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July 2020

Bells of Peace Header image

Countdown: 100 Days to Bells of Peace runs August 4 to November 11, 2020

Announcing Bells of Peace, A World War I Remembrance, November 11, 2020, when everyone is invited to toll the “Bells of Peace” in honor of all those who served and sacrificed in World War I. To kickoff “Bells of Peace,” on August 4, 2020, join us for a 100-Day Countdown” to November 11, 2020 on our social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The “100-Day Countdown” features stories commemorating the 100-day offensive on the Western Front leading up to WWI Armistice, November 11, 1918 when the guns fell silent and the bells tolled on the Western Front, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Click here to read more about the Countdown, and learn how you, your family and friends, your organizations, and your communities can toll the “Bells of Peace” and remember this pivotal moment in our Nation’s history and all those who served in World War I. 

WWI Hero in new AUSA Graphic Novel

Henry Johnson graphic novel AUSA

Sgt. Henry Johnson, a member of the famed “Harlem Hellfighters,” is the subject of the newest graphic novel in the Association of the U.S. Army’s series highlighting Medal of Honor recipients. Medal of Honor: Henry Johnson features the story of Johnson, who served on the Western Front of World War I with the 369th Infantry Regiment, an African American unit that later became known as the “Harlem Hellfighters.” Click here to read more about the new book, and the incredible bravery of Henry Johnson that the volume spotlights.

Arrest made in Missouri for Doughboy statue vandalism at courthouse

Damaged Doughboy Statue

The "Spirit of the American Doughboy" statue, sitting on the Pettis County, Missouri  Courthouse lawn, was vandalized over the July 4 weekend. The saber and gun are bent and the statue’s hand is cracked. Barbed wire circling the monument is also broken. On July 24, the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office took a suspect into custody.  Fortunately, the damage was not intentional, but occurred when a person "determined they would climb the statue for purposes of having a picture taken on it." Click here to read more about the damage caused to the E.M. Viquesney statue, and the investigation that identified the culprit who caused it.

WWI soldier desegregated baseball

Branch Rickey

Branch Rickey was an Army officer in the Chemical Warfare Service during WWI. In his unit, coincidentally, were future baseball greats Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson. Rickey would also take a place in baseball history, thanks to his decision to do the right thing. In October 1945, as general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey signed infielder Jackie Robinson, an African American, for the Dodgers' minor league team. Robinson's later success with the Dodgers from 1947 to 1956 led other owners to seek Black talent. Click here to read more about RIckey's great service to the nation in war and peace.

How baseball resumed play after World War I on Patriots Day in Boston

Baseball return 1919 snip

As Major League Baseball struggles to restart play amidst the challenges of COVID-19, looking back 100 years to baseball getting back on the diamond after World War I may offer some lessons. Writing on the Society of American Baseball Research web site, author Dixie Tourangeau notes that "Every day ships entered Boston Harbor with returning troops from Europe, bringing joy and relief to awaiting households, but they docked in the midst of continuing pandemic burials." Click here to read more, and learn how baseball and America worked through the legacy of the recent war and the omnipresent pandemic to make sure "Play ball!" was heard again in major league ballparks.

Artist turns World War I posters into calls for Americans to wear face masks

Miss Liberty with mask

A series of retro illustrations offer a modern take on American propaganda posters from World War I — showing what the images might have looked like if they were made to promote mask-wearing to try to contain the novel coronavirus Clara Aranovich, a writer and filmmaker who has also worked as a period researcher for the TV series "Mad Men," is the brains behind the re-created posters, which have been shared thousands of times on Instagram since early July. Click here to read more about (and see images of) Aranovich's artwork, meant to inspire a sense of camaraderie in the same way many people united to support America's efforts in World War I

The U.S. Military and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919

Deaths per 1000 soldiers flu 1918-1919

Writing a decade ago for the Public Health Reports at the National Institutes of Health, researcher Carol Byerly took a hard look at how "The American military experience in World War I and the influenza pandemic were closely intertwined." The pandemic "sickened 20% to 40% of U.S. Army and Navy personnel" with highly deleterious effects on induction, training, and availability of military personnel. She notes that "During the American Expeditionary Forces' campaign at Meuse-Argonne, the epidemic diverted urgently needed resources from combat support to transporting and caring for the sick and the dead." Click here to read the entire article, and learn more about the 1918 pandemic, and lessons we can take way a century later from the military's response.

Centennial of 19th Amendment Exhibition Open National World War I Museum and Memorial

19th Amendment exhibit National WWI Museum

The National WWI Museum and Memorial commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment, prohibiting the denial of voting rights on account of gender, with a new exhibition dedicated to telling the story of the women’s suffrage movement. Votes & Voices explores the history of the fight for women’s right to vote, largely from the perspective of those who fought for enfranchisement more than 100 years ago. Click here to read more, and learn how "World War I and the women’s suffrage movement are inextricably tied together.”

Outdoor events in August at the National World War I Museum and Memorial

Movies at memorial

Outdoor events allowing for social distancing are among the August offerings from the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The Summer Movie Series returns on Friday, Aug. 13 with a screening of the ground-breaking film They Shall Not Grow Old from Oscar-winner Peter Jackson. Guests can come together on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 5-8:15 p.m. for the socially-distanced Jazz on the Lawn: A Modern Picnic. The event celebrates the spirit of the early 1920s with the hottest jazz band in town, Grand Marquis, as well as former Mayor Sly James and DJ Hartzell Gray. Rounding out the slate of outdoor events is the annual program Living the Great War from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29. This free program features the Living History Volunteer Corps and vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. Click here to read more about these and other August activities at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, and how to sign up to attend.

Largest WWI Mobile Museum travels America but calls Marlow, OK home

Keith Colley

Keith Colley, owner of the incredible WWI Mobile Museum (see previous articles here, here, and here) has been interviewed by his local Oklahoma television station.  His traveling schedule has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced him to cancel 238 scheduled showings. But he’s spent that time making the museum better. Click here to read the entire article, and learn when the WWI Mobile Museum expects t be back on the road again.

Millennial’s Alter Ego is Forgotten Female Surgeon From World War I

Lillian Fehler

Most war reenactors are older men, but 27-year-old Lillian Fehler stands out for designing uniforms that are historically accurate down to the tiniest details. In an interview during the 2019 Camp Doughboy event at Governor's Island in New York City  Fehler talked about how she decided to recreate the persona of Dr. Anna Tjomsland, a real-life surgeon who served in World War I, and was one of about 55 female surgeons to put on a uniform for the American military during the First World War, but one of only 11 to get assigned overseas.  Click here to read more about Fehler's intensive research and meticulous work that brings the story of a unique and independent female doctor back to life.

When the Serbian Flag Flew Over the White House during World War I

Serbian flag white house 1918

On July 28th in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson gave the order to fly the flag of Serbia over the White House. This was one of a number of acts that reflected the solidarity of Americans with the Serbian people who suffered so tremendously during the First World War.  At the start of the conflict, thousands of young Americans of Serbian descent volunteered to cross the Atlantic and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with their cousins. Malvina Hoffmann’s famous poster urged people to make donations to assist the people of Serbia. Pupin, Mabel Grujić, and others collected not only money, but also thousands of tons of humanitarian aid for the poor and for displaced refugees from Serbia. Click here to read more about American assistance to Serbia during and after World War I.

South Carolina Public Radio replaying World War I programs

Fighting on Two Fronts SC Public Radio

In July, South Carolina Public Radio replayed three programs about World War I and South Carolina, hosted by Dr. Walter Edgar. The replays can be listened to online from wherever you are. The programs include "Fighting on Two Fronts: Black South Carolinians in World War I"; "South Carolina in WWI: The Military"; and "Conversations on S.C. History: Women and World War I".  Click here to read more about these three World War I programs, and how your can access them by radio in the South Carolina Public Radio listening area, or online elsewhere.

Most decorated Texan of The Great War

George Lawson Keene

On July 22, 1917, a young soldier from East Texas was recovering from serious wounds, while coping with the effects of a mustard gas attack 72 hours after fighting his second two-day battle in seven weeks. George Lawson Keene, who always went by his middle name, grew up in his birthplace of Crockett. His roots ran deep in the Piney Woods with both parents direct descendants of early settlers. Click here to read more about how the "fearless Texan" found himself in the middle of one of the pivotal battles of WWI, and emerged with the Army’s second highest medal - the Distinguished Service Cross.

Smedley Butler’s fiery speech to WWI veterans is still relevant today

 Smedley Butler

In 1932, some 25,000 World War I veterans descended on Washington, DC to to demand that the government keep its word about an early payment of a bonus they had been promised following victory in the First World War. On July 19 of that year, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler took to the stage at the largest so-called Bonus Army camp in the Anacostia Flats area outside of downtown D.C. There he launched into a fiery tirade that remains relevant to military veterans, and Americans at large, even to this day. Click here to read more about Butler's speech, and why it remains pertinent and important almost eighty years later.

Mutt the Cigarette-Delivering French Bulldog & Other Animals of World War I


During World War I, a plethora of “good boys” and dog breeds participated in tasks that would be deemed unusual in today’s modern wars. Among them were dogs who pulled carts with machine guns on the other end, while others hauled supplies. Bruce, a black-and-white British companion, acted as a messenger running urgent orders up and down the Western Front. Rats were a nuisance in the muddy trenches and were so prevalent that the French trained smaller dogs as rat-catchers. Mutt, a French Bulldog (left) belonging to the YMCA Cigarette Dog delivery service, was wounded twice while trying to improve the morale of soldiers in the 11th Engineers. Click here to read more about the many animals (many of surprising species) who made their mark serving American and other forces in World War I.

Doughboy MIA for July 2020


A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Samuel J. Hochfelder of Company L/106th Infantry Regiment/27th Division.

Hochfelder was born in January, 1899 to Louis and Rose Hochfelder, Hungarian immigrants. He was one of five children and was born in the Bronx, New York. Following America's declaration of war, Samuel joined the army on June 7th, 1917 and was first assigned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard. The 23rd was later federalized as the 106th Infantry. With them he went to France aboard the USS President Lincoln on May 10th, 1918.

In France the 27th Division was one of two divisions brigaded with the British as the US 2nd Corps, fighting in the British sector. The 106th first moved into the lines on June 25th, 1918 in Belgium, distinguishing itself in combat. On September 1st, 1918, the 106th Infantry was engaged in heavy action in the midst of the Ypres-Lys Offensive. About 10:00 am that morning, in the midst of a heavy artillery barrage, Hochfelder was hit directly by an artillery shell and was reported "mutilated beyond recognition". His comrades had no time to bury him properly and thus his remains were pulled into a nearby shell hole. Unfortunately his grave was never found.

Even with Covid upon us, we continue to research our missing Doughboys and need your help! Please consider giving 'Ten For Them' - make a donation of just $10.00 to Doughboy MIA and know that you did your part toward making as full accounting as possible of our missing soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines from the Great War. Visit www.ww1cc.org/mia and make your tax deductible donation to our non-profit organization today. And remember:

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Lest We Forget Book Cover

"Lest We Forget: The Great War"

World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library 

As the United States commemorates the centennial of World War I, 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. The story of WWI is told through the memorable art it spawned―including posters from nations involved in the conflict―and a taut narrative account of the war’s signal events, its major personalities and its tragic consequences; and the timely period photographs that illustrate the awful realities of this revolutionary conflict. Most importantly, this book is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and what would become the Air Force. Proceeds from the sale of this book help fund the new National WW1 Memorial in Washington, DC

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

George Henry Knatz

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

George Henry Knatz

Submitted by: Geraldine Knatz {Niece}

George Henry Knatz born around March 11, 1897. George Knatz 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

George Henry Knatz was born on March 11, 1897 in New York city to parents Anna Bergner and Charles (Carl) Knatz . George began his first military service with the New York State Guard when he was 20 years old. He enlisted on June 18, 1917 and was mustered in the next month to Company G, 14th New York Infantry.

For service during WWI, the men of the 14th Infantry which included George were added to strengthen the 23rd New York Infantry. The men were stationed from New York City up the Hudson River to protect the water supply.

George was only with the Guard for a few months when a presidential order drafted the entire unit into the 106th U.S. Infantry in October 1917. There were 3003 men in in the 106th and George was assigned to Company G.

Private First Class George Knatz left for Europe on May 10, 1918 from Hoboken on the ship President Lincoln. This would be the last time the President Lincoln ferried soldiers to France. But no one knew it at the time. The dangerous part of the voyage was near France as the ship made its way through submarine invested waters. The ship arrived safely in Brest, France on May 23rd. There, George and his fellow soldiers disembarked.

Read George Henry Knatz'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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