“The afternoons, when good, we usually fly or take a walk. Meanwhile everyone gets lazier day by
Spring 1919 – American Aviator in France – Allen Peck’s WW1 Letters
Home 1917-1919: US Army WW1 Pilot Assigned to France – Photo: WW1, France, Tennessee
“The men like me. I suppose they feel my sympathy”
what I have done is follow the army and offer my services at different hospitals.
They accepted me gladly and asked me to go on night duty. I was
with a head nurse. We had about eighty patients. I rubbed dirty, lousy backs
with alcohol; gave them water and food. After a while they gave me a ward of my
own. The men like me. I suppose they feel my sympathy. I can let a dying man
hang on my neck and smell the awful putrid wounds of him without minding at
all—I mean I just think of him. I slept for six nights in a closet, seven by
five, on a board; the room next to me was piled eight feet high with bloody,
putrid bandages; no one had time to clear them away. I am pretty tired, but I can
March 1918, near the front, France – Maude Radford Warren’s letter home –
The University of Chicago Magazine, Volume 11
Note: Maude Radford Warren was a Canadian
born author who, during WW1,
joined the American Expeditionary Force. She rose from private to captain in
just seven months. She was later made an honorary major. She also volunteered
in hospitals, and worked as a war correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post.
1918, near the front in France, Maude Warren, saluting and being saluted by the soldiers.
More details & photos – Missouri
“If it hadn’t been for you, dear women,
we couldn’t have gone on”
‘At home and on the
front, in every city, in every home was a woman, a woman who worked. Who gave her
all. Working, striving,
suffering, smiling, laughing, crying.
And if it hadn’t been
for you, dear women, who gave so willingly and worked so gladly, who cheered
us when the days seemed dark and inspired us when the dangers were terrible, we couldn’t have gone on, we’d
never have gone through.’
“WW1, an ode to women – Twelfth U.S.
Infantry, 1798-1919 – Photo: WW1, somewhere near the front in France, American Salvation army ladies handing out
goodies to American soldiers.
“The boys had to swing the propeller
and push the plane along”
“Today, I experienced my first ride on a
plane! For the past week I have been on duty at the 166th Aero Squadron
and finally got one of the pilots to take me up in his Liberty Plane. It was a
wonderful sensation to flight 5000 ft in the air and feel as if you were
standing still. I was only up five minutes but that five minutes seemed one
January 1919, American ambulance driver in
Trier, Germany – WW1 Diary of Allison LePontois – Crile Archive Center for History Education – Photo: circa 1919, air mechanics swinging the propeller of a DH4 Liberty Plane to
start the engine.
“Wed. December 11 1918 – We have been kept
very busy until yesterday.
Now there is prospect of three weeks of rest before we go to Alsace, Lorraine,
or the vicinity of Cologne.
I was much amused by Father’s advice not to come home in a crowded ship before the influenza epidemic was over. I will wait if you wish; I must
wait no matter what we wish. There is no “dope" about our return. I do not
expect it for several months, not till the transportation system of the War
Zone is reestablished.
For now I
am going on permission
and may spend Christmas in Paris. Then I want to see the Riviera and some
American ambulance driver in Belgium – Ambulance
Service in France: The Wartime Letters of William Gorham Rice, Jr – Photo:
1918, Soldiers enjoying the sunshine of Nice in France
December 1918, walking free in Strasbourg
“To Strasbourg! To Strasbourg! To Strasbourg! We
are again French! We are freed and saved in liberty, equality, and fraternity: We are
“Above all we must thank our two great allies, England, represented here by Marshal
Haig, and America, whose representative, General Pershing,
led our great armies, whose irresistible valor brought nearer the dawn
of peace, saving hundreds of our brothers from death and preserving Alsace and
Lorraine from destruction. And we turn in tribute to one of the greatest
figures of America’s glory, the leaders for
her three great wars, Washington, Lincoln, and Wilson.”
did not realize the real significance of Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty until
Mr. Wilson directed its rays upon Europe, cutting our shackles and casting them
among the heap of fallen crowns.”
9 1918, Mayor of Strasbourg’s welcome speech to French president Poincaré,
British Marechal Haig, American General Pershing and many other French & foreign officials. Photos:
December 9 1918, Strasbourg, French ladies and soldiers on their way to center-city to watch the presidential parade. The ladies are wearing the traditional Alsatian costume. Ministere de la culture
The Day of Glory – Alsace to the Alsatians?: Visions and Divisions of Alsatian – More photos of this day in the awesome city of Strasbourg: Imgur Gallica
it’s not so soft to be a cook; especially on a hike like that, when all you’ve
got is a dinky little field-range.”
American soldier’s memoir – Heaven, Hell, Or Hoboken – Photo: December 1918, in
Waxweiler, Germany, in the march to Germany, American soldiers’ meal break.
The cooks are tending a “dinky little field-range” – Mr. Tom Caulley’s collection
November 28 1918
‘My Dear Judge and Father,
I am well and happy over
the great victory and very thankful to God that I am still alive. For believe
me I sure had some close shaves. On the night of Oct the 9th was one of the worst
– Shells of all caliber were landing
over my head cutting branches from trees, shrapnel bursting and flying
everywhere over and around me. Men and horses being killed and wounded by the
score far and near and yet I was spared without a scratch. Strange it may seem
immediately after asking God to protect me, a feeling of absolute safety possessed
me and I actually slept out there in the open under that hellish shell fire.
We sure did turn that
expected German victory to a disastrous defeat in spite of all that died. And
thank God it is over. I never expected to be alive today. We are now following
up the retreat of the Germans to the Rhine River and are doing it by hiking
with packs and camp where ever we get to at night. We started to hike from St.
Maurice, we are now in German speaking country. They seem to be very glad it’s
over and are very friendly.
I must close. I am as ever your loving son’
In Luxembourg, Private Wm L Moylan’s letter – Mr. Ken Moylan – See
the entire letter @ Meuse-Argonne Facebook – Photo: American soldiers hiking
through the Moselle valley toward Germany. “Logistic in Motion: Supporting the
March to the Rhine”
‘Wednesday November 6 1918 – Awakened at 5
A.M., enroute for Marle at 6:30 with branchardiers & their baggage. We
were the first Americans in
Marle!! What a reception! People waved their hands; men tipped their hats. Civilians went wild when French marched
thru. Ladies embraced the
civilians are overjoyed. They say the Bosche’s morale is the lowest and admit their own fate. The Bosche
regime here was terribly strict & the civils liken their four years with
the Bosche to 4 yrs. Of prison.
out to La Tombelle and back again to
Marle then relieved.’
American ambulance driver in the
Aisne sector, France – Google map – Diaries of Samuel Keplinger – Photo: 1918, Aisne
sector, taken by an American ambulance driver, smiling French ladies and
soldiers standing front of an American ambulance. Weber State University
“We smile at each other
across the counter and make bets on the opening date of my canteen in Berlin (a
joke that never ceases to be amusing) and I promise them free coffee and countless cigarettes. They laugh and make
remarks to each other as they carry their food to the tables, and I know they
won’t forget me.”
1918, American lady, Red Cross canteen worker in France – The Red Cross Bulletin; Volume 2 – WW1, France, Red cross canteen workers and soldiers smiling at each other. Library of Congress