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

Branches of Service

Army

Left to right: Anton Mentag, Stacy SittingHawk, Owen Yakeyonney, and Hezekiah Chebetah. Camp Mills, March 31, 1919. Courtesy of Mathers Museum of World Cultures.Left to right: Anton Mentag, Stacy SittingHawk, Owen Yakeyonney, and Hezekiah Chebetah. Camp Mills, March 31, 1919. Courtesy of Mathers Museum of World Cultures.Although Indians enlisted in various branches of service—Army, Marines, and Navy—and performed many specialized services, most Indians were Army foot soldiers in the trenches. As they trained and were sent into battle, Army officials tended to look more and more at them as a race in analyzing their performance in the service. According to Army reports, the Indian recruits were physically superior to whites and were rarely rejected for physical reasons. “Flat feet” was the common cause for rejecting whites, but was practically unknown in Indians, according to the Army. Generally, Indians were healthier than others, and records show that according to their numbers they had fewer cases of illness and showed up in camp hospitals less frequently than other troops.

Army commanders found that the Indians had, in the officers’ words, “natural characteristics and dispositions” that proved useful. In a survey among commanding officers who had Indians in their units, not only did the officers report that the Indians were the most physically fit but that they had useful abilities. They were the best crawlers and crawled on night patrols. They had “a non-light reflective countenance” at night (Army bureaucratic language for “they were dark skinned”). They had good night vision, were silent at work and stoical under fire, and better than other soldiers at handling the bayonet. They were the best snipers and the best scouts. They seemed to have an innate sense of north and therefore of directions and could always find their ways back to their starting points. They worked better alone than in groups and had a propensity for going out into no man’s land in search of Germans. They didn’t hesitate, under fire, to go over the top or to risk exposure to machine gun fire to retrieve wounded comrades. These characteristics and habits, the officers said, were peculiar to their race.

Freeman Parkhurst (Oneida) of the 32nd Division, 319th Field Signal Battalion, Company C was described as having “considerable judgment and initiative while engaged in liaison duty at the front. Has shown considerable dexterity in whatever duty he has been engaged. He displayed exceptional ability as a night worker, runner, and observer.”

Lieutenant Owen H. Perry, officer with the 77th Division, 307th Infantry, Company I, states, “I was in command of half of the [company] and had occasion to use [Henry] George (Nez Perce) several times in scouting. Many times the woods were so thick that it was possible to see for only a few yards, but George without any compass followed the line and I leading the platoon with compass came behind. Invariable [sic] George was in front holding the right direction. He acted as a scout for me during nine days of the fighting at the front, which was continuous. When I sent him out for information almost invariable he brought it back, and the information he had was always reliable. He was recognized by every man in the company as the best scout in the unit.”

Because of their abilities, the Indians were primarily used as scouts. As scouts, they preferred working alone and going out at night in search of Germans. Their purpose was to secure prisoners from whom information could be taken. They were highly successful.  Captured documents told American commanders that the Germans recognized the effects of the Indian night raids. The colonel of the 97th Landwehrs, for example, issued an order to his battalion commanders at St. Mihiel that because American Indian scouts and runners were on the front, they should detail more snipers to pick off these dangerous men. Joseph High Elk (Cheyenne River Sioux) served with the 3rd Division, 8th Machine Gun Battalion, Company C. Lieutenant J.A. Soules described him as a competent runner. “His ability as a message carrier is most worthy of note, finding his way at all times through dense woods and underbrush, always delivering any message that was entrusted to him for delivery. He showed at all times great courage and endurance.” And some American strategists, on learning how concerned the Germans were about the presence of Indians, laid tentative plans to further unnerve the Germans. They proposed planning a number of night raids with men camouflaged as Indians dressed in full regalia.

The Indians were also adept at taking out machine guns. An aide to Commanding general of the 36th Division reported their method. “They would first pick them out, and then follow the usual Indian methods of crawling through the brush and taking the position with a rush. One Indian is accredited with having rushed a machine-gun position, kicking over the machine-gun in action, and bayoneting all the personnel of the machine-gun nest.”

Like Joseph Oklahombi (Choctaw), some emerged as war heroes in other ways. Oklahombi was a true war hero, one of those bigger than life kind. Marshal Phillipe Petain of France awarded Oklahombi the Croix de Guerre for his actions. Others were decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart for their bravery and valor during the war.

Aviation

American Indians served in the Air Services during the war, several of whom excelled and extended their careers after the war, serving in World War II, also.

Yankton Sioux twin brothers John Keeler and Henry Keeler joined the Air Service at the age of 40, serving for the duration for the war.

Roy Lewis (Cherokee) from Nowata, Oklahoma, was loaned to the French Air Service for one year’s time as a motor expert. After the war, he described one of his experiences.

“…Went up 22,000 ft. testing a motor, a new Espano Swezo, 440 H.P. All at once, we took a downward course. I called the pilot and asked what was the trouble. When we were safe on the ground, he said, ‘Look in the air,’ in his old frog lingo. I looked and saw over 30 planes hovering over us, and all I could hear was the aircraft protection.”

Gabriel Poggie (Klamath) served with the 36th Aero Squadron, training at Kelley Field, before sailing to France, August 14, 1917. He was quite homesick and wrote to Superintendent Freidman at Carlisle requesting letters. “Tell the girls to write to a lonesome soldier….I want some of the girls to write a few lines to a lonesome soldier.”

Gabriel PoggieGabriel Poggie. Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration.

Frank Lemuel Rice (Chippewa) was a private first class with the 199th Aero Squadron of the Aviation Section Signal Corps. He saw action at Meuse-Argonne.

Sergeant Hobson Tupper (Choctaw) was a former student at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, who joined the Army, serving in the Air Service as an aviation mechanic. In a letter to the school in May 1918, he tells of his time at Call Field, but also requests a recommendation letter so that he can become a Reserve Military Aviator.

“I like my work here in Call Field as I am working as trouble shooter on the flying field and I took some tests for Aviation Mechanic and passed the test, I hope. The trouble shooters fly to different fields where ships were forced to land on account of motor trouble or something else. We are all anxious to go over and get a chance at the Huns.”

Tupper was involved in an aviation accident on November 20, 1918, where he was severely injured. He was flying with Lieutenant Ellsworth Gaskell on a war effort mission dropping United War Work pamphlets at a low altitude. The plane suddenly dove toward the ground and burst into flames. The pilot was instantly killed, and Tupper sustained serious injuries. He recovered and served through World War II, retiring as a Master Sergeant.

Frank Hall Wright, Jr. (Choctaw) was in training at the U.S. School of Military Aeronautics at Urbana, Illinois, when he succumbed to pneumonia or Spanish influenza on April 12, 1918.

An interesting observation is that a number of Osage men served in the Air Service. It is not too far a leap to assume that given their economic advantage over the general population, it is quite possible that they already had exposure and even training on airplanes prior to the war. Clarence Soldani was one such Osage from Ponca City, Oklahoma. He was a 2nd Lieutenant with the Air Service and a qualified pursuit pilot when the Armistice was signed. He was attached to the 41st Pursuit Squadron, 5th Pursuit Group, 2nd American Army, yet did not see action.

“Received entire preliminary and advanced flying training in France.

Completed Ground School Training at Austin, Texas.

Completed preliminary flying under French instruction at Chateauvoux, France.

Completed advanced flying at Issoudren, France and Aerial Gunnery at St. John DeMonts, France.”

Second Lieutenant John Joseph Mathews (Osage) worked as a night flying instructor at Ellington Field, Texas, and was a pilot in the Department of Science and Research at Langley Field, Hampton, Virginia. He became a well-known writer and later helped to found the Osage Tribal Museum in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Clarence Tinker (Osage) made a name for himself in the Air Force. He graduated from Wentworth Military Academy and received a commission as a third lieutenant in the Philippine Constabulary, and made Lieutenant in the Army infantry in 1912. During World War I, he was a flight instructor and was promoted to Major. He began flying lessons in 1919. He steadily climbed the ranks and became Brigadier General in 1940, Major General in 1942 after Pearl Harbor, the first American Indian to attain that rank. He was also named Commander of the Air Forces in Hawaii. He was killed in action on June 7, 1942, in the Battle of Midway when his plane went down. Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City is named in his honor.

Navy

James Elmer HayesJames Elmer Hayes (Choctaw, second from left) and 3 unidentified sailors. Courtesy of Bobbie Heffington.Approximately one thousand American Indians and Alaska Natives served in the Navy during World War I. The Navy was a desirable choice for a number of reasons. It appealed to the many who grew up in coastal areas like North Carolina, California, Washington, and Alaska. But it was also appealing to those from the Southwest for cultural significance. Water is considered sacred to many of the tribal nations located in the desert areas, and many American Indians from those tribes joined the Navy as a result. Students of Sherman Indian School, Chemawa Indian School, and Phoenix Indian School joined in large groups.

Native Americans found success in this branch of the military, including Joseph “Jocko” Clark (Cherokee) who was the first American Indian to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1917. Clark served on the U.S.S. North Carolina, a ship that was instrumental in the development of naval aviation, a career in which Clark would excel after the war, eventually making the rank of Admiral in World War II.

“I transferred from radio to seaman, from seaman to fireman third class, and have reached engine driver second class and head oiler, with rank of second class petty officer. It pays $52 per month and I hope to reach first class engine driver in January.”

Senon Lubo (Mission), U.S.S. Illinois

During the war, the U.S. Navy played a vital role in keeping the German submarines at bay to ensure the transport ships taking soldiers to France would be protected from the enemy. Naval convoys were established where large groups of ships traveled together protected by destroyers, who remained at the ready if a German submarine attacked. A transport ship took a

pproximately two to three weeks to travel from an American port such as Hoboken, New Jersey; New York, New York; and Brooklyn, New York; to a European port, like Brest, France, which was one of the main American bases during the war. More than two million American troops were transported across the Atlantic Ocean and survived 183 submarine attacks.

Alfred Edwards (Swinomish) participated in the Naval convoys as a fireman on a transport and made 16 round trips to France during his service. Crus McDaniels (Zuni) was a Musician 1st class aboard the U.S.S. Mercury and made seven trips across the Atlantic during his two and a half years in the service. Alex Graham (Sioux) served on convoy duty, destroying mines, and submarines in the English Channel and North Sea.

“We came here [Navy Yard, Philadelphia] about two weeks ago and expect to stay here for the summer before we take our new ship out. We have not finished here yet. It is a cargo ship. I guess you know about me being a gunner in the merchant marines that all we will do is transport as war goes. Of course that is a good part of the service. It is called the Armed Guard or the Merchant gunners. All we have to do is take care of the guns and stand watch when we are in the war zone and that is only six hundred miles from the coast and the other side. As you can see just about how we have it.  I rather be on a merchant marine crew than other place in the Navy. Since I’ve had experience on battleships, I liked the U.S.S. Pennsylvania alright but not like to do this. Of course we take more chances where we are now then [sic] we would if we were on a battle ship.”

Welch Teesaleski (Eastern Band Cherokee)

Many of the men experienced danger firsthand from the German submarines. Clarence W. Bizer (Lummi) served eleven months in the war zone where he encountered five German submarines and engaged in battle with four, including the one that sank the U.S.S. Tippecanoe. Sam Shebingus (Chippewa) was on a convoy ship when it was torpedoed off the Irish coast and sank. Nearly all the crew were rescued, including Shebingus, who was picked up by a rescue ship, after having been afloat for two hours. Shebingus wasn’t the only one who suffered a close call. Jerome Kennerly (Blackfeet) was a private in the 158th Aero Squadron when his transport ship the S.S. Tuscania was attacked.

“It may interest you to know that I am one of the “fortunate” or “unfortunate” survivors of the S.S. Tuscania; the disaster of which no doubt you have read about. After being torpedoed about six fifty-five p.m. our rescue was made possible thru the brave efforts of the British sailors aboard the destroyers, who risked their own lives in order to pull-up alongside of the doomed Tuscania.  But am pleased to inform you that outside of a few accidents the Officers and men behaved very manly.  We all landed at different ports, in Ireland, where we remained for several days, before crossing the Irish Sea to England."

Jerome Kennerly (Blackfeet), 158th Aero Squadron

“I was a member of the crew on the U.S.S. Covington and was on board same when it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine July 1st, 1918. Was picked up, transferred to the U.S.S. Wainwright of the Destroyer Flotilla and was discharged from service July 22nd, 1919.”

Joseph J. Pickett (Crow), Machinist Mate 1st Class

“I have made two trips to France this summer and have had some narrow escapes from U-boats. Three ships were sunk in our convoy on my first trip over and one the last trip.”

John A. Welch (Eastern Band Cherokee), U.S.S. Zuiderdijk

Thomas Montoya (far left)Thomas Montoya (far left). Courtesy of Dickinson College.Some were not as fortunate and did not survive the naval disasters. Joseph Sherman (Spirit Lake) was killed in the sinking of the Moldavia, making him the first American Indian killed in action from North Dakota.

Additionally, naval men served in non-European arenas during the war: Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Philippines, and even Siberia. Luke Conley (Eastern Band Cherokee) and Thomas Montoya (Taos Pueblo) were both stationed at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay. Juan DeVilla (Mission) was fired upon twice by German submarines while convoying a transport of Marines from Guantanamo Bay to Newport News, Virginia.

“I left home (at Tulsa, Oklahoma) on September 15, 1917, going to Colorado to a recruiting camp.  I stayed there two months and was then sent to Angel Island, California; just across from San Francisco.  On December 5, 1917, I was transported to Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands.  From there we sailed to the Philippine Islands, landing in the Philippines on January 6, 1918.  We stayed six months.  I have been in China also.  I am now in Siberia.  Landed here in August 1918.”

Waddie Tahladege [Muscogee (Creek)]

Native Americans were proud to have served in the Navy and spoke with fondness of their time in the service.

“The Oregon, known as the “Bulldog of the navy,” has been sailing the seas for Uncle Sam since 1896 and in that time has won a name as one of the historic ships of the navy when she romped around the horn and fought the good fight to victory at Santiago; and she has also done her part in the recent great war and is now ready to retire. And in the years to follow when one talks about the Oregon, I will be proud to say that I once swung my hammock between her decks as a member of her crew.”

Jose Juan Chico, U.S.S. Oregon

Marines

It is unknown how many American Indians and Alaska Natives served in the Marine Corps during World War I, but the men identified as serving performed a wide variety of tasks from fighting on the front lines in France, to guard duty at U.S. Naval stations, and deployment to Haiti, Cuba, and the Philippines.

Private John W. Beyer (Aleut) from Valdez, Alaska, served with the 5th Marines, Company G, part of the 4th Marine Brigade that saw intense fighting in the Chateau-Thierry sector and Belleau Wood. In appreciation of the Marines’ success in running the Germans out of the woods, they were officially renamed “Bois de la Brigade de Marine.”

Jackson Colvard or Jack Jackson, as he was known while a student at Carlisle, (Eastern Band Cherokee) served with the Marines on Guam. While there, he participated in Red Cross War Drives to raise money for the war effort. In a letter dated May 29, 2918, to Superintendent Francis at Carlisle, he describes the efforts this way:

“The center of attraction for the crowds was the booths that line the streets at the West side of the Plaza. There every known device to lure money to the Red Cross coffers was in operation.  Among the strangest devices that helped to bring in returns was the raffling of two turtles, both weighing 300 lbs.”

Tuscarora brothers James and William Garlow both served in the Marines. Sergeant James Garlow served on several expeditionary forces at sea and in the “tropics,” but was stationed at the Navy Yard at Charleston, South Carolina, through his honorable discharge July 13, 1920. Private First Class William Garlow saw more action. After spending a year at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, he was transferred to Cuba with the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, and then spent a year with the 2nd Regiment 197th Company in Haiti before his honorable discharge January 16, 1920.

Private Edward Isham (Lac Courte Oreilles) served with the 6th Marines, 95th Company. He was described as being good with the automatic rifle.

After Thomas Wamego (Potawatomi) received his training at Paris Island, South Carolina, he served with the 85th Company of the Mobile Artillery Force at Quantico, Virginia. During his days at camp, he ran track and won three medals.

Medical Corps

Elmer Prophet (Shawnee)

By the time the United States entered the war, the number of casualties suffered by the Allied forces was staggering. It was clear to American military strategists that a strong and efficient medical department would be necessary. The existing Army Medical Department was expanded, ultimately engaging over 300,00 people in medical, nursing, dental, and veterinarian services.

American Indian soldiers were among the workers in the Department, serving at various levels from doctors to ambulance drivers. Among the doctors was William Patton Fite (Cherokee) who held a degree from the University of Virginia. He was a captain in the Medical Corps of the 36th Division. Another Cherokee, Robert Lee Mitchell, also a captain, served as a doctor in the Medical Corps in France and Germany. Judson T. Bertrand (Potawatomi), a practicing dentist, worked in the training camp at Fort Riley, Kansas.

I am now doing my bit for Uncle Sam. I have for the past two years and a half been located in Denver, Colorado, where I established a fine business, when the war came on I was called to the colors. I am assisting the dental surgeon, as dentistry is my line, and I can do more and better in this particular line than any other.

Judson T. Bertrand (Potawatomi)

While the doctors were physicians at the start of the war, the Army trained servicemen for other roles in medical services at posts as far flung as Camp Green, North Carolina, and Fort Riley in Kansas.

Our work consists of general first aid, surgical dressings, etc. We are taught how to handle the wounded from gun-shot, gas, bayonet, etc. and how to treat them. We have foot and litter drill. . . .We are assigned to wards where we help with all the work. Each one is kept in a ward for two weeks on a certain disease, then he is transferred to some other ward. In this way they say we will be better prepared for our work “over there.”

John Shecag (Bad River Ojibwe)

In addition to providing services related to the general health needs of the servicemen and to war related injuries, Medical Department personnel treated the victims of epidemic diseases such as measles and the Spanish influenza, which struck the training camps hard.

When I first came to this camp I began driving an ambulance for the Base Hospital and gained a great deal of experience in first aid work. I drove for about four months and a cry came for office men and I was transferred to the Registrar’s Office. In this office we keep a record of every man in the hospital or that has ever been in it. Since this hospital opened in November, 1917, 54,000 patients have been admitted and treated. At the present time we have only 1000 on the register, about 100 of them being overseas patients.

Clinton W. Merriss (Peoria)

American Indian servicemen also served in the Army Ambulance and other support units of the Army Medical Department. Most were deployed to France and, at the war’s end, Germany and had broader experiences of the European cultures and countryside than did the men in the trenches.

I am well and enjoying the sights and scenery which are nice. In November and January we had some hard snowstorms and I was pretty cold at times, but now we are having rather nice weather. I was transferred from the Oklahoma Ambulance Company to the Tennessee Ambulance Company and am satisfied with the change.

William Louis Pappan (Kaw)

We had to work Sunday morning and in the afternoon three boys and myself took a long hike out into the country. It was a little muddy, but what we saw was enjoyable anyway. They have fine roads over here in France and “Henry Ford’s cars” sure get over the road. Nearly all the ambulances are Fords.

Elmer Prophet (Shawnee)

Musicians

Many of the American Indians that served in World War I served as military musicians, playing in army bands, navy bands, and orchestras. The majority of these men learned how to play Western musical instruments when they attended the various Indian boarding schools already discussed plus others like Phoenix Indian School in Arizona and Chemawa in Oregon. Here are a few examples.

Edward NelsonEdward Nelson (Pima) aboard the USS North Dakota. Courtesy of Mathers Museum of World Cultures.Edward Nelson (Pima) was from Blackwater, Arizona. He attended Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma. He attained the rank of Blacksmith, 2nd Class, but enlisted as a musician. He played the baritone aboard the USS North Dakota.

Ray E. Drapeau (Yankton Sioux) from Yankton, North Dakota, enlisted in the Navy as a musician. He proudly wrote of his experience, "I played with the largest band in the world led by John Philip Sousa, for eighteen months. I made all the Liberty Loans all over the U.S." He was part of the promotional tours that happened across the United States that encouraged people to buy Liberty Loans.

Luther Clements (Meechoopda) from Chico, California, was a former student and football player from Haskell Institute. He attained the rank of Musician 2nd Class and served with the 110th Engineers along with at least four other Haskell students and musicians. While the bands served to increase morale among the troops and French citizens, they also came into contact with the war. “One evening while our band was coming home from a concert tour, a Hun plane was over us, and the British searchlights were flashing in every direction.  One of the lights finally located him and it did not take very long before three or four lights were focused on him.  Our truck stopped and we took in the show.  It was sure a real treat to us then, but later the desire to see the Hun planes vanished, for we soon learned what it meant to have one of them throw down their deadly missiles.” After the war, the 110th Engineers band joined with an entertainment organization and traveled on the “Kerosene Circuit,” “on account of the poor lights we have to play by some nights.”

Two other members of the 110th Engineers band, Charles Williams (Caddo) and Allen C. Tanner (Cherokee), took advantage of the opportunities while in France and both reportedly attended bandmasters and musicians school in Chaumont, France, after the armistice was signed.

George H. May (Wichita) from Gracemont, Oklahoma, was a student at Carlisle and went to work at the Ford factory in Detroit, Michigan, upon graduation. Because of this, he joined the Michigan National Guard, and then was part of the 32nd Division 125th Infantry Headquarters Company. He attained the rank of corporal.

He writes of his experience in France, “Not very long ago, we had the pleasure of playing before General Pershing and Secretary Baker. Our band is showing up excellent and of course our comrades considered to be one of the best in France. So far we have played at a few villages where many a mourning inhabitants dwell. I never once realized how lively music was until we played at these villages. We are playing three concerts a week and this encourages our boys very much.”

Robert Emil Bruce (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) from Belcourt, North Dakota, joined the North Dakota National Guard in July 1917, as a cornetist. Once the unit was federalized, they were merged with the 41st Division 116th Engineers band under Harold Burton Bachman. They were one of the most famous bands during the war and were known as the Million Dollar Band. Bruce and his brother Fred Bruce, a clarinetist, played with the band until their discharge in 1919. Both men won many awards for their musicianship and toured with Bachman's Million Dollar Band after the war until 1921.

James Riley WheelockJames Riley Wheelock (Oneida) from DePere, Wisconsin, graduated from Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1896. Wheelock was an accomplished clarinetist and band leader, who came to be known as the “Red Rival to Sousa.” In 1917 after the outbreak of the war, he volunteered to serve as band leader under former President Theodore Roosevelt’s proposed division. However, the plan fell through. It wasn’t until July 1918, when Wheelock passed the bandmaster exam that he attained the post of band leader for the 808th Pioneer Infantry, an all-black regimental band out of Camp Meade, Maryland. He is the only American Indian to attain this leadership role, and one of only two non-black band leaders for all-black regimental bands.

In October 1918, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, and shortly thereafter wrote to the Harrisburg Telegraph describing his war experiences. “The great drive which started on the 26th is the greatest battle of the war to this time and I witnessed it from a point about two miles in the rear of our lines. I am with the Supply Company, so I have had occasion to drive right into the line to deliver supplies. I wish I could tell you about the battle, but I cannot, so will tell you about it when I see you again.”

Under Wheelock’s direction, the 808th won the “Best Infantry Band” award for the entire American Expeditionary Forces at a contest held at Brest, France, on June 2, 1919. The band was privileged to perform for President Woodrow Wilson upon his departure from Brest, on June 29. He was honorably discharged on August 28, 1919.

Guy Maktima (Hopi) is anGuy Maktimaother remarkable American Indian musician, who made a name for himself during WWI. A Hopi from Arizona, Maktima attended Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, and graduated from the Phoenix Indian School. While still a student at Phoenix, he enlisted in the Arizona National Guard’s 1st Arizona Infantry, Company F, that included 28 other American Indians. In 1918, they were activated for federal service for WWI. The company was re-flagged and formed the 158th Infantry Band, where Maktima played the trombone. They served in France from August 1918 through April 1919.

In addition to Maktima, five other members of the 158th Infantry Band were American Indian. As they performed throughout the French countryside, Maktima and his fellow American Indian soldiers were seen as curiosities since none of the French had ever seen an Indian before. On Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, the band performed all day for celebrations. This entry from the diary of the band director Karl R. Goetz describes the day. “Band got out at 10:30am and jassed [sic] up and down the streets of Chelles playing the Marseilles and the Star Spangled Banner marches and the Sick Mule…In the afternoon the band was again called out on the eleventh hour….”

On the very next day, November 12, Maktima was promoted to Musician First Class. The band performed for President Wilson at the American Ambassador’s House in Paris, on December 18. In April, they returned to New York, where 28 men from the 158th Infantry Band joined 28 squads from the Regiment to take part in the “Liberty Loan Parade.” Goetz writes, “They hiked up Fifth Avenue and all over town putting [in] 16 hours of the hardest kind of marching.” On May 3, 1919, the men were honorably discharged.

American Indians in WWI Centennial Commission

Contact: Erin Fehr ehfehr@ualr.edu

American Indians in World War I was created by the Sequoyah National Research Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Contributors: Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr. and Erin Fehr

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