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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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October 16, 2018

A First Look Logo

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission presents "A First Look” at the new National World War l Memorial in Washington, DC

The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission is honoring the more than 4 million Americans who served in during WWI, and the 116,525 men and women who sacrificed their lives, with the “A First Look at the National World War l Memorial” program November 8-12, 2018. The Memorial site will be open to the public each day beginning with a presentation of colors at 9 a.m. and concluding with “Taps” at sunset daily. The “First Look Pavilion” will be open from 11am to 5pm each day for guests to see the memorial model, learn where the memorial will be constructed, and find out how to be part of the project. The “First Look” program also includes several Special Events which require free tickets to attend. Click here to find out more about the “First Look at the National World War l Memorial” program and find out how to register for the Special Events.


The Bells of Peace program gaining great momentum, with important Federal, state, and local participation nationwide 

Capitol Bells

Late last week, the Commission received word that the bells at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC  (pictured at left) will join the national bell tolling on 11/11 at 11:00 am local. Another exciting pledge came in last week from the U.S. Navy, which directs all Navy and Marine Corps ships, commands and organizations to Execute a bell ringing ceremony to recognize the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. Add several new states and a bunch of cities, towns, and many local organizations to the mix, and it looks like the nation is headed for a Really Big Ring on November 11. Want to be a part of it? Click here to learn more about you and your church, school, community organization, veterans group, firehouse, or anyone else with a bell to ring can participate in this growing national commemoration event on November 11, 2018.


New National WWI Memorial design gets key support from the NCPC in DC

NCPC logo

The new National World War I Memorial for the Nation's Capital achieved a significant milestone at the recent National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) meeting. The NCPC adopted the Memorial's revised design concept for the Memorial, which will be sited in Pershing Park in downtown Washington, D.C. World War I Memorial is currently being reviewed by both the NCPC and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which are key regulatory agencies that oversee memorial-making in the nation’s capital. Each part of the design review process moves the WWI Memorial towards design approval, anticipated in early 2019. Click here to read more about the NCPC design review, and what the approval means.


#COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY is Back!

Veterans

Over the past four years, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission has run the #COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY social media awareness campaign of Tweets and Posts on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram channels, to help shine our small light on veteran topics -- veterans issues, achievements, resources, organizations. We used the hashtag #COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY because one day a year is not enough to think about America's veterans. There was great response to the campaign, and the hashtag was picked up widely in social media channels across the nation. This year is a special Countdown for us -- It is our Commission's last planned #COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY campaign, and it is the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that finally ended the fighting in World War I. Click here to read more about the 2018 campaign, and how you can be a part of the action.


Ebony Doughboys participate in WWI Centennial events in Belgium, France

Ebony Doughboys

U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Ronald Gidwitz joined the Ebony Doughboys (a group of American WWI re-enactors, partners to the WW1CC), local officials, residents of the Commune of Couvin, and mayors from French border towns to celebrate the liberation of Petite Chapelle by African-American soldiers fighting with the French 10th Army during World War I. This ceremony shed light on a forgotten chapter in U.S.-Belgian history and included the unveiling of a memorial in honor of the American regiment, the first permanent marker honoring the role of African-American soldiers in the war effort. Click here to read more about this multi-national Centennial event honoring WWI African-American soldiers.


World War I was front-and-center at 2018 AUSA convention in Washington, DC

AUSA 2018

World War I appeared front-and-center last week, as the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission (WW1CC) acted as a major participant in the recent 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington DC of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA). The WW1CC was down on the convention floor with a double-sized exhibit booth, featuring displays on the U.S. Mint 2018 Silver Dollar, the upcoming Bells of Peace nationwide tolling, as well as the scale-model sculptural Maquette of the new National World War I Memorial for the Nation's Capital. Dozens of WW1CC volunteers and staff helped to tell the booth visitors about the Commission, the war, and our efforts to honor Americans veterans. Click here to read more about the World War I presence at AUSA, the largest convention held annually in Washington, DC.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Remembering Veterans:

Dr. Erik Villard 

Villard

In October 5th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 92, host Theo Mayer spoke with U.S. Army Center for Military History Digital Historian Dr. Erik Villard. Dr. Villard and his organization help preserve the memory of the Army and have created a website devoted to the development and experience of the Army in World War I. Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview.

Updates from the States: Georgia

An Interview with Dr. Tom Jackson

Georgia seal

In October 5th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 92, host Theo Mayer spoke with Dr. Tom Jackson, Executive Director of the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission and retired Vice President for Public Affairs at the University of Georgia. In the interview, Dr. Jackson answered questions about Georgia's role in the war and the ongoing efforts to honor and commemorate Georgians who served. Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

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

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Sgt. York Graphic Novel

Episode #93

Highlights: Sgt. Alvin York

Host: Theo Mayer

Peace Explored & Rejected - Host | @01:55

Atrocities in Syria - Mike Shuster | @08:55

America Emerges: Sgt. Alvin York - Dr. Edward Lengel | @13:35

Commission News: The schedule is published - Host | @21:20

Events: NY Transit Museum WWI Day - Kevin Fitzpatrick & Polly DesJarlais | @23:40

Remembering Veterans: Charles Edward Dilkes - Dr. Virginia Dilkes | @31:10

Speaking WWI: Teddy Bear Suit - Host | @38:25

Historian’s Corner: Baseball in WWI - Jim Leeke | @41:40

100C/100M: Springdale PA - Mayor Jo Bertoline & Patrick Murray | @48:10

Articles & Posts - Host | @55:10

Buzz: The Centennial in Social Media - Katherine Akey | @58:20


Doughboy MIA for week of October 15

Private John Edward Shannon Jr.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is Private John Edward Shannon Jr.  The son of John and Della (Edward) Shannon, Private Shannon was born July 2nd, 1894 and was a coal miner when he entered the service on September 21st, 1917 at Newport, Indiana. Sent to Camp Taylor, Kentucky for training, he served first with Company B, 151st Infantry. He was then transferred to Camp Shelby, Mississippi and from there went overseas with the Camp Shelby June Automatic Replacement Draft on June 19th, 1918. He landed ‘Over There’ 12 days later and was sent to Company G, 23rd Infantry, 1st Division and with them was was killed during the Battle of Soisson on July 19th, 1918. His body was never found.

Private Shannon’s case is an excellent example of why we need YOUR help. Solving these cases takes research, and research costs money.  Why not donate '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

Flag large

Fly the WW1 Centennial Flag on Veterans Day this year!

On December 19, 2014, Congress passed legislation designating Pershing Park in the District of Columbia as a national World War One Memorial. The Act authorizes the World War One Centennial Commission to further honor the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War One by developing the Pershing Park Site.

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 item are designated for this endeavor. 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.


Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


Frank Clark Nicholas

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

Frank Clark Nicholas


Submitted by:
Dorothy Eleanor Nicholas {Daughter}

Frank Clark Nicholas was born April 28, 1892. Frank Nicholas 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

 Chapter One The Official Record

My father, Frank Clark Nicholas, was inducted into the army September 10, 1917 at Local Board 63 Brooklyn, NY. He was 25 years old. He was honorably discharged May 9, 1919.

Dad was a Private 1st Class in Company M, 308th Infantry, 77th Division, American Expeditionary Forces (the Metropolitan Division _ New York’s finest). He received training at Camp Upton Yaphank, NY. He sailed from New York for England April 7, 1918. From Brest, France he returned to New York on April 28, 1919 sailing on the SS America. 

Dad’s ship leaving New York for England was probably the SS Statendam (the Statendam was torpedoed in July which corresponds to information in Dad’s letter dated July 23, 1918).

Read Frank Clark Nicholas' entire Story of Service here. 

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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October 9, 2018 

Bells of Peace App

Introducing the "Bells of Peace" Smartphone App

When we started to develop the Bells of Peace national bell tolling project for the Centennial of Armistice Day, we met and received advice from others, who also are or have created "bell tolling initiatives." In an early meeting, one of these sage supporters mentioned the challenges they faced due to the increasing scarcity of bells in America. "Why don't we make an App with bells in it?" one of the people at the meeting suggested. And here it is! Click here to find out all about the Bells of Peace app, and how you can get it for your iPhone or Android phone.


'To Honor and Remember" state-level WWI Centennial Summit Meeting held at Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago

 

Honor and Remember Conference

On October 1st, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library (PMML) and the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission (WW1CC) co-hosted a unique event in Chicago -- a summit meeting of the various State-level Centennial Committees from around the entire United States. Events were designed to recognize the contributions by each organization in honoring the centennial of World War I throughout the U.S. Over twenty state-level organizations were represented at the summit. The following day, Tuesday, October 2nd, was the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission's 19th Quarterly Commission Meeting. Click here to read more about this two-day centennial commemoration confab in Chicago.


A Purple Heart for Sergeant Loyd

SGT Loyd, and of Perry James

On October 13th at the U.S. Army Training Center (TRADOC), at Fort Jackson, in Columbia, SC Brigadier General Milford H. Beagle, Jr., Commanding General, will host a Purple Heart Presentation Ceremony in honor of Sergeant Perry Loyd, a deceased World War I Veteran. Sergeant Loyd never received his Purple Heart, which was secured a few years ago by his grandson, Perry James. Mr. James will accept the medal in honor of SGT Loyd. The saga of SGT Loyd, and of Perry James' research into his grandfather is a remarkable one. Click here to read the entire fascinating story.


"We gave him a few resources, and a few opportunities. Magician that he was, David Shuey spun them into gold."

David Shuey

For four years, David Shuey, "The History Teller," performed as the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission's "General Pershing" in over fifty events, all across the United States. He played in Kansas City at the National WWI Museum & Memorial, Chicago at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, New York City for the Veterans Day Parade, and for the Camp Doughboy, Baltimore for their living history days, Atlanta, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and on and on. Washington DC -- for four more parades, and for a host of major official events, and conventions. Sadly, The General recently lost his own personal battle with cancer. Chris Isleib, the Centennial Commission's Director of Public Affairs, tells us more about a remarkable historian who made an indelible mark on his nation's commemoration of the Centennial of World War I.


Hero carrier pigeon saved US troops during WWI battle 100 years ago

Wilson pigeon

In the third floor hallway of the Pentagon, just outside the Army Chief of Staff's office, there is a pigeon. That pigeon's name is "President Wilson" -- an unsung hero of World War I that made a daring flight to save U.S. troops exactly 100 years ago. Assigned to an infantry unit conducting operations near Grandpré during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, "President Wilson" conducted a heroic flight to deliver a life-saving message to U.S. troops on October 5, 1918. Click here to read more about a pigeon's heroics that earned him (or was it a her?) a permanent perch of honor in the Pentagon.


A major league baseball player died in battle 100 years ago: "one of the finest"

Eddie Grant

Eddie Grant had appeared in the World Series, with the 1913 New York Giants. He was a Harvard-educated lawyer. And after his playing career ended, at age 33, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, leading to his most lasting distinction: He was shot while leading an effort to rescue surrounded units of the 77th Division in the Argonne Forest in northeastern France on Oct. 5, 1918, becoming the first major leaguer killed in action in World War I. Click here to read the entire story of the heroism of the first of eight major leaguers who were killed or died while serving for the U.S. military during World War I.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Spotlight On The Media:
Colonel Douglas Mastriano

 

Doug Mastriano

In September 28th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 91, host Theo Mayer spoke with veteran, military historian and author Colonel Douglas Mastriano about his new book, Thunder in the Argonne. The book explores the greatest battle in American history from a variety of perspectives and brings to light some of its more obscure heroes. Click here to read a transcript of the interview.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo new

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

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Avian Intelligence pigeon

Episode #92
Highlights:October 1918 Overview

Host: Theo Mayer

October 1918 Overview Roundtable - Dr.Edward Legel & Katherine Akey | @03:55

Historians Corner: Lost Battalion - Ron Laplander | @20:00

Shifting sands and hard fighting - Mike Shuster | @26:40

Commission News: Honor & Remember in chicago - Host | @31:24

Commission News: Bells of Peace update - Host | @32:15

State Profile: Georgia - Dr. Tom Jackson | @33:40

Remembering Veterans: Story of John Foster - Mark Foster | @41:10

US Army CMH WWI Website - Dr. Erik Villard | @47:20

Spotlight On The Media 1: Dr. Edward Lengel | @52:40

Spotlight On The Media 2: Lost Battalion Documentary - Mark Fastoso & John King | @55:20

WWI War Tech: Pigeons - Host | @60:00

Articles & Posts: Weekly Dispatch - Host | @65:05

The Buzz: Selections from Social Media - Katherine Akey | @67:45


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

War, Not Allegory: WWI, Tolkien, and The Lord of the Rings

Why, in all the years since its publication in 1954, has J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic, The Lord of the Rings, never found its way onto any “Best-Of” lists of war literature? Why, in spite of the overwhelming number of parallels, has it never counted among the greatest novels to emerge from the events of World War I? Rachel Kambury, a publishing professional specializing in war and literature and military history, argues that The Lord of the Ringsis not allegory but war story in its own right. A WWI story. Read Kambury's enlightening post, "War, Not Allegory: WWI, Tolkien, andThe Lord of the Rings" at WWrite this week!

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

The legacy of "Denial"

What does Brian Turner's "Here, Bullet," written during the Iraq War, share with Rupert Brooke's "The Soldier" and the poem "Denial" written by a Scottish tank commander in WWI? Dr. Connie Ruzich discusses connections in the latest blog post from Behind Their Lines


Doughboy MIA for week of October 8

Jefferies

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

 

Monday's MIA this week is Private Charles Bates Jeffries, born in Ohio on July 21st, 1892, where he was drafted on May 31st, 1918. He was a member of Battery C, 15th Field Artillery Replacement Draft out of Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and with them went to France on July 21st, 1918. ‘Over There’ he was assigned to Battery D, 305th Field Artillery, 77th Division. With them he served during the Vesle River campaign and then in the Meuse-Argonne. During the campaign in the Argonne, Jeffries was assigned runner duties as part of a three man artillery spotter mission that was sent forward to work with the 308th Infantry Regiment and with them was killed as a member of the famous ‘Lost Battalion’. During a mistaken barrage on the unit by American artillery on October 4th, 1918, Private Jeffries was observed by his commanding officer, Lt. John Tiechmoeller, running toward his funk hole as the shells crashed down around them. He was not seen afterwards that anyone could recall. Following the relief of the ‘Lost Battalion’ on October 8th, Lt. Tiechmoeller went looking for Jeffries, but all he found was his blown in funk hole, which had taken a direct hit by an artillery shell. Nothing further of Private Jeffries was ever found.

Would you like to help us solve this case? 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

Window decal

U.S. Army “Doughboy” Window Decal

An easy and inexpensive way to let the world know what year it is!

Featuring the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can proudly display this poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers.  

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


Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


George Washington Willard

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

George Washington Willard


Submitted by:
Eric Wiech {Great Grandson}

George Washington Willard born around 18 Dec. 1892, George Willard 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

Pvt. George Washington Willard was born on December 18, 1892, in Madison, SD. His mother died when he was six. Soon after, he and his younger brother were placed in the Sioux Falls children’s home. From there, he was sent to live with a family that was quite poor. He worked long hours at farm labor, was fed little, slept in a bed bug-infested bed, only had socks hired men threw away, and had little schooling for two years. When he was constantly late for the little schooling he received, his teacher asked him why. After he explained, the teacher contacted the children’s home, which sent two women to check on his conditions. They immediately removed him from the home. He was placed into another foster home and lived/worked there until he was 17. 

Pvt. Willard was drafted into the Army on the 20th of September, 1917, when he was 24. On May 11, 1918, he would sail from New York, NY to Liverpool, England. Listed as his “in case of emergency” contact is a “friend” from Summit, SD, Miss Agnus Swanson.

Read George Washington Willard's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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October 2, 2018

National History Day® launches Who They Were program for U.S. WWI Centennial Commission 

National History Day

National History Day®, a partner of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission announced the launch of Who They Were, a program that mobilizes students and educators across the country to learn about their community’s World War I story and to participate in local centennial observations. Educators and students can participate through the end of 2018 and into the summer of 2019, in parallel with local homecoming anniversaries and other community-based centennial events.Click here to read more about this exciting new school- and community-based program.


Kentucky researcher corrects service history of World War I tanker 

Buried at sea

Karlen Morris, a Retired Master Sergeant from the Kentucky Army National Guard, spends a good portion of his free time  helping families with research on their family members who have served in the US Armed Forces. One such search of records of World War I Army tankers led to the discovery, through records that miraculously survived the great NARA fire in St. Louis, of a soldier inaccurately listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Suresnes American Cemetery in Suresnes, France, whose fate is now recorded correctly. Click here to read the entire story of this remarkable detective work.


NYC Parks rededicates the Highbridge Doughboy statue in the Bronx

Bronx Doughboy

Commissioner Libby O’Connell joined NYC Parks Director of Art and Antiquities Jonathan Kuhn, the East Coast Doughboys, representatives from the Bronx Borough President's Office, and local high school students, in rededicating the Highbridge, Bronx Doughboy. The beautiful statue was damaged and kept in storage for 40 years, but was painstakingly restored -- and rededicated on the Centennial of New York’s costliest weekend of fighting, during the war. The Highbridge World War I Memorial, also known as the Highbridge Doughboy, honors the 21 local servicemen who died while serving their country in World War I. Click here to read more about the dedication of the statue's new home near Yankee Stadium.


Wright-Patterson Air Force Base remembers World War I in the air

Wright-Patterson memorial

On Friday, September 21, the The National Museum of the Air Force, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, hosted a dedication ceremony for the new World War I Airmen Memorial. This memorial-unveiling event was held in conjunction with a weekend of World War I activities, and took place on the centennial of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Click here to read about the aviation history event, and see photos.


Premiere Stages at NJ's Kean University to present “Black Tom Island” play

Black Tom Island poster

Premiere Stages, the professional theatre in residence at Kean University in Union, NJ, will present the world premiere of Black Tom Island by Martin Casella from October 11-21, 2018. The play is the 2017-2018 winner of the Liberty Live Commission, a program that commissions New Jersey playwrights to create original plays about significant events in the history of the state. At the center of Black Tom Island is a piece of New Jersey history that many people have either forgotten or never heard about: the explosion at Black Tom Island. The explosion was an act of sabotage and international espionage, designed to disable the weapons of an enemy during a time of war. Click here to find out more about the play, and the historical event in New Jersey that it remembers.


Young reader assesses WWI literature

Brayden Turnage

Brayden Turnage, 7, of Ashland, Ohio, got really interested in World War I this summer, when he went to a presentation about the Memorial. Then he found out that the Red Baron was real, and not just a co-star with Snoopy on the roller coaster at Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park. An avid reader, Brayden has read several books about World War I that he found at his school library and on Amazon.com. We asked Brayden about what aspects of World War I history interest him the most. Click here to get the the lowdown on what World War I history books earned the Brayden seal of approval.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Spotlight On The Media:
Filmmaker John Heinsen

 

John Heinsen

In September 21st's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 90, we focused our media spotlight on a new upcoming documentary about the German Air Service, a project born out of one individual's urge to reconnect with their grandfather. We were joined by John Heinsen, filmmaker and grandson of Walter Heinsen, a German aerial photograph in World War I. John is the producer of Return to Le Cateau, a multi-platform World War I project that also profiles the wartime activities of his grandfather. Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview.

Updates From The States:
Kentucky's Filson Historical Society

Willie Sandlin

In September 21st's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 90, Jana Meyer and Jim Pritchard of Louisville's Filson Historical Society, the Filson Historical Society, the largest such organization in the state of Kentucky, discussed Kentucky and WW1 with host Theo Mayer. Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

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

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Spotter at Meuse Argonne

Episode #91
Highlights:The Meuse-Argonne Offensive Begins

Wilson flips position on Women’s Suffrage | @01:55

The first day at the Meuse - Michael Shuster | @08:55

First person accounts from the 91st Wild West Division - Dr. Edward Lengel | @13:25

Archiving the Centennial for posterity | @20:30

Bells of Peace at St. Mary’s in Burlington, NJ | @23:10

The Bells of Peace APP is now available for download | @24:15

Tennessee in WWI - Michael Birdwell | @25:30

The story of Erwin Bleckley - Lt.-Col Doug Jacobs (Ret.) | @31:20

New book “Thunder in the Argonne” - Col. Douglas Mastriano (Ret.) | @37:55

Speaking & WWI War Tech mashup: Dog Tags | @44:30

Articles and Posts - Highlights from the Dispatch Newsletter | @48:15

 

The Buzz - The Centennial in Social Media - Katherine Akey | @51:00


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

Faulkner, Part 2! 

WWrite brings the sequel to last week's post by Professor Panthea Reid about her startling discovery while writing her book on William Faulkner. Faulkner, who received the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, had claimed that he was wounded while serving in the British Royal Flying Corps during WWI. Not only did Professor Reid debunk these claims with archival research; she also learned that Faulkner had confiscated the record of her own father's WWI wound and claimed the story for himself. Read "Centennial 

Reflections on William Faulkner and John Reid, Part 2," which reveals the riveting details about the rest of this incredible literary detective story and the justice Reid sought for her father thisweek atWWrite.

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

The WWI Poetry Blog, Behind Their Lines explores American poet Louise Bogan this week. She was devastated by the death of her beloved older brother, Charlie, who was killed just three weeks before the war ended. Her poem "To My Brother, Killed Haumont Wood, October 1918" reflects on the waste of war and the fragility of peace. 


Doughboy MIA for week of October 1

Edward Harold Osborn

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

 

Monday's MIA this week is Private Edward Harold Osborn. Born December 10th, 1891 in St. Bernice, Indiana, Eddie Osborn was a married miner when he entered the service on September 21st, 1917. He trained at Camp Taylor, Kentucky with Company L, 151st Infantry before transfer to Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He departed for overseas on June 11th, 1918 with the 12th Company, June Camp Shelby Automatic Replacement Draft. In France he was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division with which he was wounded on July 20th, 1918, and died at Military Hospital #1 on July 22nd. His family was never officially notified of his death as his grave was never positively identified, despite the burial being at a military hospital. He left behind a widow, Carrie D. (Kroeger) Osborn, originally of Franklin, Kentucky, whom he had been married to since 1913.

Private Osborn’s case is an excellent example of why we need YOUR help. Solving these cases takes research, and research costs money. Why not 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

Bells of Peace Commemorative Coin

Bells of Peace Commemorative Coin

This Commemorative Coin was created to mark the Centennial Commemoration of Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, when the fighting ended in Europe. The design showcases the iconic American Doughboy and the Bells of Peace logo. Measures 1 3/4". Nickel Silver Finish . Die Struck.

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


Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers


Early Blair Johnson 

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

Early Blair Johnson


Submitted by:
Robin Doucette {granddaughter}
 

Early Blair Johnson, Sr. was born around 1886. Early Johnson 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

My grandfather, Corporal Early Blair Johnson was born in Marion, Virginia on Oct.16, 1886. As a young man he was employed by Appalachian Power Company and he was subsequently transferred to work at the power plant at Switchback in McDowell County, West Virginia.

It was there that he met my grandmother, Mazie Trent. He proposed to her at Christmas of 1917 and gave her a beautiful diamond which she treasured all of her life. Their wedding was postponed when the US entered World War I as he did not want to leave his young bride as a widow “if something happened.”

Corporal Johnson trained at Camp Lee, Virginia before sailing for France from Norfolk, VA in May of 1918 aboard the USS Tenefores. He served in the Headquarters Detachment of the 155th Field Artillery Brigade of the famous 80th Division. His unit served in the Somme Offensive, the St. Miheil Offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The 80th Division was the only A.E.F. Division called upon three times during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and it was ranked first of all National Army Divisions by the War Department.

Read Early Blair Johnson's entire Story of Service here. 

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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September 25, 2018

Ceremony at St. Mihiel American Cemetery

Centennial commemoration events in France honored those who served in St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives

Six Commissioners from the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission attended events in France honoring U.S. service members who fought in two of the largest battles ever in U.S. military history, the St. Mihiel Offensive, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, of World War I. Ceremonies at the American Cemeteries in St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne marked the centennial of the battles, and honored the men and women buried there. These special events were hosted by the American Battle Monuments Commission, and also involved the U.S. Defense Department. Click here to read more about these solemn events to honor those who served.


Special Smithsonian Research Prize for WWI Exhibit at National Postal Museum

 

Lynn Heidelbaugh

Lynn Heidelbaugh, Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, has been awarded a 2018 Smithsonian Institution Secretary’s Research Prize in recognition of scholarship for the exhibition “My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I.” This is an exhibit that the World War I Centennial Commission has covered previously, and followed since it's early concept & planning stage. The exhibition explores the history of America’s role in the war through personal correspondence to and from the front lines and home front. Click here to read the entire story of the award-winning WWI exhibition.


WWI Mystery at Maryville Cemetery

Maryville Statue

In the small town of Maryville, Illinois, a part of Madison County, with a population of less than 8,000, is found the remarkable story of one First World War veteran and a mysterious statue representing his bravery and the sacrifice he made. Why is the figure mysterious? WWI Centennial Commission intern Madison Menz digs into the startling appearance and enduring mystery of the memorial figure in a small town cemetery. Click here to read the entire nearly century-old mystery in Illinois.


New York City Parks rededication ceremony for restored Highbridge World War I Memorial, at Macombs Dam Park

Doughboy statue

New York City has 16 Doughboy sculptures but one has been hidden in storage for more than 40 years, after being severely damaged by vandals. Today the 1923 memorial to men who served from the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx has been restored by the New York City Parks Department and will be rededicated at ceremonies at its new home in Macombs Dam Park, across the street from Yankee Stadium. Click here to read the entire story about how a rescued statue will once again honor New Yorkers who served in WWI.


Daughter of WWI American fighter ace flies a century after her father's first kill

d'Olive

Charles d'Olive (left) shot down a total of five planes during World War I and received a Distinguished Service Cross for his efforts. Nearly a century after her ace fighter pilot father shot down his first German plane, 73-year-old daughter Susan d’Olive Mozena flew onboard a B-52 with members of the 93rd Bomb Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Click here to read the entire article about the flight to honor the 100th anniversary of World War I, and an American aviator who helped win the war.


Camp Doughboy brings World War I history alive on Governors Island

Doctor reenactor

Recalling life as it was actually lived and breathed during the WWI-era, military and civilian reenactors gathered on Governors Island last weekend for the third annual Camp Doughboy World War I History Weekend. The intriguing experience – which drew some 8,500 visitors to the bustling encampment – was held on the island’s Parade Ground – some five hundred yards east of historic Fort Jay. Vintage vehicles were on exhibit, as were displays of artillery, communications, infantry, medicine, and the veterinary corps. Representatives from American Indian House were also on hand to talk about Native American soldiers. Click here to read more about the big annual WWI event in New York.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

WW1 Then: September Roundtable looks at the Saint Mihiel Offensive

 

Patton

In September 14th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 89, host Theo Mayer and regular contributors Mike Shuster and Dr. Ed Lengel discussed the Saint Mihiel Offensive, a huge moment for America and one of the decisive Allied blows against Germany. 100 years ago. The big focus was on a transformative battle, especially for General John J. Pershing and his newly minted US First Army and the fledgling US Army Air Service, led by a guy named Billy Mitchell. And a new tank corp led by none other than George Patton. The story plays out near a town called Saint Mihiel, where Germany has long held a major salient. Click here to read the entire transcript of this lively and informative podcast session.

International Report: Dr. Monique Seefried, WW1 Centennial Commissioner

 

Seefried

Dr. Monique Seefried is an accomplished educator, fluent speaker of four languages, and a US World War I Centennial Commissioner. In September 14th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 89, Host Theo Mayer spoke with Dr. Seefried about the Commission's participation in upcoming commemoration events in France. Click here to read the entire transcript of the interview.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

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

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Fourth Liberty Bond Drive

Episode 90
Financing War & Going Dry!:

Activities on the many fronts - Mike Shuster | @04:20

Meuse-Argonne opening days - Dr. Edward Lengel | @08:25

Financing War & going dry | @15:20

Farewell to David Shuey  | @22:00

Update on Armistice Centennial Events in DC | @23:35

Kentucky in WWI: Filson Historical Society - Jana Meyer & Jim Pritchard | @24:55

Utah in WWI: Utah WWI Centennial Commission - Valerie Jacobson | @31:35

Spotlight on the Media: Documentary on German Air Service - John Heinsen | @37:40

WWI WarTech: Blood transfusions | @44:45

Speaking WWI: Cooties (reprise) | @47:35

Dispatch Highlights  | @49:10

 

Buzz - The centennial in social media - Katherine Akey | @51:50


Literature in WWI This Week

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Faulkner Stole My Father's War Wound: Centennial Reflections on William Faulkner and John Reid, Part I

Panthea Reid,Professor Emerita of English at LSU, made a startling discovery while writing her book on William Faulkner. 

Faulkner, who received the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, had claimed that he was wounded while serving in the British Royal Flying Corps during WWI. 

Not only did Professor Reid debunk these claims with archival research; she also learned that Faulkner had confiscated the record of her own father's WWI wound and claimed the story for himself. 

Read the first part of "Centennial Reflections on William Faulkner and John Reid,"  a surprising literary detective story this week at WWrite.

Behind the Lines

This week on Connie Ruzich's poetry from WWI blog, "Behind Their Lines

“The natural world often remains a voiceless casualty of war,” writes Tait Keller in his essay “Destruction of the Ecosystem” (1914-1918 Online).  

Read about British soldier and writer A.P. Herbert's poem “The Windmill” in which the speaker listens to the landscape of the Great War and invites it to tell its story.  


Doughboy MIA for week of September 24

Harry Convin Pruitt

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

 

Monday's MIA this week is Sergeant Harry Convin Pruitt. Born September 17th, 1889 Harry Pruitt was a professional soldier, having enlisted in the regular US Army in March, 1913 at the age of 24. He served his first hitch at Columbus Barracks, Ohio, where he was assigned to Company E, 14th Infantry Regiment. He embarked for ‘Over There’ on April 7th, 1918 and in France was reassigned to Company I, 7th Infantry of the 3rd Division; soon to gain fame as the ‘Rock of the Marne’ division. With them he was killed July 15th, 1918 during the Second Battle of the Marne, helping the 3rd earn their title. Originally buried at Fossoy, Marne, his grave was never located after the war. Nothing else is known at this time.

Would you like to help us solve this case?  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

Cufflinks

WWI Centennial Commemorative Cufflinks

Proudly wearing the WWI 100 Years cufflinks is a fantastic way to let folks serving in the military, along with veterans, know that we still honor those who served our country one hundred years ago.These satin nickel cufflinks are a simple, yet meaningful, way to display your pride and remember those who sacrificed throughout our nation’s great history. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item goes towards funding the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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.


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Earnest Groves Wold 

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

Earnest Groves Wold

 

Submitted by: Pat Mosites, Employee at Minneapolis International Airport-airfield named in his honor Wold-Chamberlain Field

 

 

Earnest Groves Wold was born around 1897. Earnest Wold served in World War 1 with the Lafayette Escadrille. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Ernest Groves Wold, served as a reconnaissance pilot in France’s First Aero Squadron, the Lafayette Escadrille, during World War I. Wold’s exceptional coolness and accuracy of fire enabled him to crisscross enemy lines four times on August 1, 1918, photographing German positions and forcing down at least two of five attacking German aircraft.

After machine gun bullets riddled his arms and killed his observer-photographer, Wold piloted his disabled plane back to base, flying with his feet and knees. He died in the crash landing, but his photographs safely reached French forces.

Read Earnest Groves Wold's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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September 18, 2018 

Centennial Ceremonies set September 23 in France for Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Largest Battle in U.S. Military History

Meuse-Argonne Cenetery

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest battle ever in the history of the U.S. military, involved well over a million people, almost a thousand aircraft, and 400 tanks.The battle took a horrific human cost – over 122,000 American casualties.100 years later, the sacrifices will be remembered and honored by ceremonies in France, hosted by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and supported by the U.S. Defense Department (DoD). Six commissioners of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission will participate in the commemorative events. Click here to read more about what is planned to honor those who fought and fell.

Tanks in Meuse-Argonne

Writing in the Minnesota Star Tribune, Fritz Knaak  tells the detailed story of how U.S. soldiers achieved an almost impossible feat at horrific cost in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Viewing the battle through the lens of his grandfather's participation, he notes that "The long, long shadow cast by the Second World War and all that has happened since often obscure the sacrifices of the veterans of the First War, and the extraordinary accomplishment of the Army at the Battles of Meuse-Argonne." Click here to read the entire thoughtful essay, including his description of "what is still one of the great feats of American arms in history."


"Today’s geopolitical world has been shaped by no single factor more than the First World War."

 

Greatest War poster detail

Sean Michael Dargan is a professional singer, songwriter, guitar player, and highland bagpiper, who lives in Madison Wisconsin. He has a deep interest in military history, and even was the piper for a British army reenacting group that portrayed WWI BEF units. Sean contacted us with an incredible story -- He and a group of his professional musician/professional artist/professional historian friends got together, and decided to mark the centennial of WWI, and the war's impact and relevance, in their own way. As a result, they created a remarkable series of multimedia shows that will take place in Madison this fall.They include art exhibits, concerts, film screenings, all culminating in a show entitled THE GREATEST WAR which will take place on Nov 11th.  We asked Sean a few questions about this remarkable project of his; click here to read the entire interview.


“Diggers and Doughboys” Exhibition at National WWI Museum and Memorial

Diggers and Doughboys

Australian and American troops fought side-by-side for the first time in July 1918 during World War I. Since then, the Diggers (Australians) and Doughboys (Americans) supported each other in every major military conflict, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Diggers and Doughboys: The Art of Allies 100 Years On features incredible artwork from the Australian War Memorial Collection illustrating the unique comradeship between the two countries. Click here to read more about the Diggers and Doughboys exhibition, open in Memory Hall at the Museum through Sunday, Nov. 11.


Michael Wilson opens "One Man, One War, One Hundred Years" Art Exhibition

One Man

Michael Wilson is a visual artist, and a military veteran, who has created a remarkable new WWI-themed art exhibit that we previously wrote about, which will be showing at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa from September 15 – December 30, 2018. This work is endorsed as an official project of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, and the Iowa WWI Centennial Committee. One Man, One War, One Hundred Years commemorates the 100th anniversary of the World War One armistice through the service of one soldier – the artist’s Great Uncle Herbert Thordsen. Click here to read all about this incredible artistic project, and the family history that informs it.


DH4 "Liberty Plane" gets closer to takeoff

Liberty Plane

The DH-4 "Liberty Plane" project to reconstruct the only remaining as delivered to the military DH4  in North America to flying status to commemorate those who flew her in World War 1, but also all military aviators who have served over the last 100 years, is getting closer to the sky. The lovingly restored DH4 made its debut at the EAA "Airventure" air show in Oshkosh, WI in July, and is being groomed forits  first flight in September. Click here to read an in-depth article about the DH4 "Liberty Plane" and the team who is bringing her back to the sky.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Updates From the States: New Jersey

 

New Jersey activities

In September 7th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 88, Host Theo Mayer spoke with  Sarah Cureton, executive director of the New Jersey Historical Commission, and Veronica Calder, archivist at the New Jersey State Archives, about the New Jersey World War One Centennial Committee, its origins, its projects and programs for the last few years, and it's plans beyond the armistice.  Click here to read a complete transcript of the interview.

Labor Day 1918

Babe Ruth

August 31st's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 87, was a look back at a truly exciting, and consequential, time in American history: the first week of September 1918. Host Theo Mayer took a look at some amazing domestic events from a hundred years ago, weaving together Labor Day, the unions, sedition, bombs, baseball, the Babe, and Butte, Montana, jumping into a centennial time machine to explore the war that changed the world. This Podcast was a home run -- click here to read a complete transcript of the entire episode.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

WW1 Centennial News Logo

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

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New - Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Captured German soldiers during the Saint Mihiel Offensive

Episode 89
Highlights: Saint Mihiel Offensive

Episode Setup | @02:50

Saint Mihiel Overview - Mike Shuster | @03:50

Military Stories: Saint Mihiel - Dr. Edward Lengel | @07:25

War in the Sky: Saint Mihiel | @13:05

On the homefront: Headlines in the news | @15:35

Commission News: Bullet updates | @19:25

International events update - Dr. Monique Seefried | @24:35

Alabamians in WWI - Nimrod Frazier | @30:25

100 Cities / 100 Memorials: Jacksonville, FL - Michele Luthin & Percy Rosenbloom | @36:10

WWI WarTech: The tank | @44:15

Articles & Posts: Dispatch highlights | @49:25

Centennial Social Media selections - Katherine Akey | @52:10


Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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"Blessed are they that have the home longing"

The impeccable St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial in Thiaucourt, France is a solemn yet majestic tribute to the 4,153 military dead who perished in the St. Mihiel offensive in September1918. 

However, just after the war, to impose a message of victory and order on a landscape that had borne so much disruption and carnage was a formidable undertaking. 

This week at WWrite, Mark Facknitz, member of the Historical Advisory Board of the WWICC, tells the complicated story of the cemetery's conception and the various narratives the St. Mihiel memorial offered those who came to grieve their war dead. 

Read""Blessed are they that have the home longing": St. Michael, Pershing, Spiritualism, and Capt. Walker Beale."as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of one of American's largest battles in military history.


Doughboy MIA for week of September 17

 Joseph Arto Monroe

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

 

Monday's MIA this week is Private Joseph Arto Monroe. The son of Joseph and Ida (Dantzeisen) Monroe of Noble Township, Indiana, Joseph Jr. was born July 1st, 1891. A farmer, he entered the service on September 5th, 1917 at Shelbyville, Indiana and was sent first to Camp Taylor, Kentucky and then Camp Shelby, Mississippi for training. He sailed for France on June 10th, 1918, landing in country 12 days later, where he was assigned to Company F, 165th Infantry of the famous 42nd ‘Rainbow’ Division, made up of various National Guard units from all across the United States. He wasn’t with them long however, as on June 30th, 1918, he was killed in action as his unit tried to cross the Ourcq River. New to the unit, he was a virtual unknown to them thus and no one could ever say what happened to him.

Would you like to help us solve this case?  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

US Army Woolen Blanket

U.S. Army Woolen Blanket

Keep warm while showing your American pride with this classic green woolen U.S. Army blanket.

Still proudly Made in the USA by Woolrich, Inc., the oldest continuously operating woolen mill in the United States since 1830, the blankets were originally purchased by the U.S. military to supply our troops. Designed to be used by soldiers in the barracks, this Limited Edition blanket features a heat-marked “U.S.” emblem on the center and an exclusive fabric garment label commemorating the U.S. centennial of World War One. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will help fund the National WW1 Memorial in Washington, D.C. Fabrics and Features: 66”W x 84” L; 24 oz. 65% wool/35% recycled wool. Overseamed at all four sides. Made in USA.

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.


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Matching Donation by the
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Albert J. Lentz

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

Albert J. Lentz


Submitted by:
Mark A. Snell and Eric Lindblade

Albert J. Lentz born around 1895. Albert Lentz served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1915 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Private Albert J. Lentz of Company D, 18th Infantry, 1st Division, was the first soldier from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to be killed-in-action during World War I. Lentz fell near Cantigny, France on April 26, 1918, a month before the seminal American offensive of the war. 

Albert had moved to Chicago about three years earlier but his parents, Israel and Susannah, still resided in Gettysburg at the time of Albert’s death. Ironically, Private Lentz spent part of his childhood living in the house that today is known as “General Lee’s Headquarters,” which in July 1863 was owned by the widow Mrs. Mary Thompson.

Read Albert J. Lentz's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here. 


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