WWI DISPATCH January 2022

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January 2022

Taps in the Snow January 2, 2022 tight

"...nor snow. nor dark of night..."

Daily Taps at the National WWI Memorial sounded despite inclement DC weather

Snow bugler 01032022 tight

The powerful winter storm that dumped some 10 inches of snow in the DC area on Monday, January 3 did not stop the sounding of Taps at the new National World War I Memorial in Washington. This solemn nightly tribute in honor of the Americans who served in WWI and the service of all U.S. veterans and active military personnel, sponsored by The Doughboy Foundation, was sounded as scheduled at 5:00 pm in this public gathering place for reflection on “the war that changed the world.” The daily sounding of Taps at the National World War I Memorial, every day in perpetuity, is a key objective of the Doughboy Foundation's ongoing work. You can help make this program a permanent, living part of daily life in our nation's capital by donating to the endowment that will ensure its funding into the future.

Connecticut's 1st Official State Troubadour Connects to World War I  

Connecticut's 1st Official State Troubadour

Tom Callinan, designated as as Connecticut's 1st Official State Troubadour in legislation passed by the CT General Assembly, anticipated that his services might be called upon for the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I. What he didn't anticipate was how his own family tie to WWI, his great uncle Jerry Coleman, would become so central a figure in that work. Click here to read more, and learn how a WWI Doughboy accompanies performances of both original and historic music about Americans serving during the Great War.

The Trucks the Doughboys Left Behind: Surplus Disposal in Europe after WWI

Trucks the Doughboys Left Behind

Writer Tim Gosling notes that "Amongst the many millions of postcards sent home to the friends and families of the Doughboys of the American Expeditionary Force is a small but reoccurring theme. It is a picture of an army truck usually with a proud Doughboy either leaning upon it or sitting in the driver’s seat and on the back the words something along the lines of “This is the truck that I am driving”. World War One introduced the driving of mechanical transport to a great number who it might otherwise have passed by. What it also did is establish a bond between military drivers and their machines, something which has happened ever since." Click here to read more about the very American bond between man and machines, and how most of the beloved trucks that served in WWI were left behind in Europe when the Doughboys came home.

Built Fast and Not Meant to Last: The story of Camp Sherman’s WWI Buildings

Camp Sherman Buildings snip

In 1923, President Warren G. Harding created the Mound City National Monument by setting aside a portion of land from Camp Sherman, Ohio, a World War I training cantonment just outside of Chillicothe. Ohio historian Paul LaRue wondered what became of the structures built to house and train US troops on the grounds of Camp Sherman after that donation. Click here to read more, and learn how the temporary buildings that supported Doughboy training at Camp Sherman later became, in many cases, permanent structures in the local communities.

Frontenac High School in Kansas sees Glimpses from the Great War

Glimpses from the Great War poster

A hundred years later, why should the Great War have any meaning for today’s high school students? “Why we fight wars today probably hasn’t changed a whole lot,” explains Brady Hill, history/ government teacher at Frontenac High School in Kansas. “Diplomacy fails, other means fail, and having that understanding is important,” On a conceptual level this makes sense, but it’s hardly appealing to today’s teens. Hill believes it’s the personal views and hearing first-hand experiences of individual Doughboys that bring America’s role in World War I alive for his students. Click here to read more, and learn how the award-winning documentary Glimpses from the Great War helped the students get a first-hand view from men who served in World War I.

Red poppies will bloom this spring at the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC

Memorial American Legion Auxiliary article

A new article appeared on the American Legion Auxiliary web site last week to highlight the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. The article noted that the "long-awaited memorial to World War I and the 4.7 million Americans who served in the war is now a reality" as "the last of the 20th century wars to receive its own memorial in our nation’s capital."  Click here to read the entire article, and learn how the iconic red poppy blossoms will bloom later this year in landscaped areas of the memorial.

Veterans Day launch of new comic book featuring WWI hero Dr. Frank Boston

Dr. Frank Boston comic book launch

The Boston Legacy Foundation returned to the National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. on November 11th, Veteran’s Day, to continue to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Frank Boston, a WWI Veteran, alongside all of those who have served their country and to celebrate the release of the Doc Boston Adventures comic book. Click here to read more, and learn how the “Doc Boston Adventures”, based upon a true story Boston and his team saving lives, updated to reflect America today and introduce a unique and diverse group of young first responders.

He fought for self-determination in a time of assimilation. He left these objects.

John B. McGillis

Photographer Nīa MacKnight never met her great grandfather John B. McGillis, but she did have a window into his storied life as an Anishinaabe man in early 20th-century America: a steam trunk where he stowed away undated photographs and stray objects such as an address book, a pair of horn-rimmed glasses, and a single eagle feather. McGillis also served in World War I, and later secured a position at the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs where he worked towards improving employment opportunities for Indigenous people. Click here to read more, and see how MacKnight is using her skills as a documentary photographer and interviews with relatives and family friends, to piece together McGillis' history, and reflecting on questions of identity and self-determination that persist to this day.

Woodrow Wilson seizes U.S. railroads

Woodrow Wilson railroads snip

The American railroad system faltered under the heavy demands of a wartime economy in 1917, resulting in materials being unable to be loaded and shipped on trains. On December 26, 1917, President Wilson issued a declaration that he had nationalized the railroad system, and he ordered Secretary of War Newton Baker to take possession of the railroads on December 28, 1917. The National Constitution Center looks back at "one of the broadest acts of presidential power" which occurred during World War I. Click here to learn how Congressional action was repeatedly needed to return the railroads to private ownership at war's end.

The bravery of Jesse Clipper, first Black from Buffalo to sacrifice his life in WWI

Jesse Clipper

Jesse W. Clipper was working as a singer and dancer in Buffalo, New York before he was drafted into the Army for World War I. Unfortunately, he never made it home from that war as he died on February 21, 1919, some three months after the war ended in November 1918. Today, Clipper is remembered as the first Black from Buffalo who sacrificed his life in the First World War. Click here to read more, and learn about ongoing efforts in Buffalo to uncover more information about Clipper's family, and his life before his service and loss in WWI.

Remembering My Grandfather,
Giovanni Carusone

Giovanni Carusone

"World War I Veteran, Italian Immigrant, Proud American, Husband, Father, Grandfather, a Paschall resident of Southwest Philadelphia—and our Hero." That's how Denise Clofine starts this profile of her grandfather, who she notes "left Italy telling his mother he was visiting America to see the great land of opportunity. His true intention was to join America in fighting for our freedom.Click here to read more, and learn about Carusone's service during World War I, and his life after the war in in the Paschall neighborhood of Southwest Philadelphia.

Historian chronicles the grassroots work to recognize women’s sacrifices, service during World War I

Forgotten Veterans, Invisible Memorials: How American Women Commemorated the Great War, 1917-1945

Over 16,000 women served overseas during World War I. Yet as Armistice Day marked the war’s final chapter, the stories of women who sacrificed—in overseas hospitals or as wives and mothers back home—were destined to become footnotes. More than a century later, University of Maryland graduate Allison Finkelstein is rewriting that narrative, revealing the grassroots efforts spearheaded by women of the WWI generation to honor this service, not carved in marble statuary, but through community service and advocacy and in hospitals and respite houses. Click here to read more about "Forgotten Veterans, Invisible Memorials: How American Women Commemorated the Great War, 1917-1945" and how the book tells the stories behind "the work to commemorate wartime sacrifices through living memorials—intangible commemorations grounded in continued service to the country."

Building named for WWI vet Henry Owl, first American Indian student at Carolina

Henry Owl

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has announced that it will honor Cherokee historian and teacher Henry McClain Owl  by placing his name on the Student Affairs building. Owl (1896-1980) was the first American Indian and the first person of color to enroll at the University, as a graduate student in history in 1928. Click here to learn more about Henry Owl's service in World War I, and his work after the war ended to ensure voting rights for Native Americans.

Talking About War: PTSD in WWI & now

Talking About War

World War I "proved to be a grisly example of the hellishness of war. Technology-enhanced was manufactured, making it easier to kill. Machine guns, rapid-fire artillery, poison gas, and tanks, weapons that could take away life at any time, either in an instant in the best-case scenario, or after agonizing minutes if the soldier was not lucky enough. Talk about the war? The returning veterans of World War I would never want to do that." So begins Dr. Arturo Osorio's exploration of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in and after the Great War. Click here to read more, and learn how talking about it--usually the last thing a vet wants to do--is often the best way to begin PTSD recovery.

Digging to Victory: How Bellingham Conserved Food During World War I

Gardening poster

Saving food was a central part of the American home front during World War I. The need for food was dire for America’s soldiers and allies. The conflict had devastated agriculture in Europe as men marched off to war and fields disappeared under shelling. Submarine warfare disrupted international trade. Jennifer Crooks takes a look back at how the people of Bellingham, WA leaned into the campaigns for food conservation. Click here to read more about how schools, businesses, and individuals got onboard with the efforts to conserve key items, and plant gardens to grow their own food.

Woodside, New York's Doughboy Park Gets New Plaza, Seating Area

Woodside, NY's Doughboy Park

NYC officials recently celebrated the newly reconstructed $1.8 million plaza and seating area in Woodside's Doughboy Plaza with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The facility now has a brand new bluestone plaza, making it a worthy space to recognize and honor all of the soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. Click here to read more, and find out how The Returning Soldier statue (later called "The Woodside Doughboy") erected by the Woodside Community Council in remembrance of the local men and women who served in World War I, has been given a new and much improved setting.

World War I News Digest January 2022

USS Olympia

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.


USS Olympia: The little cruiser with a battleship’s guns

Ending 2021 on a Positive Note

How World War I Shaped “Lord of the Rings” 

The Devil Dogs of Belleau Wood: US Marines of World War One

American Red Cross of WNY honors unclaimed WWI veterans

WWI nurse Gladys Watkins & the Legion Post Named for her

American Railroads During World War I

WWI nurse from Patchogue, NY receives military honors

Cleanup at WWI chemical weapons dump in D.C.'s Spring Valley 

Ferdinand Foch, WWI commander of Allies, feted in Spokane 

Vancouver’s police chief was ‘Fighting Forester’ in WWI

Doughboy MIA for January 2022

Robert Alsleben

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Robert August Alsleben Company A/308th Infantry Regiment/77th Division.

Robert Alsleben was the 5th of 11 children born to Heinrich (Henry) and Cecelia Alsleben, a family of German immigrant farmers settled in Minnesota. Robert was born 01MAY1894 in Penn Township, McLeod County, Minnesota and worked the family farm up until his induction into the army on 28MAY1918 at New Auburn, Minnesota. He was received into the service at Camp Lewis, Washington in 43rd Company/11th Battalion/166th Depot Brigade until he was transferred to Camp Kearney, near San Diego, California in July and assigned to Company F/160th Infantry/40th ‘Sunshine’ Division. What little training Alsleben received was given here, and that wasn’t much as his unit spent almost half of their time at Camp Kearney (which was only a month) under quarantine for a possible Scarlet Fever outbreak. At the beginning of August, the 40th packed up and boarded trains for the Port of Embarkation at New York, sailing overseas 08AUG1918.

In France, the 40th Division was reassigned as the 6th Depot Division – meaning it became a replacement pool – and filtered its men into combat units depleted by casualties. Private Alsleben was transferred to Company A/308th Infantry/77th Division, being taken onto unit strength upon arrival on 23SEPT1918. Three days later, Company A (along with Company D) spearheaded the 308th’s drive into the Argonne Forest at the opening of the massive Meuse-Argonne Campaign. At this point, Alsleben had been in the army just two days shy of 4 months and had spent better than half of that time either in quarantine or travel.

A statement later given by a comrade says Alsleben was shot through the abdomen and right upper thigh while going over the top on the afternoon of 27SEPT1918, the second day of the Argonne fight, and killed instantly. No one, however, knew anything about his burial and as neither he nor his remains were ever found, he was declared as missing in action on 22OCT1918.

The story then gained new light when an International Red Cross report was received 16 APR1919 that contained a list of names from the Germans and dated 01MAR1919 showing that Alsleben had been captured that same day he was wounded and died of his wounds on 28SEPT1918 at Landwehr Infantry Field Hospital #13 in Grand Pre and had been buried in the German military cemetery there. No grave number was reported however, and when GRS officials went to look for him, they were unable to locate any remains, nor was a grave number found in surviving hospital records.  In 1922, attempts were made by the German government to contact the head doctor who had worked at the hospital, but records do not say if this was successful or not. For a time, it appears there was some speculation Alsleben may have been recovered by the French and moved to the German military cemetery at Buzancy, but records do not say whether this lead was followed up on. Nothing more is known at this time.

Active investigation was suspended in the case in February 1929 and PVT Alsleben is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.

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.

Remember: A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store

tote bag

Function and style are combined in this lightweight and compact Canvas & Leather Tote. You can show your American pride while carrying this Made in the USA dark khaki tote. Plenty of room for keys, wallet, tablet and documents. A distressed “U.S.” imprint is prominently displayed on the bag and an exclusive fabric garment label commemorates the U.S. Centennial of World War One.

This versatile canvas tote features:

  • Constructed of heavy duty, touch dyed canvas and lined with 400 denier nylon
  • Handles made of 6 Oz. top grain oil tanned leather, backed with 1” webbing
  • Handle is attached to bag with distinctive “X” tacks.
  • Dimensions: 18.5” W (seam to seam) x 13.5”H x 5.0”
  • T-bottom style gusset
  • Vintage Military style makes it great for him or her
  • Made in USA

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

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

Theodore E. Fournier

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

Theodore  E  Fournier

Submitted by: Brian A. Huseland {great-nephew}

Theodore E Fournier was born around 1899. Theodore Fournier 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

My great-uncle Theodore Everett Fournier served in the 103rd Infantry, Company C. After his parents told Teddy in his teen years that he was adopted, he left home and enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard, 2nd Infantry, finding comfort in serving his country.

In 1916, they patrolled the U.S.-Mexico border because of Pancho Villa’s raids. In 1917, the boys were drafted into the American Expeditionary Forces, and trained at Camp Cody, NM, as part of the 34th “Sandstorm” Division. However, as some American regiments had encountered heavy losses in Europe, the 34th became a replacement division, and was broken up.

Teddy was shipped out from New York City on June 29th, 1918 on the ship Demosthenes. He carried with him standard issue uniform and equipment, and a precious item: an enlisted men’s prayer book. He arrived in mid-July and was assigned to the 103rd about the time of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. After resting and training the new recruits, the regiment boarded trains for Verdun, France. Teddy’s regiment prepared for the St. Mihiel Offensive as part of the 26th Division, encountering occasional gas and gunfire.

Read Theodore E. Fournier '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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