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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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February 2021

Coming Soon all white text

Dispatch subscribers: keep an eye on your email for a personal invitation to watch a Live Broadcast of The Inaugural Raising of the Flag of the United States of America over the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, featuring award-winning actor Gary Sinese and many other notable speakers. Not a subscriber? Subscribe now to be sure you receive your own invitation to watch this historic broadcast.

Sculpture video NJ

It's 58 feet long and 10 feet high:
New Jersey sculptor's World War I monument will speak for a nation

An in-depth look at the process of creating the sculpture for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC was recently published on the NorthJersey.com web site, and later picked up for national viewership by USA Today. Reporter Jim Beckerman interviews sculptor Sabin Howard and the whole team at his studio. Click here to read the entire interview, and watch the absorbing video.


Teaching and learning WWI in 2021 animated gif square

Last Chance: sign up for webinar today!

Click here to register TODAY to attend this FREE 2021 webinar for educators and learners about the challenges, opportunities and importance for teaching and learning about “The War That Changed the World”. “WWI Education Webinar: Strategies and Tools for Teaching (and Learning) WWI in 2021” on Feb 26, 2021 1:00 PM EST -- today.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/
register/1274955613107522318

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Can't attend today? Register anyway to receive a link to the recording later.


New Book Gives Voice to the Men of the Famous Lost Battalion of World War I

The Lost Battalion: As They Saw It.

In the history of American participation in WWI, two stories remain the most recognized: that of Sergeant York, and that of the ‘Lost Battalion.’ Now another chapter in the tale of the Lost Battalion has been told in a new book by WWI author and historian Robert J. Laplander titled The Lost Battalion: As They Saw It. Most know the general story. Between October 2nd and October 7th, 1918 Major Charles Whittlesey of the 77th Division led nearly 700 men into the narrow Charlevaux Ravine during the battle in the Argonne Forest. They were quickly surrounded by the Germans and during their five-day siege in that ravine endured starvation, continual enemy attacks, a mistaken artillery barrage by their own forces, and an eventual casualty rate of nearly 72%. Click here to learn more about this new book that tells the Lost Battalion's story through the words of its survivors..


Black heroes highlighted in call for Peace Cross restoration funding

Peace Cross MD

The Bladensburg World War I Memorial, known as the Peace Cross, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, which includes the names of four Black soldiers who died in World War I, needs money for restoration. Calls for funding are being made specifically during Black History Month. “Funds are needed to begin this vital endeavor. To address the need, the Department of Parks and Recreation is fundraising to repair the Peace Cross,” Department Resource Development Officer Tracy Wright said in a news release. “We encourage the community to join us and help support the restoration of this historical monument which honors our fallen Black heroes.” Click here to learn more about the Peace Cross, the heroes it honors, and how its restoration can be supported.


Women Answered Call in World War I

Marguerite Martin

In World War I telephone operators were needed in Europe. General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, quickly saw that women—American women–would be better at telephone work than the men. The Signal Corps was all male, and they were not only assigned to string lines but to handle all communications, and were not doing well at the latter task. A call was put out throughout America for women to serve in Europe as operators. The preferred candidates were fluent in French and English. One of the women who answered the call was Marguerite Martin. Click here to read Marguerite's story, and learn how important the "Hello Girls" were to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.


Des Moines Hosted First-Ever African American Officer Training camp

Des Moines graduates

A page of Des Moines history is also part of Black history. In 1917, a thousand African American college-educated young men came to Des Moines for the Officer Training Program. They were joined by 250 Black non-commissioned officers for training from May through October. “Des Moines has a really proud legacy of having Fort Des Moines, which is a camp where the first Black officers for the U.S. Army were trained,” said Leo Landis, curator of the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Click here to read more, and learn about one of the soldiers who came back after his military days: James B. Morris, who is remembered still at the State Historical Museum of Iowa.


Creede, CO and WWI—A Knitter’s Tale

Mary_Elting_Folsom

“Grandma, do you know how to knit?”

It was the summer of 2000 and eleven-year-old Lizzie, a beginning knitter, hoped she’d found a mentor—her ninety-four-year-old grandmother, Mary Elting Folsom. Lizzie’s question took Mary back to 1917, several months after the US entered World War I.

"Yes, Lizzie, I do know how to knit. I learned during the summer of 1917, when I was eleven. Surprisingly, my teacher was a British army recruiter who had come to my home town of Creede, Colorado."

Located high in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado, Creede was a silver mining town when Mary was born in 1906. Click here to read Mary's story, and learn the surprising reason that a British army recruiter was there in 1917 to provide knitting lessons to her.


African American suffragist supported U.S. troops in World War I for YWCA

Addie Waites Hunton

When Kathy Coker was doing research at the Richmond, VA Public Library, In preparation for Black History Month, she uncovered the fascinating story of Addie Waites Hunton, an African American suffragist, activist, writer, political organizer, educator, and officer of the the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). If all that wasn't enough to make Hunton a noteworthy historical figure, she also became involved in the YMCA’s work abroad during World War I, travelling to France in June 1918 to work with the black troops of the American Expeditionary Forces. Click here to read the entire amazing story of Addie Waites Hunton, and the astonishing and outsized role she played in American history.


French-Built and American Flown: Meet the WWI Nieuport 28 Fighter Plane

Nieuport 28

When the United States military went “over there” to take on the Huns (the Germans) during the First World War, what it lacked in equipment it more than made up for in determination. This meant that Americans often relied on foreign equipment, and in the case of aircraft the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) used what it could get. After the French rejected the Nieuport 28C.1, which was introduced in mid-1917, in favor of the far sturdier and more advanced Spad XIII, the newly arrived Americans adopted the Nieuport 28 as a stop-gap measure, and quickly the American pilots made do with what they could. Click here to read more about how American aviators with obsolete equipment were nevertheless able to perform prodigious aviation feats in WWI. 


How Rockford’s WWI Camp Grant led to an African American community center

Rockford IL

Rockford, IL is home to one of the oldest African American community centers in Illinois, a direct descendant of World War I’s Camp Grant. For more than a year, Joyce Higgins has been the executive director of the African American Resource Center (AARC) at Booker Washington Community Center, 524 Kent St, but she’s been involved at the center for decades. “The Booker Washington Center would not even exist if it wasn’t for segregation,” she said. “It’s an excitement to tell this history…there’s so much of it.” Click here to read the story of how one of the 16 cantonments used to train soldiers in WWI gained a second life in the community after the conflict ended.


A rifle and a shovel — As a wagoner in World War I, early Pablo Beach, FL resident made his mark in history

Jesse Butler headstone

The oldest headstone in Lee Kirkland Cemetery, the historic African-American graveyard in Jacksonville Beach, belongs to Jessie Butler, a native Floridian who performed back-breaking work in a seaside mining camp known as Mineral City before serving his country overseas in World War I. The upright marble headstone, issued by the U.S. Government, denotes the little-known unit he served in during the war, and, most importantly, his rank – that of wagoner. Click here to read how Jesse Butler's special capabilities played an important role supporting the U.S. Army in World War I.


Elgin’s Black Soldiers Served Proudly in U.S. Armed Forces during World War I

Elgin IL soldiers

In the period leading up to WWI, the 8th Regiment of the Illinois National Guard would make history. This unit would become known as the 370th U.S. Infantry and was made up entirely of Black soldiers, officers and commanders. The 370th Infantry would see combat in France, becoming the first U.S. regiment in the French region of Alsace-Lorraine. Among its ranks was Elgin’s own Lewis P. Andrews. Click here to read his story, and learn how the 370th fought with such distinction in France and Belgium that the Germans who fought them gave the soldiers the nickname of Schwarze Teufel, “Black Devils,” for their ferocity in combat.


WWI Changed Us: How the Philippines Shaped America’s First World War

Philippines and WWI

Ever since U.S. troops occupied the Philippines in 1898, generations of Filipinos have served in and alongside the U.S. Armed Forces, including during World War I. Join historian Christopher Capozzola at the National World War I Museum and Memorial as he reveals the forgotten history of the military relationship between the U.S. and Philippines from the colonial-era Philippine Scouts to the present day. Learn how military service in the Philippines shaped the worldview of key World War I military figures (including General John J. Pershing), and how World War I affected the Philippines and other U.S. colonies. Click here to register for the free Zoom webinar, and learn more about this forgotten chapter of America's WWI experience.


Doughboy MIA for February

Samuel Roach

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Samuel Roach. Born February 12th, 1886, in Bradford, Ohio, Private Roach was an employee of the E.C. Atkins Saw Works in Indianapolis when he enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 16th, 1917. Sent to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky for muster, he took his training at Washington D.C., where he was assigned to Company D, 6th Engineer Regiment, 3rd Division. He left for overseas on December 6th, 1917, and was killed in action on March 29th, 1918 near Villers Bretonneux. He is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Somme American Cemetery, Bony, France. Interestingly, he was initially reported to the state of Indiana as having been returned and interred at Arlington national Cemetery.

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 Group

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."

Coin stand personalized

Compliment your Centennial Silver Dollar with a special coin display stand with an engraved personalized plate to honor your World War I ancestor. This black wooden coin stand is 3-1/2 inches in height, 1-1/2 inches in width and 2-1/2 inches in length and features silver posts. This elegant stand is a perfect way to display your your Centennial Silver Dollar or any coins on your desk or shelf.

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

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



Frank Clyde Mercer

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

 

Frank Clyde Mercer

Submitted by: Michael Conn {Great Grandson}

Frank Clyde Mercer was born around 1887. Frank Mercer served in World War 1 with the United States Army Air Corps. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

The service of Franklin “Clyde” Mercer in the First World War began in support of the war effort as a 30-year-old, civilian, munitions worker for the Whitaker Glessner Company, a steel production company contracted to manufacture 155mm howitzer shells at its location in New Boston, a small Ohio village within the city of Portsmouth, Ohio.

Frank’s military draft paperwork show that he was employed with Whitaker Glessner on June 5, 1917, the date of his registration for the draft.

Eleven months later, on May 17, 1918, Frank would enter military service. He was accompanied by his uncle, Harzy Walls, 6 months his junior, who was also entering the service. Now 31 years of age, Frank departed the Ohio River Valley for Camp Sevier, a military training camp located in the upstate of South Carolina, near the city of Greenville.

It was here, following their formal induction and training into the Air Service of the National Army, that Harzy and Frank would part ways. Frank was assigned to the 15th Aero Construction Company as a carpenter and would spend the early summer months getting technical training at Camp Mills and Hazelhurst Field, near Garden City, New York while Harzy would train near Norfolk, Virginia at Camp Morrison with the 27th Balloon Company for the remainder of the war.

Read Frank Clyde Mercer's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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January 2021

First Pour video image

On this date, the 58-foot long, 38-figure Memorial centerpiece sculpture titled "A Soldier's Journey" reached a new milestone on its journey, as the sculpture's first elements were cast into bronze in a "First Pour." Click on the image above to view the video.

Honoring America’s WWI servicemen and women "in a noble and timeless medium fitting to their service.”

January 19, 2021 was a significant day for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. On this date, the 58-foot long, 38-figure Memorial centerpiece sculpture titled "A Soldier's Journey" reached a new milestone on its journey, as the sculpture's first elements were cast into bronze in a "First Pour." Click here to read more about, and watch a video of, the "First Pour" of the memorial sculpture at Pangolin Editions Foundry in the United Kingdom.


Education Webinar February square

New Education Webinar: Strategies and Tools for Teaching World War I in 2021

Calling All Educators… and Learners!

Please join our panel of World War I Educators on Friday, February 26, 2021, 1pm EST,: to learn some of the best practices now available for teaching World War I History in “classrooms, online, and hybrid," all of which will be a part of 2021.

We assembled a small group of educators from different areas and parts of the country to explore issues about teaching WWI from a real-world practical perspective:

  • How teachers are adapting in teaching especially social studies, during the Pandemic.
  • How do differing State standards affect teaching WWI
  • Best practices, clever ideas, and limitations when teaching WWI
  • Is teaching WWI through advanced placement (AP) European History & World History an option; 
  • How local WWI memorials can provide community engagement learning;
  • Feedback from students about what works; 
  • and more.

Also on the agenda, we will introduce you to some of the education tools created by the Doughboy Foundation during and after the Centennial of WWI, including the USB thumb drive Website “How WWI Changed America;” specific WWI handouts for the classroom and to prompt learning and conversation; plus the innovative “WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer App” that provides an interactive augmented reality field trip to the new WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C.;  and more.

Click here to register today to attend this FREE 2021 webinar for educators and learners about the challenges, opportunities and importance for teaching and learning about “The War That Changed the World”.

 “WWI Education Webinar: Strategies and Tools for Teaching (and Learning) WWI in 2021” on Feb 26, 2021 1:00 PM EST

 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1274955613107522318

 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Doc Hall’s WWI Casualty Records

Doc Hall

In the Spring of 2011, the late James “Doc” Hall (left) visited the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, to search for World War ll KIA records of the 35th Infantry “Cacti” Regiment, in which he served in Vietnam. During his visit, Hall came across the Graves Registration records for WW l. The names he uncovered reflected the profound diversity of those who served in the Great War: immigrants, native Americans and boys from cities and farms were called to serve. Hall’s discovery of a KIA named "Isaac His Horse Is Fast" fascinated him. Hall contacted two fellow Vietnam combat veterans, Richard “Dick” Arnold and William “Bill” Henson, and proposed an ambitious project: photographing the WW l records and recording their critical data to a spreadsheet. As Henson recalls: "None of us fully understood what we were to experience." Click here to read the entire article about how three Vietnam veterans set off on a mission to remember those who preceded them in the nation's service a century ago.


Candy Bar Market Exploded After WWI

Doughboy eating candy bar

Candy bars may seem quintessentially American, but they have origins in the World War I chocolate rations given to European soldiers. The American military followed suit, helping its Doughboys develop a sweet tooth they would bring home after the war. Throughout the 1920s, thousands of small, regional confectioners emerged to meet the demand, creating a candy boom brimming with catchily named bars based on popular expressions, pop culture icons, and even dance crazes. Click here to read more about the chocolate bar explosion, and the effort of new sweets makers to take a bite out of a candy business dominated by Hershey’s, the planet’s biggest chocolate maker.


Why Keep That? exhibition opens at National WWI Museum & Memorial

Why Keep That? snip

Collecting, cataloguing, conserving. The heart of a museum is its collection, but how do Museums make decisions and who gets to answer the question, “Why Keep That?”

Why Keep That?, the latest special exhibition at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, follows the journey of a collection item from the moment it is donated to the Museum, to the decision-making and archival process of our collections staff. To help illustrate, archival staff track the processing and digitization of a collection of 16 objects and share behind-the-scenes information about obtaining the artifacts, processing the items and storing and protecting them. Click here to read more about the exhibition, and how collections largely featuring ephemera – objects usually meant to be thrown away, like ticket stubs, advertisements and written scraps – are now preserved in a museum.


Hard Hat Turns 101; Impact on Industrial Safety Never Gets Old

hard hat 1919

Luckily for industrial workers everywhere, Lt. Edward Wheatley Bullard of the U.S. Cavalry climbed out of the French trenches with an idea that would spark the industrial safety movement: the hard hat. Bullard, the son of a mining equipment supplier, was inspired by the metal helmets Doughboys wore to deflect the hail of bullets raining down on them courtesy of the Kaiser. When he returned home, he invented the first commercially available industrial hard hat, called the Hard Boiled hat. Prior to its invention and subsequent production in San Francisco, gold and copper miners in California and Nevada basically wore leather caps—which might not be all that good at stopping hail, let alone the rocks or tools potentially pouring down on them. Click here to learn more from Bullard's great granddaughter about how this now 100-year-old equipment was invented and how it has redefined protecting the workforce.


AEF ‘Christmas Package Coupon’ helped soldiers during World War I

Christmas package coupon

The War Department recognized that the United States Army soldiers fighting in France in 1918 were about to endure their second Christmas far from home. To help combat the Christmas blues, each soldier was issued one Christmas package coupon. The soldier filled in his address and sent the coupon home to someone who he thought might send him a Christmas package. Click here to learn more from Linn's Stamp News about how this system worked, how the Doughboys benefited, and why this bit of WWI ephemera is so rare today.


The Volga Germans in Portland, Oregon during World War I

Charlie Bauer

The outbreak of World War I on July 28, 1914 was met with anxiety and fear by both the Volga German colonists living in Russia and their family and friends who had immigrated to the United States. The war exacerbated Russia’s Germanophobia and Slavophile tendencies. Ethnic Germans living In the United States faced Anti-German sentiment and propaganda reaching extreme levels after America entered the war in April 1917. Click here to learn more about how the war years were an anxious time for the Volga Germans living in Portland, OR. Although they valued their ethnic German heritage and language, they also considered themselves loyal Americans.


Forgotten for 100 Years

Thomas W Regan draft card

Michael T. Naya, Jr. normally writes articles focused on World War II and the Greatest Generation, but when his research introduced him to Kenilworth, NJ  resident Thomas W. Regan, a veteran of World War I, he decided to take time to write about him. Click here to read this thoughtful portrait of "an Irish immigrant who felt the need to serve his country so he answered the call to duty," whose "story deserves to be remembered especially today."


Doughboy MIA for Month

Leonard Charles Aitken

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is 1st LT Leonard Charles Aitken.  Born in Reno, Nevada on 10 June 1897, Leonard Aitken grew up in California, where he joined the California National Guard at 18 years of age. When the trouble broke out with Mexico, he reported for duty in June, 1916 and served along the border with the hospital corps, attending elements of what would, a year later, become the 160th Infantry, 40th Division. Following America’s declaration of war on Germany, on 7 April 1917, Aitken reported to the Officers Training School at San Diego and upon graduation, shipped to France in August, 1918 as a 2nd lieutenant with the 158th Infantry, 40th Division. There, on 20 October 1918, he was sent as a replacement officer to the 372nd Infantry, 93rd Division, then holding a section of the line in the Alsace sector near Hill 607.

On 7 November, while leading his platoon on a night action, Aitkens and his men captured several prisoners but unknowingly walked into the line of fire of a German machine gun nest, which opened up on them, killing or capturing all but two enlisted men of the patrol and freeing the prisoners. Without hesitation Lieutenant Aitken immediately advanced against the position with the intent of eliminating it, but he was shot twice in the chest and killed in the endeavor. The end result was that they captured 1 officer (Aitkens) and 22 men; however the date of Aitkens’ death is given as 8 November 1918.

Following the Armistice, GRS officials went on the search for Aitkens’ remains, but had little luck. Their hardest clue was a report that German officers had buried Aitkens with full military honors “in the churchyard of the tiny hamlet of La Paive, some 40 miles east of Epinal, France.” There being no town by that name anywhere in that area, this was almost certainly actually the town of La Pariee which is indeed in the area of the action of 7 November. Nothing was ever found however and his remains continued to be unlocated in the years following the war. As investigations continued, in January 1924, GRS sent a letter to Aitkens’ father requesting a civilian dental chart, but also admitting in the letter that in all probability he was among the Unknown burials, though how this information was considered is not stated in his surviving file.

A final attempt at some kind of identification came in December 1926 when the case files of Aitkens and one other officer from the 372nd Infantry were checked against a set of Unknown remains at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery morgue. It was a long shot, however, as the remains being checked came from a French cemetery in the Marne sector some 300 kilometers northwest of where both officers in question were at the time of their deaths. Not surprisingly, neither officer’s remains were a match and Aitkens’ case was officially closed in 1932 without resolution.

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of 1st LT Leonard Charles Aitken and all the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia today to make your donation, and sign up there to get more information on other ways that you may be able to help.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Jacket and Vest

You can wear your American pride and stay warm this winter with these two Made in the USA garments Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy. This poignant silhouette of a lone 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.

Vest features: Black with white Doughboy embroidery. 100% spun polyester, 12.5 Oz. Premium anti-piling fleece. Vest has full zip front with two side seam pockets. Mens’ sizes available S – 2XL.

Proceeds from the sale of these items 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. 

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



J. Arthur Mayer

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

 

J. Arthur Mayer

Submitted by: John A Mayer {Son}

J. Arthur J. Arthur Mayer born around 1893. J. Mayer served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Veterans Day has always seemed special to me. My Dad, J. Arthur Mayer, was a WW I veteran and I grew up hearing his reminiscences. On the one hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day I felt compelled to record some of those “rememberies.” Our once close-knit family has spread to the four corners and there is no one left in the immediate family who seems much interested, so I’ll post it here in his memory FWIW. (Yeah, we skipped a generation. Dad was born in 1893, and was 50 before I was born in 1944. I’m the age of my second cousins. Many of my first cousins were WW II veterans.)

Dad was 24 when he was drafted off the farm. He entered active duty in July 1918, and was sent to Camp Pike, Arkansas for basic training, I think for 4-5 weeks. He was one of the older men in his group, and was offered NCO Academy training. But he said it was so hot and humid and generally miserable there that when his group was given the opportunity to “go to Brest”- the debarkation point for the American Expeditionary Force in France – that he volunteered for that. He said it was to escape the misery of Arkansas, but I suspect he also felt some duty to go in place of his older married brothers who were starting families and other married men.

Read J. Arthur Mayer's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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December 2020

Horses and Airplanes

French cavalry with an aircraft overhead, 1916. World War I was a time of incredible technological innovation and so is its remembrance in the 21st Century.

Technology & WWI: Then and Now

“'The soldiers rode into World War I on horseback and rode out in tanks and airplanes,' is a popular quote about WWI. 'The War that Changed the World' was a driving force for incredible technology advancement and innovation. So it is only fitting that WWI’s remembrance should also be imbued with innovation," writes Theo Mayer, Chief Technologist of the United States World War One Centennial Commission and The Doughboy Foundation. Click here to take a look at the 21st century technologies now being used for the remembrance and commemoration of WWI, including Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, podcasting, streaming, photogrammetry, 3D printing, and more.


Support the Doughboy Foundation
this giving season!

Doughboy Foundation figure

As you consider making donations this holiday season, we hope you will include the Doughboy Foundation in your year-end giving plans.

To give online, please visit the Doughboy Foundation web site here

Checks may be made out to the Doughboy Foundation and mailed to:

The Doughboy Foundation
PO Box 17586
Arlington, VA 22216

Online gifts must be made by December 31st at 11:59pm EST and checks must be dated December 31 to receive 2020 tax credit.

With your support, we look forward to launching new initiatives in this next phase of the commemoration of and education about WWI in the new year.


Pershing’s Paths of Glory comes to life

Pershing's Paths of Glory poster

Joe Hartnett and Dayle Hartnett, Ph.D.of the Pacific Film Foundation recount the inspiration and evolution of the new film Pershing's Paths of Glory, now available on DVD via Amazon.com, and to be available streaming on Amazon in 2021. The film is intended to help people understand the achievements of Pershing and his role in the defeat of the Central Powers in WWI. Click here to read all about how the movie came to be made, the process of filming on two continents, and the continuing importance of Pershing’s influence and legacy in the 21st century.


“Here is poetry’s abundance in the face of horror”

nternational Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology of Lost Voices

Connie Ruzich received a Fulbright Scholar award to live in England and research the ways in which poetry was being used in commemorations of the First World War. She collected "lost poems" from WWI and shared them in the Behind Their Lines blog, officially endorsed by the US World War I Centennial Commission. After six years, 250 posted poems, and over 500,000 views, the research from the blog has been extensively revised and published as a book: International Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology of Lost Voices. Click here to read more about the book and blog, what Ruzich learned from her research, and how poetry can provide "intimate views of war and destruction that can be otherwise too immense to grasp."


Confessions of a Sledge Hammer Antique Truck Restorer

Dave Lockard

"Packard Dave" Lockard, long-time friend to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, is an award-winning antique automobile/truck enthusiast who owns several World War I-era Packard military vehicles. We previously interviewed him on the occasion of his receiving two Antique Automobile Club of America national awards. Now Dave has written an "auto" biography of sorts to tell the tale of his acquisition of the WWI-era Packard vehicles, and his restoration odysseys during the past three quarters of a century. Click here to get started on the inside scoop about how a self-professed "pathetically incompetent" vehicle restorer came to be the owner of so many showpiece antique vehicles, for which he gives credit to his "amazing & giving friends" over the past fifty years.


The Hidden History of First Black Women to Serve in WWI U.S. Navy

Golden Fourteen

When Jerri Bell first wrote about the Golden Fourteen, their story only took up a sentence. These 14 Black women were the first to serve in the U.S. Navy, and Bell, a former naval officer and historian with the Veteran’s Writing Project, included them in a book about women’s contributions in every American war, co-written with a former Marine. But even after the book was published, Bell couldn’t get their story out of her head. “It made me kind of mad,” Bell says. “Here are these women, and they were the first! But I think there was also a general attitude at the time that the accomplishments of women were not a big deal. Women were not going to brag.” Click here to read more about how Bell was to track down the documents that acknowledge the lives and work of these Black Navy women in World War I.


VA county Supervisors Vote to Replace Segregated WWI Memorial Plaque

Loudoun County plaque

A memorial in the courthouse square to Loudouners who died serving in World War I will be replaced with one that does not segregate those service members by race. The plaque, on a stone monument, lists 30 names. Three of those are at the bottom of the plaque, separated by a line—the three Black people on the list, Pvts. Ernest Gilbert, Valentine B. Johnson and Samuel C. Thornton. The memorial was erected 1921, three years after the war, donated by the American Legion. Click here to learn how the plaque will be replaced with a new one with all of the names listed together.


Wheeling Park Doughboy in WV has his rifle back after year of restorations

Wheeling, WV Doughboy

Over one year later, the Doughboy statue in Wheeling Park in Wheeling, WV is back, and near a century old, is looking better than ever after a restoration. Covered in dents, bird droppings, rust head to toe, a missing rifle and a hand poorly reattached...the elements were not kind to this 88-year-old figure, but Wheeling was. Click here to read more about how individuals and local foundations raised a whopping $21,000 to fix the Doughboy, a cost the friendly city deemed deserving as he stands to remind the Ohio Valley of all who fought for our freedom in World War I.


Curious about World War I memorial, Washington State woman researches the names set in stone

Whidby Island, WA Memorial

Although she had walked by the World War I memorial numerous times when she still lived on Whidbey Island, Candace Nourse-Hatch didn’t know who put it there or the stories of the men on the stone monument. Nourse-Hatch’s great-uncle, Harry Nourse from the Maxwelton area on South Whidbey, is one of the eight men from Island County who died during their military service in World War I. They are memorialized on a stone monument in front of the Island County courthouse, right across the street from Coupeville Town Hall. Click here to read how Nourse-Hatch collected biographical and military service information about each of the men over the course of a year, and what she learned about them and the war in which they served.


Lynbrook's Doughboy Monument, 100, once center of 'village civil war'

Lynbrook's Doughboy Monument

In this day and age when some want to take down statues from past generations and wars, Lynbrook has its own statue that has stood for 100 years, as of this past October. However, the statue did cause some controversy in the 1930s, with one newspaper saying it caused a “village civil war.” That statue is the veteran’s Doughboy Monument (also called the Soldiers and Sailors monument in the 1920s), a statue of a World War I soldier which stands on a small plot of an island in Saperstein Plaza behind Lynbrook’s Long Island Rail Road station. It is the centerpiece of the village’s war monuments. On the four-sided pedestal below the statue are the names of 15 local soldiers killed in action in World War I. Click here to read more about the many travels and final installation of the Doughboy.


Port Jervis, NY rededicates World War I monument to veterans

Port Jervis, NY WWI monument

As many people celebrated Veterans Day in quiet ways on their own due to pandemic restrictions, Port Jervis, NY Mayor Kelly Decker and a small number of local musicians carried out a brief, socially distanced rededication at at the town's Skinners Park. In 1940, the 20-ton granite disc monument was “dedicated to the memory of the living and dead from WWI” This November’s rededication included the addition of a perpetual flame and a bronze plaque naming the 34 Port Jervis men who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty during World War I. Click here to read more about the history of the monument, and how the recent rededication ceremony took place.


WWI-era U.S. submarine found frozen in time on ocean floor by N.J. dive team

WWI-era U.S. submarine off NJ

A post-World War I-era submarine has been found on the ocean floor near the Delmarva Peninsula and appears to be fully intact and upright, a salvage rescue company said. The vessel is believed to be a decommissioned U.S. Navy R-8 class submarine sunk during a practice bombing exercise in 1936. “The discovery is historically important because R-8 is one of few American submarines resting in [accessible] East Coast waters that had yet to be located,” a statement from Atlantic Wreck Salvage said. Click here to read more about the submarine discovery, and when the wreck, currently "in pristine condition,” will be explored further to finalize the identification.


Baking During a Time of Crisis

Bakers in Paris 1918

In World War I, food scientists around the nation focused on bread making as essential to winning the war. Government commissions studied baking and milling to economize both the process and nutritional value, recognizing that wheat, having been essential in European food aid prior to U.S. entry into World War I in April 1917, was one of the major energy sources for Americans both “over there” and on the home front. Click here to read more, and learn how feeding more than 4 million Americans serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, while continuing to supply agricultural provisions for allies, was a tactical feat that relied upon military precision and a broad base of support among the population.


Doughboy MIA for December 2020

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

For our MIA article this month, Doughboy MIA is going to take the opportunity to introduce you all to some of the changes coming to us and our program in 2021. Many of you will have received an email recently asking your basic level of interest in what it is we do. Your response was overwhelming and appreciated! It is heartening to know how much America still cares for her lost sons from the war that changed the world! As we move forward through this new year, expect to learn more about us and what we will be doing.

First off though, this month we would like to address the main questions we face in our work: why, and why now? The ‘why’ encompasses a complex answer. First, it’s about commemoration. Commemoration is our primary focus; It isn't all about recovery of remains, but it IS about making an accounting. First and foremost, we look at the cases and try to make a determination as to what happened to these men. We have technology that can cross match details - they had shoe boxes of index cards and paper files to sift through. Our #1 goal is to tell their stories and keep them from being forgotten, researching and recording these men and what happened to them. There is no full record of them and this is a travesty that has stood for too long. No more will these men be forgotten if we can help it – and we will. As our motto states: a man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our secondary mission is attempted recovery of remains, if the situation appears possible. Today we have technology available to us that make the search beyond anything they could have dreamed of following the war. With that in mind the question of ‘why’ then begs the answer ‘why not’?

Yet the biggest reason for making any attempt at bringing them home boils down to one main reason really. America made a promise to her soldiers and families in 1917: she would bring everyone home. This was America's first major overseas operation. For the very first time we were going to send a major force to fight on foreign shores and there were many in the public with grave concerns about our involvement in what was generally considered a 'European affair'. To that end, America assured the public that she would care for her soldiers properly - dead or alive, we would all come home. However, following the war the number and type of casualties we would incur in France and Belgium posed the US with the herculean task of caring for 116,000 dead in just 19 months; 56,000 of these in combat. Public opinion had shifted as well, with a little over half of the families (59%) wanting their loved one brought home and the rest believing it was right to leave them in France beside their comrades. In the end, of the 75,000 burials in France only 31,000 would stay.

This included MIA's. Between 1919 and 1932 the GRS went to extraordinary lengths to find the missing (most of whom were buried in battlefield graves that were just never located; contrary to popular belief most were not 'blown to bits by shell fire') and identify the recovered remains that went as unknown. Their efforts were truly heroic and ongoing, exhausting every avenue available at the time. Beginning in 1932 the GRS took one last look at each and every file of a missing serviceman, making one final attempt for them before systematically closing the files. By 1934 all the files were closed, the cemeteries overseas were closed to further interment, and all search efforts were suspended. They had done all they could to keep the promise. The names of the missing were commemorated on the Tablets to the Missing at each of the US cemeteries overseas as a permanent memorial.

Since then a few sets of remains have turned up over the years and the military did what was proper for these men. It must be remembered: they are still United States service personnel and thus the responsibility of the US military. To that end the military still has a responsibility to them and a promise to keep to their families. Many families were devastated by the loss of their loved one, particularly as they were never 'found'. Time and again we at Doughboy MIA talk to current relatives that know the family history - that the loss left a hole in the family felt to this day. To that end, Doughboy MIA remains aware of the responsibility of America to these families. These men deserve a named grave for the simple fact they lost their lives in the service of their country and were promised we wouldn't leave them behind. Again, if they had had access to the tech back then that we do now, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The passing of the years does not eliminate the responsibility we have to these soldiers and their families.

That brings us to the ‘why now’? Basically it’s because this is very likely the last window of opportunity there will be. The tech is here now; that is what drew us to the possibility of recovery. But hand in hand with that is the fact that in another 20-30 years any remains recovered will likely be far too degraded for a positive DNA sampling, despite advances in tech. Further, by then yet another generation will have gone by. As each generation comes and goes, the legal line of DNA in a family stretches and thins. In another generation of two we won't be able to successfully gain a legal DNA sample from a bloodline. Thus, this window of opportunity we currently face today is likely the last opportunity for these men, and that window is closing. What kind of country would we be if we had that last opportunity and let it go by?

You can help too. YOU can be a part of the solution with us. Simply consider making a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization and help make it possible to keep these men alive. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia today to make your donation. You may also sign up there to get more information on other ways you may be able to help.

Above all remember: a man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Join us in helping keep them from ever being forgotten again.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Books

Lest We Forget: The Great War World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. One of the nation’s premier military history institutions pays tribute to the Americans who served and the allies they fought beside to defeat a resourceful enemy with a lavishly illustrated book.  It is an official product of the United States World War One Centennial Commission and is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and what would become the Air Force. It serves as a lasting reminder that our world ignores the history of World War I (and the ensuing WWII) at its peril―lest we forget. 

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a stunning presentation of contemporary photographs taken by the author that are paired with diary entries written by his grandfather, George A. Carlson, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. Jeff Lowdermilk followed his grandfather's path through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and returned with these meticulously crafted photographs and his own engaging stories that bring the diary to life for contemporary readers. Lowdermilk's passion for World War I and military history began as a young boy when he listened to his grandfather tell his stories about serving as an infantryman-- a "Doughboy"--in Europe during the Great War.

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

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



Henry Eugene Quinn

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

 

Henry Eugene Quinn

Submitted by: Diana Quinn Cotton {Granddaughter}

Henry Eugene Quinn born around 1899. Henry Quinn 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, Addendum, & Personal Notes

PFC Henry E. Quinn served as a company runner in Co. F 28th Infantry 1st Division, American Expeditionary Forces, United States Army, during World War I and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Croix de Guerre, and Victory Medal with Five Battle Clasps.

My grandfather, Henry Eugene Quinn, was born in Anniston, Alabama, on January 31, 1899. He was the fourth of eleven children of William Eugene Quinn (1865-1945) and Emma Langdon (Fowler) Quinn (1873-1963). He stood 5’ 8” tall, had red hair, blue eyes, a fair complexion, and was covered in freckles. His nicknames were “Bud” (at home) and “Red” (in the Army).

In his World War I memoirs, written many years after the war, Henry wrote:

“March 1917—Applied for enlistment at Monroe (LA), was examined by a colonel Dr. who was rather rough in criticizing my physical condition, stated that I looked like a picked chicken, etc., account of being so skinny. I was not use to such criticism & talked rather rough to him in return. Sgt. was in the background motioning me to hush, etc., but I said my say. Col. flared up & stated, ‘He will do Sgt—I will get a waver on his weight tonight.’ I was 11 lbs. under weight.”

Henry briefly returned to Swartz, LA, to inform his family he had joined the Army and to tell them goodbye. His father “shook hands & told me that I had been my own boss for some time, but now I had a real boss.”

Read Henry Eugene Quinn's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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November 2020

Sculpture_WABC

Earlier this month, WABC-TV in New York City broadcast a story on the crafting of the sculpture for the National World War I Memorial. The television crew interviewed sculptor Sabin Howard and World War I Centennial Commission Commissioner Libby O'Connell in Sabin's New Jersey studio. Click the image above to watch the video and read the article on the WABC web site.

Save the Date this “Giving Tuesday” for the Doughboy Foundation

Doughboy Foundation logo giving tuesday

We proudly announce that on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the Doughboy Foundation (DBF) will join the global movement “Giving Tuesday,” that helps people and organizations transform their communities and the world. In tandem with this day, the DBF is expanding its mission of stewardship to support the National WWI Memorial, and the remembrance of all those who served and sacrificed in WWI; to keep the story of the War that Changed the World in the minds of all Americans so that the 4.7 million who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in #WW1 will never again be relegated to the mists of obscurity. This exciting time of Doughboy Foundation expansion will bring new programs and activities to all Americans to facilitate knowledge, understanding, and remembrance of WWI and all those who served. As many of you know, the Doughboy Foundation has been working hand-in-glove with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission for the past 5 years as we commemorated  #WWI, and have been building the National WWI Memorial site in D. C., scheduled to open in Spring of 2021. Please look for an email on Dec. 1, Giving Tuesday, about how you can help launch this next phase of commemorating WWI.


Preparations Underway for Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial in 2021

1921 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) Centennial Committee is preparing for the 100th anniversary of the burial of an Unknown American Soldier who fought and died in World War I and is buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. On the 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month in 2021 Americans will pause to recognize those who have sacrificed and those who will sacrifice in the future in the defense of America’s freedom and democracy.  “It is important to remember that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is not just about World War I, but it is about every individual who has ever served - or will ever serve - and America’s promise to them that they will never forget them,” says SHGTUSP resident Gavin McIlvenna. “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier fosters a unifying national identity that transcends our differences of politics, race or religion, and we have applied our best efforts to plan, develop and initiate a number of activities suitable for this solemn occasion of national importance.” Click here to learn more about the plans for the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Celebrating Thanksgiving amid a pandemic. Here's how we did it in 1918 – and what happened next

Thanksgiving headlines 2018

More than 200,000 dead since March. Cities in lockdown. Vaccine trials underway.  And a holiday message, of sorts: "See that Thanksgiving celebrations are restricted as much as possible so as to prevent another flare-up."  It isn't the message of Thanksgiving 2020. It's the Thanksgiving Day notice that ran in the Omaha World Herald on Nov. 28, 1918, when Americans found themselves in a similar predicament to the millions now grappling with how to celebrate the holiday season amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Every time I hear someone say these are unprecedented times, I say no, no, they're not," said Brittany Hutchinson, assistant curator at the Chicago History Museum. "They did this in 1918." Click here to read more in this USA TODAY article about the eerie similarities between two Thanksgiving observances one hundred and two years apart.


What Thanksgiving Dinners Looked Like During World War I Rationing

sailor with drumstick

In 2020, it's safe to say most of us just experienced a highly unusual Thanksgiving. Between eschewing gathering with family and friends to making do with different dishes due to food supply issues, it has seemed like one of the weirdest holiday seasons to date. But not so long ago, before the nation was grappling with the novel coronavirus, the United States was battling another foe: the Central Powers of World War I. As WWI raged on, Americans experienced five Thanksgivings during wartime before the Treaty of Versailles was signed, meaning that things looked decidedly different at the holiday dinner table. Click here to read more about what Americans were eating for Thanksgiving during WWI, including some eyebrow-raising items.


One of America’s Finest Hours in Humanitarian Aid is Little-known Today

Yanks Behind the Lines cover

Today, whenever there are civilians anywhere in the world in harm’s way—from a natural disaster to an armed conflict—the nearly universal response has been: “America will help.” That was not the case before World War I (1914–1918). Prior to that horrific conflict—and long before US aid programs such as the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, and the Food for Peace program—America was better known as a nation of shopkeepers more interested in the bottom line than in saving strangers in need. Author Jeffery Miller explores what helped alter that view: the American-led, nongovernmental CRB, which, working with its Belgian counterpart, the Comité National de Secours et d’Alimentation, helped save from starvation nearly ten million Belgian and northern French civilians trapped behind German lines during the four years of World War I, making it the largest food relief program the world had ever seen. Click here to learn more about how the CRB began the redefinition of how the world saw America, how America perceived its role in the world, and how worldwide humanitarian aid would be administrated in the future.


Thank-you letters from Belgium in 1915 point back to unlikely Minnesota hero

James Ford Bell

Handwritten by Belgian school girls caught in the middle of an adult clash, the letters from 1915 are frank and brimming with gratitude. Germany had invaded their country, British allies mounted a blockade to starve out the German soldiers, and millions of innocent Belgians faced starvation at the outset of World War I. A traveling exhibit of these translated letters — “When Minnesota Fed the Children of Europe” — visited the Mall of America in Minneapolis in October.  The girls’ letters were written generally to their American peers, but two unlikely men with Midwestern ties were pivotal players behind the massive relief effort that helped feed 150 million Europeans a century ago, from 1914 to 1923. Click here to read about the two men, one very well-known, the other known better now for his post-war business legacy that is still in operation today.


Michael Neiberg remembers the World War I roots of Veterans Day

Veterans Day flag

Writing on the US Army War College web site, historian Michael Neiberg recalls that "The first Veterans Day (then called Armistice Day), on November 11, 1919, was a solemn and serious event commemorated worldwide. The First World War left behind an estimated three million widows and six million orphans, in addition to eight million men killed in combat and unknown millions more who died in the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. Marking the one-year anniversary of the end of the fighting gave people a chance to honor all of the victims, military and civilian alike, of this terrible war." Click here to read more about how Armistice day changed from a WWI-focused commemoration to a day remembering all Americans who served their nation in uniform during war and peace.


Springfield, Illinois park renamed for World War I hero Otis Duncan

Otis Duncan

The Springfield Park District board voted in September to rename a near north side park after Otis B. Duncan, the highest-ranking Black officer to serve in the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I. “It gives us an opportunity to honor someone who is truly worthy,” park board president Leslie Sgro said of Duncan, before the vote. “I just love the idea we put forward this individual who has long been overlooked, I believe. His star is starting to shine in our community, as it should have for a century, but better late than never.” Click here ti learn more about Duncan, the American Legion post named in his honor, and the events that led to the vote on the 147th anniversary of Duncan’s birth.


Meet Mary Muirhead of Elgin, Illinois and the World War I Army Nurse Corp

Mary Muirhead's World War I dog tag

American nurses have a long and fabled history of selfless service during the most critical times of war. The nursing professionals’ contributions ultimately became the justification for a permanent female nurse corps, and when the United States entered World War I, there were only 403 Army nurses on active duty. But by November 1918, the number rose to 21,460. Mary Muirhead, born and raised in Elgin, IL, was one of those nurses. Click here to learn more about how she was one who answered the call for nurses to serve in the U.S. Army and naval hospitals and with base hospitals.


Grave marker dedicated to Buffalo Soldier who served in World War I

Bugler American Legion

A Buffalo Soldier from Toledo, OH who served his country during World War I finally got the sendoff to heaven he deserved. John M. Fields, a black Army private who served in France and was honorably discharged on July 21, 1919, had been buried at Forest Cemetery with no grave marker since dying on Dec. 28, 1960. That changed on Veterans Day this year.  Click here to read more, and learn how The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution took up the cause and got Private Fields the grave marker he deserved 60 years later.


A Plainfield, NJ World War I Story Reaches "Across the Pond"

US-Irish flags

In May 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, TAPinto Plainfield published an article announcing the Drake House Museum's online exhibit entitled “Plainfield During WWI and the Influenza Pandemic.” That article, it turned out, would connect the past to the present. Leanne Manna, a Trustee at the Drake House, curated the exhibit and posted it online. Rutgers University Intern Stephanie Quartsin and Nancy Piwowar helped to research and document the veterans. The article included the name of one casualty, Martin J. Kane, and a relative of his, who lives Ireland, found the article about the online exhibit. Click here to read more about how a family’s inquiry was answered, and the pieces of a puzzle over 100 years in the making were fitted together.


Minnesota family recovers century-old letter from World War I

Minnesota letter

A century-old letter written by a Nobles County, Minn., World War I veteran is in the hands of his granddaughter, thanks to a casual conversation among distant cousins at a family gathering. Henry Slater penned a letter home to his Wilmont, Minn., family on June 15, 1918, from somewhere in France. That the letter is now in the hands of Slater’s son, Jim, and granddaughter, Barb (Slater) Froiland, is a story in itself.  Click here to read more and learn how this letter home from the Great War has now found its way home again.


Reflections on “The Songs of World War One” Program from 1917 to 1919

Cecelia Otto

In March of 2017, Cecelia Otto debuted a concert program titled, “The Songs of World War One”. Writing on the americacansongonline.com web site, Otto notes that "I knew that people would learn and enjoy the program, but I had no idea how it would be received. It was a wonderful surprise to find out not only that people enjoyed the concerts, but that I performed the music well past the 100th anniversary of the Armistice – all the way to November of 2019." Click here to read Otto's entire article, and learn how her two and a half years of performing WWI songs connected her "with so many people nationwide who had their own stories and songs to share."


Fur N Feathers: Book honors animals and people who served in World War I

Fur N Feathers book cover

When the Arkansas Department of Heritage chose the theme of World War I for Heritage Month events during the war's centennial, it encouraged programs and activities across the state. Marie Wagner of the Chugach Arts Council Chugach Arts Council writes that the organization's "goal with this project was to use our talents and blessings to honor the animals and people that served in WWI and to bring awareness and support for animal welfare organizations. Coincidentally, we found that art itself played a crucial role in the war efforts." Click here to learn more about how the organization's efforts gained participation "from across the continent" in an art show, an exhibit, and a book, "Fur N Feathers: Animal Heroes of WWI..


How a World War I centennial exhibit evolved into an immersive card game

The Great War™ card game card back

The San Francisco War Memorial building complex was dedicated on November 11, 1932, as a memorial to all American veterans who served in The Great War. In 2018 the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission designated it as a 100 Cities / 100 Memorials awardee. Dana Lombardy was tasked in 2018 to create a centennial exhibit about WWI for the facility. Writes Lombardy: "The project consumed me. For eleven months in 2018 I lived for The Great War. But my extensive research resulted in another creation, one that might reach an even larger audience: a simple, fast-playing card game about World War One that could educate while it entertained." Click here to read more about the exhibit, the creation of the WWI game, and how such card games can educate while they entertain.


Doughboy MIA for November 2020

As Doughboy MIA wraps up their year and prepares for some big doings in 2021, we would like to repeat a story from November 2019 that hits close to home for us.

Frank 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, and popularly 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 grandmother's 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 that 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 makes great Christmas gifts!

Coin set

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."

Coin stand personalized

Compliment your Centennial Silver Dollar with a special coin display stand with an engraved personalized plate to honor your World War I ancestor. This black wooden coin stand is 3-1/2 inches in height, 1-1/2 inches in width and 2-1/2 inches in length and features silver posts. This elegant stand is a perfect way to display your your Centennial Silver Dollar or any coins on your desk or shelf.

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

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



Fred Hitner

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

 

Fred Hitner

Submitted by: Robin Hitner {Great Nephew}

Fred Hitner was born around 1893. Fred Hitner 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

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, I was told that I had a great uncle from Nashville, named Fred Hitner, who died in WWI. His name is listed on a World War I memorial statue located in Centennial Park in Nashville that I visited several times growing up. My dad had a picture of his grave and cross located in Belgium (see attached). It appeared to be a temporary mass grave. We had no pictures of himself in our possession. Unfortunately, my dad did not have much information on Fred except for his parent’s names and what looked like a typed draft of an obituary.

This unofficial obituary stated that he “lost his life in Waeregham, [Waregem] Belgium in the service of his country on November 11, 1918.” I could never find an official newspaper obituary. Other documents such as the Gold Star Records from the Tennessee State Library and Archives listed the same date and place. I thought how interesting that he died on the last day of war. I became extremely interested in finding out how and where he died.

Read Fred Hitner's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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October 2020

Bells of Peace, November 11, 2020: participate live and local, or virtual

Bells of Peace with Zoom

Based on a number of inquires from people who would like to participate in Bells of Peace, but are concerned about social distancing, we are going to hold live Bells of Peace tolling events via ZOOM on 11/11 at 11:00 a.m. local for each of the US times zones, including Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii. Learn more about this coast-to-coast and all points west virtual event, and/or contact us about holding your OWN online Bells of Peace tolling event.

Also see our 2020 Bells of Peace social media SHARING aggregator page  If you tag your participation posts with #BellsOfPeace, we will include your post both in the Bells of Peace post page on the website and also INSIDE the app in the Share Your Experience section.

Click here to get an update on the initiative and learn about more ways you can participate, and to download the Bells of Peace app..


Virtual Talk November 6: The Making of Stars and Stripes Over the Rhine

Kai Sprenger

The Germanic-American Institute (GAI) in St. Paul, MN presents a free virtual talk with historian Dr. Kai-Michael Sprenger on Friday, November 6, at 6:00 pm CST. Sprenger, leader of a project of the Institute for Regional History at the University of Mainz , has researched the long-term social and cultural impacts of this occupation on the region and on German-American relations. This research produced a a traveling exhibition, “Stars and Stripes Over the Rhine,” covering these and many other aspects of the American occupation, which has visited institutions and museums in both the U.S. and Germany. Click here to learn more about the exhibition, and find out how to sign up for the virtual talk on November 6.


Camp Sherman lesson plan wins preservation award in Ohio

Camp Sherman award 2020

The Ohio World War I Centennial Committee produced a series of lesson plans on various World War I topics, including Camp Sherman and the Mound City Earthworks. The State Historic Preservation Office of Ohio recently announced its annual state historic preservation awards. The Camp Sherman and the Mound City Earthworks: A Unique Story of Preservation lesson plan was recipient of the Public Education and Awareness Award. The lesson plan was written by Ohio World War I Centennial Committee member Paul LaRue in collaboration with the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park and the Ohio History Connection. Click here to read more about the prestigious award, and how, though the World War I Centennial is over, the value of quality World War I lesson plans and educational resources are more important than ever.


New book on the World War I origins of Propaganda & the Information State

Hamilton book

John Maxwell Hamilton, a member of The Historical Advisory Board for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, has released a highly acclaimed new book on the history of American propaganda. "Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda" tells the story of the enduring threat to American democracy that arose out of World War I: the establishment of pervasive, systematic propaganda as an instrument of the state. Click here to learn more about the book, and how to get your copy.


How World War I American Propaganda Grew Out of a Society of Illustrators

James Montgomery Flagg, “Wake up, America!"

"It’s worth recalling that modern propaganda became a global enterprise during the First World War, rather than the second. For the US, that conflict was brief, lasting less than two years. But the ideological output was prodigious."  Writing on the hyperallergic.com web site, author D.B. Dowd recalls how George Creel, chairman of the new Committee on Public Information, created the Division of Pictorial Publicity. Out of this organization came many of the familiar WWI posters that Creel thought "must play a great role in the fight for public opinion." Click here to read the entire article.


The Political Legacy of World War I

John E Moser

John E. Moser writes on the CATO Unbound web site that "World War I was arguably the most important conflict of the twentieth century, bringing down four great empires and redrawing the map of Europe. The effect on the United States was quite different." In the U.S., "the war redefined the role of the federal government" and "redefined the relationship between Washington and its citizens, and set precedents to which subsequent presidents would repeatedly refer." Click here to read the entire thoughtful essay on how The Legacy of the Great War is very much alive in our nation today.


Woodrow Wilson Got the Flu in a Pandemic During WWI Peace Talks

Wilson mug

While the nation continues to battle with the COVID-19 flu pandemic in 2020, the echos of the World War I flu pandemic continue to be heard. As it turns out, President Donald Trump is not the first Chief Executive to be felled by a pandemic flu. As Dave Roos notes on the History.com web site, "On the night of April 3, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson began to suffer from a violent cough. His condition quickly worsened to the point that his personal doctor, Cary Grayson, thought the president might have been poisoned." However, "The culprit wasn’t poison, but the same potent strain of influenza nicknamed the “Spanish flu” that would eventually kill an estimated 20 million worldwide, including more than 600,000 in the United States. Wilson’s illness was made even worse by its timing—the president was left bedridden in the middle of the most important negotiations of his life, the Paris Peace Conference to end World War I." Click here to read the entire article on how Wilson's flu may have kept "The War to End All Wars" from achieving that objective.


How "a box of letters and pictures" led to "World War I: the Marne Miracle"

The Marne Miracle cover

Dan Breckinridge Moore recalls that "I was given a box of letters and pictures by my cousin containing letters my father wrote to her grandmother, (his sister) from France and Germany in 1918 and 1919."  One of the letters described "the incredible turn of events in the Second Battle of the Marne." Inspired by his "bravery and fortitude," Moore wrote "World War I: the Marne Miracle" in his father's honor. Click here to learn more about the book, and the amazing story of how the 38th Infantry Regiment turned the tide of the war to the Allies.


Lebanon, PA soldier’s sacrifice recalled by Camden VFW Post No. 3238

Clarence Vinson

Pvt. Clarence Vinson of Lebanon, PA was killed in action just eight days before the Armistice that ended the fighting in World War I. In recognition of Vinson’s service and sacrifice, the Camden Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3238, was dedicated in his honor in March 1935. Click here to learn more about this son of "an ordinary family" went off to serve his nation in World War I, and left an enduring legacy.


Rin Tin Tin: The World War I True Story

RinTinTin

At the very end of World War I, American Corporal Lee Duncan picked up two dogs from a litter of German shepherds discovered in the rubble of a kennel near Saint-Mihiel where his unit fought. He named them Nénette and Rin Tin Tin, to evoke the little woolen puppets that the children of Lorraine offered to allied soldiers as a lucky charm. Nénette died during the return crossing to the United States, but Rin Tin Tin, arrived safe and sound on American soil, and quickly demonstrated the exceptional abilities which led him straight to the movie sets of Hollywood. Click here to learn more about how a Doughboy and his dog created an amazing movie and television legacy.


Six Incredible Roles by Dogs in WWI

Soldier with dog

America loves its pets, and according to ownership statistics, dogs are the favorite. More than 60 million American households own a dog, and this shows no signs of slowing down. People love to choose from good dog breeds and find the next member of their family. However, dog’s aren’t always reserved for being a pet. They can be great guards, investigators, and can play many other roles. In fact, back in World War 1, dogs had several roles that were instrumental in the success of various operations. Click here to learn about 6 of the roles that dogs performed in WWI.


How America Entered WWI with a Bang

Cantigny

"The Battle of Cantigny, the first major assault of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front in World War I, proved that Americans 'would both fight and stick,' said Maj. Gen. Robert Lee Bullard, commander of the 1st Division," writes William Stroock on the National Interest web site. Click here to read more, and learn how Cantigny played a key role in AEF Commander General John Pershing defeating "not only the Germans, but also the Allied commanders who had tried so hard to erase the independence of American units that fought on the Western Front."


Remembering World War I

Pershing mug

Ron Montonye, Pierce County, ND Veterans Service Officer, was reading a book titled “Yanks – The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I” written by John S.D. Eisenhower. He notes that "As I read this book, it reminded me of many facts that I had either forgotten, or never learned, about World War I. I would like to share a few of these facts, and some thoughts of mine, with you."  Click here to read Montonye's entire column from the Tribune newspaper in Pierce County.


Ohio WWI vet honored century later

Mike Serrott

Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware, OH serves as the final resting place for veterans of every war in which the United States has been involved. When Mike Serrott and his coworkers decided they wanted to honor one of them with a brick at the Veterans Memorial Plaza located at the Ohio Army National Guard Readiness Center on South Houk Road, Serrott knew exactly where to look. Click here to read the entire article, and learn how a a veteran from World War I received the honor.


Doughboy MIA for October 2020

James Uber

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Note: As the Covid-19 still has the National Archives closed, thus limiting our abilities to utilize our #1 source for information, Doughboy MIA is taking another long, hard look at many of our active cases. Over the next few months we will be using the space here to update you on the progress of these, as well as present some of our findings on other cases we consider closed. 

This month we update you on :

CPL James Uber,  Co. E/112th Infantry/28th Division

James Lester Uber was KIA on October 8th, 1918 in the Argonne Forest. Records are sketchy about whether he was buried on the battlefield where he fell, or whether he died in a field hospital and was buried near there. Either way, following the war his remains were never found, despite several attempts by GRS personnel. 

On Veteran's Day, 2018 during a ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in France, a group from the SGT York Foundation was approached by a French boy and his mother who presented a dog tag to them that the boy had found out on the former battlefield. It belonged to James Uber. The tag was brought home and wound up in the hands of a LTC in the Pennsylvania National Guard, who began trying to track down Uber's family. When we at Doughboy MIA heard the story we launched our investigation and it is our belief that the found tag most likely had been fixed to Uber's battlefield grave marker. In that case, we speculated that if we could locate the area where the tag was found, that would give us a starting point to initiate an investigation using today's technology to search for Uber's remains. The issue was that no one had gotten the boy's name. Then, just as we began plying contacts in France to find the boy, Covid descended and scotched our plans.

Recently however, with restrictions in France eased up some, one of our team members - showing dogged determination - managed to actually locate the boy and his family. An interview with him is in the works, but with the new restrictions just announced for France and Germany, it looks like it will be some time before we can get into the field to do initial investigations. Nevertheless, we are excited to see movement in this case.

Wish you could help us account for America's missing servicemen from WW1? You can! Consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA today. Simply go to www.ww1cc.org/mia and click the donation link. It's quick, easy, tax deductible, and our non-profit organization uses the money to continue research and, soon, to mount field expeditions - all of which costs money. Your donation gives you the chance to help out and be part of the solution. Remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Small flag

8" x 12" World War I Centennial Flag

Perfect for display on Veterans Day at the grave sites of those who served in the United States armed forces during World War I, "The War That Changed the World."

The 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.

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.



Harry Malott

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

 

Harry Malott

Submitted by: Gerri Brown

Harry Malott served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 04/03/1917-11/1918.

Story of Service

HARRY E. MALOTT, PFC
Veteran of World War 1
Enlisted - April 3, 1917 – Discharged-Nov. 1918
Landing in Hoboken, New Jersey
Paraded in New York City, N.Y.

On April 3, 1917 Harry Malott and his cousin Oliver Smith came to Canton, Illinois to enlist in the army in World War 1. Harry returned from the War In 1918. He had been wounded a couple times but never went to a doctor. His cousin Oliver was killed in battle in World War 1. Oliver is buried in France.

When applying for enlistment in the U. S. Army on April 3, 1917, when weighing in Harry was too light and they were going to reject him. He left and drank a lot of water to add weight and returned to weigh again. He was sworn in April 6, 1917, Company 1, 18th infantry as a Wagoner. He served overseas in Europe in World War 1 in France and Germany.

Read Harry Malott's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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