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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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July 2020

Bells of Peace Header image

Countdown: 100 Days to Bells of Peace runs August 4 to November 11, 2020

Announcing Bells of Peace, A World War I Remembrance, November 11, 2020, when everyone is invited to toll the “Bells of Peace” in honor of all those who served and sacrificed in World War I. To kickoff “Bells of Peace,” on August 4, 2020, join us for a 100-Day Countdown” to November 11, 2020 on our social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The “100-Day Countdown” features stories commemorating the 100-day offensive on the Western Front leading up to WWI Armistice, November 11, 1918 when the guns fell silent and the bells tolled on the Western Front, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Click here to read more about the Countdown, and learn how you, your family and friends, your organizations, and your communities can toll the “Bells of Peace” and remember this pivotal moment in our Nation’s history and all those who served in World War I. 


WWI Hero in new AUSA Graphic Novel

Henry Johnson graphic novel AUSA

Sgt. Henry Johnson, a member of the famed “Harlem Hellfighters,” is the subject of the newest graphic novel in the Association of the U.S. Army’s series highlighting Medal of Honor recipients. Medal of Honor: Henry Johnson features the story of Johnson, who served on the Western Front of World War I with the 369th Infantry Regiment, an African American unit that later became known as the “Harlem Hellfighters.” Click here to read more about the new book, and the incredible bravery of Henry Johnson that the volume spotlights.


Arrest made in Missouri for Doughboy statue vandalism at courthouse

Damaged Doughboy Statue

The "Spirit of the American Doughboy" statue, sitting on the Pettis County, Missouri  Courthouse lawn, was vandalized over the July 4 weekend. The saber and gun are bent and the statue’s hand is cracked. Barbed wire circling the monument is also broken. On July 24, the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office took a suspect into custody.  Fortunately, the damage was not intentional, but occurred when a person "determined they would climb the statue for purposes of having a picture taken on it." Click here to read more about the damage caused to the E.M. Viquesney statue, and the investigation that identified the culprit who caused it.


WWI soldier desegregated baseball

Branch Rickey

Branch Rickey was an Army officer in the Chemical Warfare Service during WWI. In his unit, coincidentally, were future baseball greats Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson. Rickey would also take a place in baseball history, thanks to his decision to do the right thing. In October 1945, as general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey signed infielder Jackie Robinson, an African American, for the Dodgers' minor league team. Robinson's later success with the Dodgers from 1947 to 1956 led other owners to seek Black talent. Click here to read more about RIckey's great service to the nation in war and peace.


How baseball resumed play after World War I on Patriots Day in Boston

Baseball return 1919 snip

As Major League Baseball struggles to restart play amidst the challenges of COVID-19, looking back 100 years to baseball getting back on the diamond after World War I may offer some lessons. Writing on the Society of American Baseball Research web site, author Dixie Tourangeau notes that "Every day ships entered Boston Harbor with returning troops from Europe, bringing joy and relief to awaiting households, but they docked in the midst of continuing pandemic burials." Click here to read more, and learn how baseball and America worked through the legacy of the recent war and the omnipresent pandemic to make sure "Play ball!" was heard again in major league ballparks.


Artist turns World War I posters into calls for Americans to wear face masks

Miss Liberty with mask

A series of retro illustrations offer a modern take on American propaganda posters from World War I — showing what the images might have looked like if they were made to promote mask-wearing to try to contain the novel coronavirus Clara Aranovich, a writer and filmmaker who has also worked as a period researcher for the TV series "Mad Men," is the brains behind the re-created posters, which have been shared thousands of times on Instagram since early July. Click here to read more about (and see images of) Aranovich's artwork, meant to inspire a sense of camaraderie in the same way many people united to support America's efforts in World War I


The U.S. Military and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919

Deaths per 1000 soldiers flu 1918-1919

Writing a decade ago for the Public Health Reports at the National Institutes of Health, researcher Carol Byerly took a hard look at how "The American military experience in World War I and the influenza pandemic were closely intertwined." The pandemic "sickened 20% to 40% of U.S. Army and Navy personnel" with highly deleterious effects on induction, training, and availability of military personnel. She notes that "During the American Expeditionary Forces' campaign at Meuse-Argonne, the epidemic diverted urgently needed resources from combat support to transporting and caring for the sick and the dead." Click here to read the entire article, and learn more about the 1918 pandemic, and lessons we can take way a century later from the military's response.


Centennial of 19th Amendment Exhibition Open National World War I Museum and Memorial

19th Amendment exhibit National WWI Museum

The National WWI Museum and Memorial commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment, prohibiting the denial of voting rights on account of gender, with a new exhibition dedicated to telling the story of the women’s suffrage movement. Votes & Voices explores the history of the fight for women’s right to vote, largely from the perspective of those who fought for enfranchisement more than 100 years ago. Click here to read more, and learn how "World War I and the women’s suffrage movement are inextricably tied together.”


Outdoor events in August at the National World War I Museum and Memorial

Movies at memorial

Outdoor events allowing for social distancing are among the August offerings from the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The Summer Movie Series returns on Friday, Aug. 13 with a screening of the ground-breaking film They Shall Not Grow Old from Oscar-winner Peter Jackson. Guests can come together on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 5-8:15 p.m. for the socially-distanced Jazz on the Lawn: A Modern Picnic. The event celebrates the spirit of the early 1920s with the hottest jazz band in town, Grand Marquis, as well as former Mayor Sly James and DJ Hartzell Gray. Rounding out the slate of outdoor events is the annual program Living the Great War from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29. This free program features the Living History Volunteer Corps and vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. Click here to read more about these and other August activities at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, and how to sign up to attend.


Largest WWI Mobile Museum travels America but calls Marlow, OK home

Keith Colley

Keith Colley, owner of the incredible WWI Mobile Museum (see previous articles here, here, and here) has been interviewed by his local Oklahoma television station.  His traveling schedule has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced him to cancel 238 scheduled showings. But he’s spent that time making the museum better. Click here to read the entire article, and learn when the WWI Mobile Museum expects t be back on the road again.


Millennial’s Alter Ego is Forgotten Female Surgeon From World War I

Lillian Fehler

Most war reenactors are older men, but 27-year-old Lillian Fehler stands out for designing uniforms that are historically accurate down to the tiniest details. In an interview during the 2019 Camp Doughboy event at Governor's Island in New York City  Fehler talked about how she decided to recreate the persona of Dr. Anna Tjomsland, a real-life surgeon who served in World War I, and was one of about 55 female surgeons to put on a uniform for the American military during the First World War, but one of only 11 to get assigned overseas.  Click here to read more about Fehler's intensive research and meticulous work that brings the story of a unique and independent female doctor back to life.


When the Serbian Flag Flew Over the White House during World War I

Serbian flag white house 1918

On July 28th in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson gave the order to fly the flag of Serbia over the White House. This was one of a number of acts that reflected the solidarity of Americans with the Serbian people who suffered so tremendously during the First World War.  At the start of the conflict, thousands of young Americans of Serbian descent volunteered to cross the Atlantic and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with their cousins. Malvina Hoffmann’s famous poster urged people to make donations to assist the people of Serbia. Pupin, Mabel Grujić, and others collected not only money, but also thousands of tons of humanitarian aid for the poor and for displaced refugees from Serbia. Click here to read more about American assistance to Serbia during and after World War I.


South Carolina Public Radio replaying World War I programs

Fighting on Two Fronts SC Public Radio

In July, South Carolina Public Radio replayed three programs about World War I and South Carolina, hosted by Dr. Walter Edgar. The replays can be listened to online from wherever you are. The programs include "Fighting on Two Fronts: Black South Carolinians in World War I"; "South Carolina in WWI: The Military"; and "Conversations on S.C. History: Women and World War I".  Click here to read more about these three World War I programs, and how your can access them by radio in the South Carolina Public Radio listening area, or online elsewhere.


Most decorated Texan of The Great War

George Lawson Keene

On July 22, 1917, a young soldier from East Texas was recovering from serious wounds, while coping with the effects of a mustard gas attack 72 hours after fighting his second two-day battle in seven weeks. George Lawson Keene, who always went by his middle name, grew up in his birthplace of Crockett. His roots ran deep in the Piney Woods with both parents direct descendants of early settlers. Click here to read more about how the "fearless Texan" found himself in the middle of one of the pivotal battles of WWI, and emerged with the Army’s second highest medal - the Distinguished Service Cross.


Smedley Butler’s fiery speech to WWI veterans is still relevant today

 Smedley Butler

In 1932, some 25,000 World War I veterans descended on Washington, DC to to demand that the government keep its word about an early payment of a bonus they had been promised following victory in the First World War. On July 19 of that year, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler took to the stage at the largest so-called Bonus Army camp in the Anacostia Flats area outside of downtown D.C. There he launched into a fiery tirade that remains relevant to military veterans, and Americans at large, even to this day. Click here to read more about Butler's speech, and why it remains pertinent and important almost eighty years later.


Mutt the Cigarette-Delivering French Bulldog & Other Animals of World War I

Mutt

During World War I, a plethora of “good boys” and dog breeds participated in tasks that would be deemed unusual in today’s modern wars. Among them were dogs who pulled carts with machine guns on the other end, while others hauled supplies. Bruce, a black-and-white British companion, acted as a messenger running urgent orders up and down the Western Front. Rats were a nuisance in the muddy trenches and were so prevalent that the French trained smaller dogs as rat-catchers. Mutt, a French Bulldog (left) belonging to the YMCA Cigarette Dog delivery service, was wounded twice while trying to improve the morale of soldiers in the 11th Engineers. Click here to read more about the many animals (many of surprising species) who made their mark serving American and other forces in World War I.


Doughboy MIA for July 2020

https://app.mobilecause.com/form/pWRVJw

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Samuel J. Hochfelder of Company L/106th Infantry Regiment/27th Division.

Hochfelder was born in January, 1899 to Louis and Rose Hochfelder, Hungarian immigrants. He was one of five children and was born in the Bronx, New York. Following America's declaration of war, Samuel joined the army on June 7th, 1917 and was first assigned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard. The 23rd was later federalized as the 106th Infantry. With them he went to France aboard the USS President Lincoln on May 10th, 1918.

In France the 27th Division was one of two divisions brigaded with the British as the US 2nd Corps, fighting in the British sector. The 106th first moved into the lines on June 25th, 1918 in Belgium, distinguishing itself in combat. On September 1st, 1918, the 106th Infantry was engaged in heavy action in the midst of the Ypres-Lys Offensive. About 10:00 am that morning, in the midst of a heavy artillery barrage, Hochfelder was hit directly by an artillery shell and was reported "mutilated beyond recognition". His comrades had no time to bury him properly and thus his remains were pulled into a nearby shell hole. Unfortunately his grave was never found.

Even with Covid upon us, we continue to research our missing Doughboys and need your help! Please consider giving 'Ten For Them' - make a donation of just $10.00 to Doughboy MIA and know that you did your part toward making as full accounting as possible of our missing soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines from the Great War. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia and make your tax deductible donation to our non-profit organization today. And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Lest We Forget Book Cover

"Lest We Forget: The Great War"

World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library 

As the United States commemorates the centennial of World War I, 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. The story of WWI is told through the memorable art it spawned―including posters from nations involved in the conflict―and a taut narrative account of the war’s signal events, its major personalities and its tragic consequences; and the timely period photographs that illustrate the awful realities of this revolutionary conflict. Most importantly, this book is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and what would become the Air Force. Proceeds from the sale of this book help fund the new National WW1 Memorial in Washington, DC

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



George Henry Knatz

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

 

George Henry Knatz

Submitted by: Geraldine Knatz {Niece}

George Henry Knatz born around March 11, 1897. George Knatz 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

George Henry Knatz was born on March 11, 1897 in New York city to parents Anna Bergner and Charles (Carl) Knatz . George began his first military service with the New York State Guard when he was 20 years old. He enlisted on June 18, 1917 and was mustered in the next month to Company G, 14th New York Infantry.

For service during WWI, the men of the 14th Infantry which included George were added to strengthen the 23rd New York Infantry. The men were stationed from New York City up the Hudson River to protect the water supply.

George was only with the Guard for a few months when a presidential order drafted the entire unit into the 106th U.S. Infantry in October 1917. There were 3003 men in in the 106th and George was assigned to Company G.

Private First Class George Knatz left for Europe on May 10, 1918 from Hoboken on the ship President Lincoln. This would be the last time the President Lincoln ferried soldiers to France. But no one knew it at the time. The dangerous part of the voyage was near France as the ship made its way through submarine invested waters. The ship arrived safely in Brest, France on May 23rd. There, George and his fellow soldiers disembarked.

Read George Henry Knatz'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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June 2020

App alternate 3

The National World War I Memorial Virtual Explorer App will be available July 3 on both the Google Play and the Apple AppStore. There are no costs and no in-game purchases required. It is suitable for any age above 14 years old with some depictions of battles and wounded soldiers.

Innovative Augmented Reality App for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. available on July 3

The Doughboy Foundation is announcing the release of The National World War I Memorial “Virtual Explorer” app on July 3. The free, innovative Augmented Reality smartphone app, for iOS and Android mobile devices, allows users to take a virtual field trip to the National WWI Memorial, being built in Washington DC, from wherever they are in the world.

Developed by the Doughboy Foundation under an education grant from Walmart, the mobile device App places a scaled version of the entire 1.8-acre WWI Memorial park into anyone’s back yard, driveway, living room, or (when schools reopen) classroom… but that is only the beginning. Click here to read more about this amazing app that gives students, teachers, veterans, history buffs, and anyone the ability to explore America's WWI past using the tools of the future.


The 369th Experience band concert to rerun on WETA DC public TV and web in July

369th Experience

WETA Arts, a half-hour magazine-style show featuring Washington, DC-area arts and artists, will lead the July edition with an encore presentation of “James Reese Europe”, the story of a renowned jazz bandleader and commander of an all-Black unit in World War I, featuring The Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz, Jason Moran, and the reenactment band The 369th Experience, The band was sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. The original episode segment can be viewed here:https://watch.weta.org/video/weta-arts-february-2019-ozigr4/  The new episode will feature an amazing group of additional DC-local Black artists, as well, and will be streaming  on the WETA website https://weta.org/arts and via the PBS Passport app, starting July 5 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.


Public-private partnerships developed during WWI had profound impact on American civilian society after the war

Mark Hauser

By his own admission, Ph.D. student Mark Hauser "knew very little about the First World War before I began graduate school, but I was always vaguely aware it was important."  Mark's recently completed dissertation provides an interesting new perspective on just how important the war was to America, making the case "that World War I changed Americans’ relationship to mass culture is both a history of the military and a business history."  Click here to read more about how Mark's research illuminated a relatively unexplored aspect of the impact of World War I on America.


Maryland couple finds live World War I artillery shell in their home flower bed

MD WWI artillery shell

A woman and her husband in northeast Maryland found a live World War I artillery shell while digging in a flower bed. After the startling discovery, Kelly and Shannon Thomas, of Belair, MD, left the round where they found it and called the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. “After examining the device, it was determined that the best course of action was to conduct an emergency disposal to render the ordnance safe,” the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal said in a news release. “Bomb Technicians disposed of the potentially dangerous round on the scene.” Click here to read more about this very unexpected find of a "connection" to World War I for a suburban household a century later.


Texas researcher discovers, honors African American World War I vets

Carolyn Warren Bessellieu

It was a single gravestone that prompted Carolyn Warren Bessellieu’s sometimes challenging, sometimes emotional, but satisfying quest for African American World War I service information. The discovery in "an unmarked African American cemetery" of a headstone of a WWI veteran named Tobie Harris started Bessellieu’s quest. "My great-uncle Holiday Bennett use to tell me many stories of World War II. I was fascinated to see what I could find on those who served in WWI.” Click here to read more about Bessellieu’s research, and how it led to a personal discovery of her own family's connection to World War I..


United in the Great Cause: Allied and American military relations during WWI

United in the Great Cause

On May 28 1917, less than two months after the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies, 191 U.S. Army officers and men led by Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing boarded the British ocean liner RMS Baltic and sailed for England. President Woodrow Wilson had dispatched this group as the nucleus of the American Expeditionary Forces, an army that eventually comprised over one million American soldiers in Europe. Writing in Army History Magazine, author Tyler Bamford takes an in-depth look at how this unprecedented interaction with the armed forces of allied nations helped prepare U.S. forces for "an enormous task for which the U.S. Army possessed little institutional experience." Click here to read more about what they learned, and how the hasty U.S. and British Army introduction to cooperation during World War I "laid the foundations for the unique, informal Anglo-American military relationship in the interwar period."


World War I marked the birth of New York Life’s volunteerism commitment

New York Life volunteerism

When the United States entered World War I in April of 1917, New York Life shared the nation’s fighting spirit and rallied to help mobilize America’s troops. The company offered its deep financial and human resources to support the war effort. And the volunteerism born then—from fundraising to moral support to military service—would live on as an abiding value for decades to come. Click here to read more about how the culture of the company, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, was shaped by the organization's experiences in World War I.


Book Review: "First Americans: U.S. Patriotism in Indian Country after WWI"

Navtive American knitter

Writing for the H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online web site of the University of Michigan, reviewer Matthew Villeneuve looks at Thomas Grillot's book First Americans, calling it "a study of Indigenous patriotism in the aftermath of World War I. While the historiography on American Indian participation in the First World War often focuses on the battlefield experience of Indigenous people, Grillot's study examines the ways Indigenous veterans, along with their Euro-American comrades, made meaning out of Indigenous participation in the War to End All Wars after the armistice."  Click here to read more about how Grillot's book "sheds light on the process by which the symbolic repertoire for the expression of Indigenous pride came to include such icons as the American flag, citizenship, and the figure of the GI." in the war's aftermath.


National WWI Museum and Memorial gets $125,000 from NEH for Digitization and Transcription of WWI documents

Soldier's letter for transcription

The National WWI Museum and Memorial announced a grant for $125,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize and transcribe letters, diaries, and journals from soldiers and family members originated from World War I. “This gift is essential as it allows the organization to take a major step forward in our efforts to digitize and transcribe our entire collection of letters, diaries and journal entries from the Great War, “said Museum President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor. “Making the content from these incredible first-person accounts available is important because it allows people to connect with those who experienced the 20th century’s founding catastrophe.” Click here to read more about the grant, and how it will support and further the work taken on by the Museum while it was shut down for the COVID pandemic.


Five Dog Breeds that Served in WWI

Rags

Dogs are man’s best friend, and at times that means we have brought them with us into the worst parts of what we do. The use of dogs in war is nothing new, but their role changed over time. In the First World War dogs were used extensively by all sides, with different breeds managing different roles. Emily Green, Founder and Chief Editor of the DoggieDesigner.com web site, takes a look at five specific breeds which played (sometimes outsized) roles for American and other military forces in World War I.


Cole County, MO's Grace Hershey remembered as World War I heroine

Grace Hershey

One woman is named on the Cole County, MO World War I Memorial at the courthouse. Grace Hershey was a stenographer with the American Red Cross. Highly praised for her clerical skills in contests and courtrooms, the 31-year-old took a significant pay cut when she left her job with the state insurance department to go overseas. Her fiancé, Thorpe Gordon, had deployed to France in August 1918. Click here to read more about how her departure only a month later was "her patriotic duty to do what she can to help win the war."


Historian seeks volunteers to help digitize World War I burial records

Andrew Capets

Andrew Capets’ initial interest in World War I was finding out more about his grandfather’s unit, the 313th Machine Gun Battalion. That research led the North Huntingdon resident and amateur historian to write “Good War, Great Men,” which focused on his grandfather’s battalion and its exploits. Now, Capets has joined with a Nebraska man on a new WWI project: creating a searchable database of soldiers’ burial cards, some of which will be linked to a digital map showing where those soldiers are buried. Click here to read more about this grassroots effort to make World War I burial records more accessible to families and other researchers.


WWI Influenza pandemic continues to have resonances, lessons learned for 21st Century pandemic control efforts

Navy medical 1918 flu

As the nation continues to deal with the effects of COVID-19 influenza pandemic in 2020, a look back at the American experiences with the great Spanish Flu Pandemic during World War I can provide remarkable reminders of how a similar scourge was dealt with a century ago.

Navy, Marines Struggled With 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Remembering WWI soldiers who succumbed to the 1918 flu

As the 1918 Flu Emerged, Cover-Up, Denial Helped Spread

The Pandemic to End All Pandemics?: World War I, the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, and Urban America

1918: A Study in How Disease Can Shape Public Policy

Reading your own obituary: Samuel Bustard, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and the evolution of New York Metro Area soccer through World War I


One of the earliest Monuments to African American WWI Troops

372nd Infantry Monument

Paul LaRue, former member of the
Ohio World War I Centennial Committee, writes that "A unique monument stands in the rural French countryside. It is a monument to the 372nd Infantry, an African American World War I combat regiment. The 372nd Infantry Monument represents one of the earliest monuments erected to African American World War I Troops." Click here to read more about the 372nd, and how those who served in it "understood the significance of their service, and wanted to leave a monument in France to their fallen comrades."


Doughboy MIA for June 2020

Doughboy MIA webinar thumbnail

On May 29, 2020, Doughboy MIA was featured on the Doughboy Foundation / World War I Centennial Commission webinar series. Those who attended the webinar live learned about The Who, The Where, and The Ways and Means behind what it is we are doing to be sure that all of the MIA are properly remembered, and how you can be a part of the effort.

Click here to watch the recording of the webinar.

Click here to download the slide deck from the webinar.

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

Flag large

Fly the World War I Centennial Flag

This WW1 Centennial Flag is made of durable nylon and measures 3'x5'.  This flag has the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto it and has 2 brass grommets to hang the flag.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this flag are designated for the National World War I Memorial.. You can show your support, and help promote the efforts, by proudly displaying your custom 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.



William E. Baker

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

 

William E Baker

Submitted by: Robert D. Baker {Great Nephew}

William E. Baker born around 1892. William Baker served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

I never knew much about my dad’s Uncle Bill, except that he was my Grandpa Baker’s brother and had dated my Grandma Baker’s sister and that he was killed in World War I in France. He had a gravestone in the Dayton, OH National Cemetery, but it was never clear to me whether his actual remains were in Dayton or still in France.

After being contacted by the Secretary of the American Legion Auxiliary, I learned that The William Baker American Legion Post 363 in Lucasville, OH, was named in honor of my Great-Uncle back in Feb, 1920. So I started researching.

William Edwin Baker was born in Nov, 1892, the fourth of five children of Charles & Mary Baker. The family lived in Scioto County, Ohio, at the time of William’s birth. Around the age of 16, William moved with his folks and younger sister to Jamestown, OH. Meanwhile, his oldest brother, George (my Grandfather), had migrated to Dayton. William decided to find out what big city life was like, so he followed his brother to Dayton, where he worked as a Janitor, a Packer, a Motor Assembler, and a Conductor on the Dayton Street Railway line.

Read William E. Baker'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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May 2020

WUAS News 9 report 05142020

Reporter John Henry of WUSA News 9 Television in Washington, DC presented an excellent report on May 14 concerning the status of ongoing construction progress at the new National World War I Memorial, and the planned but postponed dedication of the new Eisenhower Memorial. Click the image to read his story and watch the video.

Memorial Virtual Explorer app gets new look, new contents, public beta status

The National World War I Memorial Explorer augmented reality (AR) app, with great input from the initial beta testers, has been updated with expanded content, more functionality, and a new lead image and updated logo.

App update photo 05272020

The app has now expanded to public beta, and we're able to accommodate many more testers with a simplified request process.

More content is in production including Tanks, Military Battles, The life and family of General John J. Pershing, Artillery, a 360° Photosphere travel experience at the US Cemetery in Flanders, and a second exploration in the style of the "Sinking of the Lusitania" called "War in the Skies”.

We will be updating the existing beta release based on tester feedback in the next couple of weeks.  If you haven't volunteered to join our beta tester army, click here to sign up now!


National World War I Museum and Memorial Sets June Reopen Dates

Nat WWI Museum square

The National WWI Museum and Memorial will reopen to its members on Monday, June 1 and to the general public on Tuesday, June 2. “We have monitored the COVID-19 situation closely during the past few months and, in accordance with guidance from public health officials at the local, state and federal levels, we are ready to reopen America’s official WWI Museum and Memorial,” said Dr. Matthew Naylor, National WWI Museum and Memorial President and CEO. “We’ve spent considerable time developing a comprehensive reopening plan that allows for people to visit one of the world’s great museums and memorials in a safe and welcoming environment.” Click here to find out more about the Museum's plans and protective protocols to get visitors into the Kansas City facility again next week.


"To keep the memory of her father’s generation alive."

Samuel Hart age 14

Samuel W. Hart was only 14 years old when the United States of America entered the First World War on April 6, 1917.  Hart  "borrowed a pair of long pants from a friend of mine and proceeded to the Navy recruiting station and told them I was 16. I was sworn in on April 10th." This was just the beginning of a remarkable story of service in two World Wars that included being aboard the Navy troop ship USS President Lincoln when she was sunk by a German U-Boat in WWI, the aftermath of which earned one Navy officer the Medal of Honor.  A century later, his daughter Ava has stepped forward to remind Americans of this amazing story, and the patriotic service of her father and his older (there were none younger!) fellow Americans who stepped forward to answer the nation's call to war in 1917. Click here to read Samuel's incredible story, and his daughter's reminder that we should remember his service, and that of his fellow World War I vets, a century later.


In May of 1918, William Henry Johnson became "the One-Man Army" in WWI

WIlliam Henry Johnson mug

On May 15, 1918, William Henry Johnson fought off scores of Germans single-handedly in the Forest of Argonne in France, a performance that earned him praise from former President Theodore Roosevelt ,who eventually called him one of the “five bravest Americans” to serve in World War I. But Johnson, an African American, did not receive the Medal of Honor from his nation until a century after his extraordinary heroism. Click here to read more about Johnson's courageous service and the long effort to get him the recognition he deserved.

Writing in the New York Post on Memorial Day, Rich Lowry discusses Johnson's heroism in the context of  how African American soldiers, from the Revolutionary War to the 20th Century, "were always fighting a two-front war — against the enemy in battle and against prejudice at home." Click here to read Lowery's entire timely Memorial Day reminder of this "long African American military tradition of exceptional devotion."


Who are these people on these plaques?

Plaque

Connecticut USAF veteran Jeff DeWitt undertook a personal project in 2019 to find and photograph the plaques on local war memorials that listed only the names those who died during wartime service.  He found that "What struck me most about it all was how little I knew about each of those people. It was then that I decided to tell their stories." On the Norwalk WWI Memorial, "One plaque has only the names of those who died in service 1917 to 1919. I recognized three people on that plaque who are namesakes of our VFW and American Legion posts in town. The rest were a complete mystery to me." Click here to read how DeWitt went about solving those 100 year-old mysteries, and bringing forgotten stories of service to light again.


Two pandemics separated by a century

Flu Cases

"The current pandemic we are living in provides us a window into an earlier time 102 years ago," writes Paul LaRue of the Ohio WWI Centennial Committee.. "On Memorial Day of 1918 the United States was in the midst of the Spanish Influenza Pandemic." Click here to read Paul's article about the Fayette County, OH service members lost to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.

Writing in the Washington Examiner newspaper, J. Mark Powell notes that "a deadly combination of war and pandemic" made October 1918 the deadliest month in our nation's history. Click here to read the entire story about how "More U.S. citizens died then than ever passed away during any 30-day stretch before or since."

As today, in cities across the nation, dealing with the flu pandemic took center stage a century ago.  The WTTW television station recently looked into the question of "How Did Chicago Deal With 1918 Spanish Flu?"  The Hudson Heritage Association in Ohio was recently "Looking back at ‘displays of humanity’ in Hudson, OH" during the Spanish Flu Pandemic. The Oregon Historical Society asks "From Whence Did it Come and to Where Did it Go?: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Oregon."  The Knoxville History Project explores "Knoxville & The Spanish Flu: How 1918 was the same–and very different."  And the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA reflects on "Lives lost and the country at a standstill: A look back back at the 1918-1919 Spanish Influenza and its impact on Phillips and Abbot academies."


The 1918 Flu Pandemic Killed Millions. Why Is Its Cultural Memory So Faint?

Flu nurse

After writing in 1918 to question why "the 'forgotten' 1918–19 flu pandemic had so little effect on culture, policy, and public memory in the decades after killing between 50 million and 100 million people," author Rebecca Onion notes that in the time of SARS-CoV-2 "I find this historical phenomenon even harder to understand.." But, says Onion, perhaps literary scholar Elizabeth Outka has part of the answer. Click here to read Outka's analysis of how "the pandemic wasn’t 'forgotten'—it just went underground" and that the work of many notable authors of the period "was deeply affected by the flu in ways that aren’t so immediately obvious."


Quarantine leads Virginia military expert to chaplain's WWI pandemic efforts

Regis Barrett, OSB, Chaplain, U.S. Army

All he wanted was a little COVID-19 distraction, but the century-old photo of a military chaplain took an Albemarle County man on a 102-year time trip to a different state during a different deadly pandemic. In the time of COVID-19, with everyone warned to stay home as much as possible, military historian Art Beltrone found himself with a lot of time and home projects on his hands. He began to see the portrait of the chaplain in a different light.  Click here to read more about his research, and how “It turned out that he played into the 1918 pandemic in a big way.”


PA World War I Statue To Be Restored

Fallsington ststue

A statue of a World War I infantryman in Falls Township, PA’s Fallsington section will be restored. The limestone Doughboy statue that sits atop a small memorial at the intersection of Yardley Avenue, New Falls Road, Main Street, and West Tyburn Road has become weathered and damaged over the years. Acid rain and pollution have taken their toll on the statue erected to recognize the veterans and casualties of World War I. Click here to read more about the community restoration project for this century-old monument.


Battleship that survived both World Wars and atomic blasts is rediscovered

USS Nevada

The wreck of the World War I U.S. Navy battleship USS Nevada has been located 75 miles off the coast of Hawaii at a depth of nearly three miles. It’s a significant discovery, as the battleship represents one of the most storied vessels in U.S. history, having survived World War I, the attack on Pearl Harbor and a kamikaze suicide attack during World War II, and atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. USS Nevada was deliberately sunk by the U.S. Navy in 1948, but the vessel’s precise resting place was unknown, until now. Click here to read more about the rediscovery of a ship built over 100 years ago that continued to affect shipbuilding design for half a century later.


Doughboy MIA for May 2020

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

World War One.

It was the first war where America made the promise: 'Everyone comes home - nobody gets forgotten.'

And in the years following the war, America did her best to keep that promise to the best of her ability.

One hundred years later, Doughboy MIA has 4,452 reasons to continue that work.

Join us on a webinar Friday, May 29, and learn about The Who, The Where, and The Ways and Means behind what it is we do.

“A Man is Only Missing if He is Forgotten” is the slogan of Doughboy MIA, and after this webinar you’ll understand the efforts to ensure that all the MIA are properly remembered, and how you can be a part of the effort.

Click to Register for the Webinar

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

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."

Proceeds from the sale of this item 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.


Fundraising Thermometer May 2020

Walter Wave Miguel

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

 

Walter Wave Miguel

Submitted by: Laurie Button {I have been researching him for 30 years - it’s a long but wonderful story.}

Walter Wave Miguel born around 1887. Walter Miguel served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Walter Wave Miguel (3802505) was born to Henry and Nellie Miguel in Arnolds Park, Iowa on Oct. 5, 1887. He was drafted and called into service July 22, 1918.

Wave received his training at Camp Pike near Little Rock, Arkansas before sailing for France on the Katoomba from the Port of New York Sept. 1, 1918. He was originally assigned to Company H of the 330th Infantry, but was transferred to the 5th Division’s 11th Infantry, Company L in mid-to-late October 1918.

Read Walter Wave Miguel's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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April 2020


App group image Beta Release

New WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer" Beta Release available end of this week

The innovative new "National WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer" app is planning to publish its Beta Release by the end of the week and you can sign up to participate now. This innovative “Augmented Reality” smartphone app for iOS and Android will allow anyone to place a 3D model of the entire National WWI Memorial now under construction in Washington DC, INTO their living room, back yard, driveways (and someday soon their classrooms). With the app people will be able to experience, explore and discover many aspects of WWI. Click here to read more about the exciting new app, and sign up to receive the Beta Release, and get an early look at the product.

App webinar thumbnail

Not sure what the "WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer" is? Click on the image at left to watch a replay of the recent special webinar introducing participants to the innovative  “Augmented Reality” smartphone app. Viewers got an insider, behind the scenes look at what is coming from members of the development team.  Click to watch the entire webinar, and learn how Augmented Reality is already "really here TODAY."


Daughters of the American Revolution Supports the National WWI Memorial

DAR logo

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution has become an official sponsor for the construction of the National World War I Memorial with a $100,000 donation. The DAR is also encouraging individual members and chapters to support the Memorial, which "also honors the memory of the Daughters who served with valor during this time." Click here to read the entire story of this generous donation by a great American organization.


This Giving Tuesday We Would Like to Give Back to You

Giving TuesdayNow May 2020

May 5, 2020 has been widely designated as “Giving Tuesday a Global Generosity Movement” to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities, and the world, as a response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. While you may be “Staying Home,” or are one of our “Essential Workers,” or in some cities easing your way back into public life… we want to thank you for your bravery and steadfastness, much like our WWI Doughboys. Click here to find out more.


The American Women who reported WWI

Harriett Chalmers Adams

Harriett Chalmers Adams (left), writing for National Geographic, was one of the the pioneer American Women who reported the First World War. Historian Chris Dubbs discusses the challenges, the triumphs and the stories of these women in his book, An Unladylike Profession: American Women War Correspondents in World War I, to be published in July 2020. Click here to read an extensive interview with Dubbs, and learn how the women reporters' "determination and ingenuity to cover the war became an interesting element of their reporting."


Instead of Laying Off Workers, National World War I Museum Redeploys Them to Expand Digital Archive

WWI letter

Even when the National World War I Museum and Memorial is open, the majority of its vast holdings aren’t on public display but stored for safekeeping. Now, with a metro-wide stay-at-home order keeping the Kansas City museum closed, museum employees who usually work with guests are helping transcribe about 10,000 digitized pages from letters, diaries and journals. Click here to read more about what Museum President and CEO Matthew Naylor calls "the brilliant idea to use this time and transition part of our staff toward our goal of fully transcribing these items from the collection.”


Jeannette Rankin’s history-making moment overshadowed by WWI vote

Jeanette Rankin

It was on April 2, 1917 that Jeannette Rankin became the first woman in Congress. But within days, she became the target of national scorn for voting against America’s entry into World War I. The same day that she officially became the first female member of Congress, President Wilson addressed Congress encouraging it to pass a declaration of war. Three days later, she told her colleagues “I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war”. Click here to read more about how Rankin's decision established herself as both an active member of Congress and a staunch anti-war representative.


Cook Quarantine-Friendly WWI Recipies

Apealing war fare

If you’re running low on flour or getting tired of feeding your sourdough starter, the National World War I Museum and Memorial has some alternative culinary options for your perusal. The Kansas City institution offers a host of online exhibitions, including one dedicated to the critical role that food played during the Great War. Titled “War Fare: From the Homefront to the Frontlines,” the show includes a list of recipes first published in the 1918 Win the War in the Kitchen cookbook. Click here to read more about these century-old recipes that may bring relief to modern day kitchens currently under siege.


Meet the forgotten hero First World War pilot from Wallingford, Connecticut

Lufbery

French-American pilot Lt. Raoul Lufbery, shown at left in France during World War I,  joined the Lafayette Escadrille, a French command volunteer group of mostly American fighter pilots that was named in honor of the French hero of the American Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette. After the U.S. entered the war in 1917, Lufbery became the commanding officer of the U.S. 94th Aero Squadron. Officially hailing from Wallingford, CT, though he never stayed in one place for long, Lufbery had served with France’s foreign service since the outbreak of World War I. Click here to read more about this aviator who is still honored today in his adopted New England hometown.


Answering the Call: American Nursing and the Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919

Lisa Budreau

When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, the US Army Medical Department officials believed they had learned vital lessons about disease from the Spanish-American War. Feeling better prepared for war than ever before, and with stronger preventive measures in place, such as a proven vaccination program against smallpox and typhoid fever, its preparation still fell short of the demands that lay ahead. Neither it, nor any other medical organization in the world, could do much to cope with the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. To combat the flu, the Army’s Medical Department relied heavily on the Army Nurse Corps. Click to read more in this in-depth article by Lisa M. Budreau, Ph.D., Senior Curator of Military History at Tennessee State Museum.


How the women of Orange County, NC responded to WWI and the Spanish Flu

Orange County NC women

World War I called on the women of America to serve their country as best they could. Expected to be housewives and caretakers to their families, American women had lives that were far from independent. But in Orange County, NC, a tiny dot on a map of the world, women worked hard to support the war effort, expanding into new roles, and their efforts in WWI did not go unnoticed. Click here to discover how, from working in "war circles" to serving in the Red Cross at home and overseas, the women of Orange County made an out-sized impact.


Doughboy MIA for April 2020

A.N.R.E.F.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month  is a little different. This month we are not featuring one man but instead featuring a whole group: the men missing from the American North Russia Expeditionary Force.

Commonly known as the ‘Polar Bears’, these men came from the 339th Infantry Regiment and 310th Engineers of the 85th Division, with the majority of the men originating from Michigan. Between 1918 and early 1920 America sent these men over as part of a multi-national task force with the allies to assist the ‘White Russian’ forces in their war against the Communist Russian forces. Their base of operations was Archangel. And while their mission was not supposed to be one of offensive action, they nevertheless suffered some 553 casualties, including a number of MIA’s.

Following the withdrawal of American forces and the eventual success of the Communist’s in the war, the Soviets refused to work with the U.S. government for repatriation of known held American POW’s and KIA remains unless the Washington would recognize the Soviet government. Washington was not ready to do so, and negotiations ended there. Then in 1929, in a rare moment of cooperation, the Soviets allowed a mission from the American organization Veterans of Foreign Wars onto Russian soil to search for missing U.S. remains. The result was the recovery of some 86 sets of remains returned to the United States. Then, once again, the doors closed until 1934, when another expedition was allowed over following then President Roosevelt’s official recognition of the Soviet government in 1933. This expedition returned with a further 14 sets of remains.

But there are still remains unaccounted for – 19 sets, in fact. Is there a possibility of locating these men? The odds seemed extremely remote. However, in 2018 a set of remains believed to be those of Sergeant Samuel Pearse, an Australian serving in the British army contingent sent to North Russia, were apparently discovered at the site of what is believed to have once been an allied military cemetery in the area of operations of the ANREF. The speculation is that American remains may also be buried there. The amateur Russian team responsible for the discovery contacted Mr. Mike Grobbel, who is not only the big kahuna of the Polar Bear Association, but also THE guy for the ANREF here at Doughboy MIA. Their announcement that they had likely located the remains was followed by a request for assistance in possibly searching for U.S. remains. The Doughboy MIA team has dug out what records we could find on the burials and the missing men and is passing all this information along to Mike, who is direct liaison to the Russians and is heading this Doughboy MIA Mission.

NOTE: with the Covid-19 thing having everyone locked down, and the necessary legalities of dealing with foreign governments and language barriers, this investigation is sort of in a holding pattern. But rest assured: we are on this and moving on it as quickly as we are able. Stay tuned!

Would you like to assist with this most difficult undertaking? You can! Making a tax deductible* donation today to the non-profit Doughboy MIA organization will go a long way toward getting us back into the National Archives – when we are allowed to – to search out paperwork we still need to make these recoveries a more serious possibility. If we’re to go to Russia and help, WE need to have the desk based research done to find these guys! Won’t you help? WE KNOW things are tight now, but they WILL get better, and the size of the donation does not matter. Give what you can and accept our deepest thanks (and theirs too). Just go to www.ww1cc.org/mia and give today. And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

-- Robert Laplander

* Remember, because of the CARES Act, donations up to $300 ($600 for joint filers) are tax deductible, even if the tax filer cannot itemize and therefore takes the standard deduction.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Black Pique Polo Shirt

Black Pique Polo Shirt with WWI Centennial logo

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA polo shirt. 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.

Shirt features: Navy with white Doughboy embroidery. 100% combed cotton pique, 6.2 oz. pre-shrunk fabric. Shirt has 3 wood-tone buttons, and side seam design for shape retention. Men's sizes available S – 2XL.

A portion of the proceeds from this purchase 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.



Garland Langhorn Spain

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

 

Garland Langhorn Spain

Submitted by: Jacob Parks, Administrative Support Specialist, The Country Doctor Museum

Photos provided by Eddie Lynch {Grandson}

Garland Langhorn Spain born around 1890, Garland Spain 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

Garland Langhorn Spain was born on July 17, 1890 in the small community of Jarrett’s Depot in Sussex County, Virginia to Benjamin and Josephine Gates Spain.

By 1910, Garland Spain continued living in Virginia and worked as a farmer to support his widowed mother. For reasons that are unclear, Spain relocated to Rocky Mount, N.C., where he lived at the time of his registration for World War I on June 5, 1917.

Garland Spain was inducted into military service with the U.S. Army on September 20, 1917 and took up arms as a corporeal with Company E of the 322nd Infantry, 81st Division. After training, Spain set sail on the troop transport ship Helenus on July 31, 1918 from Brooklyn, New York to Europe.

Spain received severe wounds while fighting in the Great War. Either on November 9 or 11, 1918, Garland Spain was shot twice while advancing on six German machine guns that wounded the rest of Spain’s squadron near Moranville, France.

Read Garland Langhorn Spain'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.

Donation Progress Maquette - $4.2M left to raise

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March 2020

 

Photo with register webinar 04032020

On Friday, April 3, please join us for a virtual tour and construction update of the National WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C. featuring the project's lead designer Joe Weishaar, project managers for Grunley Construction, and others. This is a great opportunity to get an insider perspective on this important project. We are practicing all CDC Covid-19 protocols, and are fortunate to be able to continue our mission to build the Memorial that will honor our WWI Veterans in our nation's capital for generations to come. Click on the photo above to register for the webinar on Friday, April 3.

"National World War I Memorial construction should give us pride"

"The coronavirus has shut down much of the nation," says Tom Rogan, "but construction at the National World War I Memorial rumbles on." Writing in the Washington Examiner newspaper in March, Rogan observes that the ongoing construction progress at the Memorial, "as far as it comports with public health needs", "is good news." Rogan points out that keeping the project moving forward on schedule "matters. It has stained the nation's honor that those who fought so long ago have not had a timeless memorial to their service." Click here to read the entire thoughtful and insightful article.


Why Don't We Celebrate the Doughboys as the 'Greatest Generation'?

Doughboy

"Why does the First World War get no respect in America?" asks author Michael Peck in an article on The National Interest web site this month. Peck notes that "over 100 years after America’s declaration of war on Germany on April 6, 1917, our nation’s participation in World War I is seldom remembered except for a few old statues on town squares." Peck wonders if "it has to do with why the war was fought" and how soon "the world was again engulfed by global war." Click here to read the entire article urging Americans to remember the "courage and commitment" of the Doughboys..


On International Women’s Day 2020, Remembering Women’s Roles in WWI

Hellp Girls small

Doran Cart, Senior Curator at The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO, published an article in Ms. magazine this month chronicling the "thousands of American women served in all duties overseas during World War I," on the occasion of International Women's Day. Noting that women served as "doctors, hospital administrators, ambulance and truck drivers, telephone operators, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, reconstruction aides, entertainers, canteen workers, office workers, fundraisers and many other occupations," Doran also noted that while none were in combat roles, some lost their lives. Click here to read Doran's entire article on the extraordinary performance of American women in the Great War.


Petition asks for World War I monument to be placed in Martinsburg, WV town square

Martinsburg Doughboy ststue

Nearly a century after the World War I Doughboy monument in Martinsburg, West Virginia was installed in front of the historic Martinsburg post office, the impending sale of the Federal property has reignited a controversy from the 1920's about just where the statue should be located. Berkeley County, which own the sculpture, intends to place it in the county's War Memorial Park. The Martinsburg City Council has received a petition requesting the statue be placed in the town square. Click to read articles in the Herald-Mail newspaper and The Journal newspaper that outline a disagreement going back to the original placement of the memorial after World War I.


Decades-long World War I munitions cleanup in DC nears completion

DC munitions cleanup

The peaceful serenity of the neighborhood surrounding the stately home at 4825 Glenbrook Road, in the Spring Valley section of Northwest D.C., was matched by the potential danger and uncertainty of chemical agents buried beneath it. Almost eight years since heavy machinery knocked down the first bricks of the home that had been built atop a World War I chemical weapons testing and disposal site — known as the American University Experiment Station — the painstaking cleanup of what’s been called the “mother of all toxic dumps” is entering its final stages. Click here to read the entire story, and listen to the audio report.


Roanoke, Virginia fought a war against an influenza pandemic in 1918

Roanoake Red Cross

Perhaps 50 million people died worldwide during the flu outbreak in 1918-19, a number that included 675,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 12,000 Virginians died of the flu, 10 times more than died on the battlefields during World War I. Today, as Roanoke joins the rest of the world in trying to fend off another global pandemic, the response to the swift and deadly outbreak of influenza in the fall of 1918 still holds a few lessons.  Click here to learn more about how the city's health department and the Red Cross fought the the pandemic a century ago.


Doughboy MIA for March 2020

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is SGT John T. Curran, M CO/316 INF/79 DIV, DWRIA while POW 07NOV1918.  John Thomas Curran was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 01AUG1891, the fifth of ten children born to James and Mary Curran. Mary Curran died in 1911; it is not believed James remarried. On draft registration day (05JUN1917) Curran listed his home address as Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and his occupation as carpenter. He is described as tall and slender with grey eyes and dark brown hair. He claimed no exemption from service.

Curran was inducted into the service on 02NOV1917 at Allenton, Pennsylvania and sent to Camp Meade in Maryland for training, where he was assigned to Company M/316th Infantry Regiment / 79th Division. He would remain with this unit until his death. He was elevated in rank to Private First Class on 21JAN1918; Corporal ten days later on 31JAN1918; and Sergeant on 10JUN1918. He departed for overseas service with his unit on 09JULY1918 aboard the steamship France, departing from Hoboken, New Jersey.

Records show that SGT Curran was in Base Hospital #31 from 22SEPT1918 through 16OCT1918, cause unknown but likely as a result of the so-called Spanish Flu pandemic then sweeping the world. During this time the 79th Division participated in the assault on Montfaucon on 26 & 27SEPT1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, taking massive casualties in the process. It is very lucky that Curran missed this action – the 79th was pulled off the line by 30SEPT1918 for rest and refittment with replacements; after just five days on the line, the division was combat ineffective.

Curran rejoined the division at Verdun during this its refittment and wrote his last letter home from there dated 25OCT1918. On 03NOV1918 the 3rd/316th again went into action. During the heavy fighting on 06NOV1918, SGT Curran was severely wounded in the ankle by machine gun fire and taken prisoner. He was transported by to a house serving as German Base Hospital # 72 where he is reported to have died on 07NOV1918 of his wounds and been buried in the garden of the house, then serving as a cemetery for the hospital. His death was reported by the International Red Cross on 20MAR1919.

Following the war an investigation into Curran’s death and burial was conducted as late as 1926, and German authorities were questioned on the subject. Records are sparse but indicate German officials insisted at the time they knew nothing further than what had been reported. To date no further Graves Registration Service searchers' reports have been located. Curran is currently believed to be unrecovered, and Doughboy MIA maintains this case as open and under continued investigation.

Want to help in Curran’s case? Why not consider a donation to Doughboy MIA that can help us in our mission of making a full accounting of our missing US service personnel from WW!? Large or small – the size doesn’t matter. What does is that you care and remember. Give 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.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Commemorative Hat

Commemorative World War I Hat

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA hat.

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. This poignant silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago.

Hat features: Navy with white Doughboy embroidery.100% cotton, structured hat with contrasting pancake visor, sweatband and taping. 6 panel soft crown, pre-curved bill. Velcro closure features U.S. flag emblem on this exclusive commemorative hat. One Size Fits All.

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.



Frank Carson Davidson, Jr.

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

 

Frank Carson Davidson, Jr.

Submitted by: Marianne (Dee) Dosch {granddaughter}

Frank Carson Davidson Jr. was born around 1894. Frank Davidson served in World War 1 with the United States Navy. The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Frank Carson Davidson, Military Service Gunners Mate 3rd Class Ninth Naval District U.S. Naval Reserve Force

The First World War began in Europe on July 28th, 1914. As hard as the United States tried to stay out of WWI, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to enter The Great War on April 6th, 1917. It turned out to be one of the deadliest conflicts in history as over 18 million troops and civilians were killed during the more than four years of fighting. The Selective Service Act was passed on May 18th, 1917 requiring men between the ages of 21 to 31 to register for the U.S. Armed Forces.

On this one hundred year anniversary of my country entering into WWI, I wanted to know more about my grandfather who served in the armed forces during this time. With the help of my Aunt, his daughter Diana Davidson Carter, I was able to learn some facts about his time in the U.S. Navy. In an old box in her attic were his military records with the information that I compiled together, along with some old photographs, to write this story.

Read Frank Carson Davidson, Jr.'s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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