WWI DISPATCH May 1, 2018

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May 1, 2018

Nurses Winsonsin

Two WWI nurses led the way for women in today’s Wisconsin National Guard

Two women serving as Army nurses in World War I were part of a long journey resulting in the opportunity for women today to serve in every duty position in the Wisconsin National Guard. Nurses Irene Robar and Linnie Leckrone treated wounded 32nd Division soldiers while under artillery fire and became two of the first three women ever awarded the Silver Star Medal. Robar and Leckrone, recent graduates from Chicago’s Northwestern University, were two of the 10,000 nurses who served in France with the American Expeditionary Force. Read more about these two heroic women whose service continues to be an inspiration today in WI.

Liberty Car "paying tribute to those that served and sacrificed in the Great War"

Marc Lassen

From the beginning of the U.S. entry into the war in 1917, approximately 2,000 Cadillacs were sent to France along with the U.S. military forces of the A.E.F. Cadillacs were known at the time as the most durable, fastest, (and finest) cars in the U.S., thus, the Seven-Passenger Touring Cars were a natural choice as the official vehicle for military officers. Marc Lassen is the owner of US1257X, the only surviving intact Officer's Cadillac from WWI. It's a vehicle which has been on a remarkable journey, surviving service with the American Expeditionary Forces in France when many others were lost to time, or disposed of after the War. In addition to its War Record, US1257X also had the prestige of driving the young Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, daughter-in-law to the former President. Mr. Lassen generously agreed to collaborate with the World War 1 Centennial Commission in several events, including the Under Glass display currently available to view on the National Mall. He spoke with us a little about his famous car.

NARA has WWI Army Division records online for work by "Citizen Archivists"


Last April, the National Archives embarked on a two year commemoration of the United States’ entry into World War I. NARA established a World War I Centennial portal which highlights educator and genealogy resources, articles. NARA also created a multimedia timeline, events and exhibits, and archival records documenting the U.S. experience in the conflict. Now, Citizen Archivists are helping to make these records more accessible through NARA's World War I tagging and transcription missions. NARA has a new transcription mission for our Citizen Archivists, with the publication of Army Division records from WWI. You can help NARA transcribe these incredible records--click here for more info on becoming a Citizen Archivist.

'The Hello Girls' movie tells story about Army's first women troops in World War I

Hello Girls trio

Not all heroes wear capes. Nor do they all fight with weapons. The “Hello Girls” fought with skill and cutting edge technology — well, cutting edge for the early 1900s. The Hello Girls were the first women to be sent to war by the U.S. Army, working as telephone switchboard operators and connecting 26 million calls throughout the First World War. “This is where the women’s service in the military starts, as soldiers and not as nurses,” said independent documentarian James Theres, who directed the new documentary “The Hello Girls.” Read more about "the first Americans sent to World War I in 1917 and among the last to leave the following year."

The 'Wallace and Grommit' studio is creating emotional World War I game

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Games set in real-world conflicts don't necessarily glorify war, but it's rare that they fully address the horrors of war. For every poignant story like Valiant Hearts, there's many more titles that might only offer token commentary. Wallace & Grommit's Aardman Animation Studios, Bandai Namco, and DigixArt want to change that. They've unveiled 11-11: Memories Retold, a narrative adventure about two World War I soldiers who meet under the "most unlikely of circumstances." Details of the plot and gameplay remain under wraps, but the creators make it clear that it's about the "emotional" human experience, not the fighting. Read more about this new WWI video game product here.

How World War I Changed Literature

Rupert Brooke

World War I, the war that was originally expected to be “over by Christmas,” dragged on for four years with a grim brutality brought on by the dawn of trench warfare and advanced weapons, including chemical weapons. The horrors of that conflict altered the world for decades – and writers reflected that shifted outlook in their work. As Virginia Woolf would later write, “Then suddenly, like a chasm in a smooth road, the war came.” Read more here about how the WWI affected the writing of poet Rupert Brooke and so many more.

Sergeant Stubby: The little lost dog that fought to liberate France in World War I

SGT Stubby mug

The France 24 network, which broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week to 250 million TV households in 177 countries around the world in three languages, posted a story to its web site last week about a stray dog...but a very special one: Sergeant Stubby. France 24's Stéphanie Trouillard uses the recent release of the Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero movie to reprise the remarkable career of the lost dog from Connecticut who became an unlikely American military hero in WWI. Read the whole story, told from a French perspective, here.

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 site, iTunes, Google Play, PodbeanTuneIn, Stitcher Radio on Demand. NEW Now listen on Spotify.

Elsy Janis, The “Sweetheart of the doughboys”

Episode #69
The Sweetheart of the Doughboys:

US Telephone in WWI -  Dr. Sheldon Hochheiser, AT&T | @02:25

The tide begins to turn - Mike Shuster | @10:10

The “Sweetheart of the doughboys” - Edward Lengel | @14:25

The Women’s Land Army - Elaine Weiss | @22:55

Anzac Day -  Group Captain Peter Davis & Commander Peter Kempster | @30:30

100 Cities / 100 Memorials: Granite, OK - Phil Neighbors & Perry Hutchison | @37:40

Speaking WW1: Kiwi & Aussie | @44:25

WW1 War Tech: Geophone | @45:35

Dispatch Newsletter Headlines | @47:20

WWI Centennial in Social Media - Katherine Akey | @50:05

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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American snapshot of the French Riviera post-WWI: 

The sparkling turquoise waters of the Meditteranean Sea, the dry perfume of parasol pines, chilled white wine, the Lost Generation, jazz... 

Few know the famous "Côte d'Azur" was also the place where thousands of soldiers from French colonies – Senegal, Indochina, Madagascar – died in military hospitals from their battle wounds. 

French journalist, Stéphanie Trouillard, returns to WWrite this week. Don't miss her post this week about her web-documentary on the memorial and cemetery built in their honor. 

Doughboy MIA for week of April 30

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday's MIA this week is Pvt. Charles H. Holland from Raunsaville, Mississippi. Private Charles Holland was a member of Company L/9th Infantry/2nd Division. On July 18th, 1918, during the battle of Soissons, Pvt. Holland was severely wounded in action, taking machine gun fire to the hip just as his unit went over the top. His sergeant, Nathan Sanders, saw him hit and had him carried off to a field hospital, but he was never seen nor heard from again. Despite searches conducted following the war, it has never been discovered what happened to Pvt. Holland. His name is carved on the Walls to the Missing at the Aisne-Marne (Belleau Wood) American Cemetery.

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.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Small Memorial Day flags

Last Chance to order 8" X 12" memorial flags for Memorial Day. $7.95 each

You don't want to pay rush shipping for these and supplies are limited. This is the year to display the memorial ground flags honoring your fallen doughboys!

The WW1 Centennial Flag is made of durable nylon and measures 8 inches x 12 inches.  It sports the iconic Doughboy silhouette digitally screened onto it and is secured on a 15.75" wooden dowel with a decorative ball on top .  

It also features "Double Honors", because a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item are designated for the America's National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, in Washington DC. 

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.

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

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Chester Allen Bower and Charles Edward Bower

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

Bower & Bower

Submitted by: Valerie J. Young {granddaughter and grandniece}

Chester Allen Bower born around 1894, Chester Bower 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

Chester Allen Bower and Charles Edward Bower: “Brothers in Service"

My maternal grandfather was Chester Allen Bower (at left), and his brother, Charles Edward Bower (called Charlie), was my great-uncle. They were born in New Oxford, Pennsylvania and both served in the Great War.

Charlie was a Sergeant with the U.S. Army Medical Corps, and his dates of service were March 26, 1918 to October 20, 1918. He died of the influenza pandemic while at Camp Mills, Long Island NY; he was just 20½ years old.

Chester was a Private in the AEF’s 79th Division, and his dates of service were September 21, 1917 to June 7, 1919. His unit served in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, where he was gassed close to the Armistice.

Read Chester Allen Bower's and Charles Edward Bower's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.