Monthly Archives: April 2019

WWI DISPATCH April 30, 2019

A newsletter from the World War One Centennial Commission.  Note the item below that focuses on our branch.

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April 30, 2019

Maquette at Fleet Week

WWI Memorial sculptural maquette on display at Fleet Week New York 2019

The U.S. Navy’s big Fleet Week New York 2019 is coming up 22-27 May. During Fleet Week, there will be Sea Service-related concerts, appearances, tours, and other activities throughout the greater New York area during that time. This year, Fleet Week New York will also have an added theme of ‘Remembering World War I’, in cooperation with the United States World War I Centennial Commission.

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We will have World War I-themed Living-History Reenactors, special exhibits, and ceremonies, all telling the story of the New York area, and the U.S. armed services, during World War I.

One very special public exhibit that we will have in New York is our new sculptural maquette, designed and created by sculptor Sabin Howard, a scale-model representation of the new National World War I Memorial that is being created in Washington, DC. Click here to read more about where the maquette will be appearing in Fleet Week New York 2019 this month.

Hawaii World War I Symposium and Activities scheduled for May 26-28

Hawaii Task Force logo

The Hawai’i World War I Centennial Task Force will be hosting a  World War I academic symposium to mark the end of the WWI Centennial Commemoration Period, to be held in downtown Honolulu at the Aloha Tower. This academic symposium is co-hosted by Hawaii Pacific University, the Arizona Memorial Visitors’ Center, and the Hawaii WWI Centennial Task Force. The Task Force has issued a Call of Presentations for the Symposium. The symposium will run from 0800-1630 26 and 27 June, and a half day on Friday 28 June, which is the final day of the WWI Centennial Commemoration Period. Click here to read more about the Symposium, and find how how to submit your proposal to be a speaker at this World War I event in Hawaii.

World War I veterans like Sgt. Butler of Salisbury deserve Medal of Honor

Linda Duyer

Linda Duyer, a Historian from Salisbury, MD with a concentration in Delmarva (Delaware/Maryland/Virginia) African American History, spoke about a local soldier, Sargent William A. Butler, on Thursday, April 18, 2019 during the announcement of the World War I Valor Medals Review Act, a new bipartisan legislation that will ensure that minority Veterans who served during WWI get the recognition they deserve. The Valor Medals Review is sponsored by the United States World War I Centennial Commission. Duyer followed up with an articulate opinion piece on the delmarvanow web site. Click here to read her thoughtful exposition on why the review is important, and how the story of one Maryland soldier got her involved from the beginning of the effort.

New local World War I documentary from Akron, Ohio has nationwide appeal

Toivo Motter

Toivo Motter (left) is a historian & Education expert, who works as Director of Education at the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, in Akron, Ohio. He and his colleagues were very interested in telling the story of World War I’s dramatic impact on their region. Toil, himself, has experience working with public television, so he proposed making a film. They loved the idea, pooled resources, called in favors, and collaborated their efforts — with great success. Their pinnacle triumph is a full-length television documentary film, LOST VOICES OF THE GREAT WAR, which aired locally and on PBS. Click here to read more about this project, and how, even though the film was made to tell a regional story, the producers found that the experiences of the folks from their community reflected those of others around the state, and throughout the entire nation.

“Commemorating those who served, remembering the service of those who have passed on”

Michael Barbour

The ties between the U.S. and Canada were never stronger than during World War I. Not only did our nations help each other with wartime food and supplies, but over 35,000 Americans served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force from 1914-1918. Some 3,500 of those men and women lost their loves in the war. Recently we learned that a very special group of Canadians follow our Centennial Commission’s activities. The Royal Canadian Legion is a non-profit veterans service organization that supports Veterans and their families, remembers the men and women who served our country, and strengthens communities. The Legion has a chapter based in the San Francisco Bay area, U.S. Branch 25, who have been very active in Great War remembrance activities — they share our weekly Dispatch stories with their members, and they even participated in our Bells of Peace on Nov 11th, 2018. We had a chance to talk to U.S. Branch 25 member Michael Barbour about the Post and its members, and about his own connection to World War I.

Seven Framingham, Massachusetts folks who served during World War I

Stacen Goldman

As World War I raged, men and women from all walks of life in Framingham, Massachusetts served their country and community at home and abroad in ways that revealed the courage and character of small town America. The lives – and sometimes deaths – of seven diverse residents provide personal snapshots of the war’s impact on Framingham in “An American Town in World War I,” a thoughtful and moving exhibit at the Framingham History Center. “I definitely hope the exhibit makes visitors think about those men and women who served in different ways,” said curator Stacen Goldman, who organized the exhibit. “I hope people reflect critically on the war and what it meant to those people.” Click here to read more about the exhibit, and the folks from Framingham who served their nation in World War I.

Jane Addams, secular Saint, was scorned for Pacifism during World War I

Jane Addams

Jane Addams had won Americans’ hearts in the early 20th Century by founding Hull House, a pioneering social action center in Chicago, by being a force on behalf of woman suffrage, by speaking out against imperialism, and by advocating for workers. But once the United States  had entered World War I,  Addam’s pacifism made her a pariah, a role for which nothing in decades of public service and public approbation had readied her. Click here to read more about how Jane Addams achieved personal peace amid public ire by hewing to what she called her “vision of the truth” and the “obligation to affirm it.”

America’s first World War I fighter plane blinded pilots and lost its wings

Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker

When America threw its weight behind the Allies in World War I, optimistic politicians and the writers of the day predicted that, soon, tens of thousands of top-tier planes would pour from American factories to the front lines, blackening the skies over the “Huns.” In reality, American aviation was too far behind the combatants to catch up, and so American pilots like eventual ace Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker (left) took to the air with French castoff aircraft that gave them diarrhea and nausea, obscured their vision, and would lose their wings during combat. But other than that, the aircraft were great!  Click here to read more about how American aviators overcame these technical and biological challenges, and proved themselves faster learners and braver than their allies had expected, leading to a grudging respect from the other pilots.

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Historian’s Corner:

The Story of Helen Hagan

Helen Hagan

In April 5th’s edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 117, host Theo Mayer aired a brief sound bite from the Yale Daily News introducing Helen Hagan (left), the first female, African American graduate of Yale’s music school, and someone whose extraordinary story is intertwined with World War I. Then, writer Elizabeth Foxwell joined Theo on the show to elaborate on the life of this talented and extraordinary person. Click here to read a transcript of the entire program.

Remembering Veterans:

James Carl Nelson on America’s 339th ‘Polar Bear’ Regiment

James Carl Nelson

In April 19th’s edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 119, author James Carl Nelson joined the host Theo Mayer to discuss a theater of combat that America participated in, but most Americans have forgotten: Russia, just before and after the armistice. The men of the 339th Regiment braved bitter cold and fought the Bolsheviks before returning home in July of 1919. Known as the Polar Bears, the 339th’s saga is a pretty incredible and not widely told World War I story. Click here for a complete transcript of this program and learn the hard, cold facts of America’s most northern combat zone in World War I.

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

Congressional Medal of Honor

Episode #120
Highlights: Valor Medal Review Legislation

Host – Theo Mayer

April 1919 Popular Science Magazine – Host | @ 01:55

Reactions to Versailles Peace Treaty – Mike Shuster | @ 12:05

A Century in the Making: Memorial Update – Joe Weishaar | @ 17:05

WWI Valor Medal Review Legislation – Dr. Tim Westcott / Zach Austin | @ 25:45

Legless, Wingless Animals Serving in WWI – Leah Tams | @ 36:00

Dispatch Newsletter Highlight – Host | @ 41:55

Literature in WWI This Week

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All the Way Home

By Jane Clarke

The Irish experience of the First World War has been largely overlooked and even denied until relatively recently; now we know that 210,000 Irish soldiers fought and up to 40,000 died.

When the Mary Evans Picture Library in London invited poet, Jane Clarke, the winner of the 2016 Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry, to write a sequence of poems in response to an Irish First World War family archive, she accepted the challenge: how to find fresh ways of writing about the First World War.

This week at WWrite, read the post, “All the Way Home,” Clarke’s account of imagining the forgotten experience of Ireland in WWI!

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

This week we celebrate International Jazz Day and also remember the 100th-year anniversary of the death of James Reese Europe (more commonly known as “Jim Europe”). Jim Europe was the first black American officer to enter the trenches of the First World War, the first to lead troops in combat in the war, and the first black American to be given a public funeral in New York City. And yet James Reese Europe is virtually unknown today, both for his contributions to music and for his service in the First World War. Read more about this WWI hero and his musical account of a patrol in No Man’s Land.

Doughboy MIA for week of April 29

Tom Gardner

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday’s Doughboy MIA this week is Corporal Tom F. Gardner. Born at Fayettville, Georgia and raised in Stockbridge, Georgia, Tom Frank Gardner enlisted in the Regular US Army on 11 September 1916 at Columbus Barracks, Ohio. He served on the Mexican Border with Company A, 35th Infantry Regiment. Promoted to Private First Class just before being transferred, he was sent to Company A, 18th Infantry on 28 May 1918 and with them went overseas. In France the 18th Infantry became organic to the newly formed 1st Division. All that summer and fall he served the regiment well and on 22 January 1918 was promoted to Corporal. On 18 July 1918, during the fighting around Chateau Thierry to stop the German drive on Paris, Corporal Gardner was killed in action. His name is among the 1,060 on the Tablets to the Missing at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau Wood. No other details of his case are known at this time.

Want to help us shed some light on PFC Gardner’s case? Consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Lapel pin

WWI Centennial Commemorative Lapel Pin

 Proudly Wearing the WWI 100 Years lapel pin 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.  This satin nickel lapel pin is 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.

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

Cypress Hill Cemetery gate

Ahead of Fleet Week New Yorklater in May, the United States World War I Centennial Commission will host a commemorative event this weekon May 2nd at historic Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn. The public is invited to attend this event that will remember some New York heroes of WWI and other conflicts. Click here to find out more about how to attend this event on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 at 10:00am.

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William Anthony Hemmick

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

William Anthony Hemmick

Submitted by: Patricia Daly-Lipe {great niece}

William Anthony Hemmick was born around 1886. William Hemmick served in World War 1 with a non-government service organization. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

When the First World War broke out, now ordained, Father William Hemmick felt committed to help the troops. After the war, he was proclaimed the Patriot Priest of Picardy by the Army and Navy.

His letters written from the front lines of the battle of Picardy to his sister, now in the archives of Georgetown University, are included in my book about his life: ‘PATRIOT PRIEST, The Story of Monsignor William A. Hemmick, the Vatican’s First American Canon.’

Read William Anthony Hemmick’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.

NEW EPISODE: Valor Medal Review Legislation

A new podcast from the World War One Centennial Commission.

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Valor Medal Review

Episode #120

Congressional Medal of Honor

WWI Congressional Medal of Honor review legislation has been drafted for both the House and the Senate

Valor Medal Review Legislation

Host – Theo Mayer

  • April 1919 Popular Science Magazine – Host | @ 01:55
  • Reactions to Versailles Peace Treaty – Mike Shuster | @ 12:05
  • A Century in the Making: Memorial Update – Joe Weishaar | @ 17:05
  • WWI Valor Medal Review Legislation – Dr. Tim Westcott / Zach Austin | @ 25:45
  • Legless, Wingless Animals Serving in WWI – Leah Tams | @ 36:00
  • Dispatch Newsletter Highlight – Host | @ 41:55


Listen To The Podcast NOW

All about WW1 THEN and NOW while you drive, work or play.

Coming up next week:

  • “Who They Were” Program recognition – Susan Turner
  • NY AKC Museum of the Dog – Sgt. Stubby Statue unveiling – Emily Brostek
  • NY USS Recruit – a land battle ship in Union Square – Tom Frezza

and much more…

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Join live recording

Register to join us as we record and produce the show. Ask questions of the guests. Let us know what you think. Get the link list right during the show. Most Wednesdays at Noon, Eastern.

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Use our research and publish the stories. Join our live recording sessions and get ALL THE LINKS TO STORY SOURCES before we publish the podcast.

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Our New Campaign: D-Day 75

A new item from the There But Not There organization.

D-Day 75: Operation Tiger

On 28th April 1944, 749 American servicemen were killed off Slapton Sands in Devon during a rehearsal for D-Day called Operation Tiger.

As the troops were on the water preparing to practice landing on the beaches, German E-boats were alerted to activity in the area and attacked.

Due to the need for absolute secrecy the tragedy was kept quiet and, even today, is not as well-known as it should be.

These servicemen were the first casualties of D-Day, so to highlight this story and to launch our D-Day 75 commemorative campaign, today we laid 749 pairs of Bootprints on the same beach at Slapton Sands.

D-Day and the Battle of Normandy saw over 50,000 servicemen and women die – from Britain, the Commonwealth and America – in a battle that would turn the tide of the Second World War.

This year’s There But Not There campaign encourages you to walk in the bootprints of those servicemen and women who gave their lives in this extraordinary battle.

Our Bootprint plaques each carry the name of someone who died during this battle and all profits support projects that help today’s veterans get back into employment after their service.

Buy your Bootprint
You can buy your table-top Bootprint in our shop and you can choose to have it inscribed either with the name of someone from the American or the British and Commonwealth list of the fallen for £29.99.

Alternatively, you can choose an unnamed plaque for £22.99 which you can personalise yourself with the name of someone you wish to remember from the Second World War or any other conflict.

Our Bootprint stickers (£4.80) are ideal for community groups, schools and businesses wanting to show their support and we offer both a biodegradable and vinyl option.

Copyright © 2018 Remembered, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
33 Ranelagh Gardens, Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR

Back Issue Blowout! – 50% OFF Special Issues!

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Looking for a placemat to complement your table’s floral centrepiece? Gather friends and family around your dinner table with the Floral Emblems Paper Placemats.


Apron - Floral Emblems

Apron – Floral Emblems
Individually sold at $19.99

The most practical of kitchen accessories need not be plain thanks to our limited edition aprons. Whether baking or barbecuing, these colourful aprons will bring joy to your kitchen!


Tea Towels - Floral Emblems

Tea Towel – Floral Emblems
Individually sold at $8.99

Spruce up your kitchen décor with our colourful tea towels. The perfect gift for a home baking lover.


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Sunday, May 12 Is Mother’s Day!

An item from the Legion’s Poppy Store.

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Sunday, May 12 is Mother’s Day! Why not treat your mother or grandmother to a beautiful gift from the Legion Poppy Store?

We thank you for your continued support.

The Royal Canadian Legion

Contact us at: or toll free at 1-888-301-2268.

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Holding back the Chinese

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Best-Selling 5-Volume Set!
Holding back the Chinese

Holding back the Chinese

Story by Sharon Adams

For two days in the spring of 1951, the 700 men of the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry helped stop the advance of 5,000 Chinese forces during the Battle of Kapyong in Korea.

The battle was a turning point in the Korean War.

The Chinese had retreated past the 38th parallel, luring the South Korean and United Nations forces into a vulnerable position.

On April 22, 1951, the South Koreans faced a major attack and were nearly overrun and forced to retreat. UN forces had to protect that withdrawal through the Kapyong River valley, in central Korea about 20 kilometres south of the 38th parallel.


Front Lines
Diving into healing waters

Diving into healing waters

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

Retired Marine gunnery sergeant and combat diver Dan Griego spent two years combing the eastern seaboard from Florida northward searching for an area rich in shipwrecks so he could give his brothers-in-arms some meaningful, healing work.

He ended up with Dan MacKinnon, a third-generation treasure hunter, in Nova Scotia, home to more than 10,000 recorded shipwrecks dating back almost four centuries.

Griego had found the Holy Grail of North American wreck diving, and for two years the highly decorated Marine veteran with nine deployments over two decades mined site after site with an eye to producing a reality television series.


The Beaches of Normandy - Set of Five
This week in history
This week in history

April 23-24, 1951

The Battle of Kapyong begins in Korea.


Legion Magazine

WWI DISPATCH April 23, 2019

A newsletter from yesterday from the World War One Centennial Commission.

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April 23, 2019

CFA Meeting April 2019

CFA approves “Soldier’s Journey” sculpture for National WWI Memorial

The new National World War I Memorial for Washington, DCcontinues to roll ahead strongly. Last week, the World War I Centennial Commission provided an update briefing to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) on a host of design concept details.  The meeting at CFA headquarters drew a number of attendees — journalists, architects, landscape designers, urban planners, art critics — to hear the latest news from the project. The Commission’s speakers were led by Commissioner Dr. Libby O’Connell, and included sculptor Sabin Howard, who brought his new scale-model maquette, as well as construction team members. Click here to read more about the CFA meeting and the outcomes from it that advance the construction of the Memorial.

Lest Sligo Forgets campaign reconnects local WWI hero with American family


Chris Isleib (bottom left), Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, reports:

“My work with the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission has given my family & me a sensitivity to those who want to remember their veteran heroes. My own family has roots in County Sligo, Ireland. When I heard that they were creating a new local WWI Memorial, we wanted to provide some support to their effort. The people at Lest Sligo Forgets accepted our support, and they assigned us a random casualty-name to sponsor. As it turns out — the random name they assigned was the name of our grandfather’s cousin!”  Click here to read a report from the Lest Sligo Forget project on this remarkable coincidence linking Chris to a County Sligo WWI casualty via his grandfather, Michael Clancy O’Hart (top left).

Hero in WWI and baseball to receive overdue honors from PA hometown

Hero in WWI and baseball to receive overdue honors from PA hometown

If Spottswood Poles had been born a century later, he would have been a superstar. Instead, most people in his hometown of Winchester, PA have no idea who he was or what he did. But that’s about to change. Poles, an African-American who became a hero on ballfields and battlefields alike, will be recognized by city officials and the local baseball team this summer with a historical marker and the naming of a road for him in. Poles was a decorated hero in the Army’s 369th Infantry Regiment — the legendary Harlem Hellfighters — during World War I, and many argue that “the black Ty Cobb’” should be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Click here to read more about Spottswood Poles’ feats as a soldier and a ballplayer, and the long-overdue recognition planned by his home town.

MLB adds poppy with “Lest We Forget” to Memorial Day game uniforms

Poppy baseball

Major League Baseball is adding a poppy to its Memorial Day uniforms — a symbol that has been used since World War I to honor those who died in war — with the phrase “Lest We Forget.” These will appear on teams’ regular uniforms. The caps will feature a special stars-and-stripes Memorial Day patch. For Memorial Day, beyond the poppies and cap patches, teams will wear their usual uniforms. On Memorial Day the individual teams will present on-field tributes featuring their own local military heroes. That includes first pitches and on-field presentations. Click here to read more about these new Memorial Day uniforms, as well as MLB’s plans for special uniforms for games on Armed Forces Day.

Virginia War Memorial event celebrates baseball in VA, sport’s mesh with WWI

Al Barnes

Baseball was an important part of the lives of soldiers involved in World War I. When millions of U.S. troops deployed to Europe, they brought with them their love of the game and promptly addressed the absence of diamonds. “They made hundreds of fields. … The French would stand around and wonder ‘What the heck are these crazy guys doing?’ ” said Al Barnes (left), author of “Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball in the Great War,”  to an appreciative audience at the Virginia War Memorial, which hosted “Play Ball! 100 Years of Baseball in Virginia.” By the war’s end, there were more than 4,000 teams made of military personnel — including major leaguers, minor leaguers and Negro League players — competing in Europe, according to Barnes. Click here to read more about how baseball kept the Dougboys connected to home, and emerged from World War I as “America’s Pastime.”

Former Mineola resident to be a part of new World War I National Monument

Zach Libresco

Ever since the inception of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission in 2013, New York City sculptor Sabin Howard and architect Joe Weishaar have been hard at work creating Washington, D.C’s first-ever World War I memorial at Pershing Park. In order to bring the project alive, so to speak, Howard and a team of reenactors began a crucial stage of the creation process in the United Kingdom earlier this year, where the reenactors, who were dressed in WWI costume, posed in a first-of-its-kind photogrammetry rig that was composed of 160 cameras. One of those reenactors who traveled across the pond to partake in this monumental project was former Mineola resident Zach Libresco, who will be portrayed in the national memorial.  Click here to read more about how the the graduate of Mineola’s Wheatley High School grabbed a permanent role in the national World War I Memorial.

Roswell, Georgia remembers heroic story of WWI nurse Camille O’Brien

Camille O'Brien

A Roswell, GA family’s great aunt was honored with a new headstone at Greenwood Cemetery for her service and bravery during World War I as an Army nurse. Camille Louise O’Brien was a member of the Emory nursing unit during WWI and was the only Red Cross nurse from Atlanta, and the only nurse from the Emory Unit to die in France during the war. O’Brien is recognized as a hero nurse for her exemplary service and dedication to treating her soldiers. Click here to read more about O’Brien’s heroic and selfless service in World War I, and the honor paid to her a century later.

World War I veteran’s struggle after Army service led to “Shazam!”

Captain Billy

The Warner Bros. super hero film “Shazam!” currently playing around the nation is based on a character whose origins begin with an Army veteran’s little-known struggle a century ago to adjust to life after World War I. The world’s mightiest mortal was introduced by Fawcett Publications as Captain Marvel, the alter ego of kid reporter Billy Batson, in a comic published from 1940 to 1953. But before the fictional captain, there was Captain Billy, a real-life former WWI soldier and newspaper reporter whose humor magazine for World War I veterans shocked 1920s America and launched a publishing empire spanning magazines, comics and paperbacks. Click here to read the entire story of Captain Billy and his publishing legacy with its roots in World War I.

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Remembering Veterans:
Senator Jon Tester on the Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019

Senator John Tester

In April 12th’s edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 118, Senator Jon Tester of Montana joined the show to discuss a new bill, S206, otherwise known as The Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019, that would finally give the Hello Girls the formal recognition they deserve. Click to hear Senator Tester talk about the bill, what it is, the connection to Montana, and how people can help get this properly deserved honor bestowed on these pioneering women who served so successfully and then struggled to be recognized and to receive veteran’s benefits.

WWI Remembered:
Alan Axelrod on George Creel, America’s Chief Propagandist – Part 2

George Creel

In April 12th’s edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 118, author Alan Axelrod returned to finish an expansive interview on George Creel, the publisher of the government’s Official Bulletin and one of the most powerful war-time Americans. Allen Axelrod, the author of Selling the Great War: The Making of American Propagandajoined Theo for Part Two of their conversation about George Creel, discussing the post-armistice period, and then Creel’s later life.  Click here to read the entire transcript, and discover why the “man who sold the war” ended up as a footnote in its history.  (Did you miss Part One? Click here to read the entire transcript of that podcast program.)

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

USS San Diego

Episode #119
Highlights: The Sinking of the USS San Diego

Host – Theo Mayer

100 Years Ago This Week – Host
| @ 02:25

Germany receives the allied dictates – Mike Shuster
| @ 10:55

The Polar Bear Expedition – James Carl Nelson
| @ 14:45

War Memoirs from WWI: Charles Carrington  – Dr. Edward Lengel | @ 22:10

May 2, 2019 Memorial at Cypress Hills Nat. Cemetery – Alain Dupuis | @ 27:55

The sinking of the USS San Diego – Dr. Alexis Catsambis | @ 32:30

Minnesotan Doughboys Remembered – Susi Adler
| @ 41:25

New Education Newsletter – Host
| @ 49:55

Highlights from the Dispatch – Host
| @ 51:10

Literature in WWI This Week

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The Weariness of the Thing – “The Boys Who Live in the Ground”

By Connie Ruzich

*Connie Ruizich from Behind Their Linesvisits WWrite this week!

Of the American aviators who flew over enemy lines in the war, only fifteen percent were left after the signing of the armistice. Donald S. White, one of these few survivors, served as a pilot on the Western Front with the 20th Air Squadron.

He was cited for “exceptional devotion to duty” as a bombing aviator as “he had served in a day-bombing squadron in every raid since the squadron had been called into active work during the severe fighting in the Argonne.”

For this post, Connie Ruzich shares her rare discovery exclusively with WWrite: White’s poem about his service, a poem that seeks to speak “for thousands of his fellows.” Read “The Boys Who Live in the Ground” followed by Ruzich’s analysis this week!

Doughboy MIA for week of April 22

Vance Shankle

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday’s Doughboy MIA this week is Corporal Vance Shankle, DSC. Born 03 November 1893 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He was a mill worker with the famous Cannon Company when America issued its first draft call.  Rather than wait to be called though, Shankle enlisted in September, 1917. Interestingly, his local draft board continued to list him in the newspapers among those who had failed to report for their physical as late as February, 1918 and it took a visit from his brother, Brooks, to straighten it out!

Shankle was sent to Camp Jackson for induction and then on to Camp Sevier, where he was assigned to Company K, 118thInfantry, 30th Division and with them departed for overseas service on 11 May 1918 from New York.

In France, Shankle was quickly promoted to Corporal for his fearlessness in action over the summer months of battle, and on 17 October 1918 he made a permanent mark on the history of his regiment, earning the Distinguished Service Cross:

SHANKLE, Vance (deceased) No. 1312113 Corporal, Company K, 118th Infantry. For extraordinary heroism in action near St. Martin Riviere, France, October 17, 1918. When the advance of his company was held up, he volunteered to go forward with another soldier, to reduce a machine gun emplacement. Advancing in front of our lines, these two soldiers attacked the enemy position, destroyed it, and captured three prisoners. Corporal Shankle was killed in action shortly afterwards.

Corporal Shankle’s name is among the 333 names which grace the Tablets of the Missing at the beautiful Somme American Cemetery at Bony, France.

Want to help shed some light on Corporal Shankle’s case? Consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

tote bag

Canvas and Leather Tote

Function and style are combined in this lightweight and compact Canvas & Leather Tote. You can show your American pride while carrying this Made in the USA dark khaki tote. Plenty of room for keys, wallet, tablet and documents. A distressed “U.S.” imprint is prominently displayed on the bag and an exclusive fabric garment label commemorates the U.S. Centennial of World War One.

Tote features: Constructed of touch dyed canvas and lined with 400 denier nylon. Handles made of 6 Oz. top grain oil tanned leather, backed with 1” webbing. Handle is attached to bag with distinctive “X” tacks. Dimensions: 18.5” W (seam to seam) x 13.5”H x 5.0” T-bottom style gusset.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will help fund the national WW1 Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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


Bill to honor WWI Minority Veterans introduced in Congress

The bipartisan World War I Medals Review Act, unveiled last Thursday, marks the latest effort to rectify the military’s history of discrimination against black soldiers and other minorities who fought and died alongside their white comrades but were shunned and often the victims of racial violence. The measure will direct the Pentagon to review the records of scores of decorated soldiers who served in World War I to determine if they were denied the nation’s highest battlefield honor because of their race or religion.  Click here to read the entire article about this legislation. To find out more about the Valor Medals Review supported by the World War I Centennial Commission, click here.

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Antonio Mastropietro

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Antonio Mastropietro

Submitted by: Frank Mastropietro {Nephew}

Antonio Mastropietro was born in1895 in Cercepiccola, Italy. Antonio Mastropietro served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Antonio (Peters) Mastropietro was born in Cercepiccola, Campobasso, Molise, Italy on August 22, 1895, the eldest son of Pasquale Mastropietro and Carmela Antonelli. At a young age, he and his family came to the United States and took up residence at 36 Hulin Street in Mechanicville, NY. He attended School 3 on Saratoga Avenue.

While employed as a winder at the Strang Mill, he enlisted in the Marine Corp under the name Anthony Peters on July 7, 1917. He was shipped overseas and served as a rifleman with the 8th Co., 5th Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division.

Read Antonio Mastropietro’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.