WWI DISPATCH July 23, 2019

A newsletter from the World War One Centennial Commission.


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July 23, 2019

“We are a very high visibility American Legion Post since we are located in Paris, France.”

Bryan Schell

Our Commission’s recent commemoration efforts in Versailles, France put us in touch with some friends whom we haven’t seen in a while — the members of the world-famous American Legion Post #1 in Paris. These Legion members stand on a long tradition, one that celebrates a direct line to our World War I veterans. Post #1 is the first, and the oldest, American Legion post outside of the United States, and was created by people who had just seen the Great War end months before. Since that time, they have fulfilled a unique and special role in representing our American veterans in France, and throughout Europe. Vice Commander Bryan Schell took some time to tell us about his special post, their history, and their current activities.


World War One Centennial Commission Announces the “A.E.F. Memorial Corps”

A.E.F. Memorial Corps

The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission has announced the “A.E.F. Memorial Corps” (American Expeditionary Forces Memorial Corps) to recognize Veterans, Military, Patriotic, Historical, Service, and Community organizations that raise funds to help build and provide ongoing support for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. The A.E.F. Memorial Corps will induct national, state, or local organizations (or any local chapters such as American Legion or VFW posts) which hold fundraisers for the benefit of the national World War I Memorial. Those Legion and VFW Posts which have already made donations to help build the Memorial will be inducted at the organizations’ respective national conventions this summer. Click here to find out more about the A.E.F. Memorial Corps, and how your organization can become a member.


4th Annual Camp Doughboy World War I History Weekend this September in NYC

Camp Doughboy 1

The fourth annual Camp Doughboy World War I History Weekend comes to Governors Island National Monument on September 14 and 15. Each day will bring living history, reenactors, authors, experts, vintage vehicles, and animals. This is the largest free public WWI exhibition in the United States. Reenactors representing the Allies and Central Powers—as well as civilians in Edwardian-era attire—are invited living history participants. The centennial of the service members returning to Governors Island is in 2019 and this group of volunteer reenactors will share the story of WWI participants. Click here to learn more about Camp Doughboy 2019, and the planned events and activities in September.


Honors given; marker placed; RIP, Private Ulysses Grant Moore

Ulysses Grant Moore flag presentation

Richard Mize is pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City. Last weekend, he helped give belated honors to Army Private Ulysses Grant Moore, a century after he served in World War I, and 55 years after he died. As Mize writes, “Why such honors were overlooked, and why this marker never made it here to his burial site are unknown.” Click here to read the entire story of how 55 years after the fact, “It took a compelling series of discoveries that started by happenstance” to finally deliver to Private Moore the much delayed and much deserved honors from his nation for his service in World War I.


Germany’s World War I Debt Was So Crushing It Took 92 Years to Pay Off

German tank being demolished

At the end of World War I, Germans could hardly recognize their country. Up to 3 million Germans, including 15 percent of its men, had been killed. Germany had been forced to become a republic instead of a monarchy, and its citizens were humiliated by their nation’s bitter loss. Even more humiliating were the terms of Germany’s surrender. World War I’s victors blamed Germany for beginning the war, committing horrific atrocities and upending European peace with secretive treaties. But most embarrassing of all was the punitive peace treaty Germany had been forced to sign. The Treaty of Versailles didn’t just blame Germany for the war—it demanded financial restitution for the whole thing, to the tune of 132 billion gold marks, or about $269 billion today. How—and when—could Germany possibly pay its debt? Click here to read more about how the process took 92 years and another World War to be completed.


Fillmore County, WI restores World War I memorial entrance for 100th anniversary

Fillmore County Fairgrounds WWI Memorial Entrance Plaque

“Fillmore County remembers its history,” said Nathan Pike, the Olmsted County veteran’s service officer and emcee of last week’s celebration of the restoration of the World War I Memorial at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds entrance. The structure was built 100 years ago, erected to honor soldiers returning from World War I. “There were over 1,000 residents of Fillmore County that enlisted or were drafted into service during the first World War,” said Pike. “Forty-eight of them were killed in action, and they did not return to Fillmore County.” Click here to read more about the restoration project, and how Fillmore County remembers its citizens who served in WWI.


George Dilboy, the first Greek-American who fell in battle during World War I

George Dilboy

In 1918 George Dilboy was killed on a battlefield near Belleau, France after fighting so courageously that he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest medal for bravery. Dilboy was the first Greek-American soldier who fell in the line of duty. The Greek-American’s conspicuous heroism was so outstanding that he was recognized and honored by three US presidents. Woodrow Wilson signed the authorization awarding Dilboy the Medal of Honor, Warren G. Harding brought his remains back to be buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery, and Calvin Coolidge presided at his final burial there. Click here to read more about the life and heroism of George Dilboy.


Milford celebrates: 100 years ago, WWI ended & the American Legion was born

Ernest F. Oldenburg

The American Legion in Milford, Michigan is celebrating 100 years since the end of World War I and the birth of America’s largest veteran’s organization. The Ernest F. Oldenburg American Legion Post 216 held an open house last weekend. Around 1945, Henry Ford sold the property at 510 W. Commerce Road in Milford to the American Legion with the stipulation that the post be named after his friend Ernest F. Oldenburg, a soldier from the Milford area who served with the 32nd Red Arrow Division and was killed in action in France in 1918. In 1946, the new building opened. Click here to read more about the World War I centennial commemoration activities by American Legion Post 216.


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.  Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

Red Summer Riots

Episode #132
Highlights: Red Summer Riots 1919

100 Years Ago: Red Summer Riots – Dr. Jeffrey Sammons | @02:10

Great War Project: Retrospective – Mike Shuster | @15:15

Introducing the A.E.F. Memorial Corps – Host | @25:15

New Digital Download: “Hello Girls” Single – Host | @27:35

Articles & Posts: Weekly Dispatch – Host | @31:00


Doughboy MIA for week of July 22

Doughboy MIA

This week we bring you something different from Doughboy MIA.

Many have wanted to know the breakdown of missing; those on land as opposed to those lost or buried at sea (L/BAS), the number of unknowns, etc. Over the last few months we have worked hard at scrutinizing the list and crunching the numbers in order to detail those who were L/BAS, especially as no complete or accurate record of them was ever made available.  So, in answer to the questions that come in, here are the numbers by cemetery and then in totals:

Aisne-Marne Cemetery = Unknown burials – 249 Tablets of the Missing – 1060

Brookwood Cemetery = Unknown burials – 41 Tablets of the Missing – 564 (All on the Tablets are L/BAS.)

Flanders Fields Cemetery = Unknown burials – 21 Tablets of the Missing – 43

Meuse-Argonne Cemetery = Unknown burials – 486 Tablets of the Missing – 954

Oise-Aisne Cemetery = Unknown burials – 601 Tablets of the Missing – 241

Somme Cemetery = Unknown burials – 138 Tablets of the Missing – 333 (Note that one Unknown grave at Somme contains seven sets of remains.)

St. Mihiel Cemetery = Unknown burials – 137 Tablets of the Missing – 284

Suresnes Cemetery = Unknown burials – 6 Tablets of the Missing – 974 (The number of missing are all L/BAS and includes 14 names believed to be L/BAS but for which further research is required.)

Total (Total Missing in Action from the war, no matter the reason) = 4,453

Unknown burials = 1,679

Subtracting the Unknown burials from the MIA’s leaves 2,774unrecovered soldier dead.

Subtracting the L/BAS total of 1,538 from the unrecovered total leaves 1,236 unrecovered soldiers dead that remain out on the battlefields.

Our goal at Doughboy MIA is to make an accounting of all these men. Over the coming years we will be researching each man individually to make a determination as to what happened to him and publishing a report. We have already been able to get several together thanks to the contributions made to our organization, which just goes to show that with your assistance we are making a difference!

Want to help? Come on over to the Doughboy MIA website at www.ww1cc.org/mia and make a tax deductible donation to our non-profit organization. Every dollar you give IS making a difference! And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Robert J. Laplander
Directing Manager for Doughboy M.I.A.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Mint Coin Set

2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Sets

No longer available from the U.S. Mint!

These Official World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Sets are only available here on the WWI Centennial Commission’s online gift shop.

NOTE: Each set comes with 2 separate coins. Each set will accompany the Official Doughboy Design alongside your choice of Military Branch.

“The United Mint certifies that this coin is a genuine 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar, minted and issued in accordance with legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 16, 2014, as Public Law 113-212. This coin was minted by the Department of the Treasury, United States Mint, to commemorate the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I. This coin is legal tender of the United States.”

A portion of the proceeds from your 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.


Memorial detail

Tom Russo wrote an in-depth and insightful article on the BISNOW.com commercial real estate web site last month, entitled More Than A Century Later, The U.S. Still Doesn’t Have A National World War I Memorial In Washington. Russo noted that the U.S. World War Centennial Commission has “one purpose: to erect America’s first-ever national monument to all 116,708 Americans who fought and died in Europe’s first total war.”  Click here to read Russo’s entire article for a great perspective on the ongoing effort to build the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.


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James Edward Coffey

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

James Edward Coffey

Submitted by: Donald P. Vincent {Nashua, NH American Legion Post 3}

James Edward Coffey born around 1897. James Coffey served in World War 1 with the United States Army . The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

James Edward Coffey, the first soldier from Nashua, NH to die in battle in World War I, was born on April 22, 1896, to Daniel J. and Catherine (Dillon) Coffey.

He attended Nashua schools and St. Patrick Church, and in June 1917, became one of the first Nashua men to enlist in the Army at the outbreak of the war. He was assigned to Company D, 103rd Infantry, 26th Division, and trained in Concord and Westfield, Mass.

Coffey and his unit, the famous 26th Yankee Division commanded by Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Edwards, deployed overseas in September 1917.

Read James Edward Coffey’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


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