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

World War I

  • "Americans Underground: Secret City of World War I"

    Americans Underground: Secret City of World War I

    Click here for video clips and current showtimes.

    An amazing discovery has been made beneath a farm field in Northern France: a vast underground city where World War I soldiers, on both sides of the conflict, took refuge a century ago. Even more remarkable, it is one of hundreds of buried havens set up close to a 45-mile stretch of the Western Front. Follow American photographer Jeff Gusky and a team of historians as they document one of these long forgotten shelters, and witness their attempts to connect the names of the American soldiers etched into the limestone walls to their living descendants.

    Maine soldiers from the 103rd Infantry Regiment in the 26th "Yankee" Division are featured in this film. It was made with assistance from Maine historian Jonathan Bratten, the Maine Army National Guard, Passamaquoddy historian Donald Soctomah, the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, and the Maine Military Historical Society.

  • "It Aimed to Make the World 'Safe for Democracy:' World War I and Its Aftermath"

    It Aimed to Make the World 'Safe for Democracy:' World War I and Its Aftermath

    February 7, 2017

    "The world must be made safe for democracy."  With those words, President Woodrow Wilson committed Maine, and the rest of the country, to fight in World War I.  It was April 2, 1917.   To mark the coming centennial, the Maine Historical Society opens a new exhibit in Portland today. To read the full article from Maine Public's interview with curator Jamie Rice, click here.

  • Americans Underground: Secret City of WWI

    Americans Underground, Secret City of WWI

     

    A documentary airing on the Smithsonian Channel on an “underground city” found beneath a French wheat field that served as refuge for American soldiers during World War I.  They carved names and inscriptions and artwork in the limestone walls of the caves.  The documentary includes an interview with Dr. John Morrow, history professor at the University of Georgia and a member of the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission.  Atlantan Jonathan Wickham, who has collaborated with the GWWICC on potential video projects, is a co-producer.  Initially scheduled air times on the Smithsonian Channel are:

    Monday, March 13, 8 p.m.
    Friday, March 17, 10 p.m.
    Saturday, March 18, 1 a.m.
    Sunday, March 19, 1 p.m.

    Check the Smithsonian Channel schedule guide for potential future airings.

    Details at http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/americans-underground-secret-city-of-wwi/0/3437460

     

  • Articles & Resources - Pennsylvania in the First World War

    Pennsylvania in the First World Warpopy Keystone

    Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Events

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

    Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     First World War in General

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

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

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

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

    Artifacts & Local History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Beat the Drums Slowly - published May 26, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The working women of World War I

    WWI private wounded in France

    Muncy's American Legion bears name of WWI aviator

    Razor or bullet, both became a close shave

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

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

    DSC 0132

    DSC 0133

    scrap books


    Wissahickon Valley Historical Society displays

    WVHS IMG 0525a

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

    WVHS WW1 artifacts

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

     

    Stories of Pennsylvania Soldiers

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

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

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

    Harry Edwin Roach Ambulance
    Driving ambulance

    Harry Edwin Roach in uniform
    In Uniform

    Harry Edwin Roach in uniform2
    Standing at Attention

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

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

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

    TomMcHale1930
    Pvt. Thomas McHale

    Lt. Morrell SmithLt. Morrell Smith

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

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

    Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher pictures

    Sgt. Paul Fleisher

    Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - letter home

    Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - overseas

    Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - overseas

    Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - overseas

    Sgt. Paul E. Fleisher - with his unit

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

    JFCurry PVT WWI
    Private James Francis Curry

    Private James Francis Curry - Veteran's Compensation Application

    Richard J. Cory, USMC - Strafford, PA

    Richarrd J Cory USMC



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

    Wunderlich1

    Edward Morris Walker

    Edward Morris Walker

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

    memorial marker Edward Morris Walker2Edward Morris Walker Memorial Marker

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

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

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

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

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

    DSC 2156
    Authorization - British Red Cross service chevrons for Alfred Langstaff Test


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

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

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

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

    Daniel Adams Bailey

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

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

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

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

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

    Raymond Birmingham McCormick draft 1

    Raymond Birmingham McCormick draft 2
    Raymond Birmingham McCormick draft registration card

    Raymond Birmingham McCormick 2

    Raymond Birmingham McCormick 5
    Raymond Birmingham McCormick at right

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

    Victory Parade and Arch West Chester PA 10

    Victory Parade West Chester PA 1

    Victory Parade West Chester PA 2

    Victory Parade West Chester PA 7

    Victory Parade West Chester PA 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Charles Rosario Spano documents

    Charles Rosario Spano Enlistment - 13 JUN 1916

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

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

    Charles Rosario Spano Passport with picture - 15 JUN 1920

    Charles Rosario Spano Naturalization - 12 MAR 1920

    Charles Rosario Spano Honorable Discharge - 4 JUN 1920

     

  • Centennial Proclamation

    Secretary Francisco Urena

    Secretary of Veterans Services Francisco Ureña Reads Proclamation of Massachusetts World War One Centennial Commission

    On April 6, 2016, in the Flag Hall of the Massachusetts State House, the proclamation signed by Governor Charles Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of State William Galvin was read to a distinguished and varied audience by Secretary of Veterans Services Francisco Ureña. The program for the proclamation consisted of short speeches by General Leonid Kondratiuk, the historian of the Massachusetts National Guard; Stephen Taber; Roger Fisk, Director of Development of the national World War 1 Centennial Commission; Secretary Ureña; Secretary of Education Jim Peyser; Dan Leclerc, Lecturer on the Yankee Division; and a moment of silence led by Kathleen Lucero, president of the Woburn Historical Society. The commission was pleased to have the support and presence of the Massachusetts Military Historical Society, and the leadership of the American Legion, VFW and Military order of the World Wars attending as well.

     

  • Honoring WWI Soldiers in Anne Arundel County

    Tina at St. Annes Cem

    Honoring WWI Soldiers in Anne Arundel County

    For the past 20 plus years Tina Simmons has been researching Anne Arundel County cemeteries and their occupants for the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society. She is trying to keep track of the WWI soldiers buried in those cemeteries, recording their military service. She currently has information on 221 individuals buried within Anne Arundel County. As a disclaimer, although she also has information on individuals at the Annapolis National Cemetery, none are currently listed as World War I veterans although she believes that there are some. At the United States Naval Academy cemetery, there are 52 individuals listed as World War I veterans who she is currently adding to her database.

     Some interesting facts about the WWI veterans:

    • African-American veterans accounted for 99 of the 221 individuals recorded and served in mostly the service and labor areas. One served in both World War I and II; two served in the Spanish-American War and World War I. Five veterans were members of the 811 Pioneer Infantry.
    • Of the World War I tombstones she has found, 122 of the 221 individuals were believed to be white. Two were listed as having been killed in battle: Benjamin Carr “in France” and Leroy Disney in the Argonne-Meuse Offensive. Five were listed as having fought in both World War I and II; one in the Philippines, World War I, and II; and one in the Spanish-American War and WWI.
    • Louis Phipps was perhaps one of the most famous of her list of veterans, having been Postmaster in Tracy’s Landing; Mayor of Annapolis; State Senator of Anne Arundel County; and Clerk of the Court in Anne Arundel County, as well as having been a veteran of both World Wars.
    • Stanley Howes Windsor (1896-1974) is buried with his wife, Alice Merrill Windsor, at Cedar Bluff Cemetery in Annapolis. Under her name is written “First 300 Volunteers, U.S.N., WWI”.

    Tina believes that there are many other individuals whose military service was never recorded on their tombstones or, do not even have an existing tombstone. To research WWI veterans she recommends using old newspaper obituaries, The National Archives (www.wwvets.com), and various veterans organizations such as the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the American Legion.  She notes that service in the armed forces was a category filled in on death certificates starting around 1950 and may be helpful to those starting to research individuals for their military service. 

    She is always interested in adding to her list of known military veterans; if you know of someone who is buried in Anne Arundel County please be sure to pass the information along to Tina!  She is the Cemetery Chairman for the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society (www.aagensoc.org/index.php) and can be reached at: tinasimmons622@yahoo.com 

  • Maine WWI Centennial Home

    Maine WWI Centennial Home

    Why remember World War I?

    That is the question that we will work to answer during the centennial of Maine's involvement in the American war effort. This page is dedicated to providing stories, events, and news related to Maine in World War I.

    26 division 13rd Battalion, 103rd Infantry in the assault on Torcy, July 18, 1918 (U.S. Army Signal Corps Photo)In 1917, the unthinkable happened: the United States joined the hell that was the Great War. No one knew what the future would hold after the Declaration of War was signed on April 6, but all somehow sensed that things had changed. The hand of war gripped Maine immediately, as the state's National Guard was called up in the days after war was declared, the coast was fortified, and industry shifted from peace to war. More than 32,000 Mainers served in uniform during the war, out of a population of 777,000 in 1917. Over one thousand of those who served would not return to Maine alive. From the Home Front to the Western Front, Mainers made their presence known through their vitality, can-do attitude, and Yankee ingenuity. At the same time, the war left its mark on Maine. In just two quick years, World War I spun the state into a frenzy of activity and propelled the United States to the forefront of the world stage. 

    On April 3, 1917, the Lewiston Evening Journal carried the ominous headline "United States at War with German Empire." Below it was Governor Milliken's war message. Three days later, Congress officially declared war on Germany. On April 12, a telegram arrived to the Military Department at Camp Keyes in Augusta: “I am, in consequence,” read the telegram from Secretary of War Baker, “instructed by the President to call into the service of the United States forthwith, through you, the following units of the National Guard of the State of Maine: the Second Regiment Maine Infantry.”

    The Second Maine was the largest National Guard organization in the state, with companies ranging from Dexter to Augusta, and from Houlton to Eastport. These companies assembled at their hometown armories and began recruiting drives immediately. As they had done in the Civil War, brothers, uncles, fathers, and sons joined up in the same unit to serve alongside each other. 

    As the Second Maine was mobilizing and conducting guard duty at various sites around Maine, other units were being formed. The call to arms was met with a flood of enlistees.  A regiment of heavy artillery was raised, nicknamed "The Milliken Regiment" in honor of the governor, Carl Milliken. Its headquarters was in Brunswick for some time, at Camp Chamberlain on the grounds of Bowdoin College. Chauffeurs and truck drivers formed the 303rd Motor Truck Company. Railway workers from the Maine Central formed the nucleus of Company C, 14th Engineer Regiment (railway). Mainers joined the Navy in great numbers as well. 

    Industry

    Women went to work in the factories, many for the first time. They made munitions at the Portland Company or shoes, coats, or blankets at the textile mills in western Maine. Maine industry became centered on the war effort. Even potatoes from Aroostook County were being sent to the front. Communities held war bond and Liberty Loan drives, raising more than one hundred million dollars over the course of the war. 

    Overseas

    In the summer of 1917, New England began organizing the first National Guard division. Called the 26th Division - later nicknamed the "Yankee Division" - it contained troops from the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. In August of 1917, the division assembled in Massachusetts. The Second Maine was redesignated as the 103rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, taking on about 1,500 men from the 1st New Hampshire and 400 men from the 1st Vermont. Battery C of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment, from Lewiston, lost its big guns and was issued mortars, becoming the 101st Trench Mortar Battery. Hundreds of men from the Maine Coast Artillery were transferred into the 101st Engineer Regiment and 103rd Field Artillery Regiment to fill the vacancies there so that the division could leave for France.

    And thus it was that in the fall of 1917, the 26th Division - with its thousands of Maine men along with it - slipped away in the night and boarded transports headed for France. Beginning in February of 1918, the Yankee Division would enter the front lines and - with the exception of two weeks in August - would remain in combat sectors until the Armistice on November 11. These men - and the thousands of Mainers serving in other units across the Western Front - endured some of the harshest fighting of the war. Despite artillery bombardment, poison gas barrages, machine gun and sniper fire, the influenza, and the ever-present mud, Maine's service members pushed on to ultimate victory.

    Aftermath

    When it was all over, Maine's Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines came back home and returned to their lives. Three who served - William Tudor Gardiner, Sumner Sewall, and Owen Brewster - would become Maine governors. Other veterans became active leaders in the legislature or in community politics. Many returned to industry or their farms. Some came home with physical or mental wounds. Most would never forget - for good or ill - what they had witnessed in the Great War. And all fell under the shadow of the war that followed - World War II - and faded into memory. Which is why we must remember them.

    Proclamation from Governor Paul R. LePage

    Proclamation of Maine Observance of the Centennial of World War I

  • Never-before published photos show the U.S. entry into World War I

    Never-before published photos show the U.S. entry into World War I

    By Jonathan Bratten and Thomas Gibbons-Neff for the Washington Post

    24. Americas First Expeditionary Force 16th Regiment U.S. regulars marching thru La Place de la Concorde on July 4 1917

    Thursday marks the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I. On April 6, 1917, Congress authorized then-President Woodrow Wilson’s declaration of war on Germany. The sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania in 1915, coupled with attacks on U.S. merchant ships and the Zimmerman Telegram in January, convinced a large swath of the American public that war was in the country’s interest.

    Before official military involvement in World War I, Americans had contributed to the Allied war effort with participation in the American Field Service, which consisted of ambulance drivers and medical personnel. With the United States’ official entrance into the war, the American Field Service expanded its efforts, recruiting thousands more to serve overseas.

    The first American combat troops arrived in France in June 1917. These soldiers were with the 1st U.S. Infantry Division and were accompanied by service members of the American Field Service. Once in France, the ambulance drivers and medical personnel were divided up into Section Sanitaire États-Unis, or S.S.U. for short. One of these men was an unnamed ambulance driver with S.S.U. 642 who took pictures of his experiences on the Western Front.

    After the war, his photo scrapbook made its way to Maine, where it ended up with the papers and collections of Albert Greenlaw, an officer in the Maine National Guard and a World War I veteran himself. The scrapbook found its way into the Maine Military Historical Society’s museum in Augusta, Maine. These never-before seen photos provide a snapshot into the remarkable life of ambulance drivers in World War I.

    Read the full article here.

  • New exhibit to showcase Maine woman’s World War I experiences as a ‘Y’ Girl

    New exhibit to showcase Maine woman’s World War I experiences as a ‘Y’ Girl

    Memorabilia from Faith Hinckley's nine months overseas aiding American soldiers will be a featured display at Fairfield's L.C. Bates Museum.

    BY DOUG HARLOW MORNING SENTINEL

    Faith Hinckley held vigil over the wounded soldier who asked only that she hold his hand tightly until the end.

    They were in a pup tent within a military camp housing 20,000 soldiers near St. Nazaire, France. It was the summer of 1918.

    Hinckley, serving as an international volunteer during World War I, told the soldier she would write a letter home for him. The soldier told her he had no one at home, not a single relative who would remember him.

    She told the dying soldier, whom she knew only as Bill, that he could dictate a letter to her own mother, Harriet, back home in Fairfield, Maine, and that Harriet could be his “borrowed mother.” He dictated two pages of his thoughts and wishes for prayers, picturing his own home as he took his final breath.

    Read the full story here.

  • New short story features a Maine Guardsman in WW1

    New short story features a Maine Guardsman in WW1

    A new short story released in the journal "The Strategy Bridge" is from the perspective of a Maine National Guardsman of the 103rd Infantry Regiment in the Aisne-Marne Offensive.

    Wheat

    "Death. He saw it everywhere. It was hard not to see. The fragments of what once had been beautiful groves of trees and verdant wheat fields were scattered everywhere, mixed in with what surely must have once been men.

    But at this point he couldn’t tell.

    The night before, he had dreamt about back home. It was pure, pleasant torture, a dream like that. He was back on his family’s farm, tilling the ground. Cursing at the ever-present rocks that seemed to get gleefully in the way of the blade. Maine grew rocks. And if you could convince it to stop growing rocks, you could grow other things.

    Like wheat."

    Find the rest of this story in its entirety, here.

  • The Great War – Prohibition becomes Patriotism

    The Great War – Prohibition becomes Patriotism

    How could the Elks Lodge members’ traditional 11 o’clock toast to departed members become unpatriotic? 

    This Way Out2After decades of advocacy, prohibitionists found in World War I food conservation programs an unstoppable vehicle to make prohibition of alcohol patriotic. Even before America declared war, programs saving food aimed to feed starving European refugees. Making alcohol used starch (potatoes, grain, corn) that could feed troops or hungry allies. Drinking alcohol was transformed into an unpatriotic act. Elks Lodge 616 would be square in the debate, and eventually labeled unpatriotic.

    Both Hawaii’s branch of the national Anti-Saloon League and Elks Lodge 616 were founded in 1901. By World War I, the Anti-Saloon League was well organized and part of the ‘establishment.’  The press supported prohibition, even if their readers didn’t. Nippu Jiji editor Yatsutaro Soga supported prohibition and nearly lost his job. Advertiser headlines (“Grain much too precious to waste in intoxicants”) reminded readers liquor was now unpatriotic. “Sake not distilled wants exemption” was neutral, but “Liquor Men squealing” showed Advertiser leanings.  

  • The State of Maryland in World War 1

    poppyMaryland and World War I

    Over 62,000 Marylanders served in WWI, nearly 2,000 of whom lost their lives. During the war, Fort McHenry became the site of U.S. Army General Hospital No.2 while military installations such as Fort George G. Meade and Aberdeen Proving Grounds were created. Private Henry G. Costin and Ensign Charles Hammann received the Medal of Honor.

    Returning Maryland Veterans made important contributions. House of Delegates member Millard E. Tydings became a Lt. Colonel in the Army and later represented Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. SGT James Glenn Beall of the Army Ordnance Corps later served in the State Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. These were just two distinguished veterans among the thousands that returned to Maryland.

    Read More...

  • The State of Maryland in World War 1 (full article)

    poppyMaryland and World War I

    Over 62,000 Marylanders served in WWI, nearly 2,000 of whom lost their lives. During the war, Fort McHenry became the site of U.S. Army General Hospital No.2 while military installations such as Fort George G. Meade and Aberdeen Proving Grounds were created. Private Henry G. Costin and Ensign Charles Hammann received the Medal of Honor.

    Returning Maryland Veterans made important contributions. House of Delegates member Millard E. Tydings became a Lt. Colonel in the Army and later represented Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. SGT James Glenn Beall of the Army Ordnance Corps later served in the State Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. These were just two distinguished veterans among the thousands that returned to Maryland.

    America’s declaration of war against Germany in April 1917 found the nation unprepared for the multitude of tasks that had to be performed before an American Army could contribute in any meaningful way to an international land war on the scale of the fighting in Europe. The U.S. industrial base had barely begun to shift to a war footing, mostly as a result of business contracts to support the war requirements of England and France. As a result, U.S. combat forces were largely reliant on French and English military equipment, much of which was unavailable for training purposes—much less combat—until the American units reached France.

    It was not the habit of the United States to maintain a large standing army. Instead, the U.S. maintained a small army reinforced in time of emergency by federalizing National Guard units from the various states. Additional manpower could be raised through the draft. However, National Guard readiness for mobilization varied widely and units would have to be pulled together to undergo training and equipping before sailing to France. New inductees, either through the draft or volunteering, would require significantly more training before their readiness to participate in the collective tasks of combat or support units. Training camps to manage the influx of millions of young men were established throughout the U.S., including Camp Meade, southeast of Baltimore (now Fort Meade), and Aberdeen Proving Ground north of Baltimore.

    The first U.S. infantry division did not enter combat until April 1918. Others soon followed, but most U.S. divisions deployed to France during the spring and summer months of 1918, arriving only in time for the final offensives in September through the end of the fighting on November 11, 1918.

    Building these divisions, of approximately 20,000 men each, began when the government federalized the state national guards, including the Maryland National Guard, on August 5, 1917. Just under 6,900 Maryland national guardsmen mobilized and deployed to Camp McClellan, Alabama, where they became part of the 29th Division.

    In addition to the national guard, the U.S. implemented the Selective Service—the draft. Maryland eventually provided more than 34,000 inductees through this program, the first of whom were sent to Camp Meade on September 26, 1917. Marylanders inducted through this program constituted a large part of the 79th Division. However, the demand for trained soldiers, especially officers and non-commissioned officers, throughout the AEF was so severe that the 79th—and other divisions still in the U.S.—were constantly losing those who had recently undergone training to fill the gaps in divisions either in France, or deploying sooner.

    Men and women from Maryland served throughout the military, including the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Maryland was especially noted for its contribution of medical officers to high positions in the American Expeditionary Forces.

    The 29th Division was known as the ‘Blue and Gray’ Division because its combat regiments came from both northern and southern states. Maryland contributed the 115th Infantry Regiment, and the 110th Artillery Regiment. Together with the 116th Infantry Regiment from Virginia, this constituted the 58th Infantry Brigade—the Gray part of the division. New Jersey provided two infantry regiments that formed the 57th Infantry Brigade—the Blue part. After forming at Camp McClellan, the division finally deployed to France in June 1918. After training in quiet sectors of the front, the 29th Division fought in the final major battle of the war--Meuse-Argonne Offensive that began in October 1918. In its 21 days of combat, the division suffered more than 30% killed or wounded.

    The 29th Division returned to the U.S. in May, 1919, demobilizing at Camp Dix, New Jersey at the end of that month. The 29th remains a National Guard today, and includes units of the Maryland National Guard.

    The 79th Division was one of the new national army divisions. It followed a path similar to that of the 29th, though its ranks were filled with the new inductees rather than national Guardsmen. It was formed in August 1917, sailed to France in July 1918, and fought with the American Expeditionary Force in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. As a result of its service in France, the division was nicknamed ‘The Cross of Lorraine Division.’ Like the 29th Division, the 79th suffered about 30% killed and wounded during the offensive. It returned to the U.S. and demobilized in June, 1919.

    More than 11,000 African Americans from Maryland also served in the US military in World War I. The military at that time was largely segregated and, to a large extent, African Americans served in non-combat logistics roles in the rear areas. While unglamorous, the functions they performed were critical to military success, and literally kept the wheels of the American Expeditionary Force turning. African Americans helped move supplies from French seaports to warehouses, along railroad tracks they laid or maintained, and then distributed the supplies to forward areas to the combat units.

    Others served in combat units, including the 92nd and 93rd Infantry Divisions, formed with African Americans from every state. Included among these were soldiers of the Maryland National Guard’s 1st Separate Company. After being mustered into active service with other National Guard units in July 1917, this unit became part Company I of the 372nd Infantry Regiment in the 93rd Division. Regiments from the 93rd Division were assigned to French divisions, trained with and used French equipment, and fought gallantly during several major battles of 1918. As a result of their service during the Second Battle of the Marne, the division was nicknamed the ‘Blue Helmets’ and wore a patch with the familiar blue helmet of the French ‘poilu.’ The 372nd Infantry were assigned to the French 157th ‘Red Hand’ Division. The 92nd Division was wore a patch with a buffalo, in honor of African American cavalry units on our western frontier who were called ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ by Native Americans.

    Maryland also contributed its share to the naval forces, supporting the regular navy and Marines as well as the Naval Reserve and Coast Guard with nearly 11,000 servicemen, including more than 500 African Americans. In July, 1917, the U.S. navy also took over a small maritime organization belonging to Maryland’s State Conservation Commission. The ‘Oyster Navy,’ as it was called, was redesignated as Squadron 8, Fifth Naval District. With about 100 men and 19 small craft, it patrolled Maryland waters until early December 1918, after the war ended. The city of Baltimore also became a navy center for a variety of activities, including recruiting, naval intelligence, and securing the region’s waterways.

  • Why We Fought: American WWI Posters and the Art of Persuasion

    Why We Fought: American WWI Posters and the Art of Persuasion

    August 28 – December 8
    AREA Gallery, Woodbury Campus Center, Portland campus

    Thirteen World War I posters provide a diverse historical context for the many ways in which graphic propaganda was used by the U.S. government and various community groups to bolster support for an unpopular war and convince Americans to do their part to ensure an Allied victory. Rotating displays of USM student responses provide a wide range of contemporary perspectives. The posters are a recent gift to USM Special Collections by retired Tufts history professor Howard Solomon. Co-organized by USM Special Collections and USM Art Galleries.

    All exhibitions and events hosted by the USM Art Department and Gallery are free and open to the public. To learn more about 2017 exhibitions and programs, visit usm.maine.edu/gallery.

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