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Dispatch Newletter

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

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December 2019


National WWI Memorial Is Under Construction!

 

Construction Launch 2019

(December 12, 2019) Key leaders joined the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission on the site of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC to mark the start of construction. (Left to right) National Park Service Acting Director David Vela; Commission Special Advisor Admiral Mike Mullen; Commission Chair Terry Hamby; Commission Special Advisor Senator John Warner; and U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

Construction Permit received for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC; first phase work is now underway

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission has received a building permit from the National Park Service (NPS) for the first construction phase of the new National World War I Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.

Key leaders gathered on the Memorial site on December 12 to mark the start of construction, including Commission Chair Terry Hamby, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, National Park Service Acting Director David Vela, Commission Special Advisors Senator John Warner and Admiral Mike Mullen, and others.

The first phase of construction will be a 360-day project to rebuild the former Pershing Park, and prepare the site for the eventual installation of the Memorial bronze sculpture when it is completed. The building permit was awarded after the Memorial design was approved by the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission earlier in 2019.

Click here to read more about the construction kickoff, and the road ahead to complete the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.


Honor the Doughboys with Year-End Gift

Come Along Wave

It's been an an incredibly dynamic year for the Doughboys. In late August, sculptor Sabin Howard moves his studio from the Bronx to Englewood, NJ to accommodate the "full size" sculpting of the 58 foot long, 38 character bronze relief sculpture called "A Soldier's Journey". The final Memorial design is approved, and first phase construction has begun. It is your continued support that is making all this possible. So we ask you to please include the new World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. in your tax-deductible year-end giving. Click here to donate today!


Valor Medals project will advance in 2020

valor medal wave

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, signed on December 20, requires the service secretaries to re-examine the records of African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Jewish American, and Native American veterans of World War I who earned medals for valor, and decide whether any of them should be upgraded to the nation’s highest military honor. The Valor Medals Review Task Force, a joint project by the World War I Centennial Commission and the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War at Park University in Parkville, Mo., has identified World War I service records that the service secretaries can use to determine whether they should be reviewed further to be considered for the Medal Of Honor. Click here to read more about this long-sought opportunity to be sure no Doughboy deserving the nation's highest honor is left overlooked.


Spokane community unites to restore neglected World War I Memorial bridge

Spokane bridge WWI memorial

Spokane, WA Daughters of the American Revolution chapter member Rae Anna Victor was chatting with a local historian about the Argonne Bridge in the Millwood section, noting "how sad it was that the plaques had been taken off the Argonne Bridge because now hardly anyone knew the origins of the name. Both of us agreed that it needed to be rectified." From this seed sprouted an amazing grass roots project that culminated in a new memorial dedicated on November 11, 2019. Click here to read more about this project "joining the past to the present, and moving on into the future" that has many lessons for other groups looking to rescue and restore local World War I memorials across the nation.


VFW Post 287 marks 100th Anniversary by honoring World War I namesake

Cpl Sahler

Pennsylvania historian Joseph Felice was driving along Main Street in Coatesville, PA earlier this year when he noticed banners lining the sidewalks, placed there by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 287 in honor of Coatesville area men and women who served their country past and present. One banner in particular grabbed his attention: it read “Wellington G. Sahler, Killed in Action, 1918, Died in the Battle of Argonne Forrest.” Click here to read how Felice's piqued interest resulted in a new understanding and appreciation of Sahlar, his friend Lance Eck, and the story of how and why VFW Post 287 got its name after World War I.


Greenwood, MS American Legion Post 29 named after three World War I heroes

American Legion Post 29 namesakes

American Legion Post 29 in Greenwood, Mississippi bears the name of three World War I veterans who all sacrificed their lives during the Great War. The three officers (one an aviator, two infantrymen) were killed in action in 1918 during the final month of combat in World War I, but thanks to the support of Greenwood’s American Legion Post 29, the stories of these three heroes will live on in perpetuity. Click here to read more about these three heroes: Lt. Samuel R. Keesler, Jr., Cpt. Henry W. Hamrick, and Lt. Gordon Gillespie.


How I Found Austin & How He Found Me

Austin in the Great War

For Robert Eugene Johnson, the author of Austin in the Great War, it started out as a beguilingly simple question about his father, Austin Johnson: "My family always longed to know what happened to Austin during the Great War. When I retired I resolved to find out." That resolution led him on a remarkable journey that started with "only the barest facts about my father’s time “over there” and ended up with a book that shed light on both his father's experience and the history of a half-forgotten component of the American Expeditionary Forces. Click here to read the whole story about the many "goosebumps" encountered in the journey to discover and tell the whole story about Austin in the Great War.


French village of Saint-Parize-le-Châtel commemorates WWI American presence

Hospital at Nevers

The small French village of Saint-Parize-le-Châtel (just south of the city of Nevers—former site of the Service of Supplies of the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI) still commemorates the American presence in their area where the huge Mars-sur-Allier Hospital Camp was located during 1917-1919. Click here to read a message from mayor, the head of the local historical society, and the designer of the historic route around the former U.S. Hospital, which tells of how citizens from the village continue to honor the American men and women who were killed during the First World War.


Doughboy MIA for December 2019

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

This month Doughboy MIA would like to thank everyone for their contributions throughout 2019. It is through your generous donations that we are able to continue our work, and you will begin seeing more results of this work as 2020 progresses. We have several cases in the works and have made conclusions in several more more, and these will all be featured in coming editions of Doughboy MIA of the Month. 

We took on a big job when we launched Doughboy MIA several years ago, and it has been a hard pull getting started, but we have made progress and that was only possible via YOUR donations and the hard work of our volunteer team. 

Thanks! And blessings to you and yours this holiday season. 2020 promises to be a big year for us, and that means for you, too. Keep those donations coming and know we are ever grateful. The size doesn't matter - the feeling behind it does. Together we will continue to try and make a full accounting of our missing Doughboys until a determination has been made for them all and any that might still be found are.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten - and together we'll keep them from being forgotten.

A Happy New Year to you all.

Sincerely,

Rob Laplander and the whole Doughboy MIA team.

 

Would YOU like to be a part of our mission of discovering what happened to our missing Doughboys from WW1? Of course you would, and you CAN! Simply make a donation to the cause and know you played a part in making as full an accounting as possible of these men. Large or small doesn’t matter – that you cared enough to help does. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia to make your tax deductible donation to our non-profit project today, and remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Bundle

World War I Centennial Commemoration Collector's Bundle $29.95

Collect all commemorative coins and lapel pins in one purchase! 

  • Coins: Each piece is die-struck, bronze alloy, with nice gravity (unlike cheaper zinc coins)
  • Enamel inlay provides premium detailing and finish
  • Each coin and pin comes with its own commemorative packaging, adding value and gifting appeal.

This collection includes a WWI Centennial Coin, Centennial Lapel Pin, Bells of Peace Commemorative Coin, Bells of Peace Commemorative Lapel Pin, and U.S. Victory Lapel Pin. Originally sells for $34.35, now only $29.95.

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



Charles Wilhelm Gärtner (Gardner)

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

 

Charles Wilhelm Gärtner (Gardner)

Submitted by: Charles R. Gardner {Grandson}

Charles Wilhelm Gärtner born around 1892. Charles Gärtner served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

This is the Story about my grandfather, Charles Wilhelm Gärtner, his participation in WW1 and ends after the War with his marriage to my grandmother Anna K. Wolff. Charles Wilhelm Gärtner, participated in the “The Great War”.

Here is what I’ve discovered about him and that “War”.

This was his birth name and he does not change it until 1919. The World War started in July 28, 1914. The United States declared war on the Axis Powers later, in April 6, 1917. In June 5, 1917, Grandpa was working for the “Automatic” Sprinkler Corporation of America in New York City. They sent him to Atlanta, Georgia where he then lived. His job was “Sprinkler Engineer” and maybe the small factory manager. He worked in the Caudler Building (it was small building according to local historians), Atlanta Branch, in the city (Atlanta Georgia). He lived at the Atlanta YMCA. He was single, 25 years of age, of medium height, medium build, gray eyes, and black hair.

On June 5, 1917, he filled out a Draft Registration Card (#756). A year later (April 27, 1918) he was drafted in Atlanta, Georgia. He told his boss “Good bye” or maybe sent a letter to the New York City Headquarters to inform them and waits for his replacement to come. Once released from his job, bags packed, he walked to the Atlanta Recruiting Station and boards a bus for the 13-14 mile trip to Camp Gordon, named after the Confederate General John Brown Gordon. Camp Gordon, northeast from Atlanta, was the receiving station in this area (Georgia & Alabama) for Army induction. Today it’s the current site of the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

Read Charles Wilhelm Gärtner's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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November 2019

WUSA video 2 11112019

A Soldier’s Journey – Sabin Howard’s National World War One Memorial

MutualArt photo

MutualArt magazine chose the week of Veteran's Day 2019 to examine the process of creating A Soldier's Journey, the sculpture in the newly-approved National World World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. The in-depth article on sculptor Sabin Howard  portrays him working in his"austere New Jersey industrial warehouse studio" to complete "the final modelling stage of A Soldier’s Journey" before the sculpture can be cast.  Click here to read the entire interview.


They Shall Not Grow Old returns to theaters in December for limited run

They Shall Not Grow Old 2019

Back by Popular Demand, Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson’s masterpiece WWI documentary appears again in theaters near you this Holiday Season, featuring never seen before World War I soldiers and events colorized and in 3D. The December 2019 screenings include an exclusive introduction from Jackson, and interview with him at the close. “They Shall Not Grow Old” will be seen December 7, 17 & 18 only. Click here to find the theater nearest to you, and to order your tickets now.


Frank Havlik: Doing what's right

Frank Havlik

Corporal Frank Steven Havlik, E Co, 355 Infantry, 89th Division, stood in the burning church in France in 1918 and had to make a quick decision about what he should try to save from the inferno rapidly consuming the building. Havlik and his buddy grabbed the priest’s golden robe, a chasuble, and each took half away with him as the they left the burning church. Havlik always intended to return the chasuble to its proper owner, and his intention was finally carried out by his family nearly a century later. Click here to read the entire story of how a Doughboy's determination to "do what's right" finally brought the precious artifact home.


A Memoir of the War: A Doughboy's Journey Through France and Germany in World War I

A Memoir of the War

"Writing the memoirs of his participation in the American Expeditionary Forces twelve years after the end of the First World War, my father proudly declared that the time he was in uniform was 'the greatest experience of my life.' Reading them, one can sense that he relished every minute of it, including terrifying moments in combat or coping with mind-numbing mud whether in the trenches or on his never-ending marches. But he never lost his sense of humor." So writes Charles L. Daris of his father Louis Z. Daris' WWI memoirs, which he helped edit and publish.  The remarkable two-volume set provides a unique perspective on World War I, by an American soldier who recorded in remarkable detail what he saw in the Great War. Click here to read the entire article by Charles Davis, and find out how you can get copies of his father's wartime journals.


Bells of Peace 2019: Thanks to all who participated across the nation

Bells of Peace 2019

Bells of Peace is a National Bell Tolling that was launched in 2018 as a part of the Centennial of the WWI Armistice, when fighting on the Western Front stopped.

As a part of the program, and to support small groups for participation, we created a Bells of Peace Participation App. This Smartphone App earned over 22,500 installs in 2018 and so we release an update for 2019.

Although for 2019 we had to let go of several features of the 2018 application (including social sharing), we did get an update published. For 2018, the App was launched on over 3,500 smart phones for Veterans Day.

For 2020, we hope to expand Bells of Peace and produce a more complete update of the App. This is in anticipation that, for next year's Armistice anniversary,  actual construction on the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC will be well underway.

Regarding the Participation App, one of the major improvements we want to implement for 2020 is the user's ability to test their phone and the tolling. In this way users can be sure that they will get the result they planned at 11 a.m. on November 11th, 2020.

Keep reading the World War I Dispatch newsletter for more information on the 2020 Bells of Peace Participation App.


Teaching World War I history after the Centennial is over: a teacher's thoughts

Paul Larue

This Veterans Day marked one hundred and one years since Armistice was declared. The World War I Centennial is winding down. What is the state of World War I education in classrooms across the country? Paul LaRue was a classroom teacher for thirty years in a rural, high-poverty school district in southern Ohio, and also served on the Ohio World War I Centennial Committee, working primarily on education. Paul has some comments and opinions on the state of World War I education in the aftermath of the Centennial. Hint: he gives it pretty good grades.


“The Lafayette Escadrille” movie has World Premiere at the National Museum of the United States Air Force

Lafayetet Escadrille movie poster

The Air Force Museum Foundation Living History Series presented the World Premiere of the film “The Lafayette Escadrille” on Saturday, November 9, in the Air Force Museum Theater. "The Lafayette Escadrille” is the first comprehensive documentary film made about the American volunteers who flew for France before the United States entered World War I. The movie is officially endorsed by the United States World War I Centennial Commission. “The Lafayette Escadrille” follows the path of the young Americans who came to the aid of America’s oldest ally—standing up for the values of freedom and liberty shared by the sister republics. Click here to read more about the movie that is "the only American story that covers the entire duration of the war, from one end of the Western Front to the other."


“Known But To God”: The Unknown Soldier and the U.S.S. Olympia

Erskine

Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier recently received new SIG Sauer U.S. M17 pistols inlaid with wood from the U.S.S. Olympia. It was selected because she was the honored ship that transported the remains of the World War I Unknown Soldier home from Europe. Today, three American soldiers are interred at the Tomb, one each from World War I, World War II, and Korea. (A fourth unknown from the battlefields of Vietnam was later identified and returned to his family). Aboard the U.S.S. Olympia, a young U.S. Marine Corps captain led the Honor Guard that accompanied the remains of Unknown Soldier back home in 1921—the year the Tomb was dedicated. His name was Graves Erskine. Click here to read the entire story of how the Tomb of the Unknown and Erskine were linked over the next fifty years and three wars.


Postal Service stamp remembers U.S. "Turning the Tide" in World War I

US Postage Stamp

Lisa Y. Greenwade, in the Stamp Development department of the U.S. Postal Service, writes to remind stamp collectors that the World War I: Turning the Tide Forever® stamps are still available from the USPS. The stamps commemorate the nearly five million Americans, mostly men, joined the military, and about a million women entered the workforce to make up for the shortage of civilian labor. In spring 1918, U.S. forces played vital roles in the St. Mihiel battle and the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which helped bring an end to the war. Click here to read more about the development of the postage stamp, and how to get it from the U.S. Postal Service.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Doughboy Podcast A

The WW1 Centennial News. The Doughboy Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about commemoration.  Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube

Weekly episodes completed.
Podcast will Publish SPECIALS
as occasions arise.

The Doughboy Podcast had quite a run! It all started as a weekly conference call between and among those who were focusing on the Centennial of WWI.

In 2017, as the centennial of America's Entry into WWI was imminent, we decided to turn our conference call into a public-facing podcast.

For the next 148 weeks -- nearly three years -- we delivered a series of shows that included the story of WWI from 100 years ago, and stories about those who were commemorating WWI today.

In that time, over 2.17 million show copies were downloaded by an audience which grew to over 100,000 downloads a month.

The Podcast was privileged to interview the smartest, the brightest and best experts and enthusiasts on the subject of WWI. We explored the story of WWI from many perspectives, inviting historians, authors, curators, veterans, musicians, film makers, game developers, orchestra conductors, educators, politicians, and many others.

Most of all we need to say THANK YOU to everyone who tuned in. And you still can! Much of what was captured remains a great listen anytime.

And as we publish new SPECIALS, we will be sure to reach out to everyone who subscribed to the mailing list. SIGN UP HERE.


Doughboy MIA for November 2019

Franklin Ellenberger

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is PVT Franklin Ellenberger - and has a special story!

Born on 12 July, 1892, Frank Ellenberger was from Wilmington, Ohio and was drafted into the army on 27 May, 1918. Sent to Camp Beauregard at Alexandria, Louisiana he was assigned training with the 41st Company, 159th Depot Brigade for indoctrination before being sent to Company I, 153rd Infantry Regiment, 39th 'Delta' Division. The 39th left for France on 6 August, 1918 and once Over There was re-designated as the 5th Depot Division (replacement division). From there, Ellenberger was sent to Company K, 128th Infantry, 32nd 'Red Arrow' Division in September, 1918. When the 32nd went forward to relieve the 91st Division during the Meuse-Argonne campaign on 4 October, 1918 PVT Ellenberger was among them. The 32nd would be the first division to crack the Kriemhilde Stellung six days later, on 10 October, 1918, but by that time Ellenberger was already dead. A statement by his sergeant says he "saw Private Ellenberger killed instantly by fragments from a high explosive shell. Hit in the head... on October 7th, 1918 while in action near Epinonville."

At the time Ellenberger's battalion (the 3rd) was supporting attacks made by the 125th Infantry south of Romagne sous Montfaucon who would, within a few days, capture the ground that the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery occupies today.

Laura Ellenberger

No record of his burial ever made it back to the Graves Registration Service however, and while two separate searches were made for him following the war, nothing further was ever found concerning his case and it was closed in December, 1919. His mother, Laura Ellenberger (right) made the Gold Star Mother's Pilgrimage to see her sons name on the Tablet of the Missing at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in 1931.

Jeremy Wayne Bowles

Then, on the evening of 4 November, 2019, our Assistant Field Manager here at Doughboy MIA, Mr Jeremy Wayne Bowles (at left, commonly known as 'The Dayton Doughboy') was doing some research into Ohio soldiers that served in the war with his family's help when his mother happened to notice a name that rang a bell with her... Ellenberger. Later that night, just on a hunch, she pulled out the family tree to check that name and found an entry for a Private Franklin Ellenberger KIA in the war, who had been her great grandmothers brother. Jeremy checked the ABMC website to find out if this relative of his - whom he had not known about before - was buried in France or had come home and found he was MIA!

Infer what you want about this story, but it certainly would seem some sort of intervention was at work here for a worker with Doughboy MIA to discover through accident and hunch that HE was related to an MIA from that war - another example that a man is only missing if he is forgotten!

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Coin Set box

2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Set

No longer available from the U.S. Mint!

These Official World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Sets are still available here on the WWI Centennial Commission's online gift shop.

NOTE: Each set comes with 2 separate coins. Each set will accompany the Official Doughboy Design alongside your choice of Military Branch.

"The United Mint certifies that this coin is a genuine 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar, minted and issued in accordance with legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 16, 2014, as Public Law 113-212. This coin was minted by the Department of the Treasury, United States Mint, to commemorate the centennial of America's involvement in World War I. This coin is legal tender of the United States."

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



Abraham Wolfe

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

 

Abraham Wolfe

Submitted by: David Andrew Masiero, CDR USCG, Ret. {Abraham was my 1974 Restaurant Boss}

Abraham Wolfe was born around 1895. Abraham Wolfe served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Abraham Wolfe was my boss at his Lenox, MA steak house when I worked there at age 16. My understanding is he and his older brother Manny had a steak house in Manhattan and at some point Abe decided to have a steak house on his own in Lenox, Massachusetts in Berkshire County.

I lived in the next town Lee, MA. I was inquisitive and asked questions when my waitress mother told me he was a WW1 vet.

Both my Italian grandfathers (born 1895 & 1899) came to USA from villages Pavone (LOM) & Trissino (VZ) in 1922 & 1923 as laborers (Frank at Lee, MA Lime/Marble quarry pits & Andrew at Brooklyn Navy Yard on drydock shoring team). They both were in the ITA combat infantry vs. AUS/HUN. Nono Frank "Chesko" Baccoli lost complete use of one eye so WW1 always interested me. They died in 63 & 65 (me born 1958) when I was too young so I was never able to discuss WW1 with them.

My deceased (2014) father Val Masiero was a 1951-1955 (E5) Navy Construction Electrician Seabee and he told me his father Andrew would NEVER talk about the Great War. It was something NOT discussed.

Back to Abe, .... I am Catholic and Abe Wolfe told me that as a Jew there was great discrimination at Army National Guard boot camp & on the way over on the troop ship. He was in the NY National Guard (part of AEF) and deployed to France.

Read Abraham Wolfe's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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October 2019

Bells of Peace header 2019


The Doughboy Foundation Releases Free Updated “Bells of Peace” App for Commemorating Veterans Day 2019

The Doughboy Foundation, in cooperation with The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier , has released an updated version of the “Bells of Peace” phone app for commemorating Veterans Day 2019. The updated Bells of Peace app, which is now available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play, assists American citizens and organizations across the nation to toll bells in their communities twenty-one times on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. local time. The nationwide bell tolling will honor those American men and women who served one hundred years ago during World War I, as well as saluting all Americans veterans who have served their nation at home and abroad in both war and peace. Click here to find about more about the 2019 Bells of Peace campaign, and learn how individuals and organizations may participate on Veterans Day.


National Civic Art Society hosts Sculptor Sabin Howard presenting design for the National World War I Memorial Nov. 15

Sabin Howard

The National Civic Art Society presents a talk by sculptor Sabin Howard on Friday November 15 at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST. Howard will present his magnificent classical design for the National World War I Memorial, which recently received final approval from the required government authorities. The Memorial is to be located in Pershing Park in Washington. Click here to read more about the event, and how to obtain tickets.


Veterans Day Weekend Events at the National WWI Museum and Memorial Friday-Monday, Nov. 8-11 to Honor Those Who Serve

NWWIM&M

As the commemoration of the centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the National WWI Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor those who have served — and continue to serve — our country. To recognize these men and women, admission to the Museum and Memorial is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while general admission for the public is half-price, throughout the Veterans Day weekend (Friday to Monday, Nov. 8 to 11, 2019). To observe Veterans Day, the Museum and Memorial will offer a wide variety of events November 8 to 11 for people of all ages.  Click here to find out more about the Veterans Day weekend activities at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.


Peter Jackson’s WWI Documentary ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ returns to theaters in December 2019 in both 3D and 2D

They Shall Not Grow Old

By popular demand, Fathom Events and Warner Brothers will bring director Peter Jackson's remarkable World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” back to movie theaters nationwide for three days only this December, offering audiences another chance to see it on the big screen and in 3D. One of the most acclaimed and highest-grossing documentaries ever made, “They Shall Not Grow Old” is director Peter Jackson’s extraordinary look at the soldiers, the events, the sounds and the sights of World War I. The film will also be available in 2D in select locations. Click here to find out more about, and where you can get tickets for, this encore presentation of “They Shall Not Grow Old” in December.


Tribute Ceremony at Nov. 6 at Women's Overseas Service League Flagstaff and Grove in Central Park Honors Women Serving America in WWI & Beyond

Hello Girls snip

East Side World War I Centennial Commemoration, American Red Cross, and the NYC Department of Veterans’ Services are holding a Tribute Ceremony to the Women Who Have Served America, Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 11:00-12 noon at the newly rediscovered Overseas Service League Flagstaff and Grove, Central Park at 69th Street Walk. In 1925 a Central Park memorial grove of 24 trees and flagstaff were conceptualized for a tribute to American women who died overseas in World War One. Today the living memorial of thriving trees spans the wall along Fifth Avenue from 69th to 71st Streets. Click here to find out more about the newly-rediscovered memorial, and how to attend the ceremony on November 6.


Ahead of Veterans Day, National Museum of African American History and Culture To Host Book Discussion on African Americans’ Central Role in WWI

We Return Fighting

To celebrate veterans and commemorate the centennial of WWI, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will host a book talk on the museum’s latest publication, We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity, on Thursday, November 7, 7p.m., at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, DC. The book talk will feature Kinshasha Holman-Conwill, deputy director, NMAAHC, Greg Carr, chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies, Howard University; and Krewasky A. Salter, Col., USA, Ret., guest curator, and executive director of the First Division Museum. Click here to learn more about the book, the event, and find out how to attend the book discussion on November 7.


Annual Flanders Remembers Concert November 6 in New York City

Flanders logo

On the occasion of Veterans Day 2019, Mr. Yves Wantens, General Delegate of the Government of Flanders to the USA, kindly invites you to the Annual Flanders Remembers Concert on November 6, 7pm. Enjoy Shelter by Revue Blanche, and featuring readings from War and Turpentine by award-winning author Stefan Hertmans. Click here to read more about the event, and learn how to RSVP to attend.


The Ghost Fleet: How Skeletons Of WWI Ships Came To Rest In The Potomac

Mallows Bay Ghost Ships

If you look at a satellite image of the Potomac River, about 30 miles south of Washington you’ll see a curve in the river, packed with dozens of identical oblong shapes. At low tide, they emerge eerily from the water — a “ghost fleet” of wooden steamships dating back to World War I. It’s called Mallows Bay, and it’s one of the largest collections of shipwrecks in the world. The story of how these ships ended up in the Potomac is a tale of environmental destruction — and rebirth. The shipwrecks have recently received federal protection, as part of a new national marine sanctuary. Click here to read how WAMU’s Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner visited Mallows Bay, by canoe and kayak, to document the unusual waterscape the shipwrecks have created.


Special Exhibition "Etched in Memory" at National WWI Museum and Memorial

Etched in Memory

Etched in Memory, the latest special exhibition at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, features color etchings by British artist James Alphege Brewer published throughout the Great War as a reminder of the cultural losses it inflicted. Brewer's series of etchings were influential; some were copied and distributed widely in the United States and could be found hung on parlor walls in solidarity with the Allied cause. Click here to read more about this special exhibition exploring these graphic renderings of the many cultural landmarks that were physically damaged or destroyed in World War I, but remained etched in the memories of artists like Brewer.


Friends and family pay their respects to World War I veteran in Philadelphia, PA

Thomas Fearn ceremony

A memorial service was held recently to honor Sgt. Thomas Fearn, a soldier who was killed in action in WWI. His body laid in an unmarked grave until his relatives were able to locate the grave this year and place a marker. By the time they gathered at the Old Cathedral Cemetery, Thomas Joseph Fearn Jr. had been dead for more than a century, but for his descendants, it’s never too late to pay your respects. Click here to read more about the effort to locate, identify, and honor the remains of the 26-year-old Philadelphian sergeant who perished in the Meuse Argonne Offensive in September 1918.


First Lieutenant Vivian Roberts: The GA National Guard's only POW in WWI

Vivian Roberts

The United States observes National Prisoner of War / Missing in Action Recognition Day on the third Friday in September. This day allows a moment of pause to remember those who have been held as prisoners of war during our nation's conflicts and those listed as missing in action. One hundred years ago, the only Georgia Guardsmen held as a POW during World War I began his long journey home to Macon, Ga. from a prison hospital in Germany. Click here to read more about the perilous journey and eventual homecoming of the Jackson, GA native who served in every enlisted rank in the Georgia National Guard before accepting a commission as a second lieutenant.


WWI quilt made in 1918 connects Eastern Shore of Virginia to England

Pungoteague Quilt

A quilt made during World War I for an American Red Cross chapter on Virginia's Eastern Shore was found recently, tucked away in storage in a British museum. The quilt was made to be sent to a wartime hospital in Europe. The Pungoteague Quilt, designed and stitched by Mrs. S.K. Martin of Harborton in 1918, bears the names of nearly 700 people who made donations — many of whom still have descendants living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Click here to learn more about the quilt, the man who found it in Great Britain, and how he trying to find out more about the people whose names are on the historic textile from Virginia.


African American WWI veteran finally receives permanent headstone

Leonard W Inman

A black soldier who was buried in an unmarked Indiana grave is getting proper recognition for his military service in World War I nearly a half-century after his death. The memorial for Leonard Inman, who died in 1973, took place at Spring Vale Cemetery in Lafayette, IN in September with a 21-gun salute, the retiring of colors and taps by the American Legion Post 492, and a new, permanent headstone. Click here to learn how the president of the General de Lafayette Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution led the effort to obtain a headstone for Inman.


Other World War I Stories this Month

Find many more World War I stories on the "World War I Centennial News" page.


The Doughboy Podcast

Doughboy Podcast A

WW1 Centennial News: The Doughboy Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this month, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  Available on our website,  iTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube

John Morrow Sepia

Episode #142
Lifetime Achievement: Dr. John Morrow

Posts raising money for Nat. WWI Memorial - Derek Sansone & David Hamon  | @ 02:10

100 Years ago - Host | @ 08:55

Born in the Month of September - David Kramer | @ 16:30

Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing - Dr. John Morrow | @ 22:50

The Buzz: Selected Posts from the Internet - Host | @ 37:15

Memorial Sketch to reality podcast

Episode #143
The New WWI Memorial

Announcement: Bells of Peace 2019 | @ 01:10

NCPC Design approval | @ 03:35
Why we MUST build this - Terry Hamby | @ 06:20

If not YOU then WHO? - Edwin Fountain | @ 08:25
Why a Nat. Memorial in KC and DC? - Dr. Mathew Naylor | @ 11:50

The Memorial in the Park - Edwin Fountain | @ 14:30

The International Design Competition - Host | @ 16:40

“And the Winner is:” - Joe Weishaar & Sabin Howard | @ 18:00

Interpretation & Education - Dr. Libby O’Connell | @ 24:20

“A Soldier’s Journey” - Sabin Howard | @ 28:35

Where Tradition and the Future Meet - Sabin Howard | @ 33:45

Dizzying Parallel Tracks | @ 42:10

“And the Bronze Metal goes to…” - Steve Maule | @ 44:20

Final Design - APPROVED - various | @ 51:10

The First Mile and the Last Mile: Fundraising - Edwin Fountain | @ 53:30

Tens of thousands of German soldiers surrender in October of 1918

Episode #144
October 1918 & The Lost Battalion

October 1918 Overview Roundtable - Dr.Edward Legel & Katherine Akey | @02:15

Historians Corner: Lost Battalion - Ron Laplander | @18:25

Shifting sands and hard fighting - Mike Shuste | @25:10

Remembering Veterans: Story of John Foster - Mark Foster | @29:40

US Army CMH WWI Website - Dr. Erik Villard | @35:00

Spotlight On The Media 1: Dr. Edward Lengel | @40:15

Spotlight On The Media 2: Lost Battalion Documentary - Mark Fastoso & John King | @42:50

Wilson throws baseball

Episode #145
Overtures to Peace & Baseball

Overtures to peace - Host | @01:30

Atrocities in Syria - Mike Shuster | @08:20 

America Emerges: Sgt. Alvin York - Dr. Edward Lengel | @13:00

Remembering Veterans: Charles Edward Dilkes - Dr. Virginia Dilkes | @20:45

Speaking WWI: Teddy Bear Suit - Host | @28:05

Historian’s Corner: Baseball in WWI - Jim Leeke | @31:20

100C/100M: Springdale PA - Mayor Jo Bertoline & Patrick Murray | @37:50

Kodak VPK Camera

Episode 146
WWl Through Many Lenses

Bells of Peace 2019 - Host | @02:05

The Cultural Impact of WWI - Dr. Jay Winter | @05:05

Japan’s Impact on WWI - Dr. Frederick Dickenson | @11:55

The Impact of WWI on the World - Sir Hugh Strachan | @19:50

Speaking WWI: Tank - Host | @27:15

WWI War Tech: Many lenses looking - Host | @28:55

They Shall Not Grow Old: A vision realized - Brent Burge | @33:10


Doughboy MIA for October 2019

Essel M Maxwell

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this month is PFC Essel M. Maxwell. Born in Washington D.C. on April 5th, 1891, Essel Monshuer Maxwell was a tall, thin 26 year old when he signed his draft card on May 25th, 1917 at Painesville, Ohio. He had attended the technical high school in Washington but one year before going to work as a marine fireman on the Great Lakes before the war. An injury while on that job had led to a trepanning being done on the back of his head, where a silver half dollar was inserted (which would later figure into his story). He was also a convicted felon, serving time in the Lake County Prison at Painesville, Ohio when he signed his draft card (in advance of the national draft day of June 5th), though the nature of his crime remains currently unknown. Despite his felony, Maxwell was inducted in the army on August 15th, 1917 – indeed he may have asked to be allowed to go into the army – and sent to Camp Meade in Maryland that November, ostensibly when his legal situation could be resolved with the federal government. At Meade he was assigned duty with Company F, 313th Infantry Regiment, of the 79th Division. He was promoted to Private First Class on January 1st, 1918 and on March 29th, 1918 was transferred to Company A, 111th Infantry Regiment, 28th Division; a regiment with roots extending back to the American Revolution. With them Maxwell departed for overseas service on May 5th, 1918 aboard the S.S. Olympic.

On July 1st, 1918 PFC Maxwell and Company A were heavily engaged with the enemy outside Chateau Thierry at Hill 204, near the Marne River. A skilled and dependable grenadier, Maxwell and his corporal managed to clear a strong enemy machine gun emplacement that afternoon, killing or wounding all of the enemy serving the weapon and destroying the piece. (For this action he would later be awarded the French Croix de Guerre.) Some time following this action, however, PFC Maxwell was killed; the official cause listed as being by a machine gun bullet, but almost immediately there were problems with the case. An initial search by Graves Registration personnel soon after the war apparently failed to turn up a set of remains, although there is a hand written notation in his burial files that he was buried in Temporary Cemetery #754. However, that is all that was apparently known; no specific grave is noted and there is no original burial slip on file. His mother was notified of his death on July 27th, 1918.

Inquiries among his comrades were begun and on January 29th, 1918 PVT William Williamson of Company A stated,

“Private Maxwell was killed by a hand grenade on Hill 204 near Chateau Thierry. He was buried, but I am not sure where… No one else in the company with the same name.  He was a replacement. I had only known him three months.”

The mystery only deepened when, the following month, a statement came in from PVT John B. Phillips of the same company who recalled that Maxwell had been shot through the head by a sniper and buried where he fell. Though Phillips recalled him as being hit around six o’clock in the evening, he could only estimate the date of death as “between the 1st and 7th of July.”

                Then, on July 14th, 1919, as the search for Maxwell dragged on, PVT Thomas Adams of Valeria, KY, stated from his bed in Base Hospital #79:

“(While) advancing on July 1st, body hit by MG. Was on knees when struck, raised forward on gun. Threw up hands. Saw him afterward. Death was instantaneous. Burial detail was sent out but cannot say whether body was buried… Always laughing and very happy. Often spoke of his grandfather and how he admired him in his uniform. Very good friend of informant.”

Cordelia Stewart

Despite repeated attempts at locating PFC Maxwell’s remains, ultimately the army was forced to admit to Maxwell’s mother Cordelia Stewart (left)  in Lanham, Maryland that they were unable to locate her son. By that time a letter from a member of the company had reached her in which the statement was made that his head had been blown to pieces. As she was further informed that the fighting had been very severe at the time, his mother was further under the impression that his body had been blown to bits. Therefore, she was very understanding and amenable to her son remaining in France, even if he ever were recovered.

Investigation into Maxwell’s case was officially closed on December 28th, 1922 with the recommendation that no possibility of ID existed as no unknown had been discovered with trepanning done to his head, which would have been proof positive in identification. By that time, all the records of the unknowns in Permanent Cemetery 1764 (Aisne-Marne) had been checked and a total of seven sets of remains had been disinterred and physically examined for possible ID, including one with a pocket knife with the initials E.M.M. However, none were deemed a dental match nor had trepanning to the back of the head.

In a January 18th, 1923 form letter to his mother, the government stated that she might take comfort in the possibility that he may have been the one selected as the Unknown. How much of a comfort this would have been remains a point of speculation. In any case, she participated in the 1931 Gold Star Mothers Pilgrimage and on July 7th of that year was able to gaze upon the name of her son on the Tablets of the Missing at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau Wood. Her other son, Allan, had also served, but had returned home unscathed.

Essel M Maxwell marker

Doughboy MIA has also had the case under investigation for some time and has concluded that it is entirely likely that PFC Maxwell actually is the unknown that was carrying the pocket knife marked E.M.M.; that the investigation at the time was flawed due to catastrophic damage to the cranium of the remains examined and a hurried process of examination; and that Maxwell therefore lies in the Aisne-Marne Cemetery at Belleau Wood to this day. Therefore Doughboy MIA has closed this case.

Would YOU like to be a part of our mission of discovering what happened to our missing Doughboys from WW1? Of course you would, and you CAN! Simply make a donation to the cause and know you played a part in making as full an accounting as possible of these men. Large or small doesn’t matter – that you cared enough to help does. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia to make your tax deductable donation to our non-profit project today, and remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Memorial flag on grass

8" x 12"  WWI Centennial Memorial Flag

Perfect for use on Veterans Day, this WW1 Centennial Flag is made of durable nylon and measures 8 inches x 12 inches. This flag has the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto it and is secured on a 15.75" wooden dowel with a decorative ball on top . A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will go towards the construction of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. You can show your support, and help promote the efforts, by proudly displaying this flag.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.

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



Martin Apostolico

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

 

Martin Apostolico

Submitted by: Steven Apostolico {Grandson}

Martin Apostolico was born December 3, 1900 in Philadelphia, PA. Martin Apostolico served in World War I with 82nd Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Regiment of the United States Marines. The enlistment was June 8, 1917 and the service was completed May 21, 1919.

Story of Service

My grandfather, Martin Apostolico, enlisted at the tender age of 16. He lied about both his age and name so that he would be accepted. He enlisted as Martin Woods, so that his parents would not know. He originally had his training at Parris Island, South Carolina where he was sent to Cook School. He had a scar on his arm where he cut himself learning to sharpen knifes.

It did not take long however for his parents to learn of his enlistment. His name was corrected, and he was sent to Quantico, Virginia as Martin Apostolico, where he joined a rifle company (he qualified as a sharpshooter) of the Sixth Regiment.

He arrived “Over There” on May 9, 1918. He served at Belleau Wood, Chateau-Thierry, Aisne-Marne Offensive, St Mihiel Offensive, Champagne Offensive (Blanc Mont Ridge), and the Meuse Argonne Offensive.

Read Martin Apostolico's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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September 2019

CFA Final Approval

U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Vice Chair Edwin Fountain (left) shakes hands with U.S. Commission of Fine Arts Commissioner Justin Shubow after the CFA gave final approval to the design for the new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC on September 19.

CFA gives final approval to design for new National WWI Memorial in DC

The design for the new National World War I Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC received final approval on Thursday from the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA).

“This is a day that all who have worked hard to bring the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC from concept to reality are very happy to see,” said Terry Hamby, Chair of the U.S World War I Centennial Commission. “This final approval takes us a giant step toward beginning the construction of this long-overdue tribute in our nation’s capital to the 4.7 million Americans who served in America’s armed forces in World War I.”

The Memorial design now goes for final review by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). With the CFA and NCPC design approvals in hand, the Commission will coordinate with the National Park Service to finalize the construction permit so that work can begin this fall to restore Pershing Park and build the Memorial. Click here to read the entire story and see more photos of the CFA meeting on Thursday.


Detailed document of approved DC WWI memorial design available for download

CFA submission page

A new detailed document of the approved National World War I Memorial design has been issued and is available to the public. The 80-page publication provides a detailed and nuanced look at the new Memorial from broad overview down to minutia including quotes that will be inscribed, surface and stone materials, what kind of plants will grace the park areas, the lighting plan, interpretive elements, handicap access and more. The document can be downloaded as a .pdf at ww1cc.org/memorial-design and is available now.


Sea Cliff, NY centennial anniversary honors town's World War I veterans

Dave Hamon speaking

For over a century, Clifton Park has been a hub of outdoor events in Sea Cliff. From games to concerts to picnics, the park has seen it all, as have the eight giant oak trees that stand along its perimeter. Those trees are turning 100 this year: They were planted in 1919, in honor of the eight Sea Cliff residents who died in World War I in Europe. While the trees are grand tributes on their own, on Sept. 6, 1919, the village celebrated the return of 169 soldiers with a parade and picnic. The soldiers, and their eight fallen comrades, are memorialized on a plaque on the memorial rock in the park. Hundreds of people gathered on Sept. 7 to celebrate the anniversary of the soldiers’ homecoming. Click here to read more about the centennial activities in this Long Island community and its commemoration on this historic centennial.


World War I Airshow October 5&6 at Military Aviation Museum in VA Beach

Biplanes & Brews

The Military Aviation Museum’s Biplanes and Brews World War One Air Show soars into action October 5-6, in Virginia Beach, Va. Spectators will be transported back to the days of World War One with a weekend of live music, reenactors and aerial performances. Craft beer connoisseurs can pair the day’s entertainment with a brew in hand and food. Click here to read more about the World War I aircraft that will be seen on the ground and in the air at this annual event.


Huntington, WV man reunited with father's World War I artifacts

West Virginia transfer

An American World War I soldier's gun and medals left in a safe deposit box were returned to his son on Monday thanks to the West Virginia Treasurer's Unclaimed Property Division. David McKee, 75, of Huntington, said he was shocked to find out his father, Mason Shelby McKee, had taken the gun, medals and other items to a Huntington bank's safe deposit box department for safekeeping. Click here to read more about how the the West Virginia Treasurer's Office brought family these artifacts of the Great War back to their rightful owner.


Vets worried as Michigan World War I monument faces demolishing

Michigan monument in danger

A Michigan colonel is hoping for some help as an eight-story tall WWI monument faces demolishing if enough money isn't raised to move it. The Michigan War Veterans Memorial was erected in 1939. The 40-foot stone monument sits at the southwest corner of the Michigan State Fairgrounds with stones from cities all over Michigan represented. Now the new owners of the state fairgrounds wants to redevelop the property, and the crumbling monument, which is owned by the state, has to go. Click here to read more about the efforts to raise funds to relocate, restore, and preserve this World War I memorial so it will continue to honor those from Michigan who served in World War I.


Reborn World War I monument revealed at California's Lompoc Museum

Lompoc memorial eagle

After nearly three years of raising money and implementing repairs, the city of Lompoc, California now has a reborn World War I monument that sits in front of the city’s museum. And now the monument has a new feature sitting atop of the revitalized structure: a bronze bald eagle. Click here to read more about the how the city and museum invested effort and money to ensure that the memorial will continue to be "a remembrance and honor to remember those who fell in this war so long ago."


World War I Purple Heart News

After 101 years, Maine WWI veteran’s family receives his Purple Heart

Maine Purple HEart return

Arthur Labbay of Maine was wounded twice during a fierce fight in France on July 18, 1918. The injuries were life-threatening. Labbay stayed in a French hospital for several months recovering from his wounds before he could return home. More than 101 years later, Labbay finally received the Purple Heart he earned that day. Whether through missing paperwork, the fog of war or an administrative mishap, he had never received his medal. Click here to read how Senator Susan Collins of Maine and others worked to enable Labbay's daughters and granddaughter to final receive the Purple Heart medal that Arthur earned a century ago.

Purple Hearts Reunited announces September family return ceremonies

Purple Hearts Reunited

The Purple Hearts Reunited Foundation has announced the return of two awards earned in World War I to the families of the soldier recipients in New York and Maine during September. The organization held ceremonies for the families of Corporal Frederick W. Beisswanger of New York, and Sergeant Erroll Wilbert Brawn of Maine.  Click here to read more about these two soldiers, the actions that earned them these awards, and about Purple Hearts Reunited and its ongoing mission.

Brewster, MA family receives Purple Heart of great-uncle Coast Guardsman lost on USS Tampa in World War I

Finch Brothers

Nearly 101 years ago, Norman Wood Finch was out to sea aboard the Coast Guard cutter Tampa, a 190-foot-long vessel that was one of six ships on convoy duty in European waters during WWI. On Sept. 26, 1918, the Tampa was  torpedoed by a German U-boat. All 130 men on the Tampa died, with Finch among the 111 Coast Guardsmen aboard. For about 20 years, the Coast Guard has been working to honor the people aboard the Tampa. On Monday, Finch finally got his due when legislators and Coast Guard officials presented a Purple Heart to his two great-nephews, Bradley and Steven Finch, who live in Brewster.  Click here to read more about Finch's service, the ceremonies, and how the Tampa casualties are receiving their deserved Purple Heart medals.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Born in the Month of August 

Birthday Cake 1918

From August 26th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 137, our very own Dave Kramer kicks off a new monthly segment called Born in the Month by introducing several important people who played a role in World War I and were born in the month of August. One was a Hall of Fame pitcher who suffered a terrible malady during his war service. One went on to run an influential newspaper. Another was a woman who may have played both sides during the war. And the last eventually ascended to higher office. Think you have the right guesses? Click here to read on and find out.

Remembering Veterans:
The Revitalization of American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, CA 

American Legion Hollywood Post Theatre

In August 26th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 137, host Theo Mayer spoke with Lester Probst and Fernando Rivero from Hollywood, CA's American Legion Post 43. Started by WWI vets, Post 43 has had a distinguished membership, including many famous names from the film industry. Over time, the Post fell into disrepair. However, an effort spearheaded by Mr. Probst, Mr. Rivero, and others to remember WWI in the Los Angeles area and inject new life into Post 43 has been wildly successful; it has grown in numbers and once again become a community focal point. Click here to read on and learn more about this remarkable transformation.

Spotlight on the Media: Over There With Private Graham

Over There book cover

In August 19th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 136, Bruce Jarvis and Steve Badgley joined the show to discuss their new book, Over There With Private Graham. Drawing on a Graham's own accounts of his service, which he intended to publishing during his lifetime, Jarvis and Badgley have assembled an impactful, first-person account of the Great War. As the authors discuss, Graham's background, including his age and police career, and Military Police role gave his writing a distinct perspective. Click here to read on and learn more about this compelling first-person account of service in the Great War.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Doughboy Podcast Logo

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

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube

Elsie Janis, USA Signal Corps, AFS

RECENT EPISODES:


Episode #138
War Football & the NFL

100 Years Ago: Woodrow Wilson’s last chapter - Host | @ 02:15
A Century In The Making: From the Sabin Howard Sculpture Studio - Host | @ 12:15
Remembering Veterans: Camp Doughboy “4” - Kevin Fitzpatrick | @ 13:45
Spotlight on the Media: “War Football: World War I and the Birth of the NFL” - Chris Serb | @ 22:30
Articles & Posts: Weekly Dispatch - Host | @ 34:50

Episode #139
FOCUS ON - The Non-Combatants of WWI

Unprecedented logistics - Joe Johnson | @ 05:00
The US Army Signal Corps - Host | @ 09:15
The Hello Girls - Dr. Elizabeth Cobb | @ 11:30
Medical Support Services & the AFS - Nicole Milano | @ 15:50
The US Postal Service in WWI - Lynn Heidelbaugh | @ 22:15
The Stars & Stripes - Robert Rheid | @ 25:40
The Doughboy’s Sweetheart: Elsie Janis - Dr. Edward Lengel | @ 28:15
Bringing Soldiers to God and God to Soldiers - Dr. John Boyd | @ 32:05
Donuts and Coffee - Patri O’Gan | @ 34:25

Episode #140
The American Worker & WWI

The American Worker & WWI - Host | @ 05:15
Labor Gains & Labor Losses - Dr. Mark Robbins | @ 10:05
A Century in the Making: Article by Traci Slatton- Host | @ 19:20
Historian's Corner - Col. Michael Visconage, USMC (ret.) | @ 30:15
The Buzz: Posts from the internet - Host | @ 39:05


Doughboy MIA for September 2019

Murray K. Spidle

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

The MIA of the Month for September is 1st LT Murray K. Spidle. Born in Wilmot, OH on 28AUG1897, Murray Kenneth Spidle was the only child of Clarence and Martha Spidle. Active in sports and school groups, he attended Mt. Union College and was there when war came to America in April, 1917. Sent to Ft. Benjamin Harrison for officer's training he volunteered for the air service and was accepted on 15AUG1917. From there he was sent for training first to Ft. Worth, Texas, then to Toronto, Canada before final training in England and assignment to a squadron at the front. In France he arrived at the 17th Aero Squadron (nick named the 'Camel Drivers' due to being equipped with the British Sopwith 'Camel' fighter plane) on 13JAN1918. Over the spring and into the summer of 1918, Spidle worked to hone his craft as a fighter pilot, suffering at least 5 forced landings due to enemy action in the process.

On 03AUG1919, while out on patrol, another squadron member last saw Spidle dive after a single German plane in the area around Dixmude. When he later failed to return from the patrol,  none of his squadron mates would believe he had been shot down - the Germans had not been aggressive on that patrol - but entertained other ideas. Prominent among these was he had suffered engine failure while diving on the German and arrowed into the ground, or that in abandoning his chase he flew too low in the combat zone and was hit and obliterated by a passing artillery shell. Either way, no trace of him or his plane was ever found.

Today LT Spidle is remembered on the tablets of the missing at the Flanders Fields American Cemetery.

YOU can help us make a full accounting of our missing Doughboys. Simply make your tax-deductible donation to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1.  Big or small doesn't matter, we appreciate it, and you get the satisfaction of knowing you played a part in helping. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks. And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA ¼ zipper fleece sweatshirt. An informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, “doughboys” especially used to refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One. Largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army, this poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago.

Sweatshirt features: Navy with white Doughboy embroidery. 80% cotton/20% polyester,  9.5 Oz. High quality heavy weight pre-shrunk fabric. Sweatshirt has ¼  zip pullover with cadet collar and silver metal zipper. Ribbed cuffs and waistband with spandex. Cover-seamed arm holes. Mens’ sizes available Small and Medium. Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.

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



Pelham Davis Glassford

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

 

Pelham Davis Glassford

Submitted by:  William C. Parke {Grandson}

During World War I, Gen. John J. Pershing's favorite horse, named Kidron, was among a group of gelding thoroughbreds captured by the French from the Germans in 1917.

While training his troops at the Saumur Artillery School, Brig. General Pelham Davis Glassford was offered one of those horses by the French Colonel Godeau, commandant of the adjoining remount depot. Godeau's act on behalf of France was a gesture of gratitude for the help of the American Expeditionary Force in the War. He also knew how skilled Pelham was on horseback, and that Pelham was respected by the French military and villagers, as he would engage them in their own language.

Pelham knew French from the time his father, Colonel William Alexander Glassford in the Army Signal Corps, took his two sons to Paris, France, to study the French signal balloons.

Gen. Pelham Glassford appreciated good horses. His admiration developed when he was a young man, helping on his father's farms and horse ranch in Phoenix, Arizona. (Later, in retirement, Glassford raised quarter horses, including the grandson of Man-of-War.)

Read Pelham Davis Glassford 's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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August 27, 2019

Reminder: WWI Dispatch newsletter becomes monthly in September 2019

This issue of the World War I DISPATCH is the last weekly issue of the newsletter. The publication is transitioning to a once-a-month format. The first issue of the new monthly newsletter  will arrive in the middle of September, sent to the same distribution list as the weekly publication has been for the last three years. If you're a subscriber now, you'll continue to be one going forward. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here to receive every issue.


WWI Dog Tag Discovered in France Returned to Soldier's Family in KY

Clifford Fralick

At first Larry Fralick thought it was a scam call. A man with a French accent on the other end of the line was trying to convince him he found something that belonged to Fralick's family. Turns out he was telling the truth. "He sent us a picture of the metal detector he used to find it," Fralick said. Click here to read more about, and watch video of, the story of the mysterious caller who convinced Clifford Fralick's descendants that the soldier left something behind in France during World War I.


Torrington, CT student returns from World War I archaeological dig in France

Lucas Rodriguez

The expedition “Digging Into History: WWI Trench Restoration” recently returned from three weeks in Seicheprey, France. This innovative experiential learning program brought fifteen Connecticut high school students entering grades 11 and 12 this fall to the site of the first German offensive against American troops, to help restore a section of trench once occupied by Connecticut’s 102d Infantry Regiment. Among the participating students was Lucas Rodriguez of Torrington, who researched a Torrington soldier with the historical society to prepare for the trip. He attends the Connecticut River Academy in East Hartford. Click here to read how, just as the Doughboys formed bonds with the village 100 years ago, the students formed friendships with their French peers as they worked to help restore the historic World War I battlefield site.


Lectures bring World War I exhibition at Knights of Columbus Museum to close

World War I: Beyond the Front Lines poster

Two lectures on September 7 at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, CT  will be the final events in the museum’s exhibition World War I: Beyond the Front Lines, which concludes September 8. War Within War: The 1918 Influenza in America will examine the impact of the so-called "Spanish Flu" on America and the world. The Red Baron & Military Aviation Developments in World War I will examine a key figure in the rise and impact of military aviation spawned by the world conflict. Click here to read more about these two informative lectures, and learn about the award-winning WWI exhibition at the Knights of Columbus Museum.


Minnesota Family Reunited with WWI Dog Tag After More than 80 Years

MN dog tag

Alan Carpenter often looks for buried artifacts in Cobb Cook Park in Hibbing, MN using his metal detector. It's something he does for fun, but he and his partner Jim Kochevar also return lost items. Last spring, Carpenter made his most important discovery, a World War I dog tag found buried under at least 6 inches of frost. "At first I didn't know what it was, I thought it was some kind of token or something until I got home and rinsed it off, then I seen the United States Marine Corps on it," said Carpenter. With Kochevar's help, this past Memorial Day Carpenter figured out the dog tag belonged to Anton Bernhardt, a World War I veteran, and former Hibbing police officer. Click here to read more and watch video, and find out how the family of the World War I soldier was reunited with the dog tag in August after it was lost for 80 years.


Peach pits, nut shells, and how they helped America win the Great War

Save the Pit

Writing in his "View From Swamptown" column, G. Timothy Cranston, North Kingstown, Rhode Island's town historian, explores "the seemingly inconsequential peach pit and its equally unimportant companion – the discarded nut shell – to see what historic part they played in World War I." Click here to read the entire column, and discover how "these common bits of food waste saved many an American Doughboy during the Big War."


MVPA 2019 100th Anniversary Transcontinental Motor Convoy rolls across Nebraska this week

1918 truck

On Wednesday, August 28, 2019 the Military Vehicle Preservation Association 100th Anniversary Convoy will travel through Kearney, Nebraska as they continue retracing the original 1919 US Army’s First Transcontinental Motor Convoy route, on the famed Lincoln Highway. Click here to visit the MVPA web site to learn more about the 100th Anniversary Convoy. (Click on the Convoy Button on the top of the page.) Click here to track the convoy's position


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

WWI Now: Daniel Basta on the "Ghost Fleet" of Mallows Bay

Dan Basta

In August 19th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 136, host Theo Mayer interviewed Daniel J. Basta, Doughboy Foundation board member and accomplished scientist and diver. Mr. Basta sheds light on the Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay, an armada of ships scuttled by the U.S. government in Maryland after the war. Today Mallows Bay is a National Marine Sanctuary, a protected area for wildlife and human recreation--and something that connects contemporary Americans to the Great War. Click here to discover this unique and powerful outdoor destination, and the grueling process undertaken to bring the proposed sanctuary to reality.

War in the Sky:
Mark Wilkins on Pilots and PTSD

Mark Wilkins

In August 12th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 135, (originally aired in Episode 66) we heard from writer and historian Mark Wilkins on the high incidence of shell shock, or PTSD, among WWI pilots. Held up as fearless and daring, these men cracked underneath the extraordinary danger of their occupation. In his research Wilkins uncovered many letters written by the pilots themselves that illustrate the toll aerial combat took on their psyches. Click here to learn more about PTSD and the effect it had on WWI pilots, in their own words. 


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Doughboy Podcast A

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube

American Legion post #43 in the 30's

Episode #137
American Legion Post #43: Revitalized and Relevant

Episode #137

Host - Theo Mayer

  • 100 Years Ago: Headlines last week of August 1919
    - Host | @ 02:15
  • Born in the Month of August
    - Dave Kramer | @ 09:05
  • Remembering Veterans: American Legion Post 43 Revitalized
    - Fernando Rivero & Lester Probst | @ 14:45 
  • Articles & Posts: Dispatch Newsletter
    - Host | @ 32:55

Doughboy MIA for week of August 26

Private Pietro ‘Peter’ Pacifici.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is Private Pietro ‘Peter’ Pacifici. A native of Morello, Italy, Pietro Pacifici came to America in 1906 and settled in Jefferson County, New York. He was drafted into the service at Watertown, NY, on 22FEB1918 and sent into Company A, 308th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division, with which he trained at Camp Upton Long Island before going overseas in April, 1918. He served all through the campaign in the Vesle Valley that summer with distinction and without incident, even though Company A was frequently under fire and took considerable casualties.

In September, 1918, A/308 was assigned as one of the "point" units leading the 308th into the Argonne Forest, alongside Company D. The summer on the Vesle had been hard on the 308th as a whole, and as they were preparing to enter the Argonne, a large draft of replacements were sent forward for the regiment (1,250 of them), and Company A received their fair share. Among them was a young Private from Washington State named Lee McCollum (who would later go on to write the popular book "History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion" about his experiences in the Argonne). On the night of September 25th, 1918, as Company A was preparing to move up to the front lines for the jump off the next morning, McCollum found himself assigned to carry a heavy bag of hand grenades. Nearby was a fellow with a strange accent, complaining about the clumsy stretcher that he had been assigned to carry. It was Peter Pacifici. McCollum did not hesitate to offer to exchange loads, feeling the lighter, and far less lethal, stretcher would be a much more welcome burden. Pacifici, used to such loads as the grenades and knowing from experience how welcome they would soon be, readily agreed and the two swapped responsibilities just before the unit moved out.

About a half an hour later, as they were treading forward through the rainy, dark night with artillery flying overhead, McCollum heard an explosion up ahead. Everyone was sure it was return fire from the Germans. Then the cry came back for stretcher bearers forward and McCollum and a pal rushed up. What they found was a rude introduction to the war; Pacifici had tripped and one of the grenades in the bag he had been carrying went off, setting off the rest and blowing him and several others to bits. McCollum carried back one of the wounded.

At the time of the accident, the company was about 1 kilometer north of the hamlet of La Harazee. What remained of Pacifici was buried on 01OCT1918 next to the trench in which he was killed by Chaplain Lockhart of the 53rd Pioneer Infantry. Despite coordinates for the burial being reported at the time and the grave having initially been marked by a cross, when searchers went to locate it after the war, nothing was ever found. Pietro Pacifici remains missing on the battlefield to this day.

Want to help us make an attempt at locating Pacifici using today’s technology? Then consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA at www.usww1cc.org/mia. It takes only a moment and your tax deductible contribution will help us make a difference for Pacifici, as well as helping us make a full accounting of ALL of our US MIA’s from WW1 and keep these lost men from being forgotten. Remember: A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Mug

White Ceramic WWI Centennial Mug

Featuring the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can enjoy your favorite beverage in this 15-ounce ceramic mug and honor the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers.  

Proceeds from the sale of this item will help build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.

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



Arthur O. McNitzky

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

 

Arthur O. McNitzky

Submitted by:  Dave Jahn {American Legion, Department Texas, "Arthur O. McNitzky" Post 71, Adjutant}

Arthur O. McNitzky was born around 1890. Arthur McNitzky served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Arthur Othello McNitzky was born on March 28, 1890 in Denton, Texas to Gottfried August McNitzky and Emma Matilda Mentzel McNitzky of Germany. According to family researchers, August McNitzky left Breslau, Germany on 30 June 1874, traveled to Hamburg, then to Hartlepool, England, where he boarded a ship which arrived in Quebec, Canada on 9 July. His line of business was cobbler, but he could not make a living there because of the shoe factories already in existence. He went to Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Texas, and Mexico.

His travels cost more than the trip from Germany to Canada; his clothing and tools were stolen, and for a year and seven months he was sick (possibly malaria). He was working in Dallas and on 30 May, 1878, two banks broke in Dallas in one week and he lost $200 in the First National Bank. He said he felt like killing himself. He walked from Dallas to Denton because there was no train. He was one of the first German to come to Denton.

Read Arthur O. McNitzky's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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