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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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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


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 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'?


"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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February 2020

Construction fence cover

Phase 1 construction work continues at the site of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. The graphic construction fence covers, designed by Memorial architect Joseph Weishaar, have been installed, listing the key Memorial sponsors and organizations, along with information and photos. Passersby will be able to see through the panels to follow the ongoing construction work.

Our Forgotten Heroes:
Why don’t we talk about World War I?

"During the 'Great War', the United States of America lost over 116,000 of her troops in a span of only 19 months," writes Jessica Manfre on the We Are the Mighty web site.  "It can be argued that without American's force beside the allies, the war wouldn't have ended in victory, but a stalemate. History has documented this impressive and vital piece of our story. So why don't we talk about it and those incredible heroes that turned the tide for an entire world in the name of democracy?"  Click here to read the entire article about how "America failed its heroes by avoiding that chapter in its history."

Foundations & Legacy:
General John J. Pershing

"The Loot"

To the fresh-faced and naive cadets at the University of Nebraska, he was “The Loot.” Some 25 years later, he was “The General” to battle-hardened officers of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) at the end of World War I.  Writing in The Officer Review magazine, Kevin Upton explores how John J. Pershing's experiences on the university campus both shaped and presaged his success on the battlefield in World War I, and his enduring influence on military organizations a century later.  Click here to read the entire thoughtful article.

Lt. Col. Joseph H. Ward:
Doctor, surgeon, soldier

Joseph Ward

Leon Bates "came across Lt. Col. Joseph H. Ward’s name while doing research before returning to college, and came to appreciate his legacy while doing additional dissertation research." Writing in American Legion magazine, Bates notes that while digging further, "I discovered he was a medical trailblazer and early American Legion member whose achievements – decades before the civil-rights movement – have been largely forgotten." Click here to read the entire article, and find out how "this first-generation freedman became a successful physician, surgeon, entrepreneur, Army officer, hospital administrator, civic leader, and prominent member and commander of American Legion Post 107 in Indianapolis."

The Legacy of the World War I: Ft. Des Moines Black Officers Training Camps

Ft. Des Moines grads

One of the most overlooked and neglected stories of African-Americans struggling for their inalienable rights was embodied by the 2,369 Black men who volunteered for training in the two Black Officers Training Camps at Ft. Des Moines, Iowa from June to November, 1917. Hal Chase, professor of African American studies at Des Moines Area Community College, takes up the story of how two of the 2,000 men who trained at Ft. Des Moines and "perceived themselves as the vanguard of their race that would forge a new future" went on to become leaders in the Civil Rights movement. Click here to read Chase's entire article.

First Memorial to African-American Veterans of WWI Built in West Virginia

Kimball, West Virginia

When the United States entered World War 1, a platoon of 1,500 black soldiers from McDowell County, West Virginia  signed up for the fight.They served our country with distinction, and many were recognized with special honors for their service. A memorial dedicated specifically to the African-American soldiers of the First World War (the first memorial of its kind in the nation) opened in 1928 in Kimball, McDowell County.  Click here to learn more about how the memorial, like the soldiers who it was built to honor, was first a key part of the community, then neglected and forgotten, but now being restored again to its place and role of honor.

Innovative, team-taught class brings scale of World War I into focus through trip to European battlefields

Notre Dame class

More than 20 million people were killed and another 20 million or more were injured in World War I, but it’s difficult for Americans today to wrap their minds around just how catastrophic the conflict was. The last survivors have died, the war wasn’t fought on American soil, and it ended more than a century ago. But a group of Notre Dame students now has more than numbers, texts, or photos to help them understand the devastation. Click here to read more about how an interdisciplinary course combined "conventional battlefield analysis with the collective and individual things people did to understand and come to terms with the war."

Alabama teen was American WWI hero

Homer Givens

Homer Givens was 19 years old when he received the title of “America’s first World War I hero,” as well as one of France’s highest honors, the Croix de Guerre. Givens, born in Florence, Ala., also received a Purple Heart and is now honored on the Walk of Honor at Florence, AL’s River Heritage Park. Click here to read more about how "the unassuming, bespectacled young man" became "an unlikely hero" for his actions during a bloody battle with German forces in 1917.

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.

John Brother Cade

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


John Brother Cade

Submitted by: Johnette Brooks {GA WWI African American Historian}

John Brother Cade was born around 1894. John Brother Cade served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1917.

Story of Service

2nd Lt. John Brother Cade, 1894 – 1970, Elberton, GA
Southern University Library Namesake
| Historian | Author | Educator

By Johnette Brooks

John Brother Cade (aka John B.) was born on 19 October 1894 in Elberton, GA. He was the second child of William Richard and Sara Francis (Bradford) Cade. His siblings are his elder brother Luther (also a WWI Private); William Jr.; Dora J.; Luthura and Leola. He attended St. Paul’s CME Church grade school. In 1915, he graduated from Knox Institute and Industrial School in Athens, GA. He was an early member of the C.M.E. or Colored Methodist Church.

Shortly after entering college, John became one of the first to volunteer for the new WWI Officers School in 1917. On 12 June, he was plowing his daddy’s field during the summer college break when he received the notice of his appointment shortly after 8AM. After refusing to pay double the bus fare to a negro man in Elberton with a car, he took the Greyhound bus and arrived too late to take the 3:40PM, non-stop train the Army provided to Iowa. So, he boarded the Dixie Flyer the next day and immediately saw faces he recognized. He first saw (future 1 Lt.) Pierce M. Thompson, the Albany Normal and Industrial School principal; then William Robinson, an Albany teacher; John J. James, a mail carrier from Thomasville.

Read John Brother Cade's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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January 2020

COnstruction work 01302020

Phase I construction work is underway at the site of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. A construction fence now surrounds the site. Click the photo for more information and photos of the ongoing work.

The Evolution Of A Modernist Memorial

Land Collective memorial snip

"Historically-significant landscapes require a nuanced approach to managing change, one that is respectful of the past, but that lifts the bell jar, so that history can be made accessible to twenty-first century society. Such is the case with our work on Pershing Park in Washington, D.C., revivifying a modernist construct redefined as a national memorial and a welcoming place of urban respite." So says David Rubin, the Landscape Architect for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. Click here to read his entire thoughtful essay about how his team strove to find "a balance between the preservation of a culturally significant landscape and the creation of a fitting national memorial within a twenty-first-century urban park. "

World War I Planted the Seeds of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States

Afraicn American Sailors WWI

The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s expansive new exhibition, “We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity,” focuses on both soldiers (and sailors) and civilians to explore the experiences and sacrifices of African Americans during the war, and how their struggles for civil rights intensified in its aftermath. Click here to read more about how “World War I was a transformative event for the world, but also a transformative experience for African Americans.

More than the Harlem Hellfighters: WWI, Black History Month, and the Classroom

Grave Marker African American WWI

Black History Month "provides teachers an important opportunity to highlight diversity too often overlooked in classrooms. World War I content can assist in teaching diversity with lesson plans that highlight the service, sacrifice and heartbreak of African American World War I soldiers and sailors," says Paul LaRue, educator and former member of the Ohio World War I Centennial Committee. Click here to read more, and find great educational resources produced in Ohio that can be used in schools everywhere during Black History Month in February.

Florham Park, New Jersey American Legion Post 43: Pvt. Frank A. Patterson

Frank Patterson obit

American Legion Post 43 in Florham Park, New Jersey is named after Pvt. Frank A. Patterson of Madison, NJ.  Patterson was struck down by the greatest killer of the war, against which all of his training and equipment provided no defense. The battlefields of World War I are well known for their ability to take human life on an industrial scale. But the war’s most insidious killer was disease. Infectious diseases such as influenza, pneumococcal meningitis, and tuberculosis claimed the lives of tens of thousands of American soldiers. Click here to read more about Frank Patterson's tragic fate, and his service that is remembered today in an American Legion post.

Manuel “Mannie” E. Reams remembered by American Legion Post 182

Mannie Reams

American Legion Post 182 is named after Manuel “Mannie” E. Reams, who served in the American Expeditionary Force during the First World War. Reams was born in February 1890 in Suisun, California. He attended local schools in the area and, between the years 1910 and 1915, made a name for himself playing semi-pro baseball where his teammates gave him the nickname “Babe.” But Reams left the ball fields for the battlefields of World War I, never to return. Click here to read more about a hero in sports and real life is remembered by his hometown American Legion post.

Before they were famous on screen, they served on the front lines of World War I


Before Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains squared off in the classic movie Casablanca, both were among the many 20th century films stars who saw active military service in World War I. As did so many others in Hollywood and elsewhere, both actors carried scars from their service for the rest of their lives. As the 2020 Oscar awards approach in February, this is a good time to read more about Bogart, Rains, and the other famous actors whose Great War military service helped shape their characters, both on and off the silver screen.

Why World War I films, like ‘1917,’ have a different feel than those about WWII

1917 snip

Lewis Beale, writing in the Los Angeles Times, asserts that Director Sam Mendes’ new film, “1917” is "in its own way, every World War I movie in microcosm: the trenches, the scarred battlefields, the rats, the gruesome deaths, the utter futility of a conflict fought over minuscule pieces of land; a war that seems to make no sense, despite the heroism of its combatants." Click here to read more about how cinematic storytelling about war differs between WWI and WWII, and also between movie makers in America and those in the rest of the world.

Doughboy MIA for January 2020

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Charles B. Jeffries, born 21 July 1892 in Columbus, Ohio, the only son of Van and Ada Jeffries. He and his sister Mary would grow up in Columbus. Charles’ draft card shows him to have been a time keeper at the Ralston Car Company on registration day, and he tried to claim exemption for having a ‘bad throat’. He was 5’6” tall, blond, and slight of stature.

Bad throat or not, Charles received his draft call in May, 1918 and on the 31st of that month was inducted into the army at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. He trained with Battery C, 15th Battalion, Field Artillery Replacement Draft before sailing for overseas service with the 14th Battery, Field Artillery Replacement Draft (part of the Camp Jackson July Automatic Replacement Draft) on his 26th birthday, 21 July 1918.

Once in France, in August Jeffries was sent as a replacement to the 77th Division, by then heavily engaged in combat in the Vesle sector, and assigned to Battery D, 305th Field Artillery. As an inexperienced replacement, he was assigned duty as a runner with the battery. In September, when the 77th moved into the Argonne Forest, Private Jeffries, along with Private Thomas G. Sadler, found himself attached as runner to Lieutenant John P. Tiechmoeller, who by then was the artillery liaison officer from Battery D assigned to 1st Battalion, 308th Infantry. Lieutenant Tiechmoeller’s job was to assist the infantry in its attack forward by calling in artillery fire on stubborn targets of resistance and targets of opportunity. However, in the jungle of the Argonne this job was dubious at best, and the three artillerymen were looked upon with a certain amount of derision.

By October 3rd, Jeffries, Sadler and Tiechmoeller found themselves in the Charlevaux Ravine as part of Major Whittlesey’s ‘Lost Battalion’. There, on 4 October, while surrounded in that ravine, Whittlesey’s men faced an hour and a half artillery barrage by their own division’s guns, from 2:30 pm until about 4:00 pm; a situation inadvertently set in motion by a set of incorrect map coordinates sent back by Lieutenant Tiechmoeller the previous day. It was during that terrible barrage that Lt. Tiechmoeller later recalled seeing Private Jeffries running for the cover of his funk hole in the hillside. That was the last anyone saw of him.

When Tiechmoeller – himself wounded during the barrage – later went to search for Jeffries after the position was relieved, all he found was the boys smashed in the funk hole. Ironically, Private Jeffries was more than likely killed by fire from the guns of his own battery.

Though no trace of Jeffries was ever found, there were five sets of remains from the episode in the Charlevaux Ravine that remain unidentified to this day.

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


15 oz White Ceramic
WWI Centennial Mug

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

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

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

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

Harold Edward Carlson

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


Harold Edward Carlson

Submitted by: Robert E. Carlson {Grandson}

Harold Edward Carlson born around 1892. Harold Carlson served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1918 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

Harold Carlson, born Harald Eugen Karlsson, on November 3, 1892, in Norrköping,Östergötland, Sweden, was orphaned in 1900, when his father died. He immigrated to Brooklyn, New York, to live with his mother's sister, Mathilde Jensen and his uncle Jens (John) Jensen. It was a crowded house with his sister, another aunt, three cousins and a border, who was my grandmother's brother.

Harold drove a horse-drawn wagon for a warehouse business, as a young man. When the war broke out, he was inducted as a teamster. Harold kept a notebook that listed his duty stations from his induction to his discharge. This is his entry: "May 28, 1918 left home for Camp Upton. Left Upton June 13, 1918 for Camp Johnston, Fla. Arrived the 16th. Left Johnston Aug. 2. To Camp Hill 4. From Hill to France 14. Arrived in Brest 26. Sept. 4 to Sougy 8th (arrived). From Sougy June 2, 1919. From Lemunox 3, 1919. St. Gearvas 12th."

Read Harold Edward Carlson's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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December 2019

National WWI Memorial Is Under Construction!


Construction Launch 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honor the Doughboys with Year-End Gift

Come Along Wave

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

Valor Medals project will advance in 2020

valor medal wave

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

Spokane community unites to restore neglected World War I Memorial bridge

Spokane bridge WWI memorial

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

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

Cpl Sahler

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

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

American Legion Post 29 namesakes

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

How I Found Austin & How He Found Me

Austin in the Great War

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

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

Hospital at Nevers

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

Doughboy MIA for December 2019

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

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

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

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

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

A Happy New Year to you all.


Rob Laplander and the whole Doughboy MIA team.


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

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise


World War I Centennial Commemoration Collector's Bundle $29.95

Collect all commemorative coins and lapel pins in one purchase! 

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

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

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

Charles Wilhelm Gärtner (Gardner)

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


Charles Wilhelm Gärtner (Gardner)

Submitted by: Charles R. Gardner {Grandson}

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

Story of Service

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

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

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

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

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

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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