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March 2023

Hello Girls Gold Medal Header Image

Help us get the Congressional Gold Medal
to honor the World War I "Hello Girls" 

During Women’s History Month 2023, legislation has been introduced in both Houses of Congress to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the U.S. Army Signal Corps telephone operators, known as "The Hello Girls."

These brave American women connected U.S. and French military forces on the front lines of World War I, but were denied veterans status or benefits for some 70 years. We are asking for your help to get this important legislation passed.

In the Senate, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Marsha Blackburn(R-Tenn.) cosponsored S.815 - A bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the female telephone operators of the Army Signal Corps, known as the "Hello Girls".

In the House of Representatives, U.S. Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), Sam Graves (R-MO), Sharice Davids (D-KS), and Nancy Mace (R-SC) cosponsored H.R.1572 - To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the female telephone operators of the Army Signal Corps, known as the "Hello Girls".

We Want You

We are asking for your help to get this legislation passed through both Houses of Congress and onto the President's desk for signature. Yes, you can help!  We've built a toolbox here to make the process of reaching out to your Senators and to your Representative very straightforward. Please tell your Senators and  Representative that you support the Hello Girls legislation. 

Hello Girls Being Trained for Pershing

Please share this information widely, so that as many people as possible will encourage their Senators and their Representatives to support the Hello Girls Gold Medal legislation.

The Hello Girls answered their nation's call in World War I, and played an essential role supporting America's fighting forces on the front lines. In 2023, we hope America will answer the call, and tell Congress to provide the long overdue recognition of the Congressional Gold Medal.

American Women in World War I Sparked Remarkable Changes

American women WWI

Writing on the Medium web site, author Yvonne Pipkin notes that in the early 20th Century, "It was the Cultural Norm that married women and many single women stayed home tied to the Household and did not work. So, how, and when did American women enter the workforce? The answer is U.S. involvement in World War I between 1917 and 1918." Click here to read the entire article, and learn how "a tremendous change in the social structure of the period" enabled "women to participate in many industries that had previously been the exclusive territory of men."

100 Years of Advancing Health Care for Women Veterans at the VA

VA Women Health Care Centennial

On Sept. 14, 1923, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ predecessor, the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, approved the first hospital spaces for women Veterans who served as Army or Navy nurses during World War I. From this post-WWI breakthrough has flowed a century of significant achievements that have improved health care services and care coordination for women Veterans. Click here to read the whole story, and learn how advocacy groups fought for the right for women Veterans to be seen at Veterans’ hospitals and care homes.

AFLCMC Women’s History Month Highlight: World War I

Women building DH-4 wings in WWI

"While 'Rosie the Riveter' is an icon of World War II and in American women’s history, the opportunities she represented were first made more than two decades earlier—including in World War I aircraft production and acquisition." So begins a fascinating article from the  Air Force Life Cycle Management Center that details how women were especially valued during WWI in the cutting-edge technology of the day: aviation. Click here to read the whole article, and learn how "female workers in unprecedented numbers" helped America take wing in World War I and after.

WWI Roles taken up by American Women

Women factory workers WWI

World War I is known as the first modern war, that is, the first international war to use mechanical devices such as tanks and airplanes. This war is also the first to include the participation of women. Over seven million American women participated in the war effort at home and overseas. Click here to read more, and learn about the vital roles that these women played in World War I, both on the frontlines overseas and at home. 

Remembering Alphonzo Barbour—eyewitness to African American history

Alphonzo F. Barbour

Alphonzo Ferdinand Barbour saw a lot of history, even for a man who lived to be over 100 years old. Barbour served four years with the U.S. Navy in World War I as a mess attendant first class (E-3). While serving aboard a destroyer, Barbour began reading books about the Revenue Cutter and Life-Saving Services. After the war ended, he walked down a Navy gangplank, and up a Coast Guard one, and the rest is history. Click here to read Barbour's entire story, and learn how this Washington, DC World War I veteran became living history himself in the USCG.

Midway Village Museum Presents The Great War: World War I April 29-30

Midway Village Museum The Great War: WWI April 29-30

Midway Village Museum will host The Great War: World War I, featuring dozens of reenactors portraying soldiers and civilians from the United States and Europe in the museum’s historic village. Visitors engage in this unique historic, immersive experience with the opportunity to enter encampments, tour a reproduction 150-yard trench system, and watch narrated battle reenactments. Reenactors will be portraying soldiers from the US, Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Greece, Turkey and even Ireland. Click here to read more, and see how you can visit encampments and see WWI uniforms, memorabilia, weapons,  equipment. and much more.

Businessman Nimrod Frazer, responsible for four WWI memorials, dies at age 93

Nimrod Frazer

Longtime Montgomery, AL businessman, civic leader and supporter of the military and the arts Nimrod “Rod” Thompson Frazer has died at 93. Frazer was responsible for 4 American World War I memorials: the one in France at Croix Rouge Farm in Fère en Tardenois to the Rainbow Division, and three in Montgomery, including one at Maxwell Air Force base whose inauguration triggered the coming of the Patrouille de France in 2017. Click here to read more about this combat veteran, author, and visionary philanthropist.

How Did World War I Change Weapons?

gas mask

World War I marked a major turning point in military history, as the weapons and tactics used during that conflict have had lasting effects on modern warfare. The use of technology and new forms of weaponry changed the face of battle forever, with devastating results for those involved. Click here to read more, and learn how, from machine guns to chemical weapons, World War I saw some of the first uses of many now-standard pieces of equipment for military forces everywhere.

SC African American WWI Soldiers Receive Recognition A Century Later

City of Charleston ceremony

February 28th, 2023 was declared the “371st Infantry Regiment Day” in Charleston, SC as the City of Charleston held a ceremony honoring the sacrifice and achievements of the African American members of the U.S. Army’s 371st Infantry Regiment in World War I.  The 371st Infantry Regiment was a segregated African American regiment, nominally a part of the 93rd Division, that served in World War I under French Army command, and fought bravely in the waning days of WWI. Click here to read more, and learn how descendants of the unit's members are pushing for future generations to remember and honor the soldiers.

William J. Powell, Aviator & Entrepreneur


William J. Powell was a tireless promoter of African American participation in the budding field of flight. In an era when daredevil pilots captured the imagination of the masses, Powell, who served in the segregated 370th Infantry Regiment—the only regiment in the war commanded entirely by black officers—in France during WWI, recognized that aviation also presented great opportunities for African Americans and did all he could to encourage more black fliers to take to the skies.  Click here to read more learn about this amazing pilot, entrepreneur, and author.

Formal Mitigation Recommendation for Colorado WWI Memorial Pillars Sent

Colorado WWI memorial pillar

A Boulder County group has sent formal recommendation to the Colorado Department of Transportation for the World War I Road of Remembrance gateway pillars be relocated in order to maintain their historical meaning and integrity. The Mitigation Working Group, composed of local historic preservation groups, developed the preservation and potential maintenance plan for the World War I memorial pillars. Click here to read more, and learn how a new road design “diminished the physical integrity of the Monument” and “greatly impacted the integrity of the Monument’s historic setting.”

Daughter of Highly Decorated Kentucky World War I Hero Turns 90

Betsy York-Lowery

A special birthday celebration took place at the Bowling Green, KY First Church of the Nazarene on Saturday, Feb. 25, as Betsy York-Lowery, daughter of World War One veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Alvin York, celebrated her 90th birthday. Alvin was an American hero who received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest. He helped capture over 100 Germans in a mission that could have ended in total failure. Click here to read more, and learn how York-Lowery could be the only living child of any Medal of Honor recipient from World War I.

"Fate Is The Reason I’m Here Today"

William Ross Coulter

Writing on the Medium web site, author Bruce Coulter meditates on the question "So why should we remember World War I a century later?" His answer: "Because it’s America’s story. More accurately, it’s the story of many families, including mine...I’m blessed because my Grandfather came home from the First World War." Click here to read more about Coulter's family lineage and World War I service, and how that knowledge informs a response to the query "Why remember World War I?"

Michigan’s Manufacturing Role In WWI

Liberty Engine

Going into World War I, the U.S. was an isolationist nation and not a major military power. But the United States still stood out during the war for one reason: the American system of manufacturing. Michigan’s industrial contribution during World War I was particularly significant. Click here to read more, and learn how the concentration of assembly lines in The Great Lakes State made huge contributions to the war effort in the air, on land, and at sea.

Keystone State Plays Key Role In WWI

Soldiers in trench putting on gas masks

Situated just prior to two of the most cataclysmic events of the 20th century — the Great Depression and World War II — it’s not surprising that World War I is a bit overlooked when the story of America is told. But for those who had a hand in it, as well as their descendants, the so-called “War to End All Wars” is anything but a footnote in our nation’s history. Pennsylvania played a key role both on the battlefields and on the home front. Click here to learn more about the 300,000+ Keystone State residents who served in uniform during WWI, and the Pennsylvanians who produced the materials needed to outfit, transport and arm the U.S. fighting forces and the Allies

12 Technological Advancements of WWI

air and sea

The Great War was a time of terrible tragedy, but also led to some inventions that had a lasting impact on society. Here, we take a look at 12 technological advancements to come out of World War I. Writing on the mental Floss web site, author Erik Sass picks out a dozen areas of technological innovation that went into overdrive during WWI. Click here to read more, and find out how many technologies that we take for granted in the 21st. Century had their origins in the travail of The Great War.

World War I News Digest March 2023

Frank Luke, Jr

World War I was The War that Changed the World, and its impact on the United States continues to be felt over 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.

Honoring World War I “Balloon Buster” Frank Luke Jr.

Eddie Rickenbacker: America’s Most Decorated World War I Ace

True Tales About North Carolina – WWI Aviator Kiffin Rockwell

Sgt. Alvin York: The Greatest Soldier Of All Time

Private Henry Johnson’s Bravery In World War I

Mailroom Clerk Becomes The First St. Louisan To Die In WWI

Captain Peter Carey And The WWI Norcross, GA Rifle Range

West Baden Springs Hotel Was Army General Hospital In WWI

After 80 Years, Fate of USS Cythera Still Remains A Mystery

War Is Hell…On The Environment

Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial

Honoring The Hello Girls

McCabe taps and mug

On March 1, 2023, Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC was sounded by bugler Amy McCabe in honor of the WWI U.S. Army Signal Corps telephone operators, known as The Hello Girls, who arrived in Europe 105 years ago on 3/1/1918, and served with bravery, honor, and distinction.

Amy McCabe began her musical instruction on piano at age 6 and trumpet at age 10. After graduating in 1997 from Herscher High School in Herscher, Ill., she earned her bachelor’s degree in music and elementary education from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington in 2001. She earned her master’s degree in trumpet performance in 2006 from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She was a featured soloist in the Tony/ Emmy award winning show Blast!, a member of MusiCorps, and has performed with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in Charleston, S.C., and the Walt Disney World All-Star Collegiate Jazz Band and Christmas Brass in Orlando, Fla. 

The Daily Taps program of the Doughboy Foundation provides a unique opportunity to dedicate a livestreamed sounding of Taps in honor of a special person of your choice while supporting the important work of the Doughboy Foundation. Choose a day, or even establish this honor in perpetuityClick here for more information on how to honor a loved veteran with the sounding of Taps.

Doughboy MIA for March 2023

First Lieutenant Jason Hunt

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month fought a desperate fight, with five other brave Americans of the 27th Aero Squadron, to hold off twenty experienced German pursuit planes, saving a vulnerable Observation aircraft from attack so it could complete its mission. First Lieutenant Jason “Jay” Solon Hunt, and his five fellow Americans, flew their last mission on 1 August 1918 in the Fere-en-Tardinois sector of France.

Jason Hunt was born on 24 January 1894 in Johnson, Vermont to Bertron A Hunt and Nettie Bell Morse. His father was a lawyer and Postmaster of his hometown. Lieutenant Hunt was the eldest son and the fourth child of six in the family. On his mother’s side his great-grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War as a Private and his grandfather fought also as a Private for the Union Army in the Civil War. His brother Berton H Hunt Jr was a Sergeant Company “E” of the 101st Division AEF and survived the war. The two  brothers are pictured together below.

LT Jason Hunt and Brother Berton A Hunt Jr

Lieutenant Hunt clearly wanted to serve his country. At the University of Vermont, he was Captain of the school’s Cadet Battalion and received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Vermont National Guard after his graduation in 1915. He was accepted into Harvard University’s Law program in the fall of 1915 and after completing his second year, Jason S. Hunt attend the first Officers’ Training Camp at Plattsburg, New York in May 1917. While there he was accepted into the Signal Corps Aviation program and, in July of 1917, was one of 25 candidates sent to Toronto, Canada to begin training to be an aviator. The United States Army Adjutant General Military Records show his enlistment as a Private First Class on 15 August 1917, in the city of Toronto, Canada.

In Canada Private First Class Hunt began the Officer Training Course on 1 November1917 as an Aviation Cadet. He was officially assigned a member of the 27th Aero Squadron on 24 November 1917.  As winter approached Jason S. Hunt and his fellow Cadets were sent to Texas to complete flight training. Cadet Hunt was assigned to Taliaferro Field, Fort Worth, Texas and received his commission as a First Lieutenant, Reserve Aviator on 12 January 1918.

The 27th Aero Squadron departed Texas on 23 January 1918. They arrived in Garden City, New York three days later , just in time to be quarantined for a scarlet fever epidemic. On 26 February 1918 the 27th Aero Squadron departed New York on the SS Olympic (ship 527) arriving in England on 5 March 1918.  By the end of the month Lieutenant Hunt and the 27th Aero Squadron would arrive at the American Aviation School in Issodun for more advanced flight training. During Lieutenant Hunt’s training at Issodun, he was injured in a flying accident on 24 April 1918. But he completed his training before the Squadron moved to the front.

 27th Aero Squadron moved forward arriving first at Epies and then on to Toul by 1 June 1918. On 2 June 1918 the 27th Aero Squadron started forward operations in the combat zone.  Lieutenant Hunt would fly his first combat patrol on 3 June 1918 as part of “A” Flight patrolling the Toul sector to protect allied balloons. The Squadron moved on to Touquin, France on 26 June 1918 and then to Saints on 8 July 1918 to patrol the forward area of the Chateau-Thierry sector.

On 15 July 1918 during a low patrol mission between Chateau-Thierry and Verneuil from 4:45 to 6:30 in the morning, at about 1,000 feet, Lieutenant Hunt was forced to crash land at Montolievet without serious injury. Three days later LT Hunt made a forced landing at Noirlieu while on patrol between Chateau-Thierry and Faverolles. Lieutenant Hunt had participated in 31 combat patrols before 1 August 1918. During those missions only once did he engage the enemy combat.

At 7:05 in the morning of 1 August 1918 Lieutenant Hunt took off with 17 other members of the squadron to perform three separate missions flying the agile yet unreliable Nieuport 28s.  Two flights were ordered to protect one Salmson 2A2 Observation aircraft each and one flight was ordered to attack and destroy a German Observation Balloon. Lieutenant Hunt’s flight of six Nieuports operated in the Fere-en-Tardenois region providing high cover for the Salmson at 10,000 feet.

LT Jason Hunt

LT Jason Hunt in the cockpit of his Nieuport 28.

Lieutenant Hunt and the rest of the flight were initially attacked by eight Fokker biplanes just east of Fere-en-Tardenois at 8:10 in the morning. The battle was quickly joined by a mix of twelve Fokker and Albatross pursuit fighters. Grossly outnumbered, the six American pilots, Lieutenants Hunt, McElvain, Sands, Martin, Whiton, and Beauchamp, stayed to fight at odds greater than three to one. Each did his best to protect the Observation plane, which made it back to safety to its squadron, but at the cost all six 27th Aero Squadron Nieuports.

Lieutenant Hunt was shot down by Leutnant Egon Koepsch of Jasta 4 for his fifth victory, making him an ace. Leutnant Koepsch would survive the war with a total of nine victories to his credit.

Since all members of the flight failed to return it is not known what exactly happened to Lieutenant Hunt.  After the war the German government informed the American Grave Registration Service, Lieutenant Hunt’s aircraft came down between the villages of Leges and Jouaignes near the two chateaus of Chateau de Virly and was buried next to his aircraft. Grave Registration Service investigators responded to the area in 1924 and learned Lieutenant Hunt’s remains were moved by the French Civil Service in 1922.

The burned out hulk of Lieutenant Hunt’s aircraft was still located about 150 meters northwest of the western chateau of the Chateau de Virly compound. With help from the Gardner/Caretaker of the chateau, Investigators located evidence of a previous grave at the edge of a wood that still exists today. The Caretaker had witnessed the aircraft come down and knew an American aviator had died in the crash. German Soldiers stationed nearby had buried Lieutenant Hunt next to his aircraft. On his grave respectful German Soldiers put a cross with an inscription declaring: Ici repose un Aviateur mort pour la France. “Here rests an Aviator who died for France.”

After Lieutenant Hunt was exhumed and moved by the French his whereabouts became a mystery, as local French Civil Servants did not keep accurate records of the movement of unidentified remains.  Because of the wording on the cross erected by the Germans it is possible French officials thought Lieutenant Hunt was French and may have buried him as an unknown French aviator. His remains were badly burned as witnessed by the Caretaker. To date no one is sure where Lieutenant Hunt’s final resting place is and therefore he is listed as Missing in Action by the United States.

Cenotaph of LT  Jason S Hunt

The family of Lieutenant Hunt never gave up on locating his remains.  His sister worked very hard to find information about his grave.  As a result, the family believes just after World War II, Lieutenant Hunt’s brother in law, Captain Norman L Scott, informed his sisters that he found the grave in a French Military Cemetery. Unfortunately, over time, the family has lost the name of the cemetery Captain Scott found.

Doughboy MIA has an Aviation Team dedicated to locating missing in action American Aviators of World War One. Lieutenant Hunt’s MIA case is actively being researched with the goal of finding and repatriating his remains. Until accomplished, First Lieutenant Jason Solon Hunt is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Aisne-Marne American Military Cemetery, and has a cenotaph alongside his mother and father in the Horse Meadow Cemetery, North Haverhill, New Hampshire.

Would you like to be involved with solving these cases? You can! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization today, and help us bring them home! Doughboy MIA will be mounting another mission to France this summer. Help us do the best job possible and give today, with our thanks.

Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store

WWI Poppy Lapel Pin

Poppy Lapel Pin

Back In Stock!

  • Exclusive Commemorative WWI
    Poppy Lapel Pin
  • Approx. 1.5 inch in dia.
  • Standard military clasp

Get yours now -- these sell out fast!

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

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

John D. Fornaciari

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


Submitted by: Jim Fornaciari {grandson}

John D. Fornaciari was born around 1889. John Fornaciari served in World War I with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

John D. Fornaciari was born in Chicago in 1889. He was raised as a member of a large family on Chicago’s southside. He began a career as a tailor after high school. Following the American entry into World War I, Fornaciari enlisted in the United States Army in April of 1917.

Fornaciari was assigned to the 122nd Field Artillery Regiment-Battery E which was part of the 33rd Division. His military preparation included basic training which was completed at Camp Logan (Texas).

Upon arrival in Europe the 122nd became part of General Pershing’s American Expeditionary Forces. The 122nd was in combat for most of the remaining months of the war. Private Fornaciari was in action in the following battles Verdun, Argonne Forest, Meuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel and Romaine. Following the fighting Fornaciari received a citation for gallantry in action during the battle of the Argonne Forest. This citation was awarded along with the Silver Star medal by the War Department.

The French government also awarded Fornaciari a medal of honor for bravery as a result of his efforts at Verdun. His name is listed on a plaque erected by the French government at Verdun.

Read John D Fornaciari'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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