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

World War I Centennial News


Dayton, Aviation, and the First World War 

via the National Park Service, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park web site

Significant developments in aviation occurred across Europe and North America during the First World War. Having entered combat nearly three years before the U.S. Congress’s declaration of war in April 1917, researchers and engineers in France and Germany, especially, created important developments that transformed a fledgling industry into an important component of military operations.

SPAD XIII94th Aero Squadron SPAD XIII, Focaucort Aerodrome, France, November 1918 Developments in aviation in the United States lagged far behind those in Europe. A battle over patent infringement between Orville Wright (and his brother Wilbur, before his death in 1912) and Glenn Curtiss, especially, held back technological development in the United States, as did a limited market for airplanes. Often costing between $5,000 and $10,000 apiece (between roughly $87,000 and $173,000 in 2015 dollars) and requiring extensive space for takeoffs and landings, only the rich and governments could afford to purchase a piece of an invention just over a decade old. Government – and specifically military – support was vital to the development of aviation throughout the world, and the course of the First World War in Europe demonstrated this.

Though they began 1914 with small air forces poorly integrated with existing branches of the military, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom were among the countries where air corps grew rapidly after Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo. As the war developed, European militaries called for increasingly specialized airplanes that could scout enemy positions, pursue enemy fighters, and bomb enemy positions, types of airplanes that did not exist before the war.

When the war began in Europe, the United States military had very few airplanes – only six airplanes, and fourteen trained pilots, were available for use. Conversely, France’s military had 260 airplanes and 171 pilots, Germany 46 airplanes and 52 pilots, and the U.K. 29 airplanes and 88 pilots. Congressional appropriations for aviation were also much lower than government appropriations in other countries. While the French parliament provided the equivalent of $7,400,000 in 1913, and the German Reichstag $5,000,000, the U.S. Congress provided a mere $125,000, less even than the $400,000 that Mexico devoted to aviation. 

Read more: Dayton, Aviation, and the First World War

Most Valuable Contributing Ace To World War I 

By Michael Grindle
via the Odyssey Online web site

In World War I, attacking through the air was a brand new form of warfare; it provided for various tactical uses such as reconnaissance, air superiority and close air support of ground troops. During this time period, two bold aviators, Edward V. Rickenbacker and Frank Luke, Jr were pioneers on this new front of technology in the war. While each man made a sacrifice and risked his life in the hopes of making a difference in the war’s outcome, Frank Luke Jr. was the pilot who made the most valuable contribution to the War effort in World War I due to his personal sacrifice and the mission he carried out during his flying career.

Frank Luke JrFrank Luke, Jr.Leadership is a characteristic that has been found in most flying Aces and Medal of Honor recipients. Both Rickenbacker and Luke showed their leadership skills in various ways. For instance, they both served on voluntary patrol. By doing this, they both demonstrated their willingness to go and risk their lives, even when they did not have to do so.

One thing that sets Frank Luke Jr. apart from Edward Rickenbacker is the type of enemy they went after. Originally, both aviators fought against other pilots and downed a decent amount of enemy aircraft, but Frank Luke Jr. went on a different route after shooting down his share of enemy planes. Frank pursued German Observation balloons and shot down three of them. This is more critical to the war effort because these observation balloons were what allowed the Germans to see the movement of troops; with less observation power, the German military would have less information on the position of their enemy. For this reason, Frank Luke Jr. made a more valuable contribution to fighting the enemy in World War I than Edward Rickenbacker did.

Additionally, Edward Rickenbacker was an excellent Ace—he was even named “America’s highest flying Ace,” but he made bold decisions that might not have always been the best. Many times, he disregarded the odds and he luckily made it out of his fights safely. On the other hand, Frank Luke Jr. made decisions with more regard to his current situation. He showed professionalism when he fought until the end against the Germans. He did not break even when people were shooting at him and in his last moments alive, he spent them defending himself and holding off the Germans. His bravery and determination helped him be one of the greatest flying Aces of the war and one of the most valuable airpower contributions to the war.

Lastly, one main difference between the two Aces and one that sets them apart, are their differences in intellectual powers. Edward Rickenbacker grew up always doing acts of courage and boldness. This explains his bold actions as an Ace during the war and why he would disregard odds and go for a target anyway. It helped him be an Ace—maybe even the best Ace of WWI—but not the most valuable contribution to the war.

On the other hand, Frank Luke Jr. was said to have quick thinking and be very creative. This might have stemmed from the fact that his spirit reflected that of his father who was into pioneering. It also could have contributed to his determination not to give up after being shot down.

Read more: Most Valuable Contributing Ace To World War I

A Re-Examination of the Schlieffen Plan

By Michael Belil
via the Strategy Bridge web site

What best explains the German General Staff’s decision to go to war in 1914? Was Alfred von Schlieffen’s war plan a self-fulfilling prophecy that pushed the Triple Entente to balance together against Germany?

Alfred von Schlieffen 1906"A two-front war was never part of Alfred von Schlieffen’s strategic offensive plans." — Alfred von Schlieffen in a 1906 photo.This article argues that the best, most recent scholarship concerning the impact of pre-war German military planning depicts a situation in which not one, but a multitude of of causal factors led Germany to go to war in 1914.

The most compelling scholarship illustrates that the primary factors that led Germany to war include: the culture of nationalism, militarism, and the ideology of the offensive that was prevalent in the General Staff; pessimism about the prospect of victory in the future and optimism about victory in the present (preventive war thinking); perception about the strength and unity of the Triple Entente; the psychology and cognitive biases of German War planners; incoherence of strategic planning and organizational politics; and last, the idea that “grand strategy in this era was a three-level game in which the need to cobble together working coalitions on the domestic and alliance levels often seemed more pressing than even the life-and-death threats posed by foreign competitors.”

The Schlieffen Plan

I diverge from Jack Snyder’s analysis when it comes to the base Schlieffen Plan. He posits Alfred von Schlieffen’s plan was a self-fulfilling prophecy in that it pushed Russia to balance with France against Germany. In contrast, Terence Holmes persuasively argues against the idea that Schlieffen plan demanded a two-front war. Based on the Generalstabsreise West exercises in 1904 and 1905, He writes, “…from the inception of his new strategic idea Schlieffen was convinced that it would need at least the entire German field army—and probably a great number of extra troops as well — to be deployed in the west if there were to be a decisive attack on France. That would leave no troops at all for deployment to the east, so there was clearly no question of this scheme being adopted in a two-front war.”

Read more: A Re-Examination of the Schlieffen Plan

U.S. Mint sells half of max 100,000 WWI Coin/Medal sets in first days

By Paul Gilkes
via the Coin World web site

Nearly half of the maximum 100,000 World War I American Veterans Centennial Coin & Medal sets have been recorded sold by the U.S. Mint.

On Jan. 24, the Mint released sales figures through Jan. 22 for the sets, which went on sale Jan. 17 with the launch of the commemorative coin program.

army medal wwi leadThe U.S. Mint says that 11,272 U.S. Army medal sets with the WII Commemorative Silver Dollar have been sold already. Only 100,000 total coin/medal sets will be sold.A total of 47,061 sets have been recorded sold, with 11,272 containing a U.S. Army medal, 9,343 representing the U.S. Air Service, 9,334 sets featuring the U.S. Navy, 9,417 sets containing the U.S. Marines medal, and 7,695 sets for the U.S. Coast Guard medal.

The sets, offered at $99.95 per set, comprise a Proof .999 fine silver medal paired with a Proof .900 fine 2018-P World War I American Veterans Centennial silver dollar. For a collector to obtain all five medals, orders would have to be placed for each of the five sets, since the medals are not being offered individually.

The Mint is accepting orders for the sets during the first 30 days of the commemorative coin program, and will stop after the sales period ends or sufficient orders are received across all five set options to exhaust the 100,000-set limit.

Soon after the coin program launched at noon Eastern Time Jan. 17, the Coin and Medal sets went into backorder status. According to U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White, “The sets will not be produced until the final quantities for each set has been determined.”

Read more: U.S. Mint sells half of maximum 100,000 WWI Coin and Medal sets in first days

A Soldier’s Journey, and the Journey of Fame, Part 1: The Beginning

By Traci L. Slatton
via the Huffington Post web site

In January, 2016, my husband Sabin Howard and his design partner architect-in-training Joe Weishaar won the competition to design and build the National World War I Memorial. The Memorial is slated to stand in Pershing Park, located between the Mall and the White House.

Thus began a wild ride for my husband and our family.

5a57c8ce1e0000d800c96d3aSabin Howard (left) in the studio  Sabin began the journey with a great deal of cachet in the art world. His skills as a draughtsman and as a sculptor are extraordinary, of a level not seen in a hundred years. But it isn’t just that he can draw and sculpt. He has a talent stack that includes business acumen, an aesthetic sense, charisma, and public speaking. He taught for over a decade; the experience in front of a classroom gave him a flair for showmanship and understandability as a public speaker. He’s also very good looking. (Granted, I’m biased because he’s my husband.) The point is, Sabin can command a room.

When he and Joe won the competition, Sabin already had hundreds more friend requests on FaceBook than FaceBook allows. Although I’m not a fan of this overly-powerful social media platform and I believe that, like Ma Bell in the eighties, it’s a monopoly that should be broken up, FaceBook serves as a metric for something. Popularity, seemingly.

Sabin’s work had also already been reviewed in The New York Times: “Sabin Howard, a sculptor of immense talent, has created some of the most substantive realistic sculpture of the last decade.” (April 28, 2002). He had received numerous other accolades in print, in publications like Fine Art Connoisseur, American Arts Quarterly, and The New Criterion.

He was on the map as an artist of note—and his name on the map had a star beside it.

Winning the Memorial Competition catapulted him to a new level of visibility. This memorial is privately funded, and the World War I Memorial Commission works hard to raise the funds to build the Memorial.

I come from a military family and I am passionately devoted to the cause of commemorating veterans and what they’ve done for our country. Creating a memorial of a global, paradigm-changing war that is largely forgotten in our country strikes a chord with me.

People like me, families like my family of origin, men like my dad, made sacrifices. They fought and died and grieved. They returned from World War I profoundly changed. They’d been gassed and blinded; their feet had rotted in the muddy trenches. Many men were shattered beyond repair, even with victory. Sometimes husbands and fathers and sons didn’t return home at all, but simply vanished, their bodies never found.

There is a personal human cost to a war; even 100 years later, that cost deserves to be honored.

Read more: A Soldier’s Journey, and the Journey of Fame, Part 1: The Beginning

"So this is death"

SS Tuscania sinking by U-boat in 1918 kills 200 Americans

By Caitlin Hamon
Staff Writer

February 5, 1918: The sun was setting as the liner S.S. Tuscania and the British convoy made its way through the North Channel, with the rocky Irish coast to the south and the cliffs of Scotland rising to the north. The icy gale-force wind and rough seas which had risen the previous night were starting to subside as night approached.

Buffalo Commercial Front PageIt was shortly before 6 pm when suddenly a huge shock sent a tremor through the entire ship; all the lights went out at once, followed by the explosive sound of shattering glass. There was no question what had occurred; the Tuscania had been hit by a torpedo.

The S.S. Tuscania was part of a joint service transport from New York to Glasgow and Liverpool. Though initially outfitted to carry over 2,000 passengers, the outbreak of war had curtailed transatlantic passage, and like many other ships at the time, it had been refitted to transport troops and supplies from Canada and the United States to the shores of Great Britain. It had made several successful voyages across the Atlantic, and even had the distinction of aiding in the rescue of passengers aboard a Greek ship in 1915 which had gone adrift.

The Tuscania set out on its final voyage January 27th, 1918 from Hoboken, New Jersey. On board were over 2,000 American troops from the 6th Battalion- D, E, and F Company, the 20th Engineers, miscellaneous members of 32nd division, and the 100th & 103rd Aero Squadrons, as well as a contingent of British crew. They were a part of a transatlantic convoy totaling 14 vessels and were set to rendezvous with an additional HX-20 convoy of 8 British destroyers off the coast of Ireland.

On February 4th, the convoy arrived in the so-called “Danger Zone” where it met with the British Destroyers, which formed a protective ring around the 14 ships as they set course for the North Channel towards Liverpool. As the convoy continued its journey, a German submarine, UB-77, with a contingent of 7 officers and 25 men, spotted the liner through the periscope. Kapitan Wilhelm Meyer gave the order to fire two torpedoes. One struck the Tuscania, while the other missed its target.

Read more: SS Tuscania sinking by U-boat in 1918 kills 200 Americans

The Painstaking Process Behind Those Wild WWI “Dazzle” Naval Paint Jobs 

By Anika Burgess
via the Atlas Obscura web site

There were plenty of new, sometimes bizarre opportunities for camouflage in World War I: searchlights disguised as shrubbery, lookouts concealed as trees, and the Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps dressed in suits that blended seamlessly into the landscape. But at sea, the U.S. Navy required a different type of visual trickery: what came to be known as “dazzle” paint.

Dazzle paint library modelsA fleet of model ships with dazzle paint for testing. (National Archives/ 45510508)The idea was for ships to be seen, “but seen incorrectly,” explains Jennifer Marland, Curator of the National Museum of the United States Navy. If paint could be used to distort a ship’s angles, the thinking went, that would “make it difficult for the ship to be targeted efficiently by a submarine.”

German submarines posed a devastating threat to the Allies. After a hiatus in unrestricted attacks following the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, the German Navy recommenced open U-boat warfare in February 1917. In the second half of April of that year alone, an average of 13 ships were sunk per day. It was around this time that the British artist and Royal Navy volunteer Norman Wilkinson had the idea for dazzle paint.

“Strong, distracting lines would mask the bow, stern, and sections that might be used to estimate the range, speed, or course of the ship,” says Marland. “Submarines only had a few moments at periscope depth to fire their torpedo before they risked being seen. The aim was to make the estimation of where the ship would be so difficult that the torpedo would not be fired, or would be fired and miss.”

These distracting lines might include patterns on the smokestacks to obscure what direction they were facing, or curved shapes along the hull to create the impression of a bow wave. “The idea was that no design would be completely reused,” explains Marland. “Each side of the ship was different, but the aim was to obscure vulnerable parts of the ship so that there would be similar ideas of what to obscure by class.”

Before these patterns could be applied, they needed to be designed and—crucially—tested. Lieutenant Harold Van Buskirk was in charge of the U.S. Navy’s adoption of the British dazzle paint system. After receiving the blueprints of a ship, the Camouflage Section constructed a wooden scale model. The model was then tested using a turntable, a periscope, and a mirror to mimic the correct conditions.

“The tests replicated the view of the ship through a submarine periscope,” says Marland. “The tester had to estimate the range, speed, and course of the model ship and then fire a simulated torpedo. If he misses the model, the paint design is a good one.” Once approved, the Emergency Fleet Corporation of the Shipping Board applied the design onto the ships, under strict instructions not to depart from the color or pattern scheme.

Read more: The Painstaking Process Behind Those Wild WWI “Dazzle” Naval Paint Jobs

American World War I fighter ace's incredible letters surface

By James Rogers
via the Fox News web site

aircraftA Sopwith Camel (top) and a Fokker Tri-Plane, both vintage World War I planes, simulate combat at the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne Feb. 16, 2003. (REUTERS/Glenn Hunt) A fascinating archive of wartime letters from a U.S.-born fighter ace who served with British forces during World War I are up for auction in the U.K.

Lt. Edgar Taylor was born in Rhode Island to British parents and served in the British Royal Flying Corps, which merged with the Royal Naval Air Service to become the Royal Air Force in 1918.

“The content of the letters is superlative,” explained auctioneer Andrew Aldridge of auction house Henry Aldridge & Son, in an email to Fox News. The archive, he adds “gives a rare and unedited snapshot into the life of a WWI ace.”

The first letter is dated April 14, 1918 just prior to his transfer to France. Another letter written on May 23, 1918, headed 79 Squadron RAF, describes his attempt to shoot down a German plane, only for his guns to jam.

A letter dated June 14 1918 offers another incredible glimpse into Taylor’s exploits, describing a narrow escape from German fire. “We were at 15000ft and the Archies [anti-aircraft artillery] were shelling us,” he writes. “A fellow did a climbing turn and crashed into me from below, I thought I’d been hit by an Archie at first but I soon saw the other plane. We separated and I started back to our lines, gliding all the way.”

In another incident, a gas line on Taylor’s aircraft burst following a dogfight. “I was covered in petrol and I was unable to find a place to land, I crashed into a hedge wrecking my machine completely,” he wrote. “Beyond few bruises I wasn’t hurt.” 

The final letter in the archive was written just days before his death in August 1918. In addition to detailing his efforts to learn French, Taylor recounts shooting at German observation balloons. “The Archies opened up on me at once. I saw I was observed and they guessed what I was after,” he wrote. “I went as fast as my engine could carry me and immediately attacked the first balloon."

Read more: World War I fighter ace's incredible letters surface

WW1 Propaganda Posters "seriously lacking in nuance"

By George Dvorsky
via the Gizmodo.com web site

America’s involvement in the First World War was brief, but intense. For a period of 20 months, the government did its best to stir patriotic fervor, in part through the use of eye-catching propaganda posters. A new exhibit at Bruce Museum is showcasing a selection of these works, many of which are seriously lacking in nuance.

group 600The new exhibit is called Patriotic Persuasion: American Posters of the First World War, and it features a selection of posters donated to the Bruce Museum by Beverly and John W. Watling III.

“I think World War I posters symbolize the merging of patriotism and advertising in the United States, and in many ways, serve as a precedent for our contemporary political propaganda,” Elizabeth D. Smith, Zvi Grunberg Resident Fellow at Bruce Museum, told Gizmodo.

“These images reveal the myriad of ways the U.S. government tried to influence its citizens’ wartime opinions and actions,” she said. “They seem to be hauntingly relevant, considering today’s media environment.”

No doubt, these old-timey posters were designed to persuade, leveraging various psychological techniques to drive the message home.

Images of attractive women beckon men to enlist, while a blindfolded sailor pleads for donations of spy-glasses and binoculars.

Read more: WW1 Propaganda Posters "seriously lacking in nuance"

Peter Jackson is making a movie about World War One 

JacksonBy Andrew Todd
via the Birth.Movies.Death.com web site

Peter Jackson's next directing project has nothing to do with fantastical worlds: it's a World War One documentary, commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in London, set to coincide with the centennial of the war's end.

Never-before-seen, century-old footage has been mined, restored, and hand-colorised from the archives of the Museum and the BBC, and will be edited into a feature - in 2D and 3D - by Jackson himself. The film focuses on the experiences of the people involved in the five-year war, as opposed to the larger strategy and politics, working from hundreds of hours of interviews with veterans.

Jackson says the project is "not the usual film you would expect on the First World War;" check out his thoughts on the project, as well as some restoration tests, in the video below.

​Jackson has a long history of fascination with the First World War. New Zealand, of course, was heavily involved in the conflict, with one of its national holidays (ANZAC Day) originating as a memorial to the war. But Jackson also happens to be a significant collector of World War One memorabilia, ranging all the way up to vehicles and aircraft; his collection was utilised in a major exhibition at Te Papa, the country's national museum. 

Read more: Peter Jackson Is Making A Movie About World War One

A centennial of subterfuge: the history of Army psychological operations 

By Dr. Jared M. Tracy, PhD
via the army.mil web site

FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- On January 23, 2018, the U.S. Army reached a historic milestone: one hundred years of dedicated psychological operations support to military and national security objectives.

Of course, the practice of using psychological tactics to influence foreign populations predated 1918. However, it was not until World War I that the U.S. waged the first orchestrated military propaganda campaign in its history, establishing two agencies specifically for that purpose.

Psycho warfareLeft, a WWI Leaflet; Right, a hydrogen balloon. Between Aug. 28 and Nov. 11, 1918, more than 5.1 million leaflets of eighteen different designs, were printed. More than 3 million of them were disseminated, primarily by volunteering pilots and hydrogen balloons. (Photo Credit: USASOC History Office)The first agency was the Psychologic Subsection under MI-2, Military Intelligence Branch, Executive Division, War Department General Staff. The second was the Propaganda Section under G-2, General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces in France. Taken together, these two agencies introduced an American military propaganda capability.

Entering World War I in April 1917, the U.S. War Department had no capacity to conduct what is commonly known as psychological operations, or PSYOP, or what is doctrinally referred to today as Military Information Support Operations. On January 23, 1918, Maj. Charles H. Mason, head of MI-2 in the War Department Military Intelligence Branch, direct-commissioned Capt. Heber Blankenhorn straight from civilian life to establish and lead the Psychologic Subsection for the purpose of organizing "the implementation in combat of the psychologic factor in the strategic situation" -- quite a nebulous charter for the new officer.

President Woodrow Wilson vehemently opposed the idea of military-run propaganda, so Blankenhorn's low-key activities were initially limited to research and planning. He spent ensuing weeks walking the halls and knocking on doors throughout the War Department, trying to get support for his idea of waging "leaflet warfare" overseas in support of Gen. John J. Pershing's American Expeditionary Forces in France.

Read more: A centennial of subterfuge: the history of Army psychological operations

First Dollar SoldThe United States Mint has opened sales for their new 2018 WWI Centennial Silver Dollar. This new coin honors the 100th anniversary of American participation in WWI. The first official purchase was made by Colonel Gerald York (second from right), grandson of WWI hero, Sergeant Alvin York. Joining him is Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint David Motl (third from left), and U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Veteran Liaison, David Hamon (second from left). A surcharge from the coin supports the Centennial Commission's education and commemorative programs.

U.S. Mint opens sales for 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar

Congressionally-authorized coin, medals honor America's Veterans of World War I

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

WASHINGTON, DC: The United States Mint has opened sales for their new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. This new coin honors the 100th anniversary of American participation in World War I.

A ceremonial 'first purchase' of the coin was made at U.S. Mint Headquarters by Colonel Gerald York, grandson of famous World War I hero, Sergeant Alvin York. He made the first purchase at the Mint's lobby gift shop, in Washington, DC.

On hand for the event was Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint David Motl, who expressed his support for the coin's mission. "This new coin gives us all a symbol that we can hold in our hands, a way for us to directly participate in the World War I centennial period."

Terry Hamby, Chair of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission agreed. "These veterans should be remembered. During World War I, nearly five million American men and women placed their lives on hold. Many deployed to places that most had never visited, to fight for the freedom of people they never met. They did not do this for personal gain, they did it solely to bring peace to the world.”

Read more: U.S. Mint opens sales for 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar

Designer of national WWI memorial visits Joplin for Scouting event 

By Jordan Larimore
via the Joplin Globe web site

The Boy Scouts of America and the country's efforts in World War I are closely intertwined.

Even 100 years ago, Scouts planted gardens to feed soldiers, collected fruit pits and shells to be used in gas masks, gathered wood for weapons and more.

Perhaps it makes sense then that a 27-year-old Eagle Scout will be in charge of memorializing America's World War I service members a century later.

5a615bc240bae.imageJoe Weishaar talks about work in planning and designing the new national World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC recently while attending a Friends of Scouting Breakfast at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO. Weishaar is a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and an Eagle Scout. (Globe photo by Roger Nomer.)Joe Weishaar, a Fayetteville, Arkansas, native and Chicago-based architect, was selected in 2016 to lead the design of the World War One Centennial Commission's memorial in Pershing Park in Washington, D.C.

Weishaar visited Joplin on Thursday to present his plans at the annual Friends of Scouting Breakfast, a fundraiser for area Scouting organizations. The event was put on at Missouri Southern State University.

"For me, especially in Scouting, there's always been that component of service," Weishaar said after his presentation. "And it's really kind of written into Boy Scouts and citizenship in the community and nation and the world. ... And so there's always been some kind of theme occurring in my life of 'If you do something, how's it going to impact your community and your nation?' And with this project, I'm able to connect all those dots again."

The design and planning work has been underway for nearly two years, and an official groundbreaking for the construction of the memorial is scheduled for November, Weishaar said. Once work begins, it is expected to take six years to complete what he said will be the largest free-standing bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.

Artistic representations of the eventual memorial Weishaar presented depict the journey of a World War I soldier, beginning with leaving family and friends, and continuing with training, combat and even suffering a battle injury.

Weishaar said the work has involved combing through thousands of photographs and other research, then attempting to re-create the images with actors or artists. Photographs are taken of those re-creations, Weishaar said, and 3-D printing provides a basis for the eventual sculpting.

"There's some rough days," he said. "You click through 1,000 pictures of guys dead, hung up on barbed wire. And that's not the easiest thing to take from."

Read more: Designer of national WWI memorial visits Joplin for Scouting event

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