Category: ww1 american soldiers

                                                          “Friends of the Gargoyles”

The postcard vender
whose booth
is nearly at the foot of Notre Dame de Paris says
that before the war he sold many cards representing
Notre Dame either as a whole or in detail; but very few that showed pictures of
the gargoyles.

“Well, now,” he says, “I
have never enough, for all the American soldiers
come in and say to me—’Gargoyles?’ They are as interested in them as children,
and want to know where on the cathedral these
elephants and bears and crows are placed; then I show them a big photograph of
Notre Dame and they proceed to hunt the fantastic
beasts in all the corners of the
cornices and galleries where they lurk!”

The New France, Volume 3 – Photo: Spring
1919,  Happy American soldiers visiting Notre Dame de Paris – Gallica France

“So happy to see each other again and so childishly glad to be alive.”


American soldier’s letter – Oregon boys in the war – Photo: A Lollipop Party! Wounded doughboys home again, watching a parade with Red Cross nurses, Fifth Avenue, New York, 1919. Library of Congress

                                                           “All in good fun”                                                                 

1919, Archangel, Russia – “The great high Gorka
built by the American engineers in the heart of the city afforded a
half-verst slide, a rush of clinging men and women as their toboggan coursed laughing and screaming in euphoria down
to the river where it pitched swiftly again down to the ice.”

1919, American soldiers in Archangel,
Russia –

The History of the American Expedition Fighting
the Bolsheviki Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919

– Image: 1919, American soldiers enjoying a good slide on a gorka in Russia. See
the YouTube “339th Infantry A.E.F. in Northern Russia (1918-1919)”

                                                                    A slice of heaven

“We were still on French rations, but hot Belgian bread with
boo-coo butter kept us alive.”

the end of the war American soldiers in Belgium – Heaven, Hell, Or Hoboken – Photo: WW1, somewhere on the western
front, soldiers of the Rainbow division enjoying thick slices of bread smeared with “boo-coo” butter or the like… US Signal Corps

“Blanket tossing is lots
of fun for the tossers and a fine testimonial to
the strength of army blankets, for a piece of cloth
so well woven that it will not tear under such strains…”

Tossing in the Army – Illustrated World  Volume 18 – Photo: WW1 American soldiers –“a good blanket toss in action” – US National Archives

             “He will take the tiniest bit of raw meat
from one’s fingers just as gently as a dog”

“The love that our soldiers show for animals
is a lesson and a sermon on kindness to animals. I have visited a number of army camps and the kindness which service men shower on
their mascots is wonderful. Whether the mascot is a
dog, monkey or raccoon, the men have all, without exception, been very kind to
their pets.”

1919 – American soldiers and their pets – Animals, Massachusetts SPCA

– Photo: WW1 American soldier and
his raccoon. US National Archives

“We are coming home! It’s unbelievable, impossible, but it’s true — we’re coming home! We have to keep on repeating the words ourselves; even
then they seem a legend.”

Early 1919 “What It Means To Come Home” – McClure’s
Magazine, Volume 51
 – Photo: New York Harbor, early1919, “The Return
of the Victors” – Here: Troops boarding the
“Manchuria” at St. Nazaire. January 10, 1919
– @
The National WW1 Museum and Memorial

In January 1919, American writer Dorothy
received a postcard of the Cochem Castle, from her husband serving in the US Army of Occupation in

he wrote to her, “if you can send me a cake of working soap I think I can arrange to buy this castle!”

“Not a word about loving or missing her, or even wishing-she-was-there. Instead, he sounded
absurdly cheerful. She began immediately to imagine him loose in Germany, roustabouting with his cronies or the
fräuleins and surely consuming quantities of white wine…”

Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?
– Photo: January 9 1919 – American soldier
gazing at this old castle in Cochem,
– US Signal Corps

Note: During and after WW1 in Germany, soap was scarce and very expensive.

January 8, 1919, Germany, American soldiers firing 21-gun salute,
for ex-President Teddy Roosevelt (October
27, 1858 – January 6, 1919)

‘Isn’t it too bad about Teddy Roosevelt?
I’m glad that God let him live until the war ended. Every family has to have
their sorrows. He was the biggest American that has ever been before the people
yet. And during the war, his boys sure
didn’t set back in some dugout…’
  January 1919, France, American ambulance driver Loren Eliott’s Letters.

January 8 1919, an American journalist writes about Teddy Roosevelt:

“Typically American, in all ways:

He was simple in all his
ways and desires. He liked to stick close to essentials. He disliked the
tawdry. He never believed that true dignity had to be maintained by pomp and
ceremony. His home reflected his
personality. You found there none of the ostentation of wealth. It was an average
country home; there were no gilded sofas and chairs in the living room; no
grand pianos with elaborate carvings; no tapestries of rare looms and extravagant
price; no servants. It was a real home — the home of an American in spirit, in
purpose and in manner.”

Theodore Roosevelt, The Man: Some Memories Of The Greatest
American Of His Time

                                                               Wet pants?

an hour and 45 minutes’ continuous climb we reached a house halfway up the
mountain where we rested. Then our guide said “Follow me!”, and we started
down the hill. Talk about speed! Soon I heard someone screaming. Setting my
brakes into the snow, I looked around and there I
saw the rest coming down with lightning speed. Loosening my brakes I was off
and got to the foot of the mountain in about eight minutes. Wet pants? Oh, Boy!
They sure were! It reminded me of my kid days, sliding the
cellar door.’

1919, Doughboys on Leave to the French Alps Memoirs
of France and the Eighty-Eighth Division
– Photo: WW1 American soldiers
having fun in the snow – US National Archives