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Welcome to the WWI Dispatch Newsletter archive. You will find the latest issue below, and all the past issues available below that.

The WWI dispatch bring you pointers to full articles about WWI history, Stories of Service, events, commemorations, memorials, exhibits, museums, books, film, social impacts and much more...

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Header 10292020

August 2022

John Schmitt both uniforms

John Schmitt in his World War I uniform is the "face" of the Doughboy Foundation's Daily Taps, with his photo frequently use in promotional roles. When he is not playing Taps at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, John is a trumpet player and assistant live sound engineer for the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast.

Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial

John Schmitt: “Sounding Taps is Meaningful to Me First and Foremost Because it is Important to Veterans and their Families”

John Schmitt

This month, National WWI Memorial Daily Taps bugler John Schmitt shares the story of his life-long commitment to honor Veterans and their families by sounding Taps. He is also known by his peers as one of the greatest trumpet players of his generation.

Says John, "I'm from Northeast Ohio originally. I moved to Baltimore to live with my wife about twenty years ago. I don't recall the first time I sounded Taps, but I think it was in high school at a Memorial Day event. A few years later I sounded Taps at my grandpa's funeral."

Click here to read more, and find out why John thinks that "Sounding Taps is a unique experience."


US Army Band concerts 2022

U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" will finish summer strong with Aug. & Sept. Rush Hour Concerts at The National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC

The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" will end the summer with a flourish with Thursday Evening Rush Hour Concerts at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC weekly in August and September starting Aug. 11. The concerts are part of the band's 100th anniversary year. Here are the remaining dates dates and times (weather permitting) for the 2022 summer series:

  • Thursday, August 11, 6:30 pm, Army Band Trombone Ensemble
  • ThursdayAugust 18, 6:30 pm, Army Band ensemble
  • Thursday, August 25, 6:30 pm, Army Band ensemble
  • Thursday, September 1, 6:30 pm, Army Band ensemble
  • Thursday, September 8, 6:30 pm, Concert Band
  • Thursday, September 15, 6:30 pm, Concert Band
  • Thursday, September 22, 6:30 pm, Army Band ensemble
  • Thursday, September 29, 6:30 pm, Army Band ensemble

The Band starts to set up at the Memorial after the completion of Daily Taps at 5:00 pm, and the concerts start promptly at 6:30 pm. There is plenty of seating at the Memorial with good views of the band. In case of inclement weather on a concert day, check the Band's web site or social media to determine the status of the event.


World War I Mobile Museum back on road with new name, same education mission

WWI Mobile Museum Congressional Record

After weathering many cancellations and shutdowns due to the disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic, the WWI Mobile Museum is back in action and on the road again, bringing artifacts that tell the story of America and World War I to senior centers, schools, and other facilities nationwide. And as a nice way to get things rolling again, the Museum received a very special recognition, via a Proclamation from Congress. Click here to read more, and find out how the museum is expanding its vision, and taking aim at bringing WWI history to Americans everywhere.


A World War I veteran was buried without military honors in 1987, but 35 years later she received recognition for her service

Marie Garrow Moss

A Newport News woman served during World War I, but no one played “Taps” or folded and presented the American flag at her funeral. She was buried without military honors — a wrong that a group of people wanted to make right. Marie Garrow Moss was the only Virginian who joined the “Hello Girls,” women recruited to the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate the military’s telephone switchboards during WWI. Click here to read more, and learn how several Virginia organizations worked together to give Marie the honors that she didn’t receive at her funeral in 1987.


Wildfires are setting off hundreds of unexploded bombs on World War I battlefields, endangering firefighters

Fires on WWI battlefields

The summer's unusually hot temperatures have led to several wildfires across Europe and they are setting off unexploded World War 1 bombs in the process. A wildfire in the southwest Kras region of Slovenia, the biggest since the country's independence in 1991, has destroyed more than 8,000 acres of farmland. It's also led to the explosion of countless WWI-era bombs, which had laid dormant for more than 100 years. Click here to read more, and learn how the legacy of World War I has become all too current a field of study for some parts of Europe.


Sacrifices of the U.S. 42nd (Rainbow) Division in World War I honored at commemoration of the 104th anniversary of the Battle of the Ourcq River

Rainbow Division Croix Rouge Farm

On July 23, 2022, the cities of Fère-en-Tardenois and Seringes-et Nesles honored the sacrifices of the U.S. 42nd (Rainbow) Division in WWI and commemorated the 104th anniversary of the battle of the Ourcq River (July 25 – August 3, 1918). On the battle site of Croix Rouge Farm stands a powerful memorial to the Rainbow Division by the British sculptor, James Butler (1931-2022), a member of the Royal Academy who passed away this year. Each year, a ceremony takes place there to commemorate the anniversary of the battle. Click here to read all about the ceremony at Croix Rouge Farm event, and how the event honoring those who died was all the more poignant this year.


Navy Veteran Lenah Higbee was first living woman to receive the Navy Cross

Lenah S. Higbee

Originally from Chatham in New Brunswick, Canada, Lenah S. Higbee came to the U.S. to study nursing. She completed training at the New York Postgraduate Hospital in 1889 and began working as a surgical nurse for a private practice. During this time, she met Marine Corps Lt. Col. John Henley Higbee. They married in 1899. After her husband’s death in the spring of 1908, Higbee decided to volunteer for the newly formed Navy Nurse Corps program and traveled to a naval hospital in Washington, D.C. to take exams. Click here to read more about how Higbee became part of the “Sacred Twenty,” the first group of female nurses to serve in the Navy, and played an important role in expanding opportunities for woman in Naval service.


104 years after his death, Bloomer, MN WWI soldier honored with Purple Heart

Bloomer soldier Taps

A group of veterans, politicians, locals and descendants of Martin A. Treptow gathered at the American Legion in Bloomer, MN last month to honor a serviceman who never made it home from World War I. During the ceremony, attendees gave the pledge of allegiance, listened to the story of Treptow, and saw the man honored with a 21-gun salute and the taps bugle call. The gathering was a long time coming. Click here to learn how Treptow’s family spent the last three years trying to secure their great-uncle a Purple Heart for his sacrifice.


A Broken Wreath: What two giants of History say to each other in silence

Woodrow Wilson

The chance discovery in 2021 of a damaged piece of history — a gift from President Woodrow Wilson to Marquis de Lafayette — started a year-long effort to restore the piece of history to its proper place. Yorick de Guichen of the Society of the Cincinnati tells the enthralling story of how a gift from the American president to "a fellow Servant of Liberty" took place in 1919, and how she and others took on the mission of restoring it to its proper condition at Lafayette's tomb where Wilson had placed it 104 years ago.


Meet the World War I American soldier who invented the hard hat, a proud symbol of our nation's working class

Edward W. Bullard

Some 33 million Americans, about 10 percent of the national population, work hard-hat jobs, requiring them to wear the iconic protective helmet that "is the team headgear of working-class America — the people who built the United States with their bare hands." But not many Americans who wear the hard hat as part of their jobs know that they came out of one American's experience in World War I. Click here to meet Edward W. Bullard, a U.S. Army veteran who crafted the world's most important piece of industrial protective equipment after returning home from Europe and the carnage of World War I.


Queen Anne County soldier recalled as WWI hero who sacrificed for his country

Davis tombstone

Founded in the 1940s, American Legion Post 18 was named for a local Queen Anne’s County hero, county born and raised Jefferson Davis of Church Hill, who was the first county resident to sacrifice his life while fighting for freedom during World War I. Davis died July 24, 1918, during the Second Battle of the Marne (France), July 15 — August 6.  Click here to read more, and learn how, 104 years after Davis' death, Post 18's members must engage in ongoing efforts to combat incorrect assumptions linking the World War I hero with another historical figure bearing the same name.


Harlem Armory time messenger reveals snapshot of 1923

Harlem time capsule

The replacement of a 99-year-old granite cornerstone plaque of the New York National Guard’s historic Harlem Armory drill floor exposed a mystery when contractors found a sealed copper box inside the stone on Feb. 19, 2022. The copper time capsule, which was not known to be in the corner stone, contained documents pertaining to the 369th “Harlem Hell Fighters” of World War I fame, as well as documents of importance to the Black community in 1923 New York City. Click here to read the whole story, and learn how the chance discovery "highlighted the pride of Black New Yorkers in their regiment, their culture, and city officials' recognition of the 369th and the black community" after World War I.


World War I hero to be inducted into Missouri National Guard Hall of Fame

James E. Rieger

On Sept. 9, 2022, Col. James E. Rieger will be inducted into the Missouri National Guard Hall of Fame at Kirksville. The building where the induction ceremony will take place is the Missouri National Guard Armory named after him in tribute to his service in France during WWI, and in helping building the modern state National Guard before and after World War I. Click here to learn more about Reiger, and how he was "lauded in France and the United States as the 'Hero of the Argonne' for the series of heroic feats he accomplished during the first three days of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive."


What German soldiers thought about Americans in the aftermath of World War I

German POW

After World War I ended, American military intelligence officers reviewed troves of documents that detailed interrogations and intercepted diplomatic cables. They also compiled the opinions of German soldiers and citizens upon meeting Americans for the first time. It was released in a 1919 report called “Candid Comment on The American Soldier of 1917-1918 and Kindred Topics by The Germans.” The We Are The Mighty web site takes a look at the top 10 comments about the American soldier from the point of view of their German enemy.


How the 'First Real New York Gangster' Turned Guardsman Helped End WWI

Monk Eastman 2

As Monk Eastman lay in a field hospital, he learned his infantry division was preparing to breach the Hindenburg Line -- the Germans' last line of defense on the Western Front during World War I. Despite being sidelined with leg injuries and the victim of a gas attack, Eastman didn't come this far to be a bystander. Half-naked and with bare feet, Eastman fled the hospital under the cover of night to join his company. He helped the Allies penetrate the Hindenburg Line on Sept. 29, 1918, six weeks before an armistice agreement was signed. Click here to read more, and learn why it wasn't surprising that Eastman did not follow doctor's orders. Following rules was not in his DNA, for Eastman had been a gangster before he enlisted in the New York National Guard in 1917.


George Dilboy, The First Greek-American Who Fell in World War I

George Dilboy, The First Greek-American Who Fell in World War I

It was on July 18, 1918, that George Dilboy was killed on a battlefield near Belleau, France in WWI after fighting so courageously that he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest medal for bravery. The Greek-American’s conspicuous heroism was so outstanding that he was recognized and honored by three US presidents. Woodrow Wilson signed the authorization awarding Dilboy the Medal of Honor while Warren G. Harding brought his remains back to be buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery, and Calvin Coolidge presided at his final burial there. Click here to read more about George Dilboy and how events during and after WWI affected his legacy.


One of Iowa’s Oldest Shopping Malls is Named After Iowan Lost at Just 21 in WWI

Merle D. Hay

One of the most well-known and oldest malls in the entire state of Iowa opened in 1959. It's named after a man who died more than four decades earlier. Merle Hay Plaza in Des Moines opened on August 17, 1959. It was originally to be named Northland Shopping Center. Executives from Younkers, its first anchor store, believed the mall should be named Merle Hay. The road in front of the shopping area under construction was already called Merle Hay Road,  something that had happened not long after its namesake had died in 1917. Click here to read more about Merle Hay himself and his the shopping center named for him that became a Mall in 1972.


Nominations for 6th Annual Henry Johnson Award For Distinguished Community Service Open in Albany, NY

Henry Johnson

The City of Albany is soliciting nominations for the Henry Johnson Award for Distinguished Community Service, which recognizes an Albany resident who has given their time and talent to Albany and has displayed community leadership in any of the following areas: arts and history, social justice, education, or volunteerism.  The Award will be presented at Albany’s Riverfront Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 10. Click here to learn more about the award, given to commemorate the acts of valor by Sgt. Johnson during combat in WWI, which earned Sgt. Johnson the Medal of Honor. The award also recognizes the courage Sgt. Johnson exhibited when he returned home to the United States and spoke out against racism in the military and in Jim Crow America.


World War I Aviation Weekend at The American Heritage Museum in September

American Heritage Museum 1917 Nieuport 28 restoration

The American Heritage Museum presents the first annual World War I Aviation Special Event Weekend at the museum and airfield in Hudson / Stow, MA, on September 17 and 18, 2022. The weekend will feature the official unveiling of the museum's original 1917 Nieuport 28 restoration project. Click here to find out more about the exciting lineup of World War I aircraft that will be flying, as well as the extraordinary American classic automobiles, historic tanks, armored vehicles, and WWI military artifacts that will be on display during the event.


Duty, Terror and Survival: The World War One Diary and Art of Doughboy Cpl. Harold W. Pierce

Duty, Terror and Survival cover

"As a former journalist and an avid history reader, I believe wholeheartedly that some stories MUST be told. One of those is Harold W. Pierce’s story – his diary, really – of his experiences with the 112th Infantry Regiment (28th Division) in World War One." So begins author William J. Welch in telling the story of how a chance encounter with the existence of Pierce's diary while reading a book about the Meuse-Argonne campaign led him to look for and find the soldier, diarist, and artist, and publish an edited version of the WWI diary. Click here to read more, and learn how Welch discovered that "I thought I had a decent idea" of what the WWI soldiers' experience was like, "but reading Pierce’s diary taught me so much more."


Wanda “Lynne” Dayton, 1939–2022

Lynne Dayton

Lynne Dayton was the wife of 52 years of World War I Centennial Commission Executive Director and Doughboy Foundation Chairman Daniel Dayton.
Lynne was born 8/2/1939 in Rockwood, TN, and passed away 7/25/2022 at age 82 in Washington, DC.

Click here to read more about Lynne.


Doughboy MIA for August

Wallace Green

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month Sergeant Wallace Green, DSC. Very little is known about Wallace Green’s early life. He was born and raised in the little town of Eure, North Carolina and may very well have been a pre-war soldier, serving with the 9th Cavalry. What is known is that he sailed as a corporal from Hoboken, New Jersey, bound for ‘Over There’ aboard the transport Covington on 09APR1918, assigned to Company M, 6th Infantry Regiment, 5th ‘Red Diamond’ Division.

The 6th Infantry Regiment is one of the oldest of the ‘regular army’ regiments in the army inventory, tracing its roots back to 1812. In November 1917, while still in the States, the 6th was assigned to the assembling 5th Division. Then once overseas, when the 1st US Army was organized in France to bring off the St. Mihiel Offensive, which began on 12SEPT1918, the 5th Division was one of the divisions assigned to it on 10AUG1918. At that time, however, the division was serving in the Vosges Sector and preparing for a limited offensive of its own. It was during that limited offensive that SGT Green disappeared.

At 4:04 am on the morning of 17AUG1917, after a 10-minute artillery barrage, the 6th Infantry Regiment launched an attack against the village of Frapelle in that sector. Two minutes into the attack, a heavy German counter barrage began to fall on the American trenches and the attacking Doughboys. Nevertheless, the 6th pressed on doggedly and by 6:30 am had reached and liberated the town of Frapelle, freeing it from four years of German occupation. By then however Sergeant Wallace Green wasn’t with them; he had been killed in action during the initial attack, in the process earning the Distinguished Service Cross. Reports of him being both KIA and MIA appear simultaneously in papers back home as early as 24SEPT1918. On 05OCT1919 his award of the DSC was officially announced:

GREEN, Wallace Sergeant, Company M, 6th Infantry.
For extraordinary heroism in action at Frapelle, France, August 17, 1918. He unhesitatingly and with great coolness and courage went forward under a heavy enemy barrage to destroy wire entanglements and continued this hazardous work until killed.
General Orders No. 15, War Department, 1919

Sergeant Green’s name is among the 284 names which grace the Tablets of the Missing at the beautiful St. Mihiel American Cemetery at Thiaucourt, France.

Want to help us solve Sgt. Green’s case? Consider making a tax-deductible donation to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Every penny goes toward our mission. Got only $10? Give 'Ten For Them' to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.


Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store

Morning Java Candle Mug

Soy Candle
Camp Mug

On sale now!

  • Doughboy.shop Exclusive
  • This replica tin mug has been upcycled into an all-natural soy candle filled by Charleston Candleworks (USA)
  • Made from all organic soy wax, cotton wick, essential oils
  • The “Morning Java” scent will fill the room with a wonderful coffee aroma that includes just a hint of chocolate
  • Camp mug is reusable once candle has burned down
  • Makes a great 2-in-1 gift. (Reduce + Reuse)

Proceeds from the sale of these mugs 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.



William Jonathan Bock

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

 

William Jonathan Bock

Submitted by: Brandt "Bob" Bock {Son}

Story of Service

This story of service is being submitted on behalf of all of William Bock’s ten children, (four alive and six deceased) his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great great-grandchildren, and descendants yet to be born.

Our father, William Jonathan Bock, (better known as “Bill”) was not one to discuss or even touch upon his military and World War I experience. That part of his life was over, he was now on to much more important things such as raising a large family and working, working, ever working. Fortunately we do have some of his military records and a letter to be able to recognize his stellar contributions to the effort to defeat Germany during World War I.

It is noteworthy to mention that Germany is where his ancestors lived and immigrated from, but our father was an American and was proud to be!! 

We know from his “Enlistment Record” that at age 19, he left his parents small farm in Smith Mills, New York to enlist in the U.S. Army on April 19th, 1917 at Buffalo, New York. After locating a copy of his service card we know he, along with other recruits, were transported to what was known then as the Columbus Barracks in Columbus, Ohio for the beginning of his basic training.

Read William Jonathan Bock's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.


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