Category: tbt

‘Nearly every child has a fe…

every child has a fearful cough and cold and I do long to
have a big store house of sweaters and warm things to give out to them. If you have some magazines or illustrated papers
they will come to a very good use here. They are very quiet and the poor souls
are well tired of the game, and I don’t blame them. Much to my surprise they do not seem to like to sing as I imagined
they would. At the beginning of the war there was much more heart for singing

WW1, France, American lady’s letter, member of the Franco-American Committee for the
Protection of the Children of the Frontie
r –

“Out Here at the

– WW1, Refugee children arriving from the
front at the Paris home of the Franco-American Committee for the Protection of
Children. Library of Congress

“February 15 1918 – Have been having ext…

“February 15 1918 – Have
been having extraordinary weather for a month. Warm & pleasant with just a
little rain. On
duty at Beauchamp evacuation hospital. No shells but long,
tiresome drives
. I drove steady, back & forth from one o’clock noon ‘till
midnight. Stopped at Y.M.C.A at Fleury & bought chocolate. — Very tired. “

American ambulance driver’s diary, in Argonne, Verdun sector, France Diaries of Samuel M. Keplinger – Photo: 1918, Eastern France, American ambulance drivers’ stop at the local YMCA – Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine

“Just as we were getting into the ambulance to…

“Just as we were getting into
the ambulance to drive the two miles to the hospital for children refugees, the
siren began blowing and every one rushed into the streets to watch the big
German Taube
sailing in the blue sky overhead, with a dozen little puffs of
smoke breaking all around it like wads of cotton. That siren meant we were all
to get out of the streets to not be struck by flying
pieces of shrapnel, but to me it had just the opposite effect. I found myself
calmly watching the fight as though it were quite detached from anything on

, American Red Cross lady in Toul, FranceThe Children of France and the Red Cross – Photo : WW1,
France, a  nurse watching an aerial fight. Imperial War Museums.

“Early this morning, we could hear the big gun…

“Early this morning, we could hear the big
guns going full blast, and I saw my first air battle,
and it was a thriller — four French planes and two Germans! The French bagged
both of the Huns’ machines, one falling only a short distance from us, and
before dark we saw five more air battles.”

WW1 American marine’s
letter home “Dear Folks at Home—The Glorious Story of the United States
Marines in France as Told by Their Letters from the Battlefield”
– Photo : February
15 1918
– In the Aisne Region, Chemin des Dames sector, American soldiers stopping their chores to watch an aerial dogfight. Source: Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine.

“February 8 1918 — Walked to the aviatio…

“February 8 1918 — Walked to the aviation field at Matougues and inspected
a new bomber, the Breguet. It
has a 300 HP Renault motor and is the fastest in the world at 4,000 meters. It
carries 32 bombs and 2 incendiaries. There were a good many machines on the
field including Spads, Nieuports and English Sopwiths, supporting the rumors
we have heard of a widespread allied bombing offensive.“

In Matougues, Marne, France – American ambulance driver’s diary – Diary of Jerome Preston – Photo: 1918, Hanging out at the airfield – A Breguet, view from a hangar.

“February 8 1918 – Yes, I’m now qu…

“February 8 1918 – Yes, I’m now quite experienced as regards “cooties” I’m sorry to
tell you. 49 In fact, they’re quite common thruout the entire company. .
. . Have to stick it out tho”

American Engineer, member of the Rainbow Division in Rolampont sector, France An American Soldier in World War 1 – Photo: 1918, Meuse, France, American soldiers hunting for cooties. Jean-Marie Picquart’s collection

‘February 8 1918 , Paris – The foot of t…

‘February 8 1918 ,
Paris – The foot of the Vendome column is being
protected by concrete. What scenes of human folly that monument will have seen
before the end! They are also building absurd little sheds over the Marly
in the Champs-Elysees. They are closing the grounds of Versailles, to
clear out the contents of the Palace. All that as a precaution against German

The Paris Front, an Unpublished Diary – Photo :
February 1918, Place Vendome, early in the morning, protection of the column in

‘February 1 1918 – The spirits in camp …

‘February 1 1918

– The spirits in camp are exceedingly low, two fellows were killed in a collision today. This brings up the total to
five in three weeks and there is a mighty big epidemic of nerves among the
flyers. To see men killed is one thing, and to see your friends, fellows with
whom you have been eating, singing and living, is another. This brings a man up
with a jerk to the bitter realities of war.’

Issoudun, France – American ambulance
driver, then flight trainee’s awesome diary: “Diary of a
WWI Pilot. Ambulances, Planes, and Friends.” –
Photo:  WW1
aviators at camp – Library of Congress, The Veteran History Project

And the same day from another American

“February 1 1918

– I almost crashed. Coming into the field the pressure tank went and the motor stopped. I switched on the little
extra gravity tank but the darn thing was empty and no
help. I got into the field by the grace of God or something without crashing.”

American aviator Hero of the Angry Sky: The
World War I Diary and Letters of David S. Ingalls , America’s First Naval Ace


                                                          Team bonding in Saint Nazaire

‘There were splendid men
among army
officials, who honestly and actively opposed discrimination. At St. Nazaire and
Brest, these officials and officers were always on the alert to see that the
African American soldiers had a square deal.

While welfare organizations other than the Y. M. C. A. did not
employ black workers yet, we had the opportunity of observing their
attitude toward the black troops. It was part of our duties as black Y
women to visit the hospitals; here we found black soldiers placed
indiscriminately in wards with white soldiers, and everyone was accorded the
same treatment’

Two Colored Women with the
American Expeditionary Forces
– Photo: 1918, American officers and soldiers team bonding in Saint Nazaire,
France – Little America, Saint-Nazaire 1917-1919


                                                              Morning routine

‘February 1
1918 –  Several men take gas test.’

Meuse, France – American
ambulance driver’s log – Record of S. S. U. 585
– Photo: Surprise Gas Test – Ministère de la Culture – France