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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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June 2022

Smithsonian Magazine combo with cover

Front page article about National World War I Memorial sculpture in June 2022 Smithsonian Magazine.

Sculpture for National World War I Memorial receives national TV and print coverage

May 2022 was a great month for national awareness about the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, as work on the sculpture received great television and print coverage. First was Smithsonian Magazine (circulation on the order of 2 million) with a massive 16-paqe in-depth article about sculptor Sabin Howard's studio in New Jersey. Then shortly before Memorial Day, the Fox 5 New York television station visited the studio in Englewood for a terrific broadcast piece interviewing Howard and some modern-day veterans there to look at the sculpture in progress. The piece was picked up by dozens of Fox stations across the country and rebroadcast to millions of potential viewers nationwide, including Alaska and Hawaii. 

Fox5 New York interview with SH

Interview by Fox 5 televison station in New York was seen nationwide.


Apps image for Verizon announcement

The Doughboy Foundation partners with Verizon to bring WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer" AR App to K-12 educators 

Verizon innovative learning logo

The Doughboy Foundation and Verizon have executed a Partnership Agreement to bring the award-winning WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” App and other supporting WWI Educational materials to Verizon Innovative Learning HQ. The Verizon Innovative Learning HQ education portal focuses on delivering free Next-Gen learning for all. Aimed at K-12 students and teachers, the portal offers innovative augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps, tailored lesson plans and professional development resources that make learning contemporary, engaging, and immersive. Click here to read more about this exciting new partnership that will bring learning about America and World War I to schools all across the nation this fall.


Daily Taps at the National WWI Memorial

Matthew Barker, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Member: "Nothing is more humbling than playing Taps.”

Matthew Barker

This month, Matthew Barker, who prefers to be called Matt, shares his unique story with us as one of the buglers who sounds Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial, “Rain or Shine.” 

Says Matt, “I grew up in Houston, Texas, and currently live in Columbia, MD. I'm a full-time member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra trumpet section; I won that position in 2016. A trumpeter friend of mine who is the main bugler at the WW1 memorial graciously asked me to play Taps on occasion, as my schedule allows." Click here to read more, and find out how sounding Taps has a deeply personal meaning for Matt.


Army Band Rush Hour concerts

U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" is back for second year of Rush Hour Concerts at The National World War I Memorial in DC

Picking up where they left off in 2021, the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" is back at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC this summer for a series of Thursday Evening Rush Hour Concerts from June through September, weather permitting. The concerts are part of the band's 100th anniversary year. Here are the planned dates and times for the 2022 series:

  • Thursday, June 30, 6:30 pm, Brass Quintet
  • Thursday, July 7, 6:30 pm, Jazz Combo
  • Thursday, August 11, 6:30 pm, Army Band ensemble
  • Thursday, August 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.


National World War I Memorial has Doughboy in Uniform Playing 'Taps' Every Night

Taps bugler snip

The widely-read Military.com web site published an extensive article recently on the Doughboy Foundation's commitment to ensure that Taps is sounded every day at 5:00 pm Eastern Time, rain or shine, at the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. Writer Blake Stilwell looks at the history of Taps in America since it came into usage since the middle of the Civil War. Click here to read the entire fine article, and learn how the official "National Song of Remembrance" is "especially fitting for the National World War I Memorial."


American soldiers killed in WWI remembered forever in NYC ale house

McSorley’s Old Ale House snip

Every day is Memorial Day at McSorley’s Old Ale House in Manhattan. It has been for more than 100 years, courtesy of a haunting, dusty reminder of the last stateside meal enjoyed by young American men before they were killed in Europe in World War I. Click here to read the entire article, and learn how "Amid the bonhomie of a nostalgic neighborhood beer joint, McSorley’s quietly displays a haunting tribute to American doughboys whose wish for safe return from the battlefields of World War I was never granted."


On Memorial Day, remember Meuse-Argonne

John Henry Jenkins

Writer Chris Gibbon frequently chronicles the stories of the over 1,500 alumni of Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School who served in World War I. Thirty-four of them gave their lives. He writes "When I found the World War I Service and Compensation File of 1st Lieutenant John H. Jenkins, I immediately looked at the document’s “Engagements” section. I often do that now when reviewing these files because this section lists the battles in which a veteran fought, which will give me an idea of what he may have endured. There are two words I often find in this section that always give me pause." Click here to read the whole article, and learn how "the largest and deadliest battle ever fought by American soldiers" had a particular impact on the Roman alumni.


Corry, PA commemorates local WWI veteran for special service to nation

Corry PA sign Charles P. Keating

Members of the Corry community gathered on a warm and sunny Memorial Day afternoon to honor WWI veteran and Corry native Charles P. Keating, not only for his service in the war, but for the key role he played in selecting and bringing home America’s first unknown soldier, now buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. A historical marker recognizing Keating’s service was unveiled in front of the building where Keating and a partner operated the Alexander-Keating Funeral Home in the 1920s and early 30s. Click here to learn more about how Keating braved shellfire and mustard gas to retrieve and identify fallen American soldiers, and without whom the nation likely would not have recovered its first unknown soldier.


1st U.S. serviceman killed in WWI died in Maine, but who killed him is a mystery

Maine guns John Poor story 062022

On Saturday morning, March 24, 1917, a telegram messenger shouted the awful news from the front gate, across the Poor family’s Illinois front yard and into their windows. Their son was dead. Pvt. John Poor was killed the previous day in a midnight shootout at Fort Williams, far away, on the coast of Maine. German spies were thought to be responsible. Click here to read more, and learn how, though the country didn’t officially enter WWI for another 10 days, Poor’s death while guarding the seaside battery in Cape Elizabeth, likely made him the first serviceman to die in the line of duty while serving in the United States’ armed forces during the “War to End All Wars.”


Marines honor the fallen from WWI's Battle of Belleau Wood 104 years ago

Belleau Wood wreath

U.S. Marines participated in a memorial ceremony alongside representatives from the French and German militaries at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France, 29 May 2022. The ceremony is held annually in recognition of the Marines, soldiers and sailors of all three nations who fought and died in the Battle of Belleau Wood in June of 1918. Click here to learn how this annual event is "an essential part of the work for peace, and a foundation for the prevention of future wars."


Remembering Eddie Grant, Major League Baseball's first World War I fatality

Eddie Grant

Eddie Grant, a Harvard Law School graduate and a former third baseman who played for the Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and New York Giants, was the first major league baseball player killed in World War I. In all, seven other major league players lost their lives in the Great War. Click here to learn more about Grant, who enlisted at age 33 because "I believe there is no greater duty than I owe for being that which I am – an American citizen.’’


Providence, RI unveils the 3rd monument to local World War I soldier

Carlo Lafazia monument Rhode Island

"Hopefully the word 'finally' has come to pass, and we won’t be doing this again anytime soon," said Jeremiah O’Connor, as a new monument to his uncle, a fallen World War I soldier, was unveiled Friday. It's the third time O'Connor's family has tried to honor Carlo Lafazia, who was killed on French soil, fighting back the Germans in a final Allied assault during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He died Oct. 11, 1918, one month before the war ended. Click here to read more, and learn how two previous memorials to Lafazia in Providence disappeared or were destroyed.


A life remembered: World War I soldier exhibited bravery on, off the battlefield

Milton Barkley Mackall funeral snip

In the shade of an old beech tree at the Christ Church cemetery in Port Republic sits a dark gray headstone pockmarked with splotches of moss. While his grave may be unassuming, the life of First Lt. Milton Barkley Mackall was anything but. After being seriously injured in World War I by a sniper's bullet to his spine, Mackall spent six years confined to a bathtub.  Click here to read more, and learn how “Mackall’s story is the most unique from that era because of his circumstance of treatment.


Louisiana’s Fort Polk could be renamed after WWI hero William Henry Johnson

William Henry Johnson

Louisiana’s Fort Polk could be renamed, along with eight other U.S. Army installations around the nation which were originally named for Confederate leaders. The announcement comes from the military’s Naming Commission, which has submitted its report to Congress. Under the recommendation, Fort Polk could be renamed to Fort Johnson, in honor of Sgt. William Henry Johnson, an African-American World War I Medal of Honor recipient from North Carolina who served in the 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment. Click here to read more about Johnson's heroic service in World War I, and the Naming Commission's report.


Over there: rethinking American First World War literature and culture

First World War studies

The journal First World War Studies has published a Special Issue that examines "the specifically American literary and cultural production of the First World War and what distinguishes it from other national war literatures and cultures." In her introduction to the special issue, Alice Kelly says that "the articles seek to assess how we should characterize, theorize and categorize American First World War cultural production.Click here to read more, and learn why "Despite the many memorials and memory sites to American participation, and the impact of the recent centenary, public memory of the conflict in the US remains minimal..." 


“We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us.” 

Chris Isleib

The University of Sothern California's SC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences recently published an article in its magazine featuring USC Dornsife and WWI Centennial Commission alumnus Chris Isleib, noting how he "helped create the first national memorial for World War I veterans, part of a long career spent telling the stories of America’s military."  Click here to read the entire article, and see how the self-described "big history nerd" learned about the Centennial Commission and became one of its first volunteers and later a full-time employee as the Director of Public Affairs.


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Education Module for all ages

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Education Module

As part of the centennial commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) released a special Tomb of the Unknown Soldier education module. This module explores themes and topics related to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier through digital materials created for audiences of all ages. This module was the fourth education module released as part of Arlington National Cemetery’s (ANC) first Education Program, launched in 2020. Click here to read more, and learn about the centrality of World War I to the story of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 


This is how Eddie Rickenbacker earned
7 service crosses and the Medal of Honor

Eddie Rickenbacker

Once America entered World War I some of the first forces it sent to France were those of the newly-formed Air Service. Among those troops was a relatively famous racecar driver and mechanic: Eddie Rickenbacker. When Rickenbacker enlisted in the Army, he had dreams of flying but was shipped to France as a driver for the General Staff due to his experience as a racecar driver. His advanced age (27 at the time) and lack of a college degree also disqualified him for flight training – but he was undeterred. Click here to read more, and learn how "friends in high places" got Rickenbacker into flight training, and how he got himself into the history books as America’s "Ace of Aces."


Hidden History: the "Hello Girls" of WWI

Hello Girls switchboard

Writing  for the Daily Kos web site, Lenny Flank takes a look at how "during the First World War, the US Army depended for most of its tactical communications upon a small group of female volunteers called 'the Hello Girls'." He notes how, for military communications, "the armies of the First World War turned to another new technology—the telephone...During the Great War, troops on all sides laid thousands of miles of telephone wires." Flank notes further that "When the United States entered the war in 1917, General John “Black Jack” Pershing needed to set up a similar communications network. But there was a problem: the US Signal Corps had fewer than 1600 men, and most of them were telegraph operators who had never been trained to run a telephone switchboard." Click here to read the entire article, and learn how Pershing asked the famous "Hello Girls" to solve his critical problem, and how they responded.


The Man Nobody Knew and Facial Wound Narratives after World War I

Isolation Ward at US Army General Hospital No. 40

Writing for the Nursing Clio collaborative blog project web site, Evan Sullivan uses a 1919 novel that "reflected the American public’s simultaneous confidence in medicine, and searing unease about the facial reconstruction of wounded soldiers after World War I" as the springboard for a look at the work of US Army General Hospital No. 40 in St. Louis to reintegrate facially wounded WWI veterans into postwar society. Click here to read the fascinating story, and learn how the effort to focus on "medical transformation rather than trauma" was a common (and unfortunate) factor in both the novel and the Army hospital's work.


Two U.S. Army soldiers who served
in both the Civil War and World War I

Hains and Keen

The Civil War in the United States ended on May 9, 1865. The United States entered World War I on April 6, 2022. (That's 51 years, 10 months, 29 days, if anyone is counting.) Yet there are two United States Army officers who managed to serve in both conflicts. Major General Peter Conover Hains was a 1st Lieutenant at the first battle of Bull Run when he fired the signal gun that started the battle. He finished WWI as the oldest officer in the service. Click here to learn more about his incredible career, and why Washington, DC remembers his name to this day. Major (Dr.) William Williams Keen, Jr. was a pioneering military doctor whose career spanned surgical duty on the bloody battlefields of the American Civil War through influential research work during World War I. Click here to read more about "America's first brain surgeon," and learn how Keen's work led to significant improvements in battlefield survival rates during conflicts in the 20th century.


America's Experimental Helmets of WWI

Model 8 Experimental Helmet

When America entered World War I in 1918, the United States military was equipped with the then-modern Model 1903 Springfield rifle, but it lagged behind in new technologies like machine guns, and modern metal helmets.  Most U.S. soldiers were issued a helmet that wasn’t really all that different from the British MkI “Tin Hat,” which had been introduced in the early months of 1916. The United States would continue to wear the basic helmet — albeit with an updated liner — until 1940. Yet, largely forgotten is the fact that the United States had sought to develop its own helmet during the war. Click here to read more, and learn how several models were actually considered, how Dr. Bashford Dean became an important name in the discussion.


Pickelhaube Pyramids: A hat tip to the strangest monuments of World War I

Pickelhaube Pyramids snip

British historian Dr. Mark Felton takes a look on his YouTube channel at how, in New York in 1919, two strange pyramids were built as part of US victory celebrations. The pyramids were made from captured German Pickelhaube, the iconic spiked helmet. Click here to view the video, and read the accompanying article from the Rare Historical Photos web site, as Felton explores the long and colorful history of the iconic Pickelhaube, how they fell ingloriously out of use in the carnage of World War I, how the artifacts ended up in New York City after the war, and how there could be one still floating around out there that might be worth a whole lot of money.


World War I News Digest June 2022

Doughboys marching snip  

World War I was The War that Changed the World, and its impact on the United States continues to be felt a century later, as people across the nation learn more about and remember those who served in the Great War. Here's a collection of news items from the last month related to World War I and America.


What Was a Doughboy?

Reviewing A Machine-Gunner In France

WWI Memorial one of 10 New Attractions to Visit in D.C.

Who Are They? Men in the 369th Infantry Iconic Photo

The Harlem Hellfighters of World War I

Michigan-Wisconsin division had major role in World War I

Landmarks Illinois publishes WWI Monuments of Illinois Database

Three East Greenwich WWI Veterans Who Didn’t Come Home

Ripon American Legion named for 1st casualties of WWI, WWII

Seven Indiana WWI heroes followed for PBS documentary

Memorial Day: The True Reason for the Season


Doughboy MIA for June 2022

Arnold Matthew McInery.

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is 1st LT Arnold Matthew McInery. 

Born April 23rd, 1893, Lieutenant McInery was a student at Notre Dame University when war broke out. He enlisted in the first officer’s training program at Ft. Benjamin Harrison on May 15th, 1917. Upon completion of his training he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and went overseas with the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division. While leading his company into an attack during the Battle of Soissons on July 18th, 1918, Lt. McInery was killed in action and interred in a makeshift battlefield grave, which was never located after. The company he led into battle that day was later decorated by the French for bravery in action during that attack. 

Would you like to help us solve this case?  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

WWI Poppy Lapel Pin

Poppy Lapel Pin

Back in stock!

♦ Exclusive Commemorative WW1 Poppy Lapel Pin

♦ First Colors Commemoration

♦ Soft enamel color design

♦ Approx. 1.5 inch in dia.

♦ Standard military clasp

Proceeds from the sale of these pins will help finish the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the Doughboy Foundation.



Michele Francalangia

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

 

Michele Francalangia

Submitted by: Maria Pietrantuono {great grand-niece}

Michele Francalangia born around January 28, 1898 . Michele Francalangia served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1917.

Story of Service

Michele Francalangia was born on January 28, 1898 in Campodipietra in the province of Campobasso to Carlo Francalangia and Beatrice Paventi. He spent his childhood in Molise until he was sixteen when, on boarding from Naples in 1914, he joined his brother Giovanni in Cleveland in the state of Ohio where he had settled for a few years working for a steel mill. Shortly after his arrival, he joined another brother, Antonio, in the mining communities of West Virginia where, in June 28, 1917, he volunteered for the American army, enlisted in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. Michele (Franch as reported on the service documents) initially became part of the C battery of the 17th field artillery regiment organized at Camp Robinson in Wisconsin and then of the 2nd battery of the 7th field artillery regiment.

The recruits crossed the ocean on October 31, 1917 aboard the Mount Vernon transport and once in France Michele was transferred to the F Battery of the 5th Artillery Regiment. After an initial garrison of the Sommerville and Ansauville sector, the 5th supported the operations of the first AEF division and the 60th French division in the Montdidier sector from April to July 1918.

During those weeks, the regiment fired between 5,000 and 15,000 bullets a day, contributing significantly to the interruption of German communications and the capture of the village of Cantigny.

Click here to read Michele Francalangia's entire Story of Service.

Click here to submit your family's Story of Service.


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