WWI DISPATCH September 2022

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September 2022

Bells of Peace 2022

Bells of Peace is a U.S. national "bell tolling" remembrance created in collaboration with the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the World War I Armistice, November 11, 2018. The Doughboy Foundation has since promoted it as an annual remembrance of those who served in WWI and of the moment when the guns fell silent, and bells tolled on the Western Front… on the 11th day of the 11th month, at the 11th hour in 1918, after four years of brutal combat. Pease click anywhere on the image above to find out more about how to participate in Bells of Peace in 2022.

Jerry Looper Hester, 1931–2022 

Jerry Looper Hester

Jerry Hester, one of the original twelve Commissioners at the establishment of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission in 2013, has died at age 90 in North Carolina. Jerry's indomitable determination was utterly essential to the establishment of the Commission, the broad national commemoration of the Centennial of  World War I, and the construction of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. Jerry's obituary is available here. An In Memoriam essay honoring "One of the most inexhaustible and effective soldiers in the effort to honor the Americans who served and sacrificed their nation in the First World War" is available here. The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Doughboy Foundation mourn Jerry's passing.

Verizon goes back to school with new immersive learning content, including the WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer"


As students head back to school, Verizon is continuing to bolster immersive learning content across its award-winning Verizon Innovative Learning education initiative. Verizon’s impactful partnerships with trusted education companies, edtech innovators ,and cultural institutions enable educators to access new tech-driven lesson plans that utilize the power of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps in the classroom, such as the Doughboy Foundation's WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer.” The Memorial app introduces a next generation of young adults to the transformational impact WWI had on America. Click here to read more about this exciting new immersive learning content initiative.

Four more "Rush Hour" concerts by the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" will round out September at The National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC

Concert at the WWI Memorial

The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" will make September finish on a high note with four more Thursday Evening Rush Hour Concerts at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC weekly this month. The concerts are part of the band's 100th anniversary year. Here are the remaining dates and times (weather permitting) for the 2022 concert series:

The Band starts to set up at the Memorial after the completion of Daily Taps at 5:00 pm, and the concerts begin promptly at 6:00 pm (6:30 pm on September 15). There is plenty of seating at the Memorial with good views of the band. Check the Band's web site or social media to determine the status of the event in case of inclement weather on a concert day, or any changes in starting times.

Protecting our future by remembering our past

Monahan speaks at American Legion convention 08302022

Commissioner of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, John D. Monahan, delivered remarks at The American Legion’s 103rd National Convention. A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army and member of American Legion Post 18 in Essex, Conn., Monahan spoke of the heroism and legacy of those who fought in the war. “It was the war that changed the world,” he said. “They had been imbued with a fervor for service toward achieving a public good. They sought to channel this energy, enthusiasm and public spirit in ways that would strengthen the nation both physically and morally.Click here to read the entire article, and watch a video of Monahan's speech, and learn how that "public spirit" from World War I led to the establishment of The American Legion and a lasting legacy of service.

First U.S. Navy ship sunk by enemy in WWI is found, ending 105-year mystery

USS Jacob Jones ship's bell

The first U.S. Navy ship sunk by the enemy in World War I has finally been found, ending 105-year mystery. A team of experienced deep divers were able to locate the missing USS Jacob Jones on August 11, about 40 miles off the coast of the Isles of Scilly in the United Kingdom. The “Tucker-class” destroyer was the first American destroyer ever to be sunk by enemy action, torpedoed in 1917 by a German submarine. Click here to read more, and learn about the century-long search for the Jacob Jones and the remarkable stories that came with her sinking.

Help restore the trees at the 316th Monument above Sivry-sur-Meuse

dead spruce trees at 316th monument above Sivry-sur-Meuse

The beautiful spruce trees that lined the road leading to the 316th Infantry Regiment monument above Sivry-sur-Meuse in France are now dead or dying from the region-wide infestation of the spruce bark beetle ravaging the Argonne region. This is one of the most iconic monuments in the area, and the hilltop offers one of the best views of the battlefield that exists. Some 50 trees need to be removed, and (hopefully) replaced. The trust fund set up by the 316th veterans that pays for the monument's maintenance has insufficient funds to remove all the dead and dying trees. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to supplement the trust fund, so the the work on the trees can take place. Click here to read more, and learn how you can help support this recovery effort at a unique WWI monument.

Iconic Battleship Texas, last ship to survive both world wars, headed for $35 million makeover and new home port

USS Texas

Battleship Texas has a storied history as the last surviving battleship to serve in both World Wars, a source of pride for those who love it most. "Battleship Texas is one of the most iconic things in Texas, the U.S., the world," says Bruce Bramlett with the Battleship Texas Foundation. "Talking about the only surviving ship that served in WWI and WWII." Now after calling the San Jacinto Battleground in La Porte, TX home for more than seven decades, the iconic battleship is about to ship out for a $35 million makeover before it is moved to its new home. Click here to read more and watch video about the storied past of the USS Texas, and the plans for her display after completion of the restoration project.

Mighty Yet Stubby: A Four-Legged WWI Hero Takes D.C. By Storm

Sergeant Stubby

Sergeant Stubby, the diminutive bull terrier who made a name for himself on the WWI battlefields of France as a mascot, caretaker, and protector of American Doughboys, was already famous when he met President Woodrow Wilson just a few weeks after the end of the war. The two were reported to have shaken paws. But as it turned out, they would soon be neighbors in Washington, D.C. Click here to read the whole story, and learn how Sergeant Stubby became a regular in D.C.'s social scene, and a fixture in the District, especially at events that pertained to the Great War. 

Legion established burial site for WWI vets at Bloomington's Park Hill Cemetery

Soldiers’ monument at Park Hill Cemetery in Bloomington, IL

After the end of World War I, the Louis E. Davis Post 56 of the American Legion in Bloomington, IL "out of a need and desire for a specific burial plot for veterans of the Great War (today known as World War I)" decided to create a designated section of the Park Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum for the burial of members of their organization who had served. It seemed like a good idea in 1919, but little did they know the challenges they would face before the dedication almost a decade later. Click here to read the entire story, and learn how, despite the obstacles, the facility now stands as "a proof that we do not forget, that we have not forgotten the boys who gave their lives to bring peace to this world."

World War I War Memorial, Library host ribbon cutting for anniversary

Lewis County War Memorial and Louis Bennett Jr. Public Library ribbon cutting 2022

Supporters, friends, staff, veterans and dignitaries attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Lewis County War Memorial and Louis Bennett Jr. Public Library on Friday, August 26. The occasion marked the 100th anniversary of the memorial and library. Following the death her son, Louis Bennett Jr., in WWI, Sallie Maxwell Bennett bestowed her family home and private library to Lewis County to live on in perpetuity as a war memorial and public library. Click here to read the whole story, and find out how Weston America Legion Post 4 helped create the "amazing resource" that is now home to the library, war memorial and American Legion Post 4 offices.

US Soldiers share in remembrance of epic WWI battle to save Vicenza, Venice

Vincenza, Venice battle memorial 2022

Soldiers assigned to U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa joined members of the Italian Army, Aug. 28, near Gallio, Italy, to honor those who were killed in action during World War I while defending Vicenza and Venice, Italy.The Bersaglieri Brigade of the Italian Army celebrated its annual pilgrimage to Cima Valbella near Gallio, to honor the sacrifice of the Bersaglieri soldiers of the 5th and 14th Regiment in the 'Great War.' Click here to read more, and learn how, to remember the battle, the Italian and U.S. soldiers hiked 40 minutes to the top of Mount Valbella for memorial services..

National WWI Memorial honors Reams American Legion Post for 6 days

Manuel E. Reams Jr.

Manuel E. Reams Jr. was a cattleman and former baseball player when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War I. He was killed Oct. 31, 1918, the first day of the Ypres-Lys Offensive. He was 27.Fifteen months later, on the evening of Jan. 7, 1920, in the Odd Fellows Hall in Suisun City, 37 men who had served in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps during the Great War voted to create California American Legion Post 182 and named it after Reams. That post, from Sept. 5-10, will be honored at 5 p.m. each evening with the playing of Daily Taps at the World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. Click here to learn more about Manuel E. Reams Jr., and the Daily Taps program.

American museum returns to Greece exhibit stolen by the WWI Bulgarian army

manuscript gospel over 1,000 years old

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. has returned a manuscript gospel that is more than 1,000 years old to the Greek Orthodox Church after finding that it was looted from a Greek monastery during the First World War. The museum said it returned the artifact, which its founders acquired at a Christie’s auction in 2011, to a representative of the Eastern Orthodox Church in a private ceremony in New York. Click here to read more about the late 10th or early 11th century manuscript, and learn how several other American institutions have turned up with artifacts looted from the same monastery in WWI.

Missouri Marine among those who earned coveted title ‘Devil Dog’ in WWI battle

Willard Paul Gress

Roger Hager has long been a person of reflection, piecing together cross-sections of family and local history in an effort to acquire a better understanding of how military service shaped the lives of his ancestors. Most recently, he has collected information regarding the World War I service of his late great uncle, who was among the brave Marines who earned the admired title of "Devil Dogs" in the historic Battle of Belleau Wood. Click here to learn more about Willard Paul Gress, and how this Marine fought in many historic battles of World War I, concluding with the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. 

The Battle of Cantigny Forever Changed the US Military

Battle of Cantigny scene

Writing on the the War History Online web site. author Samantha Franco asserts that "The Battle of Cantigny was the first great American victory of the First World War. With a military that was under-trained and ill-prepared, a win on the global stage was necessary to prove the might of the United States. Cantigny was the first time during the conflict where the US military was forced to prove itself – and it didn’t disappoint." Click here to read the entire essay, and learn how "the Germans were prepared for the US military to either spend a long time training troops or be ill-prepared and easily defeated. What they realized after the Battle of Cantigny was that this wasn’t the case."

The Espionage Act’s sordid WWI origins

espionage act cartoon

The FBI investigation into possible Espionage Act violations by former President Donald Trump has sparked curiosity about the World War I-era law. The Espionage Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Woodrow Wilson in a climate of xenophobia and anti-Red hysteria in 1917, the year the U.S. entered WWI. But because many Americans opposed fighting in what they viewed as a war between European colonial powers, Congress included provisions allowing the federal government to crack down on dissent. Click here to read more, and learn how the Espionage Act, despite its name, has rarely been used to punish actual espionage.

Choctaw heroes of World War I

Choctaw heroes of World War I newspaper

Author Rufus Ward writes about how, in the recognition of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II, frequently overlooked "were the code talkers of many other Indian nations including the first code talkers, the Choctaw" in World War I. To support his point, Ward dives into a 1919 Stars and Stripes newspaper article that "told the story of the first code talkers, who were 19 Choctaw Indians.Click here to read Ward's entire article, and learn how "While the Choctaws were noted for the Choctaw Code, there were more than 9,000 Native Americans from 60 different tribes serving with American forces in Europe. They were among the American troops most feared by the Germans."

World War I era practice bombs found on Waco, TX construction site

WWI practice bomb Waco, TX 2022

A construction crew in Waco, TX recovered two bombs from a Little League baseball fields construction site; the McLennan County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad determined the devices were not live but likely practice bombs from former military installations on the same site. “This is the original site of the Rich Field Army Air Base built in 1917 after the United States got involved in WWI,” Sheriff Parnell McNamara explained. Click here to read more, and learn how the discovery of the inert WWI ordnance "hits pretty close to home" for the county sheriff.

The Perils of Pandemic and War: Spanish Flu Brings D.C. to its Knees

Red Cross Worker DC

"In March of 1918, word began traveling of a flu-like illness slowly spreading throughout the country from its place of origin, Camp Funston, Kansas. The sickness swept through the ranks of the American military, knocking many-a-men down for a few days, but killing very few. This influenza epidemic caused few in DC much concern during that spring."  But that would change quickly. Click here to read Meaghan Kacmarcik's absorbing look at how in 1918 "there seemed to be relatively little attention paid to how to protect the District from the seemingly inevitable spread of the malady to DC. And spread it did."

Women in a World Designed for Men:
a World War I librarian and a Naval Academy plebe confront injustice

The War Librarian cover

Peggy Burch on the Chapter 16 web site reviews the new book "The War Librarian" by Addison Armstrong, and finds lots of resonances between the challenge faced by her female World War I protagonist. "The War Librarian switches between two narrators, seemingly unrelated women living in separate times and places whose tales gradually converge." Click here to read more, and learn why the novel about a WWI librarian and a U.S. Naval Academy plebe is "a page-turner" that "confronts urgent contemporary cultural conflicts — misogyny, racism, and book banning — by taking a detailed dive into two moments in history."

Tallahassee doctor publishes book of his father's World War I photos

Brancardier, Section 646 cover

Over 200 remarkable pictures taken by a young American soldier during World War I are featured in a new book published by Tallahassee surgeon Dr. Charles E. Moore. Moore’s father, the late Paul Handy Moore, a native of Charleston, Missouri, and later a resident of Tallahassee, volunteered in 1917 for service with the French army and documented his experiences as an ambulance driver on the battlefields of France in a photo album created more than a century ago. Click here to find put more about the book, and learn how the the volume "provides an unusually complete picture of what a young American soldier saw and experienced as he picked up wounded soldiers from the trenches and brought them to temporary hospitals behind the lines while dodging shells and shrapnel."

"World War I History Is Wrong, and Skewing Our View of China"

Hal Brands

Analyst Hal Brands asserts that "when analysts warn of an unwanted war with China, or bemoan America’s alleged lack of magnanimity following its victory in the Cold War, they are invoking perceived lessons of World War I. Alas, some of the most commonly held ideas about the war are wrong — and they deeply skew our understanding of the modern world." Click here to read Brands' entire contrarian take on much of the perceived lessons of WWI, supporting his contention that "For the U.S. to thrive in the great rivalries shaping this century, it must better understand the conflict that ushered in the last."

Birthday of General John Pershing

General John Pershing

General of the Armies
John Joseph Pershing
Born September 13, 1860

Doughboy MIA for September 2022

Edward Michael McAvoy

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month this time around is a man we just searched for in August: PVT Edward Michael McAvoy ASN3193251 M CO/314th INF/79 DIV – KIA September 26th, 1918. 

Edward Michael McAvoy was born in Benedicta, Maine on 28MAR1887, to Mary T McAvoy. Little is known of his father other than his death in occurring in 1908. Mary McAvoy had two sons, the other being Frederick McAvoy. On draft registration day  Edward listed his home address as Webster, Massachusetts and his occupation as shoemaker. He is described as tall and slender with brown hair and brown eyes. He claimed no exemption from service.

He was inducted into service at Southbridge, Massachusetts on 26MAY1918 and sent to Camp Upton in New York for induction and assigned to the 8th CO/152nd Depot Brigade. From there he was transferred to the 79th Division at Camp Meade, Maryland on 22JUN1918 and assigned to M CO/314th/79 DIV on 27JUN1918. He sailed with his new unit to France from Hoboken, New Jersey aboard the USS Leviathan on July 8th, 1918.

Upon arrival in France on the afternoon of July 15th 1918, the 314th Infantry was sent towards the 10th Training area where it trained under French officers until September 7th, when they took up positions in the Avocourt-Malancourt sector to partially relieve the French in defensive positions near Hill 304 in preparation for the Meuse-Argonne offensive. M CO/314th Infantry spent most of this time in reserve, creating defensive positions and assisting in repairing roads. On the Morning of September 26th 1918, the 79th  Division went into attack against Butte d’Montfaucon. Montfuacon sat on top of a large hill, making it a key part of the German defensive line, where German artillery observers used it to great advantage, directing artillery on American positions. In order for the American offensive to be successful, the 79th DIV had to capture Montfaucon as soon as possible. The position was fortified with a series of consecutive trench systems, bunkers, and machine gun nests. The 79th were under orders to capture the butte by the end of the day. At 5:30am on the morning of September 26th 1918, Co M/314th infantry moved forward toward Malancourt, supported by the 315th Infantry. Under a heavy smoke screen, they appeared in front of the first line of German defenses and took the German machine gun nests head on. By the afternoon the Company found itself again taking on heavy machine gun fire while taking the second line of German trenches. That was as far as they were able to get; the company reorganized and stayed overnight in the second line of trenches. The Germans were only a few hundred yards away and harassed Co M/314th with machine gun and sniper fire the entire night. It was there, around 9:00 pm, that PVT McAvoy was struck by a bullet in the stomach and died almost instantly. He was buried by the regimental chaplain.

Following the war, his family was first informed that PVT McAvoy had been recovered and buried in the nearby newly established Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, however this was found to be in error and in 1921 an investigation was initiated. It was found that PVT McAvoy had not been recovered and despite further searching by GRS field personnel his remains went unlocated.

Doughboy MIA was asked by Nancy Schaff and leaders of the 314th Infantry Historical Association to look into the case, which we did. Robert Laplander did the initial work on the case in 2017, which was found to have good merit, and it was then handed to Alexander Curran for further examination. In late 2021, the case was presented to the team by Alexander with the recommendation for possible recon on site in the 2022 season, and this past August the team did indeed spend a day on the site that the research pinpointed. Our findings are encouraging and will be discussed in an upcoming Zoom call tentatively scheduled for the last week of September. Stay tuned for more details on that, and we look forward to YOU attending the call and seeing just what your contributions are accomplishing to get our lost Doughboys found.

Want to donate and be part of the action? Hop on over to www.ww1cc.org/mia or www.doughboymia.org and make a tax-free donation to our non-profit and help us find these boys, and we’ll see YOU soon on the Zoom!

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

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

WWI Poppy Lapel Pin

Poppy Lapel Pin

Back in stock!!

  • Exclusive Commemorative WW1 Poppy Lapel Pin
  • Soft enamel color design
  • Approx. 1.5 inch in dia.
  • Standard military clasp

Proceeds from the sale of these pins 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.

George Anthony Basel

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

George Anthony Basel

Submitted by: Brian Basel {Grandson}

George Anthony Basel was born around 1890. George Basel 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

Served in the U.S. Navy for four years as a Machinist Mate First Class on four ships prior to World War One.

Enlisted in the Army on April 4, 1918 and was stationed at Camp Upton, Yaphank, NY, with the 28th "Keystone" Infantry Division. He served overseas in France from May 4, 1918 with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment and then with Company B, 3rd Battalion.

His battle campaigns include Champagne-Marne, St. Muhiel, and Meuse-Argonne at Toul Sector. He was wounded in the right hand and shoulder on July 17, 1918 clearing the woods (Bois D'Aigremont) over the Paris Metz Road between Crezancy and Fossoy and was taken to Base 45 at Blois, France for recovery. He rejoined Company H on October 10, 1918 as it passed through Mountblainville, France.

Being fluent in German, when his unit returned home April 18, 1919, he remained overseas serving as an interpreter.

Read George Anthony Basel's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

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