WWI DISPATCH July 16, 2019

A newsletter from World War One Centennial Commission.

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July 16, 2019

Tompkins County, NY and Cornell University had outsize WWI roles

Edward Tinkham

“What possibly could this rural county have done to contribute to World War I efforts?” While spending time as an intern at the United States World War I Centennial Commission this summer, Cady Hammer decided to answer this very question. While “I never paid much attention to the history of Tompkins County besides what I knew from family stories,” said Hammer, she decided to use draft cards from two of her  relatives as a jumping off point. “What I found.” says Hammer, “amazed me.” Click here to read the entire article about how a search that began on a whim revealed a huge legacy of WWI service in a small county and famous university of New York.

National History Day’s New World War I Webinar — A Scholarship Opportunity!

National History Day logo

National History Day (NHD) is excited to be offering scholarship for our World War I webinar series in the fall. LEGACIES OF WORLD WAR I, the World War I Webinar series in the fall, is offering free tuition and credit for two teachers from every NHD Affiliate. Through this program, teachers can earn a certificate of professional development hours or three graduate extension credit units from the University of San Diego. Applications for a scholarship will be accepted through July 30, 2019.  Click here to read more about this exciting opportunity for educators nationwide.

Honoring Americans who served in Canadian Forces during World War I

Canadian Cross of Sacrifive at Arlington National Cemetery

It was not until April 1917, that the United States entered the First World War beside the Allied powers against the Central powers. Despite America’s delayed entry into the war, young Americans had gone north of the border to Canada to join the war effort. Canada joined the war in August 1914 as part of the British Empire, and as such, began to mobilize young troops and send them overseas as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.). U.S. World War I Centennial Commission intern Josh Baker notes that after the war ended, “there needed to be a special way which the Canadian government could thank all those young Americans who fought within Canadian units” during the First World War. Click to read more about how this spirit of gratitude led to the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Albany marks Sgt. Henry Johnson Day

Henry Johnson Memorial Albany

City Officials of Albany, NY City observed the third Henry Johnson Day last month. The Day was established to honor World War I hero Sgt. Henry Johnson on the 102nd anniversary of his enlistment. The Albany man was part of the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment and his actions in May 1918 posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor. President Barack Obama bestowed the highest military honor an American soldier can receive on June 2, 2015, in a White House ceremony. The third annual Henry Johnson Award for Distinguished Community Service was awarded at the ceremony. Click here to read more about Sgt Henry Johnson, the day and award named in his honor, and the 2019 recipient of that honor.

Maryland World War I ‘Ghost Fleet’ cemetery now a national sanctuary

Ghost Fleet

An area in Maryland that’s home to abandoned World War I-era steamships has been designated a new national marine sanctuary. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state of Maryland and Charles County announced the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary on Monday. It contains more than 100 abandoned steamships and vessels that were built as part of the nation’s engagement in World War I. Mallows Bay is known for its “Ghost Fleet,” including partly submerged remains of more than 100 wooden steamships that were built in response to threats from World War I-era German U-boats. Click here to read more about the “Ghost Fleet” from World War I, and the process that is underway to finalize the NOAA designation.

PA teacher creates curriculum in Versailles for treaty’s 100th anniversary

Megan Kopp

Megan Kopp, a Milton Hershey High School Social Studies in Hershey, PA was one of just a handful of teachers chosen out of hundreds to travel to France through a program by National History Day (NHD). They celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles, and each teacher developed a new lesson plan to be used by teachers across the country. The lesson plan will be published by National History Day in the fall. The NHD program is sponsored by the United States World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.  Click here to read more about Kopp’s passion for history, and her family history of military service, including her own, and watch video from a local TV station.

Michigan Military Heritage Museum to open special exhibit on the women who served in World War I

Nellie Dingley

To remember the courage and sacrifice of the exceptional American women who served in World War I, the Michigan Military Heritage Museum, which has a unique collection of WWI Women artifacts, will be presenting a special WWI Women display at its “2019 World War One Day” event on August 10, 2019. The display will feature stories of women like Nellie M. Dingley (left), who joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and volunteered to serve in France with the New York Roosevelt Hospital’s Mobile Operating Unit.  Click here to read more about Nellie Dingley and the August event at the Michigan Military Heritage Museum.

New Podcast Series Focused on the World War I Paris Peace Process from University College London

UCL logo

University College London (UCL) Institute of Education, friend and partner to the World War I Centennial Commission, has a remarkable new WWI-themed podcast series that is worth checking out. Working with Chrome Radio, Sir Hew Strachan, Simon Bendry and Catriona OliphantI have begun work on a “Peacemaking in Paris” podcast series, in which Hew Strachan reflects on the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and its legacy. Click here to read more about this new WWI podcast, and find out where you can download the episodes.

Memorial honors Palouse, Idaho soldier lost to war a century past

Lester Dean Hayton Park Sign Palouse, ID

It has been more than a century since the city of Palouse received word that it had lost one of its sons to the world’s first truly global war. Lester Dean Hayton moved to Palouse with his family in 1913, when he was 21. Six years later, Hayton’s family would receive word that he had gone missing in action following the Battle of Chateau-Thierry during World War I, and was presumed dead. On the 100-year anniversary of the notice, Palouse resident Brad Pearce led a memorial on July 15 for the man at the city’s Hayton-Greene Park beneath an iron archway that bears Hayton’s name and that of another of the small town’s fallen — Cpl. William Greene. Click here to read more about this centennial ceremony, why it was important to the community, and plans for future commemorations of the fallen.

Wisconsin teacher honors local World War I veteran during 100th anniversary

Joseph Nowinski

Joseph Nowinski, a social studies teacher at Almond-Bancroft school in Portage County, Wisconsin, was one of 18 teachers nationwide selected to research and deliver a eulogy of a fallen hero in France during the 100th commemoration of World War I this June. That hero was Sylvester Machinski who was born in Wisconsin and fought in World War I. To this day relatives of this hero still live in Portage County. Nowinski was participating in Memorializing the Fallen, a teacher professional development program from National History Day and sponsored by the United States World War I Centennial Commission. Click here to read more about Nowinski’s discovery of a hometown hero, and watch video from the local TV station.

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas History Club hears World War I personal story

Edward C. Boehmke

Hot Springs Village resident Dan Boehmke gave a detailed, fascinating presentation about his father’s World War I service, taken from personal letters and other research. His father, Edward C. Boehmke (left), served in a Wisconsin National Guard unit that eventually was sent to Europe in 1918. Edward boarded the SS Tuscania for the trip overseas Jan. 28, 1918. As it neared the Scottish coast, the ship was torpedoed, and 260 troops lost their lives–but Edward survived, albeit losing in the sinking “everything he had with him except for a comb.” Click here to read more about about a son’s presentation, taken from his father’s letters and artifacts, and how that research turned into a book about the family’s WWI near miss.

“The instruments of Destiny”: Reception of Iliad in American Great War Poetry

Claire Davis

Claire Davis(left) is a graduate student at the University of Arizona, where she is pursuing her PhD in English literature. Long intrigued by classical reception and Modernism, she conducted research in the Iliad and World War I poetry at her alma mater, Samford University, and presented this research at the 2019 Classical Association of the Midwest and South Conference, and at the Howard Scholars Undergraduate Research fair at Samford. Click here to read her thoughtful essay “The instruments of Destiny: Reception of Iliad in American Great War Poetry,” and learn why she concludes that “a close reading of American war poetry before and during the First World War reveals that poets and their audience also found meaning and representation in the classical tradition in works such as the Iliad.”

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it’s about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New – Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Sabin Howard with full scale armature for memorial sculpture

Episode #131
Highlights: Monumental Scale!

Host – Theo Mayer

100 Years Ago: Let Me Count The Ways – host | @02:15

A Century In The Making – Sabin Howard | @14:40

Education: NHD WWI History Award Winner – Tim Proskauer | @25:25

Articles & Posts: Weekly Dispatch – Host | @37:45

Doughboy MIA for week of July 15

Robert McClain

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday’s MIA this week is Private Robert McClain. Born in Rome Georgia in 1898, Robert John McClain enlisted in the Georgia National Guard on 16 July, 1917 at Atlanta and was assigned to Company A, 5th Infantry, GNG, whose duty station was Camp Wheeler, at Macon, Georgia. The year before, this unit had been federalized for duty on the Mexican Border as Company A, 122nd Infantry. Following the declaration of war in 1917, the 122nd had been assigned duty to the 31st ‘Dixie Division’, which would go overseas as a replacement division in September, 1918.

By that time however, Private McClain had already sailed for France aboard the troopship Orduna on 20 June, 1918 as a member of Company #5, Camp Wheeler June Automatic Replacement Draft, which had been drawn from Camp Wheeler trainees. Ten days later he was ‘Over There’, and a week after that, having received some machine gun training while with the 122nd, McClain was assigned to Company B, 150th Machine Gun Battalion, 42nd ‘Rainbow’ Division. He was with them but a short time when, on 28 July, 1918, he was killed in action, having been in France less than a month.

Private McClain is memorialized on the Tablets to the Missing at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau Wood. Nothing else is known about his case at this time.

Want to help shed some light on Private McClain’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


White Ceramic Doughboy 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.

On December 19, 2014, Congress passed legislation designating Pershing Park in the District of Columbia as the national World War One Memorial.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item are designated for building the Memorial

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.

Dr. John Morrow, Jr.

Military historian, professor, and author Dr. John H. Morrow, Jr. is the 13th recipient of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Morrow is a member of the Historical Advisory Board of the United States World War I Centennial Commission. The Pritzker Literature Award—which includes a gold medallion, citation, and $100,000 honorarium—recognizes and honors the contributions of a living author for a body of work dedicated to enriching the understanding of military history and affairs. Click here to read the entire article about this prestigious award.

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Raymond J. Bobbin

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

Raymond J Bobbin

Submitted by: John Bobbin {Grandson}

Raymond J Bobbin born around 1897. Raymond Bobbin 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

A significant centennial in our human history is upon us. In the second decade of the twentieth century, war on the Western Front in Europe had been sputtering and dragging along through an agonizing and bloody stalemate for several years. In 1918 when the fighting elements of the American Expeditionary Forces began to meaningfully supplement the efforts of the European Allied nations, momentum began to shift in opposition against Germany and its partner nations of the Central Powers.

In a description of one memorable moment while serving in Europe with Battery A of the 107th Field Artillery, 28th Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, one veteran soldier wrote late in his life, before his death in 1981, in scribbly and barely legible handwriting, that he “saw and felt more war on that one day, 10-30-18, than the other 3 months that we on the front [sic] (Aug. 13 – Nov. 11) R.”

At that time, one hundred years ago, young Americans, likely many of whom had previously experienced geography extending no further, perhaps, than the environs of their American hometowns, farmlands, schools, shops and factories, shipped out across an unthinkable expanse of ocean. Many were going to the old countries of their immigrant forebears, to undertake an unimaginable challenge. It was a voyage from which many would not return. One among the fortunate who did return was Raymond Bobbin from Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. He reached his twenty-first year of age during his time serving in Europe.

Read Raymond J Bobbin’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.

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