WWI DISPATCH April 2, 2019

From the World War One Centennial Commission.

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April 2, 2019

New scale model maquette of the National WWI Memorial sculpture

Pangolin maquette detail

Sculptor Sabin Howard has made an important new development on the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. Working with another world-class, high-tech, sculptural imaging team — this one at Pangolin Editions Foundry in the UK — Sabin has been able to create a new, smaller, highly-detailed sculptural maquette of the final WWI Memorial design that is being developed to restore and enhance DC’s Pershing Park. This maquette will be part of the Centennial Commission’s progress-update presentation for the next regulatory review meeting with the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) in April. Click here to read the entire story and watch video of the new maquette.

John Purroy Mitchel: The “Boy Mayor” of New York City who died in World War I


As you read in last week’s Dispatch, Fleet Week New York City in May will have a WWI theme. The story of America’s involvement in the war is very much a NYC story. Even before the US enter the war, the horrible Black Tom explosion damaged the Statue of Liberty, and the ill-fated Lusitania departed on her last voyage from Pier 54, on the West Side. Some of the most famous units of the war were NYC units — The Rainbow Division, the Liberty Division, the Harlem HellFighters, and the Lost Battalion. As we roll toward Fleet Week NYC, we will share some stories that show the city’s close connection to the war. This first story is about the wartime mayor, John Purroy Mitchel. After failing to win re-election in 1917, he enlisted in the Army Air Service as a flying cadet. Click here to read the entire story about the second youngest person elected mayor, who was often referred to as “The Boy Mayor of New York,” and came to a tragic end in World War I.

Congressman Cleaver Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Award Congressional Gold Medal to the ‘Hello Girls’ of WWI

Emanuel Cleaver

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) on March 28 introduced H.R. 1953, the “Hello Girls” Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill that would honor over 220 American women who served as phone operators with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. As phone operators, these women played a pivotal role in connecting American and French forces on the front lines of battle, helping to translate and efficiently communicate strategy. H.R. 1953 would award these women, the Hello Girls as they came to be known, with the Congressional Gold Medal—the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress—for their service and subsequent sixty-year fight for veteran status and the benefits that are earned with it. Click here to read more about Congressman Cleaver’s resolution, which has already attracted four co-sponsors. The measure tracks a similar bill introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

“I feel a direct personal connection to our Doughboys”

Jared Shank

Over the years, we have met several members of our WWI community who have gotten personally involved in hands-on projects, projects that help them to really embrace our WWI history. They include trench work restorations, tabletop diorama creations, reenactor impersonations, restorations of trains/tanks/ trucks/artillery pieces/ambulances/warships, etc. We love these projects — and we always find interesting stories behind those people who undertake them. Our latest such project is being done by our friend Jared Shank, of Ohio. Jared is an Army veteran, and he only just started working on an incredible find — a WWI-era light artillery piece with a remarkable history. We were lucky to share some time with Jared, and to hear his story–click here to read the complete interview.

1919: Peace? New Exhibition at the National WWI Museum and Memorial

Peace 1919 logo

The Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918 ended fighting on the Western Front, but the war—nor its lasting effects—did not end even with the signing of the Treaty of Paris at Versailles on June 28, 1919. The “1919: Peace?” exhibit at the National World War I Museum and Memorial explores the aftermath and the legacy of the Versailles treaty signing. The exhibit opens April 2, and runs through March 1, 2020. Click here to read more about this in-depth examination of how “the war transformed the world, but left a legacy of unresolved issues and conflict.”

Immigrants swell US troops in WWI


When America entered WWI in 1917, American men between the ages of 15 and 45 were required to register for the draft. This included not only U.S. citizens, but also resident aliens who had filed a declaration of intent to become a citizen. This presented a problem since many had immigrated, in part, to escape the long military service required by many European nations, according to the National Park Service. “Registrants for the draft who claimed exemption on the ground of being aliens,” said the Daily Dispatch Nov. 18, 1918, “and there were many in this country, will now have a long time in which to ponder the advisability of their claims. Such persons are forever barred from becoming citizens of the U.S.” Click here to read more about the 500,000 immigrants from 46 nations who made the choice to serve in America’s armed forces during WWI, making up 18 percent of the troops.

One Century Ago: Bringing ‘Em Back after “The Navy Put ‘Em Across”

The Navy Put 'Em Across poster

Naval historians of the First World War tend to gravitate towards great battles such as Jutland and the ferociously frustrating Dardanelles campaign, but these dramatic naval and littoral actions had nothing to do with the U.S. Navy’s most decisive contribution to the war: delivering the two-million-man American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to Europe. By this time one hundred years ago, what was then known as the Great War had been over for months, but many of the American Soldiers and Marines who fought its final, bloody campaigns were still coming home. Click here to read more about how the U.S. Navy put an entire American army across the Atlantic, a feat inconceivable to European leaders on all sides of the conflict before the Navy actually accomplished it, and then “brought ’em back again” in 1919.

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

Frank Buckles

Episode #116
Highlights: Frank Buckles, The Last Doughboy!

Episode #116
Host – Theo Mayer

100 Years Ago This Week
– Host | @ 02:15

Colonial Self Determination?
– Mike Shuster | @ 11:35

Revisit Wilson’s 14 points
– Host | @ 15:50

Doris Kellogg, Mechanic, Nurse, & more
– Dr. Edward Lengel | @ 20:10

Congressional Gold Medal for Hello Girls?
– Host | @ 26:00

Valor Medal Review Task Force
– Dr. Westcott & Ashlyn Weber | @ 27:40

Frank Buckles stimulates legacy
– Ken Buckles | @ 33:45

Big Prize – TransAtlantic Flight
– Host | @ 40:50

Dispatch highlights
– Host | @ 44:00

Literature in WWI This Week

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WWI Touches Pablo Picasso

By David Allen Sullivan

While award-winning poet David Allen Sullivan visited the Paris Louvre exhibition, “Disasters of War 1800-2014,” he was most struck by a painting that seemed almost irrelevant to the other artistic representations of battle carnage in the museum: A Family by the Sea by Pablo Picasso.

Sullivan, who has written poetry from the hard lens of the Iraq War in his book, “Every Seed of the Pomegranate”, contemplates WWI, Picasso, and the ethics of subtlety and beauty in the face of violence. Read his poem, “WWI Touches Picasso,” published for the first time on WWrite this week!

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

American doughboy Joyce Kilmer wrote “Rouge Bouquet” to honor the sacrifice of 19 U.S. soldiers killed by German shellfire in March of 1918.

Just months later, the poem was read over Kilmer’s grave, after his death at the Second Battle of the Marne in July. You can read the poem here: listen for its echoes of “Taps.”

Doughboy MIA for week of April 1

Aaron O. Holt

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday’s Doughboy MIA this week is Private First Class Aaron O. Holt. One of nine children of Benjamin Holt, Aaron Holt was born in Waycross, Georgia in May, 1898 and enlisted at Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, on 26 March 1917. He first trained with Company C, 4th Infantry before being transferred on 09 June 1917 to Company C, 59thInfantry, 4th Division. Holt arrived overseas with the 4th Division on 03 May 1918 and, as a ‘regular army’ division, was soon in combat. That summer in the ‘Hell-hole Valley of the Vesle’, Holt was killed in action on 12 August 1918. He left behind a young widow who would follow him into death in 1925. No other details of his death are known at this time.

Want to help us shed some light on PFC Holt’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. Remember: A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

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World War I Centennial Flag

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 3×5′.  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 national WWI Memorial. You can show your support, and help promote the Memorial, by proudly displaying your custom flag.

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.

Double Donations Nieuport-28

Doughboy at Bat

Major League Baseball’s 2019 Opening Day may have prompted Alexander F. Barnes, one of the authors of Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball during the Great War, to reminisce on the Military History Now web site about how the soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force took with them to Europe a “hunger for baseball” that was fed by games at every opportunity, even when “the players carried their gas mask cases over their shoulders the whole time in case of an enemy attack.” Click here to read more about how baseball was an integral part of the American war effort at home and “Over There” in World War I.

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Boyd Willard Stone

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

Boyd Willard Stone

Submitted by: Donald Stone {Grandson}

Boyd Willard Stone born around 1901. Boyd Stone 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 paternal grandpa, Boyd Willard Stone, enlisted as a private in the United States Army on September 17, 1917 at the age of 16 (yes, he fibbed about his age).

After basic training at Camp Colt in Gettysburg, PA he was ultimately assigned to Co. B, 5th Machine Gun Bn., 2nd Infantry Div.

His World War I Victory Medal shows service in the following engagements: AISNE, AISNE MARNE, ST. MIKIEL, MEUSE ARGONE, DEFENSIVE SECTOR and CHATEAU THIERRY. He received two “wound stripes”: gassed in the Troyon Sector 3/27/18, and a shrapnel wound at Chateau Thierry. He was also awarded the Silver Star.

Read Boyd Willard Stone’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.

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