A monthly newsletter from the organization formerly known as the World War One Centennial Commission, which may be of interest to members.

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July 2022

National WWI Memorial construction time lapse video

The National WWI Memorial Construction In A Minute video reveals that building the Memorial was monumental in its own right. It was accomplished during a raging global pandemic with its associated challenges of supply chain, labor, and safety. This video salutes all those whose dedication, sweat, and toil went into realizing this tribute to our Doughboys and all those who served in the name of Liberty and Freedom just over a century ago.

The Doughboy Foundation partners with “Google Arts & Culture”

Google Arts & Culture logo

Google Arts & Culture is a non-commercial initiative from Google that puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at everyone’s fingertips and the Doughboy Foundation is honored to be among them. Earlier in the spring of 2022, the Doughboy Foundation officially became a “Google Arts & Culture” partner focusing on the platform’s unique storytelling capabilities. Now the Foundation has launched our first “story” on the platform in time for Juneteenth. We invite you to our newly launched Google Arts & Culture site and encourage you to dig into the self-guided interactive story with its historical archival footage, still images and contemporary performance by the 369th Experience. Click here to read the story of the band that brought jazz to Europe, and a new perspective to the Home Front after World War I.

Doughboy Foundation Legacy Society enables planned giving support

The Doughboy Foundation Legacy Society

The Doughboy Foundation is pleased to offer planned giving opportunities for individuals who wish to join our Legacy
Society and help preserve a vibrant, experiential Memorial for future generations. The Doughboy Foundation’s mission is to “keep faith with the American Doughboy” by ensuring all those who served in World War I are not forgotten. Click here to learn how your gift for the Doughboy Foundation can help fund the Memorial’s visitor programs in perpetuity, inspiring future generations of visitors and forever honoring not only our World War I veterans, but all U.S. servicemen and women.

369th Experience at Kennedy Center 2022

The 369th Experience plays at Kennedy Center in D.C. during Juneteenth Musical Salute Forward March for Freedom

The 369th Experience participated in a series of events and performances last month in Washington, DC, in recognition of Juneteenth, Black Music Month and the military and musical contributions of the 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters. Forward March for Freedom brought band students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other schools across the country to Washington, DC to participate in a series of events and performances, highlighted by a performance on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the performing Arts. Click here to learn more about the 369th Experience and watch video of their Kennedy Center Performance. 

Efforts Renewed for Congressional Gold Medal to Honor World War I ‘Hello Girls’

Military Officers Association of America logo

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) recently published an article urging its members to support the effort underway in the Senate to gain sponsors for the proposed Congressional Gold Medal to honor the “Hello Girls,” the pioneering World War I Army Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit, which is receiving renewed bipartisan attention in the House and Senate. Click here to read the article, and find out how MOAA members (and non-members!) can support the effort to recognize the Hello Girls, who provided critical communications as switchboard operators on the WWI front lines.

Letters That You Will Not Get:
Women’s Voices from the Great War

Letters that you will not get

Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War gives voice to American, British, European, Asian, African and Caribbean women affected by WWI through a series of vignettes that share their responses to the war—from enthusiasm to resignation; support to opposition; the war’s beginning to its end. Combining powerful contemporary music with excerpts from women’s writings on both sides of the conflict, Letters tells the story of the Great War as experienced by the women who lived through it. Click here to read more about this wonderful new opera, and learn how you can attend the premiere in Brooklyn later this month.

What Makes American Music American? The World War I Connection

Joshua Villanueva

There’s nothing more American than growing up in a multi-racial community, checking out K-pop videos on the internet, and showing off your latest dance moves on TikTok for the world to see. But have you wondered what exactly makes something American?”  So begins Joshua Villanueva’s thoughtful look at composer Aaron Copeland, and how the very concept of “American Music” (like so many other things) actually emerged from the nation’s experience in World War I,  Click here to read the entire article, and watch video of Joshua conducting a performance of Copeland’s Appalachian Spring

Finding Pvt. Henry V. Traynham

Pvt. Henry V. Traynham

An offhand remark by a relative was a “revelation” for Matt Mabe: he “never knew my great grandfather had a brother who had also served in WWI and had been killed in combat.” Spurred by a lifelong interest in military history, Mabe set out to learn more about his great-great uncle Henry V. Traynham. The search took years, including a trip to the the American Cemetery at Saint-Mihiel, and finally another family revelation. Click here to read the whole story of Mabe’s search, and how it came to a fitting end at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

A Promising Young Man: The Life and Times of a Casualty in World War One

Thomas ( Raysor Summers

The memory of how “In 1942 when I was eight years old, I accompanied my paternal grandmother, father, mother and brother in seeing the acclaimed and Academy Award movie Sergeant York in an Orangeburg, South Carolina theater” was the initial catalyst for Thomas A. Summers’s lifetime interest in “this young uncle whose name I carry” Thomas Raysor Summers (left), who was killed in action in WWI. As the Centennial of WWI came around, the long-held interest led Summers to research and write an amazing narrative about his uncle, after whom an American Legion Post in Orangeburg is now named. Get comfortable in your seat, then click here to read the absolutely fascinating and unforgettable story of the life, times, family, and wartime death of Sergeant Thomas Raysor Summers, U.S. Army.

Journey Log: Centennial

John Sterkendries

When his daughter moved from Belgium to Pittsburgh, PA in 1917 to study at Duquesne University, John Sterkendries became a frequent visitor to the U.S. After several years, he decided to buy a motorcycle here and see the country. On his local first ride, in a small town named Glassport, he “was astounded by the fact that every lamppost had a picture of a U.S. soldier attached to it. This kind of veteran pride is something that is unheard of in Belgium.” Back in Belgium, after visiting the WWI Memorial at Ypres, John became a man with a plan, one that would return him to the U.S. again and again. Click here to read the whole story about his inspiration, his mission, and how unexpected events have reshaped his intended “ride along the outer borders of the continental United States.”

Writing “On Assignment -The Great War”

On Assignment -The Great War cover

Writer Joseph Caro “decided to look-up some grade-school chums back in New Jersey that I hadn’t seen since 1957.” One conversation led to a discussion of his classmate’s grandfather, Eddie Jackson, a New York City news photographer a century ago. One thing led to another, and Caro ended up with a new book, On Assignment: The Great WarClick here to learn the incredible story of a photographer who used his connection to President Woodrow Wilson (among others) to talk his way into an Army uniform, a troop ship to France with the famous New York 27th Division, a front-row vantage point on the war and the peace negotiations, and a return visit to France in 1930 as the guide and head of the first delegation of Gold Star women.

“The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes”: Miramar Beach veteran honors grandfather in new book

The Great War Through A Doughboy's Eyes cover

“The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes” chronicles the service of Cpl. Howard P. Claypoole as told through the lens of his grandson and Miramar Beach resident Gregory S. Valloch. Claypoole served in the U.S. Army during World War I and was awarded a Purple Heart posthumously. Like his grandfather, Col. Gregory S. Valloch is an Army veteran who honorably served during the Gulf War. Click here to read more about the book, and how, using his grandfather’s diary entries, postcards, letters, wound order, newspaper clippings, military history and discharge papers, Valloch tells the story of a man with an unwavering allegiance to his country and a will to survive.

Scotch Plains Dedicates Street to Fallen WWI Soldier Sgt. Herbert Terry

Herbert Terry

The Township of Scotch Plains dedicated a sign to fallen soldier Sgt. Herbert Terry on Rahway Rd. on Friday, July 1. Sgt. Terry was killed in action on Sept. 24, 1918, in France during World War I after saving a fellow solider from gunfire. Sgt. Charles Wolfel, whom Terry saved, and who was captured and taken prisoner by the German army, said that Terry’s final words were: “Tell them I died fighting for my country.” The Terry family has lived in Scotch Plains since the time of the Revolutionary War. Click here to read the entire article.

Switchboard Soldiers: one of the great untold stories of World War I

Switchboard Soldiers

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini comes Switchboard Soldiers, a bold, revelatory novel about one of the great untold stories of World War I–the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, who broke down gender barriers in the military, smashed the workplace glass ceiling, and battled a pandemic as they helped lead the Allies to victory. The women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps served with honor and played an essential role in achieving the Allied victory. Click here to read more about Switchboard Soldiers, and learn why their story has never been the focus of a novel…until now.

Harold A. Furlong: Michigan’s Only Native Son to Receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War I

Harold A Furlong

Harold Furlong was born in Pontiac, Michigan Aug. 1, 1895 where he was raised and graduated from Pontiac High School. He interrupted his college education at Michigan Agricultural College (later became Michigan State University) when he joined the U.S. Army in 1917. First Lieutenant Harold A. Furlong was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor by General John Pershing for his heroic action on Nov. 1, 1918. Click here to learn more about Furlong’s heroics, and how his postwar professional accomplishments also left an enduring legacy in Michigan, including an American Legion post named in his honor. 

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with flowers

In the months after the 2021 centennial of the creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the team at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) has continued to make the programs created for this anniversary accessible to the public online.  On May 30, 2022—Memorial Day—ANC released a major virtual project as part of this ongoing effort: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series. Click here to read more, and learn how this virtual lecture series originated during the culminating week of the Tomb Centennial. 

WWI Choctaw Code-Talkers in the news

Lots of articles recently about the Choctaw Code-Talkers of WWI:

Museum of Native American History logo

The Museum of Native American History in Arkansas partner with the Choctaw Nation for a presentation of the Choctaw Code Talkers for Memorial Day. Click here to learn more about and watch the video of this introduction to the Choctaw Code Talkers, recognizing the Choctaw veterans of WWI and discussing their history and lives as telephone warriors.

Choctaw Code Talkers aircraft art

The Oregon Air National Guard held a ceremony recently to dedicate the nosecone of one of their F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft with artwork that honors the Choctaw Code Talkers who served in WWI. Click here to see the art in place on the fighter jet, and read how the designers of the nose art was inspired by learning the history of the Choctaw Code Talkers from WWI.

Code Talker James Edwards

On the Atlas Obscura web site, puzzle aficionado and writer Alex Bellos discusses the Code Talkers, and how “Choctaw was a good choice, linguistically speaking, for a military code because the language is notoriously complicated and unlike other languages.” Click here to read more, and learn about efforts “to keep the Choctaw language modern, as it is still a very living language.”

WWI and the Bathing Suit: “Fashion Decrees Satin and Wool Jersey for Bathing Suits This Summer!”

Bathing Suits postwar

Writing in The Indiana History Blog, Jill Weiss Simins notes that “Bathing suits and policing decency have often been a topic of discussion and contention.”  However, “while looking through reels of newspapers from 1916-17, we became intrigued by the affect of World War One on the loosening of gendered fashion restrictions, especially as exemplified by the bathing suit.” Click here to read (and see) how World War I changed fashion (including women’s bathing attire) dramatically in large part because women’s roles had changed.

World War I News Digest July 2022


World War I was The War that Changed the World, and its impact on the United States continues to be felt a century later, as people across the nation learn more about and remember those who served in the Great War. Here’s a collection of news items from the last month related to World War I and America.

Borough Owes Boatload to WWI-Era Shipping Magnate

Hill 204: The 28th Division’s first combat action of WWI

Online fundraiser for American WWI hero’s headstone in Derry

Was ‘badass Marine’ denied a medal of honor for WWI valor?

The Great War in Color: Apocalypse World War I 

The Battle of Belleau Wood During WWI

The American Red Cross World War I Effort

Commissioners split on relocating World War I monument

Community raises $18K to refurbish 91-year-old WWI monument

Best Memorial to WWI Dead Would be Service to the Living

Gold Coast’s rich history and role in World War I

Thousands more died so World War I would end at 1100

Who Really Blew Up Mare Island in World War I?

Chip Forbes, long-time friend of the Doughboy Foundation

Doughboy MIA for July 2022

Earl Edward Jones

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month this time around is a little different, as he isn’t actually MIA anymore!

Private Earl Edward Jones was born January 9th, 1894, in Meyersdale Pennsylvania. He was one of the TEN children that William and Mary Jones stocked their household with! His father William died of a stroke in December 1915, so Earl went to work, taking his father’s place as a coal miner in order to help support the family.

On May 31st 1917, Earl joined the Pennsylvania National Guard, figuring it to be the best way to get overseas faster. He was assigned to Company C of the 10th PA Guard which, upon federalization on July 15th of that year became Company C of the 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Division, training in part at Camp Hancock, Georgia. With the 110th he sailed for France aboard the City of Calcutta on May 3rd, 1918.

That summer, the 28th was engaged in the fighting around the Fismes sector and the Marne Valley.  It was there, on July 15th 1918 – exactly one year to the day that Earl’s unit had entered federal service – that during fighting outside the hamlet of Sauvigny, Earl and several of his comrades were captured. In a statement given to the C company commander, Captain William C. Truxal,  by Earl’s corporal, Herbert Jones (no relation) reads: “I helped to carry Private Earl E. Jones across the Marne River after having been taken prisoner. His left leg was blown off below the knee, he was bleeding profusely, and he was unconscious.  We put him down on the north side of the river and were not permitted to move him. Later on, one of the men told me that they had buried him in the Marne River.” The burial had been very hurried as the Germans were in no mood to let the doughboys honor their dead and they were quickly hustled off to a detention location before being sent off to a prison camp. Consequently, the grave went unmarked.

Click here to read the rest of the story!

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give ‘Ten For Them’ 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.

Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store

Books --Lest We Forget & Honoring the Doughboys

Lest We Forget: The Great War World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. 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 and is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and what would become the Air Force. It serves as a lasting reminder that our world ignores the history of World War I (and the ensuing WWII) at its peril―lest we forget.

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather’s World War I Diary is a stunning presentation of contemporary photographs taken by the author that are paired with diary entries written by his grandfather, George A. Carlson, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. Jeff Lowdermilk followed his grandfather’s path through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and returned with these meticulously crafted photographs and his own engaging stories that bring the diary to life for contemporary readers. Lowdermilk’s passion for World War I and military history began as a young boy when he listened to his grandfather tell his stories about serving as an infantryman– a “Doughboy”–in Europe during the Great War.

Proceeds from the sale of these books will help finish the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the Doughboy Foundation.

WWI Memorial Visitor Guide App map screen

Click or scan the QR Code below to download the Virtual Explorer App for the National World War I Memorial, and explore what the Memorial will look like when work is completed.

QR Code for Virtual Explorer App download

Education Thumb Drive image

Free Self-Contained WWI History Web Site on YOUR computer

Sources, lessons, activities, videos, podcasts, images

We have packaged all the content we created for “How WWI Changed America” into a format that is essentially a web site on a drive. Download the content onto any drive (USB, external, or as a folder on your computer), and all the content is accessible in a web site type format even without an internet connection. Click here to learn more, and download this amazing educational resource for home or classroom use.

Genealogy book FREE DOWNLOAD

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Doughboy MIA

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John Simon Hilgenhold

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

John Simon Hilgenhold

Submitted by: John Levi Hilgenhold {Great-Grandson}

John Simon Hilgenhold was born in 1892. John Hilgenhold 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

My great-grandfather, John Simon Hilgenhold, was born on March 24, 1892 in a rural community, known as St. Marks, in Perry County Indiana. The grandson of Dutch-German immigrants, he was the seventh of eleven children. As a young man he completed his education after the eighth grade, as was customary for the time, and worked on the family farm with his father and three brothers.

John registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 at the age of 25. Just under a year later, on May 28, 1918 he was drafted into service of the U.S. National Army and reported to Camp Zachary Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky along with forty-eight other Perry County men. One of whom, Carl Goelzer, would eventually become his brother-in-law. He trained as an infantryman with the 44th Company, 11th Battalion, 159th Depot Brigade and completed basic training on June 16th.

He was then transferred to Company M, 153rd Infantry Regiment, 39th National Guard Division that was stationed at Camp Beauregard near Alexandria, Louisiana. This influx of new recruits brought the division up to full strength and they set sail from Newport News, Virginia a little over a month later on August 6th aboard the S.S. Kursk, a converted British troop transport. Upon arrival in Brest, France, the 153rd traveled to the St. Florent region, southwest of Bourges, until it was dismantled and its personnel sent to replace battlefield losses in existing combat divisions.

Private Hilgenhold was transferred to Company C, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division on September 13th. Days later, the division mobilized in preparation of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the largest battle in American history to date.

Read John Simon Hilgenhold’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.

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