While on our Virtual Route 66 this week, our team pulled together the following courtesy the team at the Doughboy Foundation as we look forward to the continued privilege to serve:
ANZAC Day observed at National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC
Each year on the 25th of April, Australians and New Zealanders commemorate ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day to recognize the sacrifices that Australian and New Zealand servicemen and servicewomen have made not only in defending their country, but in upholding their nations’ longstanding commitment to peace and security. On ANZAC day this year, the Embassies of Australia and New Zealand hosted a dawn service at The National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC to pay reverence to the martyred soldiers. Click here to read more, and see photos of the solemn ceremony held by two of America's World War I allies.
A family link to Lusitania tragedy in 1915
World War One Centennial Commissioner Dr. Libby O’Connell had always heard that an ancestor of hers died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland May 7, 1915. Her father taught European History so she was raised on stories from the continent, including the sinking of the Lusitania. Still, she found it difficult to believe that a relative of hers had been aboard the ill-fated ship, since she could never verify the story. Click here to read more, and learn how the family mystery was solved just in time for the centennial of the Lusitania's sinking.
World War I Veteran will be celebrated May 20 during EMS Week at National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC
On May 20, 2022 in celebration of EMS week, Washington DC Fire & EMS Deputy Chief Michael Knight, Shane Wheeler, Volunteer Medical Services Corp, and Boston researcher George Whitehair will lead the recognition for all EMS workers and in particular, a World War I veteran, doctor, and surgeon, who served in France with the 92nd Division (Buffalo soldiers). He then returned to start an ambulance corps and a hospital, both of which continue to serve their communities almost 100 years later. Click here to read more about Dr. Frank Erdman Boston, who will be honored at the National World War I Memorial along with all EMS workers during National EMS week May 15-21, 2022.
First Colors Ceremony at National WWI Memorial Honored with Multiple Awards
Susan Davis International and the United States World War One Centennial Commission have recently been recognized with a Gold Stevie Award for PR Campaign of the Year - Events & Observances for the 2021 First Colors Ceremony at the new National World War I Memorial. The Stevie American Business Awards is one of the premier business awards programs in the U.S. Click here to read more, and learn about this and the many other awards that First Colors has received over the past year.
April 6, 105th Anniversary of U.S. Entry into WWI Event Sparks Discussion
Our Washington, DC, April 6, 2022 event, marking the 105th anniversary of the U.S. entry into WWI, was a memorable evening for many. Hosted by Dan Dayton, Chair, Board of Directors, of the Doughboy Foundation, Denise VanBuren, President General of the DAR, and Hungarian Ambassador Szabolcs Takacs, the program presented Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy’s two-volume book, “In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War” and an exhibit chronicling the historical events and the horrors of the First World War through photos that were taken 100 years later. Click here to read more about the fascinating panel discussion featured at the event, and learn how to watch the video online.
Puerto Rican WWI Navy hero may get Medal of Honor 52 years after death
Frederick Riefkohl was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy. A WWI hero who led a successful showdown with a German submarine. And a WWII ship commander who retired as a rear admiral — he even has his own Wikipedia page. But Riefkohl did not receive the Medal of Honor, America's highest award for valor in combat, to commemorate his WWI gallantry. Click here to read more, and learn how Riefkohl is one of 214 WWI minority veterans identified thus far by the Valor Medals Review Project for possible decoration upgrades.
Indiana Hometown Hero in WWI is honored with historical marker
He quit school at 15 and almost lost his life fighting in World War I. Now, Aaron Richard Fisher has been immortalized in his Gibson County, Indiana home town. The Lyles Station Historical School and Museum has unveiled a historical marker to honor him. Click here to read more, and learn how Fisher, born on a farm in Lyles Station, Indiana, went on to become one of the most decorated African American soldiers from Indiana, including the Distinguished Service Cross Award, which is the nation's second highest military honor.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Museum Exhibits
To recognize the 2021 centennial commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) created two new major museum exhibits at the cemetery. The first exhibit, located in the Memorial Amphitheater Display Room, directly behind the Tomb, opened in November 2020, while the second, located in the Welcome Center, opened in early 2021. Together, these two exhibits provide new interpretations of the Tomb’s history and legacy to the thousands of global visitors that come to ANC. Click here to learn more about how these exhibits help expand the Tomb’s story and explain its national, as well as international, significance.
New display honors Albany, NY World War I hero Henry Johnson
For the next 10 weeks, visitors will be able to view artifacts and a special honor associated with a real American hero at an Albany City Hall display. The man: World War I soldier Sgt. Henry Johnson of Albany. The artifacts: A bolo knife, helmet, and insignia he would have carried. And it wouldn't be complete without the actual Medal of Honor he was awarded posthumously and only recently. Click here to learn more about the exhibit, which honors Henry Johnson's courage both in uniform and as a civilian.
Louis Cukela received the Medal of Honor twice in World War I
Not all American service members are born in the U.S.; many emigrate from overseas to start a new life in America. Writing for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' VAntage Point web site, author Alex Boucher tells the story of one such immigrant: Army and Marine Corps Veteran Louis Cukela, originally from the Austria-Hungarian Empire, who fought for the U.S. in the Great War and was one of only nineteen men to receive two Medals of Honor. Click here to read more about Cukela's extraordinary heroics in WWI, and find out how his service to his adopted nation didn't end there.
USS New York: The only US battleship to sink a German U-boat in World War I
The USS New York was a US Navy battleship and the lead vessel of her two-ship class, entering service in 1914. Named after the state of New York, she was designed to be the first ship to carry a 14-inch/45-caliber gun. After the US entered WWI, she set sail across the Atlantic to join the British Grand Fleet in December 1917, and acted as the flagship of US battleships in the 6th Battle Squadron for the remainder of World War I. As she led a fleet of battleships into the Pentland Firth on October 14, 1918, she was badly damaged by an underwater collision. But it wasn't a rock the mighty ship had hit. Click here to read more, and learn about the close encounter of a submerged kind that earned the New York a one-of-a-kind distinction in the U.S. Navy during World War I.
Zero Milestone: Ike, World War I, and The American Century of Oil
On July 7, 1919, a group of U.S. military members dedicated Zero Milestone – the point from which all road distances in the country would be measured – just south of the White House lawn in Washington, D.C. The next morning, they helped to define the future of the nation. Instead of an exploratory rocket or deep-sea submarine, these explorers set out in 42 trucks, five passenger cars, and an assortment of motorcycles, ambulances, tank trucks, mobile field kitchens, mobile repair shops, and Signal Corps searchlight trucks. During the first three days of driving, they managed just over five miles per hour. This was most troubling because their goal was to explore the condition of American roads by driving across the U.S. Participating in this exploratory party was U.S. Army Captain Dwight D. Eisenhower. Click here to read more, and learn how Ike, although he played a critical role in much of 20th-century U.S. history, may have carried the most significant impact on the domestic front due to his passion for roads.
Norwich, CT sets "Doughnut Day" event June 4 to raise funds for WWI memorial
On Saturday, June 4th, the World War I Memorial Commission in Norwich, CT is holding its 2nd Annual Doughnut Day to help raise funds that will pay for the restoration of the centerpiece of a local World War I Memorial. The memorial's captured WWI 15cm Krupp's field gun, which was presented to the city as a trophy of war by American Legion Post #4 in 1926, had fallen into disrepair, and was removed from its memorial site. Click here to read more about the sad state of the artifact, and how the Committee plans to restore it to its place of honor by 2026 if possible.
How an ‘Imposter’ Journalist Changed the Course of World War I
Three days after Christmas in 1915, a New York City taxi headed to the 5th Street Pier in Hoboken, NJ, where the Dutch ocean liner Rotterdam prepared for an Atlantic crossing. The cab carried a special fare: German diplomat Captain Karl Boy-Ed (left), a career military man and the German embassy’s naval attaché, one of the highest-ranking consular posts. After nearly four years stationed in America, Boy-Ed was sailing home in disgrace, ejected from the United States by the American government, accused of engaging in sabotage and deceptive propaganda in brazen violation of America’s policy of neutrality in World War I. But all was not as it seemed that day. Click here to read more, and learn how the distinctly 21st Century concept of "fake news" has, like so many other things in the world do, its own ugly antecedents in WWI.
WWI postal history, a wide & varied field
Writing for the Linn's Stamp News web site. columnist John Hotchner takes a look at a fairly rare piece of World War I ephemera: the American Expeditionary Force "Christmas Package Coupons" that were distributed to each military member (and some civilians working with the military) in or on their way to France in September 1918. The coupon enabled the person to receive one package from home for Christmas 1918. Click here to read more about this postal artifact of America's role in WWI, quite rare now because "It seems that few of these Christmas package coupons were preserved after receipt."
Bonner’s Community Gardens were a marvel during World War I
It’s gardening time, at least hopefully, now that we’re past our last gasp of wintry weather! This time of year also brings back memories of the war gardens and victory gardens of the past. During World War I, with commercial farm produce needed for the military, American households were urged to create their own backyard gardens. “We should plant to garden every back yard in Missoula within the next 30 days!” proclaimed the Missoulian newspaper on Sunday, April 1, 1917. “This nation is entering upon the world-wide war and no man knows the full extent of our immediate needs and food necessities.” Click here to learn how one of the largest “community gardens” in Montana was created at Bonner, where the Anaconda Copper Mining Company encouraged its lumber mill employees to use a huge tract of land for the purpose.
Women's Fashion during WWI 1914–1920
Like most things in the world, women's fashions of 1914–1920 were heavily influenced by World War I. Writing in the Bellatory.com web site, author Delores Monet explores how, even before the outbreak of WWI, fashion had taken on a whole new look, losing the rigid, tailored lines of the Edwardian period. But the impact of World War I changed everything. Click here to read more, and learn how the privations of war, and women taking on jobs formerly filled by men, caused dramatic changes in fashion sense and sensibilities that are still reverberating over a century later.
These Classic Actors Served During WWI And Became Huge Hollywood Stars
While it was still a new phenomenon, studios were cranking out movies in the 1920s and 1930s. As a result, many of the early stars of the Silver Screen had served in the First World War. Writing at War History Online, Todd Neikirk summons a list of several prominent stars of classic cinema who served their country during the Great War before stardom struck. Without peeking, can you identify the star-to-be in the picture at left? Click here to reveal his identity, and the names of the other luminaries who wore uniforms in WWI before they wore costumes under the bright lights.
World War I Guns Still Being Used Today
World War I saw the introduction of many innovations in military technology, including the development of tanks, submarines, warplanes, and guns. Some of these technologies remain in use a century later. Brady Kirkpatrick, Editor-in-Chief of gunmade.com, makes a list of guns used by various armed forces in World War I that are still used in the military and among law enforcement professionals and civilians. The first World War ended over a century ago, which means the guns on this list are among the most reliable firearms ever built. Click here to learn more, and explore the six examples of historic WWI guns still very much in use today.
Doughboy MIA for May 2022
A man is only missing if he is forgotten.
Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Giovanni Aliberti.
Giovanni Aliberti was an immigrant to the US. Born in Scipiono, Italy on 27 January 1896. He arrived in America through the port of New York at age 16 on 24 May 1912 with just $25.00 in his pocket. A farm laborer, he was among the few of his station who could both read and write well. He first settled in Little Kansas, Pennsylvania before moving to Donora in Washington County, PA where he was living when war came to his new country. He signed his draft card in June 1917 giving his description as black hair, brown eyes, of medium build and claimed no exemptions. Eager to do his bit for his adopted land, Giovanni enlisted in the army at Fort Howard, Maryland on 2 November 1917. His association with Pennsylvania almost assured him assignment to a Pennsylvania regiment at that time, and he was not disappointed; Giovanni was assigned to Company A/110th Infantry Regiment/28th Division. With them he sailed for France aboard the City of Calcutta on 3 May 1918.
He served that summer honorably through all of the 110th’s engagements. In August they found themselves heavily engaged on the Vesle enduring the vicious street fighting in the town of Fismes. (The work of the 28th Division is ably described in the books ‘Toward the Flame’ by Hervey Allen, and ‘I Remember the Last War’ by Bob Hoffman.) Suffering heavy casualties as the battle rolled on, internal temporary inter-regimental transfers occurred, and Giovanni was sent to Company L of the 3rd Battalion on 6 August. In early September the 28th crossed the Vesle and began moving forward. The drive of the 110th took them on a path toward the town of Merval with the 3rd Battalion out front and it was during this drive that Giovanni Aliberti was killed. His sergeant witnessed him shot in right side of the head by a German sniper, killing him instantly. Later that day he was buried in a trench alcove. His grave was clearly marked with a cross, his helmet and one of his dog tags, and a later map illustrated the approximate spot. Despite this, when Graves Registration Service searchers went out to find him in 1921, they were unable to locate the burial location. Today Giovanni Aliberti is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the American Oise-Aisne Cemetery.
Giovanni Aliberti is also on the search list of Doughboy MIA. We believe we have a shot at finding his remains – but we need YOUR help. Won’t you make an effort to help make as full an accounting of our missing Doughboys as possible? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization and do YOUR part to help us! Please visit www.ww1cc.org/mia of www.doughboymia.org and make your donation today, and remember:
A man is only missing if he is forgotten.