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California Interviews


In an attempt to provide thorough access of information to the reader, the following listed entries are interviews which took place during the centennial of WW1.  Some may be also listed elsewhere on this website. You can check out all of the entries in alphabetical order by scrolling, or simply jump to a particular interview by clicking on its title in the table of contents below.

Illuminating San Francisco & San Jose WW1 Centennial Commemoration Groups & Recalling Their Work - by Bill Betten
California Task Force Interview with Michael Hanlon - by Courtland Jindra

The Salvation Army Doughnut Dollies of WW1 - by Bill Betten
May 27, 2019 - Heroes Grove Memorial Sign Setting & Dedication - An Interview with Sal Compagno - by Bill Betten
A Great Centennial Honor & the Latest California Boxcar Information - by bill Betten





Illuminating the San Francisco and San Jose WW1 Centennial Commemoration Groups & Recalling Their Work

An Interview by Bill Betten of Dr. Jonathan Roth and Dana Lombardy


By Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force


Though I am a member of the World War One Historical Association which has its operating offices out of Albany, CA just across the San Francisco Bay, I must admit I live down in Southern California. Though I have had the occasion to visit the Bay Area during the Centennial, I am sometimes confused at all the associations and teams working there that have made the Centennial a success there. For example, the Bay Area Chapter of the World War One Historical Association alone is very active and holds monthly meetings hosting fascinating guest speakers on a wide variety of WW1 topics.

Over the last four years, I have heard of no less than four active organizations commemorating the centennial in the Bay Area, and some folks play multiple roles in several.

To clarify for readers and myself just who did what, I here ask Mr. Dana Lombardy, Executive Director of the World War One Historical Association and publisher of World War One Illustrated, and Dr. Jonathan Roth, Professor of History at San Jose State University, Director of the Burdick Military History Museum, and fellow Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force, to clear up any confusion.

Task Force Co-Director Bill Betten: Dr. Roth, how did the San Francisco Veterans Commemoration Committee come to be? Was it specifically formed to deal with the WW1 Centennial commemorations?

Task Force Co-Director Dr. Jonathan Roth: The committee came out of the American Legion wanting to put up a display in the foyer of the Veterans Building/War Memorial (San Francisco.)  When I came aboard General Michael Myatt and Ed Flowers, from the Marine Memorial, were already involved.  One of the main concerns that brought people together was to try to bring the War Memorial Building, and Trustees, back to the original purpose of honoring veterans and World War One. 

Bill: Of course, I am familiar with some of the folks on the board who are also fellow members of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force like yourselves, Gen. Myatt USMC (Ret.), Sal Compagno, President of the WW1 Historical Association, Col Fred Rutledge USA (Ret.) Museum Director of the California State Military Museums, but I am unfamiliar with some of the others. Can you help?

Dr. Roth: Certainly. The ones you did not mention were Mr. Ken Maley: Ken is a consultant who designs museum displays. Judge Quentin Kopp: Judge Kopp's father was a WW1 veteran, He himself is the head of the Korean War Veterans Association. Mr. Paul Cox: Paul is a Vietnam Vet and very involved in Veterans groups. He was the chair of the American Legion Commission. Mr. Ed Flowers: Ed is Marine veteran who works with General Myatt at the Marine Memorial. He had a lot of material on World War One, including on the 159th Infantry, San Francisco’s Own. Mr. Wallace Levin is a Korean War veteran who works on the Veterans Day Parade and very involved in San Francisco Veteran Affairs. Mr. Nelson Lum works for the American Legion as does Ms. Janice Tong.

WW1HA Executive Director Dana Lombardy : Specifically, Janice is Special Assistant to Mr. Cox, Chair of the American Legion War Memorial Commission, and Nelson Lum, is Commander of American Legion Cathay Post 384. Likewise, Sal Compagno is also a US Army veteran, and Edgar Flowers and Paul Cox are both US Marine Corp veterans.

Bill: What other projects have this committee been involved with during the Centennial that deserves mention.

Dr. Roth: The committee organized the November 11th commemoration at the Veterans Building/War Memorial.  This was a big deal, with many embassies and city officials there. They also organized placing a new attractive sign at Heroes Grove in Golden Gate Park on Memorial Day. The committee instituted a Crowd Funding Project for the sale of WW 1 Stamp cachets. Another important project was the Veterans War Memorial Building banners for the WW 1 display. The committee also helped to plan the reconstruction of the Veterans Gallery, and continues this work.  

Dana: Incidentally, it was Graphic artist Dan Zillion who produced the eight banners and the printed displays on display in the Veterans Gallery and lobby of the War Memorial Veterans Building.

Bill: Which brings me to that. Separate from the Veterans Commemoration Committee is the American Legion War Memorial Commission. Who are individuals on the American Legion War Memorial Commission?

Dr. Roth: I’ll defer that question to Dana.

Dana: Some of your confusion Bill, may have come from a recent renaming of the WW1 Armistice Centennial Commemoration Committee. In 2019, the committee was renamed the Veterans Commemoration Committee to be more inclusive, with future plans to include projects to remember and honor the veterans of the Korean War, World War Two, Vietnam, etc.

The committee’s origin was in late 2017, when Ken Maley approached the Trustees of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Foundation about the idea for a World War One Armistice Centennial Commemoration. With his prior experience serving on other centennial committees and anniversary events, Ken became the Commemoration Project Director. San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Foundation Trustee Major General J. Michael Myatt, USMC (Ret.) agreed to chair the committee while Judge Quentin L. Kopp (Ret.), became co-chair. Other Bay area community leaders joined the committee, including Lieutenant Colonel Wallace I. Levin, California National Guard Reserve (Ret.), along with the aforementioned

Colonel Fred Rutledge, of the California State Military Reserve, Edgar Flowers, of the San Francisco Fleet Week Association, Paul Cox, Janice Tong, Nelson Lum, Sal Compagno, and myself.

Bill: Well yes, I do think you are right. With so many names being the same on both lists. I’m glad to clear this up. The US WW1 Centennial Commission is also going through some similar name adjustments now that the WW1 Centennial is over.

So, Dr. Roth, I understand that you were instrumental in a WW1 centennial commemoration committee specifically operating out at San Jose State University. Is there a list of individuals who made up the San Jose State University Centennial Commemoration Committee? Who are they?

Dr. Roth: Yes, as you know my connection with the Burdick Military Museum Project naturally fosters an interest in commemorating the centennial of the war. From that interest sprang the SJSU Centennial Commemoration Committee. Members include SJSU professors, librarians, and historians. Frances Edwards, is a Lecturer in the English Department. Allison Mckee is a Professor in the Radio/Television/Film Department. Nyle Monday is a Librarian at Martin Luther King, Jr. Library here on campus. Victor Backer is a Public Relations Consultant, and Brenda Wong of the San Jose Chinese Historical and Cultural Project. Professors in their respective departments are Karen English, English Department, Karthika Sasikumar, Political Science Department, Steven Milner, African-American Studies, Scot Guenter, Humanities, and of course Jonathan Roth, History Department.

Bill: What are the commemorations the university committee has been involved with?

Dr. Roth: The committee organized a month-long World War One Exhibit at the Second Floor Art Gallery of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, November 2018. We also organized a memorial bell-ringing of the 1881 San Jose Normal School Bell, which once was in Tower Hall, and rang during the original Armistice Day in 1918. The committee also organized a symposium in the SJSU Engineering Auditorium on World War One on April 15, 2018 where Dr. English spoke on World War One Poetry. Dr. Kimberly Shafer of Academy of Arts University, San Francisco spoke on Otto Dix, and we showed the Charlie Chaplin Film, Shoulder Arms. During that evening the committee had also organized a unique musical event in the Concert Hall of the Music Building. From Ragtime to Jazz: Music of James Reese Europe was presented by CW2 James Lamb and the California State Military Reserve Band.

Bill: Yes, we posted a special article on that on the California WW1 Centennial Task Force website.

Dr. Roth: I forgot to mention Dr. Karen English’s poetry reading night. “A Tribute to American Poetry of the Great War".  Brenda Hee Wong wanted me to express how she especially appreciated the enthusiasm of Darrell Browne, husband of Laura Lau Kee, who participated as a reader.

By the way, all of these events were free and open to the public.

Bill: It sounds like the San Francisco and San Jose areas were well involved in the spirit of commemorating the Centennial of World War One.

 A long-time resource to those commemorating WW1, Mike Hanlon is well-known for his websites, tours overseas, and general overall knowledge of the subject. He has likewise been a powerful resource as a California WW1 Centennial Task Force Co-Director. Here fellow Co-Director Courtland Jindra interviews Mike and discovers the history behind the (arguably) most active WW1 author and editor on the Internet.


California Task Force Interview with Michael Hanlon


by Courtland Jindra, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Forcecourtland jindra in suit






Task Force Co-Director Courtland Jindra: For some background, could you give us a quick synopsis of how you came to be such a WWI expert/what prompted your interest?

mike hanlon in suitCo-Director Mike Hanlon: During the Vietnam war I spent six years in the Air Force doing a lot of different things. (I have a hard time giving a concise answer to the question, "What did your military service involve?) For the record, my last job was as an Asst. Operations and Special Projects Officer at Offutt, AFB, Nebraska. My post-Air Force career mostly involved managing large projects for corporations and government agencies. Typically, I would be called in on efforts that were having major problems and an outsider with a fresh perspective was needed. The work was rewarding, but always high pressure. Solving everyone else's problems, as you could probably surmise, gets tiresome. In 1987, I took a month off to take stock of things and eventually came to the conclusion I needed another interest, another outlet. Something told me that my organizing skills might be suitable for making documentary films. I signed up for a series of courses with a group in San Francisco called the Bay Area Video Coalition. This lasted about a year and at the end found myself co-directing (with three others) a 15-minute video (of which I am VERY proud) about the Point Isabel Doggie Park. Afterwards, I felt I was ready for the documentary big time.

Meantime, I was conducting a parallel effort to determine what topics I wanted to focus on. A point to keep in mind is that this timeframe was before America discovered Ken Burns, and PBS initiated the American Experience series. Throughout the 80s documentaries on American subjects were almost always indictments of the country, the founding fathers, slavery, the robber barons, etc., etc. At one point when I had finally chosen my topic, I was told by a financing expert that the project lacked funding prospects because it was "frankly, not very politically correct." It was the first time I had heard the "P.C." term used in the sense that it is understood today. Anyway, I decided early that I was going to do positive films about American history, in the spirit of a 1960s CBS dramatization series titled The Great American Adventure. But where to specialize? I felt I needed to start on a topic that everyone else seemed to be overlooking.

My next stop was to the local library where I found a wonderful product of the country's bicentennial celebration, a decade-by-decade statistical abstract of the United States. I selected twenty statistics and calculated the changes for each for every census. I was looking for big, across the board changes by decades. Quickly, two decades jumped off the spread sheet: 1840-50 and 1910-1920. The first involved the rapid expansion of the country and the run up to the Civil War. The second, well you know exactly what was central to that time. I recalled that CBS had done a great series in the 60s on the war, but I couldn't think of anything more recent. That started me on the road I've been following since.

I read several books on the war at a time for many months subsequent. At Stanford's Hoover Institution I discovered their fantastic archives. The wonderful lady in charge of the holdings, the late Agnes Peterson, both guided me through the collections and put me in touch with a bunch of kindred souls at the Great War Society. I was off and running. The video project, which I called Doughboy, came together as I wrote a script and made my first battlefield reconnaissance to the Western Front in the winter of 1990. When I came back I was ready to pitch my project. I received commitments for about 50% of my $180,000 budget, but they were all dependent on matching amounts. Alas, the matching never came. I believe I ran into that "political correctness" brick wall, I mentioned, but it might have been just that I was totally inexperienced.

mike hanlon speaksMike Hanlon speaks while leading a tour overseas.But I had boxes of research notes and floppy disks and piles of annotated books overflowing my condo. What to do with them? First, I decided to write a book. About the Great War, a guidebook to the study of the First World War, that I wrote in hopes of some sales, of course, but also to help organize all that WWI data floating loose in my head. Then I used my travel experience to help organize a battlefield tour for the Great War Society with another member for the Thomas Cook company.

Soon something called the Internet came along and the society needed a website, the technology of which I knew nothing. I went looking for a guru and I found a saint. His name was Mike Iavarone. He had created a WW1 platform called Trenches on the Web. In the 1990s Mike's website was so far ahead of any military history site on the internet the #2 wasn't even in sight. “St. Mike” virtually adopted me, taught me HTML, published a few of my early articles, and then encouraged me to build my own sites. Mike has passed away since then, but I still look after Trenches. Out of all of this churning and a lot of help, I entered the 21st century with high visibility in the small World War I community of interests. Things seem to have grown from there.

Courtland: When I first heard of you there seemed to be so much you were doing and it was overwhelming (websites, videos, magazines, tours, etc.). You are such an endless fountain of information on WWI, I only think it fair to ask for the novice, what of your work on the war is the best place for one to start?

mike hanlons poppy headerMike: Over the years, I discovered that there is a tremendous range of things that people find fascinating about the Great War. In all my outlets, I've tried to be as varied as possible on subject matters. As I've said countless times, I just find the war endlessly interesting. Also, I have found in the information age, most people seem to settle on a preferred method of receiving material. Some like one daily article to read and I accommodate them with my blog Roads to the Great War, which currently has over 2,300 entries. Others prefer a broad mix of articles they scan through and pick out what's of current interest to them. For these readers, I've been publishing a monthly online newsletter since 2002, The St. Mihiel Trip-Wire. Others have an unlimited appetite for material on one broad area. For a while I have offered several websites to accommodate these groups, but now I'm maintaining (and currently modernizing and updating) one, The Doughboy Center — The Story of the American Expeditionary Forces. Last, for twelve years, I published a full-color, highly-illustrated magazine titled Over the Top to present in-depth articles by experts on a single theme to readers. Each product, surprisingly, attracts its own readership. Naturally, I've tried to get subscribers to cross over, but I've consistently been surprised at how little overlap there is between the subscription lists. So considering all of these factors — and to answer your original question — I would recommend the novice WWI researcher check in at my home page, Worldwar1.com, and dive in. They will find something to accommodate their curiosity.

mike hanlon speaks at pershing family eventMike Hanlon gives keynote address at Pershing Family Event at the Presidio.Courtland: Did the centennial years see an increase in your tours and/or your publication readership? Do you believe the public is more interested in learning about that era, or do you believe it will slip back into the mists of history?

Mike: The Centennial years were great for my battlefield tours and —touching on the second point —the readership of my various products has not diminished at all through the first half of 2019. On the broader issue of long-term interest in the war, however, I'm not very optimistic. I've found the overall response to both the Civil War Sesquicentennial and the World War One Centennial by Americans quite underwhelming. Anyone who was around for the 1961–1965 Civil War Centennial will probably understand what I mean. In my lifetime, I've seen a malignant effort to turn the story of our nation's triumphs and tragedies into some sort of vile criminal enterprise. That our educational, cultural, and economic institutions have not only allowed this to happen, but encouraged this, is nothing less than incompetent, suicidal, and criminal. Today, I'm gloomy about the true story of the United States surviving, including the story of her role in the Great War of 1914-1918.

Courtland: Tell us about your own efforts locally over the last few years. The commemoration of the fire that killed Pershing's family was a major early event in the nation (and state)'s commemoration and you pulled that off largely last minute by yourself. Tell us about that and anything else you were proud to help out with in San Francisco or elsewhere.mike hanlon and pershing square us park ranger supervisor resultAt Pershing Family Event Mike Hanlon and the Pershing Square U.S. Park Service Ranger supervisor

Mike: You probably know, that I've been a big booster and have tried to raise funds for both the restoration of the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial outside Paris and the new National WWI Memorial at Pershing Square. The first project came off perfectly and I'm still optimistically hopeful the national memorial is completed soon. On the other hand, my efforts at the local level turned out to be much less than I had anticipated at the start of the Centennial. The one event you've mentioned, the 2015 Remembrance of the Pershing Family Tragedy at the San Francisco Presidio, which I initiated and helped organize, was a big success, but an eye opener for me. I learned that I really could not sustain my publishing load and my battlefield tours, and also be a fully functional contributor to the staging of commemorative events. I was invited to join with both California's Centennial Task Force and San Francisco's equivalent committee, and I really felt honored by them. I just could not pull my weight with either, though, and I quietly withdrew. I don't think I was much of a loss, in any case. For both my state and hometown, outstanding people came forward and did a fine job of honoring their communities efforts and sacrifices in the war. They are to be congratulated.*

Courtland: Now that the Centennial is drawing to a close how will that effect your work, or will it?

Mike: As long as my readership continues at a healthy level, I plan to continue publishing my blog, Roads to the Great War and newsletter, The St. Mihiel Trip Wire.  Also, I'm in the process of bringing my website, The Doughboy Center, into the 21st century.  It's over twenty-years-old now and a bit forgotten.  However, in its day, it won many awards and was rated either the #1 website, or a highly recommended site about America's WW1 effort by the Library of Congress, the National Archives of both the U.S. and U.K., the Organization of American Historians, the BBC, and Yale University.  I want to return it to its onetime position as the best gateway to information on America in the Great War.


 * Although, further on in the Centennial, Mike did consent to joining the California WW1 Centennial Task Force’s Managing Board in a limited role. Co-Director Bill Betten said, "Mike's input has often been invaluable.

 Too see all of Mike's great websites and blogs click here http://worldwar1.com/.







The Salvation Army Doughnut Dollies of WW1

An interview with Sandra Maxwell


By Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force


ww1 doughnut dollieA WW1 Salvation Army Doughnut Dollie serves two American soldiers (Doughboys)Long before beginning any research on World War One for writing my books I knew about Doughnut Dollies. Somewhere back in the 1950’s or 60’s someone had told me what a Doughnut Dollie was. It could have been Mom or Dad, perhaps a teacher or librarian, or even Grandpa who had been a Doughboy in France in WW1 and had been served doughnuts at a Salvation Army mobile canteen or “Hut” as they were called. But, I can tell you there was so much more to the Doughnut Dollies than what I had known.

In 2016, I even physically met a Doughnut Dollie. It was at the Old Fort MacArthur Days Living History Event in San Pedro, California’s Angel’s Gate Park where I first met Robert and Sandra Maxwell, a husband and wife team who do a variety of reenactment personalities from history. That day Sandra was dressed in quite authentic garb of the Salvation Army WW1 volunteer known as the Doughnut Dollie, and in true fashion she was distributing doughnuts and knowledge of WW1.

In honor of the service of the Doughnut Dollies I interviewed Sandra recently and learned a lot more.

Co-Director Bill Betten: Sandra, for those not familiar with WW1, what was a Doughnut Dollie?

Sandra Maxwell: They were volunteers from the Salvation Army. Although long established in Britain, at this point in history, the Salvation Army was a new-comer to America. They were eager to help the war effort when America entered the fray, so their leader, Evangeline Booth, suggested to General Pershing that he allow her to send her soldiers to France. Bring a bit of home to the boys far from home. Remember, at this time, women helping during a war did not usually mean they were in the actual battle zone. Europe recognized the value of woman power both at home and on the battlefield, but not in America.salvation army hand it to em poster

Bill: What did Doughnut Dollies do during the war?

Sandra: Commander Booth told her volunteers to serve simply by doing every useful, kindly thing that came to hand. Besides making coffee and doughnuts, they helped with nursing, read letters to the illiterate or wounded and helped them write letters home. They mended the soldier’s uniforms, brought music and moments of peace from the horrible war. Salvation Army girls became famous and loved for their smiles as well as their home cooking. I feel from all the research I have done that this simple idea of finding out what was needed and filling this need as best as possible was revolutionary as well as downright useful. I have a diary written by a Doughnut Dolly that makes this concept clear. For example, when this Dolly and her sister got back to the states, the first thing they saw as they wove their way through the mass of returning soldiers, was their need to send a message home that they had arrived and they were well. The girls ran to the nearest telegraph office and got forms to hand out to the boys. They collected all the messages and made sure they were sent. This led to the Salvation Army taking it upon themselves to provide a fill-in-the-blank telegram. All the soldier had to do was provide his name and who to send the telegram to and the SA did all the rest. It took about three years to get all the soldiers back to America and the SA kept up this service to the very end. No charge to the soldiers.

Bill: Why would the Doughboys get so excited about seeing a Doughnut Dollie? Didn't the soldiers get fed regularly on the line?doughnut dollies rolling dough

Sandra: (Laughing) Sure the soldiers were fed. Army food. Good for the stomach but not so much the soul. Dollies or Lassies cared for you. Made you feel at home, reminded you what you were fighting for. Listened to your troubles. Raised your morale. Helped you when you needed it. Not to mention give you a treat and a cup of coffee. By the way, the round treat with a hole in the middle did not happen until after the Doughnut Dollies had been there a short while. Although they served pies and crullers, the doughnut as we know it did not exist. Here we go with the “what do you need” concept the Salvation Army is known for. When the boys mentioned they were having trouble holding both a cruller and a cup of coffee, they wondered if the cruller could be made easier to handle, like maybe, put a hole in it? One of the guys with the Dollies created a round cookie cutter device with a round piece in the middle that would cut a hole in the dough and the doughnut as we know it today was born.

Bill: Were the Doughnut Dollies a part of the military?

making doughnuts under fireSandra: Yes and no. Although the Salvation Army is an international charitable Christian organization that operates in a somewhat military way with uniforms and military rankings, they were not IN the American army. However, they were attached to and protected by the American army. They were issued a helmet and a gas mask. If their particular division was ordered to move elsewhere, the Dollies went with them. The Salvation Army put up their tents or created kitchens out of the rubble of bombed out buildings wherever they could. Serving the men their doughnuts and coffee became their priority. Some fried as many as 2000 to 5000 doughnuts, rolls, cakes and pies each day. Once, a Dolly named Geneva Staley baked a birthday pie for General Pershing, who told her she had the power to reach any man’s heart.

Bill: How close to the fighting did they get?

Sandra: Pictures show the Dollies actually in the trenches helping read letters, bringing coffee and doughnuts to the soldiers. Trench warfare is different. When the war started the Germans did not expect the French to dig eight-foot-deep trenches and keep them at bay. The line is drawn here and you shall not pass idea. So, the German’s dug their trenches and the land between became the most dangerous place to be – No Man’s Land. This meant that some sectors became more active than others, activity changing positions at a moment’s notice. Soldiers could sit in the trench waiting for action for weeks, or even months. The pictures of the Dollies in the trenches were most likely taken during the breaks in the action. Not to say that the Salvation Army did not have their share of ducking bombs or dodging bullets, they did.serving coffe and doughnuts

Bill: Were any of the Doughnut Dollies killed in action?

Sandra: So far, my research has not mentioned any Salvation Army people being killed or even wounded. If so, this information has eluded me. However, I am reminded of one Dolly by the name of Cora Van Norden. I brought notes, so I could remember it all. Let’s see, Cora was attached to the 18th U.S. Infantry, 1st Division. She was awarded the Silver Star Citation in 1918 for, “Her exceptionally gallant behavior on the night of May 16th, 1918 when, under shell fire and through gas alarm, Cora Van Norden ran her truck with necessary supplies to Serrevilliers. During the shelling she showed an utter disregard for her own safety, and valor beyond the call of duty.” Cora was also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal five times, and both the Cross of the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guere from France. I mean, what a woman!

Bill: Why did these women leave the safety of their home, travel across an ocean to a foreign land and risk facing the enemy without a weapon?

Sandra: This question alone could take up several hours of discussion. This question led me to my study of World War One. It is a mere four years of World History, but the entire world changed dramatically. Whole countries disappeared; new ones came into being. Most of the aristocracy was obliterated. More men died than ever before; technology brought new and terrifying weapons and machinery. And what is so sad is that when I re-enact my Doughnut Dolly persona or answer questions after my lectures, most Americans don’t even know there was a World War One. American women do not know about the sacrifices the women before them made so that they can enjoy a more equal world with men. What made these women leave and risk their lives? Both on the home front and the battlefield, women saw an opportunity to be perceived as more than a weak, simple-minded being only good for keeping house and having babies, incapable of making their own decisions. They wanted and needed to show the world what they were capable of, along with the great desire to actually do something to keep the world free just like their men were doing. The Salvation Army was only one of many services that had women volunteers.

Bill: How many Doughnut Dollies would you say there were?

Sandra: I’ve read varying accounts stating different numbers, but I should think there were between 110 and 120. The Dollies were accompanied by Salvation Army men who did the driving, loading and helped put up the tents, again whatever was needed. They did not all go at once, but it did not take much time to get them all over there.

Bill: Is there a particular story you would like to share about a Doughnut Dollie?

Sandra: What a great question. Yes, there is. Miss Stella Young. She was nineteen when stationed in a sector that most troops passing through stopped at. Stella had a sweet, smiling face that became world famous when a Salvation Army photographer noticed her and asked to take her picture. This photo shows Stella wearing her Doughnut Dolly khaki smock and steel helmet holding a huge kettle full of doughnuts. The picture caught the fancy of wartime America, and became the symbol of the Salvation Army war effort. Here is her picture:sheet music my doughnut girlSheet music for "My Doughnut Girl" featuring the image of Ms. Youngstella young salvation army doughnut dollieStella Young - Salvation Army Doughnut Dollie

 Bill: I find it interesting that our soldiers were called DOUGHboys and these volunteers were called DOUGHnut Dollies. Was there a connection in the name?

 Sandra: You have no idea how many times I have been asked this question. First there is no connection between Doughnut Dollies and Doughboys. The endearment of calling the ladies dollies or lassies was a product of the time period. Remember, women had no rights and were still considered the lesser sex. Doughnuts were what they provided. Calling American soldiers Doughboy actually goes back before WWI but the reason for this nickname has been lost to history. Makes me wish I had a time machine so I could go back and ask someone why soldiers were called doughboys.

 ww1 reenactors at 2017 sprinsationWW1 reenactors: Robert Maxwell, John Akridge, Damian Stellabott, and Salvation Army Doughnut Dollie Sandra Maxwell

After interviewing Sandra, I also learned that besides facing the shelling of the enemy, the Salvation Army volunteers had to overcome other daily obstacles to their work. The rain, and harsh weather threatened them as did the lack of common, everyday facilities and conveniences. If a tool was lost in an attack, emergency replacements had to be made. One such substitution, using a spent artillery shell as a rolling pin, became commonplace.

The Doughnut Dollies or Lassies were just one part of a greater female effort during the war. Women working behind the lines included Army and Navy nurses, Navy and Marine women in support services, Hello Girls running communications at A.E.F. headquarters, religious volunteers dealing with soldier and civilian welfare, and even “society ladies” like Ann Morgan, daughter of J.P. Morgan, who presented her Chateau Blérancourt to the American Fund for French Wounded, women played an important role in the war, often endangering their own lives while doing it.

salvation army oh boy posterThe poster that hangs in the Salvation Army offices in Anaheim, California.In closing, I would like to share my own Doughnut Dollie story, but it is one of more modern times. Recently, I was helping a family member look for a used car. Being a precarious task that can involve losing your hard-earned cash to less than reputable strangers, we were relieved to find a proper vehicle at the Southern California Salvation Army Used Car Sales Lot in Orange County.

But, the real find came when we entered the office to finalize the deal. There hanging on the wall was an original United War Work Campaign poster from WW1 hanging framed on the wall. On it, a happy Doughboy gestures to the Salvation Army Lassie urging the viewer to "Keep Her on the Job." The folks who worked there in the office thought nothing of it, but for me it was like finding a long-lost treasure. You just don’t see them even in museums much any more. I began quizzing everyone there about its history and how it got there, but found no one really knew. “It’s just always hung there. I suppose someone drug it from out of storage somewhere,” the Salvation Army office manager replied.

How ever it got there, I’m glad to see it hangs in a building that continues the legacy of the Doughnut Dollies mission, doing God’s work, helping those in need.


 Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force is an author and retired educator. See his biography here.codirector bill betten cww1ctf








May 27, 2019 - Heroes Grove Memorial Sign Setting & Dedication Ceremony - An Interview with Sal Compagno

Heroes Grove - Golden Gate Park - San Francisco

320 pixel logo w sloganAn event endorsed and approved by the California WW1 Centennial Task Force to commemorate, honor, and educate the citizens of the Great State of California.




golden gate rock set 5 23 2019 1 result








The San Francisco WW1 Commemoration Committee recently restored a large  WW1 stone monument in Golden Gate Park and provided a new stone sign for the grove in which it sits to call attention to it and mark in perpetuity the monument's location.  On Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, an unveiling ceremony proudly gave San Francisco its first look. 
 Here California WW1 Centennial Task Force Co-Director Bill Betten interviews fellow Co-Director Sal Compagno about the event.



By Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force


heroes grove ceremony view resultGolden Gate Park Heroes Grove sign unveiling ceremony.The California WW1 Centennial Task Force Managing Board consists of many special individuals from all over the state. I consider Sal Compagno not only a Co-Director, but also a friend. Recently Sal was a part of a very successful renovation project of a significant monument in Golden Gate Park. Here I interview him about the work.

Co-Director Bill Betten: On Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, the San Francisco WW1 Commemoration Committee held a ceremony at the recently restored large stone WW1 monument in Golden Gate Park. 
Who is the San Francisco WW1 Commemoration Committee and how was it that they came to be?

Co-Director Sal Compagno: The San Francisco WW1 Commemoration Committee was formed in 2016 in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the official end of WW1, Nov. 11, 1918. The Committee then, was part of the 100 American cities designated as part of the national movement honoring America's role in that conflict. There are ten members to the committee.before unveiling result


Bill: Sal, I understand that you are on that committee and were a part of the commemoration event. Can you tell us what happened?

Sal: The Committee performed a long-needed act. There is a large stone monument, recently restored, listing those brave local men who gave their lives in the First World War. The stone was originally dedicated in May, 1919, and 100 years later another dedication was held.


Bill: I was unaware of this monument.

Sal: That was the problem. This enormous stone was well hidden in the overgrown grasses and trees which adorn this part of the Park.colorguard awaits result


Bill: What did the restoration consist of?

Sal: The recent restoration, besides removing brush and grass, was a re-cleaning of the stone, widening the area around it, and publicizing the effort of both the Park and the San Francisco Commemoration Committee.


Bill: Do you know who laid the stone originally?

Sal: The Memorial stone, I believe, was a tribute to those local Bay Area persons doughboy at monument resultWW1 reenactor Damian Stellebott considers the names on the monument.who gave their lives for the nation and was commissioned by the City of San Francisco in 1919.


Bill:So if the monument was neglected, what did you do?

Sal: Prior to May 27, in April, a group of members of the Committee took a weekend to clear and define the area for public viewing. The Park, generously, made a gravel path to the stone. What was missing was a sign, Heroes Grove, indicating the direction to the stone. The Committee collected a sum to inscribe that sign and it was dedicated on May 27.unveiling 1 resultAbove & Below: The unveiling of the new identification stone for Heroes Grove. General Myatt stads watching.

Read more: May 27, 2019 - Heroes Grove Memorial Sign Setting & Dedication Ceremony - An Interview with Sal...



A Great Centennial Honor & the Latest California Boxcar Information

An interview with Dennis Matarrese of La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux (The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses) in March of 2019.




California WW1 Centennial Task Force


Managing Board Co-Directors

Bill Betten
Sal Compagno
Col. Andre N. Coulombe
Hugh E. Crooks, Jr.
Mike Hanlon
Brigadier General R.G. Head, Ph.D. USAF (Ret.)
Prof. Jennifer Keene, Ph.D
Courtland Jindra
Dennis Matarrese
Major General Michael J. Myatt USMC (Ret.)
Stephen M. Payne, Ph.D.
Anthony Powell
Lester Probst
Prof. Jonathan Roth, Ph.D.
Col. Fred Rutledge 

Northern California Committee

Sal Compagno
Mike Hanlon
Stephen M. Payne, Ph.D.
Lt. Col. Kenneth Nielsen
Major General Michael J. Myatt USMC (Ret.)

Anthony Powell
Col. Fred Rutledge
Prof. Jonathan Roth, Ph.D.

Southern California Committee

Bill Betten
Maria Carrillo
Col. Andre N. Coulombe
Brigadier General R.G. Head, Ph.D. USAF (Ret.) 
Courtland Jindra
Lester Probst
Jeff Sharp

 Education Committee

Bill Betten, Master of Arts in Education, (Retired teacher DUSD, OUSD, AGUSD)
Lauren Weiss Bricker, Ph.D., Professor of Architecture at Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Scott Corbett, Ph.D, Lecturer, History, CSUCI
Jennifer Keene, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Chapman University
Michael Powelson, Ph.D., Lecturer, History, CSUCI
Jonathan Roth, Ph.D., Professor of History, SJSU, Burdick Military History Project Director [Committee Chair]
Miriam Raub Vivian, Ph.D.,  Professor of History, CSUB

Website Administrator

Bill Betten


Email: courtland.jindra@worldwar1centennial.org

Snail Mail:
     California World War 1Centennial Task Force
     330 Myrtlewood Dr.
     Calimesa, CA 92320


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