, FL. Samantha was interviewed recently about her experience, and said some very nice things about her time here.

"The Americans seldom miss a shot.”


As America entered World War I in 1917, a who’s who of National Rifle Association rifle champions gathered at Camp Perry, OH for an important mission. Congress had just declared war against Imperial Germany, but not a single school-trained military sniper existed. As the Army broke ground for 32 training camps across the nation, at Camp Perry the NRA was organizing a national-level advanced shooting program—the Small Arms Firing School—where specially-selected soldiers would learn advanced marksmanship, culminating in long-range shooting and sniper training. Upon graduation, they’d rejoin their units, instruct their skills to others, and then accompany them to France as intelligence and sniping leaders. Read more about here about how this public-private partnership for military rifle marksmanship contributed to the American war effort.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

mail call

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

Highlights Episode #34

"Trains, Planes and Mail!"

  • Moving the goods - The railroads and the war effort
  • Lynn Heidelbaugh - The postal service in WW1
  • The “Hat in the ring Gang” - Centennial of the 94th Aero Squadron
  • Mike Shuster - Dissent in the German forces
  • Richard Rubin & Jonathan Bratten - Being German ain't easy in 1917
  • Speaking WW1 - This week’s word “Strafe”
  • John Motley - 100C/100M project in Fort Towsen, OK
  • Andrew Carroll - Center for American War Letters

WWrite Blog - Apply for Archive Fellow for Armenian Advocacy, Dole Institute of Politics

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Don't miss this deadline - September 4th! Archive Fellow for Armenian Advocacy, Dole Institute of Politics.

This week's post takes you to the lesser-known area of WWI's Eastern Front. It is hard to believe that as barbarous battles raged on the Western Front, the Eastern Front experienced another, different human atrocity committed around the geographical region of modern-day Turkey: the Armenian Genocide.

To better understand the Armenian Genocide and its place in WWI, The Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive & Special Collections at the Dole Institute of Politics, University of Kansas in Lawrence, is pleased to announce a special fellowship opportunity for the 2017-2018 programming year: the Archival Fellow for Armenian Advocacy.

Learn more about it!

100 Cities / 100 Memorials - Cecil Evan Hopson memorial Fort Towson, OK

Cecil WW1 memorial - new doughboy statue

Mrs. Margie Motley, at 95 years young, has commissioned a new WW1 Memorial for the town of Fort Towson, Oklahoma in memory of her father, Cecil Evan Hopson, and all the Doughboy veterans of Fort Towson, Choctaw county and the state of Oklahoma features a life-size World War I Doughboy statue.
Hear all about it in a WW1 Centennial News podcast interview with her nephew, Retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel John Motley, who is putting all this together for her.

Slide forward to '30:30 to listen to the interview and learn about this rather amazing daughter of a Doughboy and her project to commemorate and honor these veterans.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

ww1 tent

Authentic U.S. WWI Era Tent - $2,268.00

These tents are proudly made in the USA using the same techniques, hardware, and fabrics that were used during The Great War.  This Limited Edition tent is enhanced with  a “U.S.” emblem on the top and a fabric garment label commemorating the U.S. Centennial of World War One. 

Natural 13 oz. cotton army duck in khaki color, natural fiber rope, cotton stitching, period slides, cotton fabric tape and brass grommets are all used in the construction of each tent. The end wall is fabricated with a stove pipe opening and decorated with stencils from the original plates.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item goes towards the building of the national World War One Memorial at Pershing Park 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.

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Max Missel

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Max Missle


Submitted by: Joel H. Rosenthal




Max Missel

405th Telegraph Battalion, U.S. Army Signal Corps

Enlisted: Los Angeles, CA. December 11, 1917

Reported: Camp Lewis, WA. December 15, 1917

Discharged: Presidio, San Francisco, CA . June 30, 1919

Max Missel was born October 18, 1895 in Kovno, Russia (now Kaunas, Lithuania).

Five-year old Max came to the United States with his mother Lipsa and his brother Harry in 1900 or 1901 (exact date not determined). They came to join Max’s older brothers John, Samuel, and Abraham who had already established themselves in Boston.

The youngest of five sons, Max arrived as a Yiddish-speaking boy. He and his family were part of the wave of Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They left to escape religious persecution and to find a better life. 

By 1917, Max was a 22-year old telegraph operator working for Western Union in Boston. For reasons lost to history he moved to the west coast. By December of that year, he enlisted. Max was assigned to the 405th Telegraph Battalion, Signal Corps, Company D. The 405th trained at the newly-established Camp Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington.

Read Max Missel's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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August 22, 2017

"The women who joined the Corps during WWI were heroines we must continually honor"

Jo-Ann Power

The WW1CC website is full of interesting pages, and incredible resources. As part of our series on what you can find there, we caught up with Jo-Ann Power, who created and curates a special page devoted entirely to the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in World War I. Jo-Ann is author of more than 60 novels, dozens of newspaper and magazine articles plus non-fiction, and she has won awards and acclaim during her decades’ old writing career. During the 1980s, she became interested in the thousands of women who volunteered to join the Army Nurse Corps. Few Americans had ever heard of them, but Jo-Ann found many primary resources at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania. Believing these brave women deserved wider recognition, Jo-Ann spent weeks examining boxes crammed with unannotated photographs, tattered letters and old microfilms of newspaper articles. She turned that research into a novel, HEROIC MEASURES, which was published in 2013. She also turned her vast knowledge into the amazing web page we have today. Today's Army Nurse Corps was created during the war, and their history is truly remarkable. Jo-Ann brings this story to life through a number of unique and innovative storytelling features.

100 years of the Rainbow Division marked in August 12 ceremony


Veterans and current leaders of the 42nd Infantry Division and the New York Army National Guard marked the 100th anniversary of the “Rainbow Division” with a Saturday, August 12, 2017 ceremony in Garden City, NY, where the division first organized in 1917. In an effort to organize and deploy combat units quickly as the United States entered World War 1, the division was formed from assembling the most ready National Guard units of 26 states and the District of Columbia. Because it would take in units from many states, then-Major Douglas MacArthur, the officer who came up with the idea, said it would stretch across the country “like a rainbow.” Read more about ceremony marking the Rainbow Division's centennial here.

First Division Museum Grand Reopening set for August 26 in Wheaton, Illinois

1st Division

The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL will reopen to the public on Saturday, August 26, at 11 am. The museum began a transformational update last fall. After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, visitors will enter the museum for the first time since Veterans Day 2016. The experience awaiting them features new and updated exhibits plus cutting-edge storytelling techniques. The museum’s reopening coincides with the 100th anniversary of the famed military unit known as the “Big Red One.” It became the first division of the U.S. Army in June 1917, assembling to fight in France in World War I. Read more about the First Division and the museum's new features here.

Historic "Five of Hearts" tank drops into new home at Museum of the U.S. Army

FIve of Hearts

On Tuesday August 15th the team at the U.S. Army Center for Military History placed a Renault FT-17 Tank at the construction site of the upcoming National Museum of the United States Army. The tank followed a remarkable journey, and is a true artifact of World War I. Nicknamed the "Five of Hearts", this tank was given to the U.S. Tank Corps by France during WWI, and is the only known surviving Renault tank used in combat by the U.S. thought to be in existence. Read more about this historic fighting vehicle and its new future home here.

Plans to honor Native American WWI veterans from North Dakota

Native Americans

Even before most Native Americans had citizenship rights, thousands of men from tribes across the country showed their patriotism by volunteering for the military and fighting in World War I. Now, as the nation solemnly marks the World War I Centennial, United Tribes Technical College at Bismarck is planning to honor Native American servicemen from North Dakota tribes who served and sacrificed. The honoring will be held on Sept. 10 during the 2017 UTTC International Powwow at the college in Bismarck. Read more about the ceremony and the World War I memorial on the Native American college campus here.

WW1 Centennial NEWS Podcast

training camp

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week and its about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 


Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.


Getting ready for training camp  - War Department issues 30 lesson manifesto

RG Head on the War In The Sky - 1917 overview

Richard Rubin & Jonathan Bratton on the Storyteller & The Historian on the Naval Reserve Act

Mike Shuster on the war in the middle east

Speaking WWI: “Thingumyjig”

Anne Taylor & Ruth Edmonson Johnson on 100 Cities / 100 Memorials

Professor Jeff Jakeman on Penrose Vass Stout: Aviator, architect and artist

The eclipse of 1918: What comes around, comes around |@37:00

Susan Werbe on telling the WWI  story with the voice of people

And more…  

U.S. Victory lapel pin

Victory Pin

Proudly wearing the World War 1 U.S. Victory lapel pin is a meaningful way to honor the contributions made for our country one hundred years ago. Soldiers received Victory buttons upon their discharge from service in “the Great War”. Hand cast in jeweler’s alloy and hand finished in a satin bronze patina, the design features the star, symbolizing victory, honor and glory; a wreath of evergreen laurel leaves symbolizing triumph over death; and the U.S. insignia, clearly identifying the country served.

Get your at the official WWI Centennial Merchandise shop.

Check out the many other great commemoration items while you are there.

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

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Oreste Alberighi

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of



Submitted by: Diego Paganini {great-grandnephew}



Oreste Alberighi served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known From July 26, 1918 to July 3, 1919.

Oreste Alberighi was born on Jan. 27, 1887 in Gradizza, a small hamlet of Copparo in Ferrara district in Italy. His father was Antonio and his mother unknown.

He was stout, with brown hair, grey eyes and he used to smoke pipe. From this habit he got the Italian nickname of « Pipa Calda ».

He left Italy in April 1912 for New York – Stoneco (and then Beacon) to follow the paths of his stepsister Ernesta Novelli Manzolli that had left Italy the year before to settle in the US after her marriage and the birth of her second child.

Oreste Alberighi did his military service as private in Dutchess in 1917-1918. He was naturalized in Spartanburg SC – in June 8,1918. After that during WWI he served overseas in France in the company B 51st Pioneer inf - Army serial number 3,181,515 from July 26, 1918 to July 3, 1919.

Read Oreste Alberighi's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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