WWI DISPATCH February 13, 2018

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February 13, 2018

Military Medals

Just one week left to order World War I Commemorative Medals from U.S. Mint

The window closes on February 20 (or sooner) to order the United States Mint's five different Silver Dollar and Military Medal Sets. Each set includes a proof silver dollar and a proof silver medal. The medals, available only in these sets, recognize the contributions of the Air Service, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy during World War 1. These sets, limited to 100,000 units across the five product options, can be ordered only until 3 p.m. on February 20, 2018, unless the limit is reached prior to that date. Production will be based on the orders received within this window. Fulfillment of these sets will begin in late May 2018.


The United States Mint is producing the World War I Centennial Silver Dollar to commemorate the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I and honor the more than 4 million men and women from the United States who served. Purchases of the Dollar, available in both Proof and Uncirculated versions, will help build the new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC. The World War I Centennial Silver Dollar purchases are fulfilled immediately, and it will be on sale throughout 2018.

Corporal Freddie Stowers awarded Medal of Honor for service and sacrifice in WWI


Corporal Freddie Stowers was an African-American war hero born in 1896 in Anderson County, South Carolina. Despite the discrimination he faced there, he made the decision to serve our country on the segregated 371st Infantry Regiment. He was serving as the squad leader in Company C of that regiment, in the 93d Infantry Division, during the attack on Hill 188, in the Champagne Marne Sector of France. He was killed in action that day, but his exceptional bravery and leadership lived on, earning him the Medal of Honor posthumously. Read the entire inspiring story of Corporal Freddie Stowers here.

National World War I Memorial sculptural maquette to make its national television debut on "Fox & Friends" Friday, Feb 16

Clapper Board

The new scale-model sculptural maquette, depicting the initial design concept for the new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, will make its national television debut on the "Fox & Friends" program on Friday, February 16, in a segment airing sometime between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Commission Chair Terry Hamby, along with WWI Memorial sculptor Sabin Howard, will be on hand to discuss the Memorial and the sculpture for an enormous national television audience. Check it all out on the "Fox and Friends" program this Friday morning!

New Mexico WWI Centennial Commission formed with Governor Martinez as chair

New Mexico Commission

The New Mexico Department of Veterans Services has announced formation of the New Mexico World War I Centennial Commission to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.The  Commission, chaired by Governor Susan Martinez, will work locally on the National WWI Centennial Commission’s nationwide effort to educate Americans about the war. New Mexico’s commission will host events around the state highlighting New Mexico’s impact on the war and the sacrifices made by its citizens less than five years after becoming our nation’s 47th state. Read more about the new New Mexico Centennial Commission and its members here.

WWI’s Zeppelin bombings popularized the nightime fashion trend of ‘Pyjamas’


World War I introduced so many terrifying new ways to die, and chief among those was, of course, death by air. You didn’t even have to be a soldier. For Londoners, the threat began in January 1915, when the Germans sent Zeppelins loaded with bombs across the Channel. Eventually, they sent planes, too. The air raids, often at night, accomplished little tactically, but their true purpose was to terrorize civilians and try to sink British morale. Bringing the war to the home front, the raids intruded in the bedroom, the most private space of all. And thus, they had quite an effect on fashion. Read more about how, just days after the first Zeppelin raid over England, British women were already dressing for bed to be prepared to “meet the midnight world at a minute’s notice” -- and how those wartime bedtime wardrobe innovations still dress us for sleep a century later.

Service on Islay to remember the tragic sinking of troopship SS Tuscania in 1918

SS Tuscania service Islay

A service of commemoration has been held on the Scottish island of Islay to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the troopship SS Tuscania, which carried more than 2,000 US soldiers at the end of World War One when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat close to the island. Many of the soldiers on board were saved and cared for by local people but more than 200 drowned, with the bodies washed up on the beaches of the small island. Services included a wreath-laying ceremony at the American Monument, and a memorial service at Kilnaughton Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, held at the grave of Private Roy Muncaster, the only US soldier still buried on the island. Read more about this solemn remembrance of a century-old military tragedy here.

New mural & exhibit in Tampa honors World War I crew of USCGC Tampa

USS Tampa

One hundred years after the sinking of the USS Tampa during World War I, a new mural was unveiled on February 3 honoring the more than 130 men - including 24 from Tampa Bay - who were killed when the ship was sunk by a German submarine. During a dedication ceremony at the the Tampa Bay History Center, Robin Gonzalez read each of the names of Tampa residents who were aboard the USS Tampa warship when it sunk in 1918. Afterwards, city leaders and descendants of those who died tossed memorial wreaths onto the water across from the history center. Read more about the ceremony and the mural, all part of a community effort to ensure that the USS Tampa "will never be forgotten again."

Herbert Hoover’s Meatless, Wheatless World War I diet way ahead of its time?

Alcazar cake

So you’ve started a vegetarian, gluten-free diet, but did you remember to complete your pledge card to send to the U.S. Food Administration? This is — of course — no longer a reality, but 100 years ago it was, when Herbert Hoover suggested changes to the American diet to support the war effort. When Hoover became the “food czar” in April 1917 upon America’s entry into World War I, the U.S. Food Administration had been created to encourage patriotic conservation of certain ingredients for the war effort. Since his recent stint as chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, Hoover understood the logistics behind a large-scale food operation. Read more about how Hoover’s USFA, in order to supply hearty non-perishables — beef, wheat, and sugar — to American soldiers and Allies overseas, asked for cooperative (and gustatory) sacrifice from civilians.

Other Links:

Hear about this on the Podcast: Episode #58

Read President Wilson's actual proclamation from the Official Bulletin Page #3

George Kenney, Aviator and American Hero Who Fought In Both World Wars

George Kenney

Every soldier who puts his life on the line is a true hero. However, some amazing souls go the extra mile and really reach for the stars in their service to their country. One of them is George Kenney, a US Army Air Force General. Kenney not only mastered his position for 30 years as a true professional, but he took part in multiple battles – not to mention both World Wars – with gusto, earning him a decorated military record for his efforts. Once the US entered WWI in April 1917, Kenney found himself ready to become a part of history, earning numerous decorations in two wars as he blazed a trail of innovation and combat excellence in the skies for the United States. Read more about George Kenney and his aviation exploits here.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

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 site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

Library of Congress image of a US Army Soldier in the trenches from 1918

Episode #58
Food Will Win The War:

Food Will Win The War - an overview | @01:55

History through the lens of Food - Dr. Libby O’Connell  | @05:40

War in the sky | @10:30

America Emerges - Dr. Edward Lengel | @11:45

Great War Project - Mike Shuster | @17:25

Great War Channel on Youtube - Indy Neidell & Flo Wittig | @21:05

Family’s History - Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun | @29:25

Remembering Veterans - Dr. Richard Slotkin | @34:30

A Century in the Making - Maquette on Fox and Friends | @42:45

Speaking WWI - Hooverized Recipes | @44:45

States - Ohio web site - Amy Rohmiller | @46:10

The Buzz - Katherine Akey | @52:25

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Navy service coin set

World War I Commemorative Centennial 2018 Silver Dollar and NAVY Medal Set

ORDER NOW. $99.95

The COIN design, titled “Soldier’s Charge,” depicts an almost stone-like soldier gripping a rifle. Barbed wire twines in the lower right hand side of the design. Inscriptions include “LIBERTY,” “1918,” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

Navy coin face

The NAVY SERVICE MEDAL design depicts a U.S. Navy destroyer on escort duty after deploying a depth charge in defense of a convoy. Above, kite balloons provide Navy personnel a platform to spot submarines and other dangers. The inscription “OVER THERE!,” is at the bottom of the design.

Navy coin back

The reverse design depicts an Officer’s Cap Device* used in World War I. The inscriptions are “UNITED STATES NAVY,” “2018,” and “CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I.”

These sets are limited to 100,000 units across all five medal product options, and can be ordered only until 3 p.m. ET on February 20, 2018, unless the limit is reached prior to that date. Production will be based on the orders received within this window. Fulfillment of these sets will begin in late May 2018.

Produced by the US Mint, the World War I Centennial 2018 Uncirculated Silver Dollar, the Proof Silver Dollar and the 5 service medal combination sets are all available for a limited time directly from the US Mint.

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Clarence Mathias Hensel

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

Clarence Mathias Hensel

Submitted by: T.J. Cullinane, community historian

Ohio farmer Clarence Mathias Hensel was a soldier of the Great War serving as an infantryman in both the 84th “Rail-splitter” Division and the 78th “Lightning” Division.

Clarence was born on April 16, 1893 to John Hardin and the former Elizabeth Casper in Cessna Township, a small community located in Hardin County in northwestern Ohio. From his draft registration card we learn that Clarence was 24 years old when America entered the World War One and was employed as a farmer on the farm belonging to his father, John Hensel. The farm was located on Rural Route Number 4 in Kenton. Kenton lays claim to great American military heritage as John Wilson Parrot, a Union soldier and the first recipient of the Medal of Honor, would call Kenton home after the Civil War.

Clarence was of medium height and medium build with blue eyes and dark hair. He noted on his registration card that he had weak eyes. In spite of his defective eye sight, Clarence was inducted into the U.S. Army on June 28, 1918 and given serial number 3533412.

Read Clarence Mathias Hensel's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.