A Machine Gunner In France header 

Reviewing A Machine-Gunner In France 

By David Retherford
via The Strategy Bridge web site 

In A Machine-Gunner In France, Captain Ward Schrantz has written a detailed account of his personal experiences during a 22-month deployment covering his mobilization in the United States, his combat involvement on The Western Front, and his demobilization back to the United States during the First World War. Schrantz’s memoir was written with the goal of leaving a record of Company A, 128th Machine Gun Battalion (MGB), 35th Infantry Division’s involvement in the First World War.

A Machine Gunner in France coverEditor Jeffrey L. Patrick should be commended for compiling Schrantz’s unfinished memoir and adding research material from archival sources, newspapers, and other memoirs to produce a well-rounded account of the 128th MGB. Schrantz’s account was executed with minute details that highlight the sacrifices and hardships endured by the soldiers of Company A, and a general reader with limited knowledge of the 35th Infantry Division’s role in the First World War may not benefit as much from the elaborate detail left by Schrantz or the archival work added by Patrick. But this is ultimately a book about one soldier before, during, and after the First World War.

Captain Schrantz served as the company commander of A CO, 128th MGB, 35th Infantry Division, a National Guard unit before and during the First World War. Along with most of the soldiers serving with him, Schrantz was born and raised in Carthage, Missouri, and began his military career in 1909.[1] When the United States declared war on Germany, Schrantz was voted to the rank of Captain, a position he maintained throughout the war.

Readers looking for a detailed account of the 35th Infantry Division’s involvement during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive will only find Schrantz’s personal viewpoint as a company commander, not a strategic view of the campaign. Schrantz purposely refrained from discussing the failures of the 35th Infantry Division. Academic researchers looking for supporting material, however, will find beneficial research material that warrants reading.

Academic researchers or general readers looking for a story about military camp life will find precise and specific detail in Schrantz’s book. Nearly one-third of the book deals with mobilization and troop movements prior to the unit entering the trenches. Readers interested in the weather faced by the soldiers at Camp Doniphan, Oklahoma, will find a detailed account of the living conditions faced by the 128th.[2] Army camp life and cultural observation with troop movements were well documented.

A few major observations made in the book warrant a detailed review. The first was the lack of clear internal communications within the units of the 35th Division. Second, the contemptuous relationship between officers and medical officers. And third, machine gun equipment layout.


 Maj. DrPhoto By Janet Aker | Dr. William Williams Keen Jr was a medical surgeon during the Civil War who afterwards advocated and researched medical advances so the horrors of Civil War-era medicine would not occur again. He also served in the Army during World War I.

'America’s First Brain Surgeon' Served During Civil War and World War I 

By Janet Aker
via the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DIVDS) web site 

Army Maj. (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.

Once known as "America's first brain surgeon," Keen helped propel numerous advances in medicine. He played a key role in the birth of bacteriology, neurology, use of antisepsis, sterile surgical techniques, brain surgery, and the breakthrough discovery that insects carry and spread diseases.

With a unique perspective after serving in two cataclysmic wars, Keen wrote a 1918 paperJournal article, Military Surgery in 1861 and in 1918 on JSTOR's website called "Military Surgery in 1861 and in 1918."

In it, he marveled at the knowledge gained in the field of military medicine during his 50 years of service and expressed his excitement for what was to come in the next 50 years and beyond, according to staff at the National Museum of Health and MedicineNational Museum of Health and Medicine website in Silver Spring, Maryland.

In his influential paperJournal article, Military Surgery in 1861 and in 1918 on JSTOR's website, Keen lamented the countless deaths during the Civil War that could have been avoided with better military field surgical techniques and surgeons with advanced knowledge.

"Between these two dates is a veritable chasm of ignorance which we can only really appreciate when we peer over its edge and discover how broad and deep it is," he wrote.

"Clinical observation has done much, but research and chiefly experimental research, has done far more."

"Research has not yet ceased to give us better and better methods of coping with disease and death, and – thank God – it will never cease so long as disease and death continue to afflict the human race," he wrote.

Keen's work played an important role in the significant improvements in battlefield survival rates during conflicts in the 20th century.


The National World War I Memorial, Washington, DCThe National World War One Memorial opened in Washington, DC on April 17, 2021. The sculpture is still being finalized. The Memorial is open 24 hours for visitors. Taps is played at the Memorial daily at 5:00 pm Eastern. 

10 New Attractions to Visit in Washington, D.C. 

By Kitty Bean Yancey
via the AARP web site

The free Smithsonian museums, majestic monuments and spring cherry blossoms are tourist staples in Washington, D.C. But even if you’ve been-there-done-that, there are loads of new reasons to visit our nation’s capital in 2022 — including a few visitor favorites now reopened after pandemic shutdowns.

Planet Word Museum

The museum is fully accessible and lends visitors a limited number of wheelchairs.

Visit: Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; reserve tickets online (there’s no entrance fee, though donations of $10–$15 are encouraged); 925 13th St. NW; 202-931-3139; planetwordmuseum.org

Revived White House tours

Public tours restarted in April, after a long COVID-related pause. The free peeks into public rooms are first come, first served and must be booked through the office of a member of Congress. Reach out to your member of Congress and Congressional Tour Coordinator through the U.S. House of Representatives switchboard at 202-225-3121, the U.S. Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121, or online at www.congress.gov/members. You’ll want to plan ahead: Requests for tickets must be submitted three weeks to 90 days in advance. The self-guided tours of the East Wing include the State Dining Room, Red Room, Green Room, Blue Room and the China Room, which displays tableware of past presidents — but the Oval Office is off-limits. Secret Service members stationed in the rooms can answer questions.

Visit: The free tours are currently only available from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 


 hellogirls1The "Hello Girls" performed the vital task of connecting incoming and outgoing telephone calls for the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, and also served as real-time translators between French and American officers so that orders could be understood. This was vital for tasks such as planning operations and coordinating infantry attacks or artillery barrages.

Hidden History: The "Hello Girls" of World War I 

By Lenny Flank
via the Daily Kos web site

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”.

Between the American Civil War in 1860 and the First World War in 1914, the world’s militaries had changed significantly. At Gettysburg and Petersburg, division generals usually led from the front, and were able to examine the frontlines and see for themselves where their forces were and what situation they were in. Most tactical orders were hand-written on the spot and went by courier.

By 1914, however, armies had become so huge and so widely scattered that nobody at the front could see the bigger picture, and commanding generals were now ensconced at the rear, in a central headquarters where they had to piece together a picture of the battlefield from reports which they received from the frontline commanders, then issue their orders.

During the Civil War, some of these rear-area communications came and went by telegraph, but this was slow, vulnerable to enemy disruption, and required specially trained operators. By the First World War, a new invention had appeared—wireless radio. It promised to revolutionize military communications. But in 1914 radio was not yet suitable for use at the front: unless they were securely encrypted, radio signals could be easily intercepted by the enemy, and the process of encoding and decoding meant that radio was of limited usefulness for rapid battlefield communications.

Instead, the armies of the First World War turned to another new technology—the telephone. Unlike radio signals which could be easily intercepted, telephone signals traveled by wires which were inaccessible to enemy eavesdroppers and allowed secure communications. During the Great War, troops on all sides laid thousands of miles of telephone wires that radiated out from the rear headquarters to connect the generals with their units in the front lines. In both the Entente and the Central Powers armies, nearly every order to advance, retreat or hold ground was carried by a telephone line.

When the United States entered the war in 1917, General John “Black Jack” Pershing needed to set up a similar communications network. But in this area, as in so many others, the US Army found itself utterly unprepared for a major war: 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. 


 article skunkworks in the trenches americas experimental helmets of wwi 2At the outset of WWI, the U.S. was under-equipped. In addition to not having its own steel helmet, American troops deployed with a version of the French Chauchat machine gun.

America's Experimental Helmets of World War I 

By Peter Suciu
via Springfield Armory's The Armory Life web site 

 When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917 and entered the First World War, it was woefully unprepared for the horrors that lay ahead. The conflict, which had devolved into a bloody stalemate, had seen the development of much new military technology. Tanks and airplanes had been employed to turn the tide, while horrific new tactics that involved poison gas and even tunneling under the trenches to blow up the enemy were introduced.

Millions were already dead by the time America joined the fray. It was truly a different conflict than what had begun in August 1914. The colorful French uniforms that included red trousers and the German spiked helmets (pickelhaube) had given way to muted colors and steel helmets.

While the United States military was equipped with the then-modern Model 1903 Springfield rifle, it lagged behind when it came to machine guns — and in the early stages of the American involvement, Doughboys were equipped with the French Chauchat.

Meanwhile, 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. Several models were actually considered, and that is where the name Dr. Bashford Dean typically enters the story. While his work in WWI American helmet development was significant, Dean’s greatest contribution to the world of helmet collecting actually was his book, Helmets and Body Armor in Modern Warfare, which was first published just after his death by the Yale University Press. That book has been the premier reference for helmets of the early 20th century, but it has also served to perpetrate the myth of Dean.

While it is true that Dean played an important role in the development of various experimental helmets, Dean was not the only individual involved in the effort to develop a superior helmet.

“The French had an active experimental helmet program during the First World War, and they had some half dozen models, even as they stuck with the Model 1915 ‘Adrian’ helmet,” explained advanced helmet collector Ian Henry, author of a forthcoming book on U.S. experimental helmets of the era.

“What we know about Dean is that he was quite enthusiastic about designing a U.S. helmet, and that came from his interest in armor,” added Henry.


 Stevie Award headerThe U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" plays as the Star Spangled Banner is raised for the first time over the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. on April 6, 2021, part of the "First Colors" Ceremony that signaled the Memorial was open to the public.

First Colors Ceremony at National World War I Memorial Honored with Multiple Awards 

via Susan Davis International 

Logos stackedSusan Davis International (SDI), 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 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.

SDI, a full-service international public affairs, strategic communications and special events agency based in Washington, D.C., and the commission have worked together since 2017. SDI has helped the Commission fulfill its mission of honoring the centennial anniversary of the heroism and sacrifice of the 4.7 million Americans who served in World War I.

In spring 2021, SDI led the media outreach for the First Colors Ceremony, the first official raising of the colors at the new national World War l Memorial. The ceremony featured remarks from President Joe Biden and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley. The flag raising ceremony and opening of the World War I Memorial attracted international coverage from the New York Times, The Guardian, Good Morning America, Gray TV affiliate stations and more.

The First Colors Ceremony also won PRNews’ Platinum PR Award for Event PR/Marketing. The Platinum PR Awards have been described as the “most coveted and competitive award” in the communications space. Other recognition of the event includes an honorable mention in the Event PR category for PRNews’ Nonprofit awards for the “First Colors Ceremony.”

This is not the first time SDI and the World War I Commission have been honored for their work together. In 2018, the American Business Awards honored the “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of America’s entry into World War I” event with a Gold Stevie in the Best Event category. That event took place at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City

Finally, in 2019 PR Daily Media Relation awards recognized “A First Look at the National World War I Memorial, Washington D.C” for the Stunt or Special Event category.

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Doughboys marchingHistorical accounts show that U.S. infantry (foot) soldiers had been called “Doughboys” as early as the Mexican-American War (1846-48), but the actual origin of the term remains a matter of speculation. During World War I, the term was universally adopted as the nickname for all American troops who went overseas to fight.

What Was a Doughboy? 

By Mary McMahon
via the wisegeek.com web site 

 The slang term “doughboy” was used to refer to American infantry soldiers through the First World War, although the term fell out of popularity after that point. Despite the rumor that Europeans coined the term because Americans were “slow to rise” to join the First World War, infantry soldiers were also called doughboys during the Mexican American War, from 1846-1847, and it is likely that the term because widespread during that period. Like slang terms in many languages, the origins of the word are rather murky, and there are a number of competing theories to explain how the doughboy came to be.

Before examining the theories for the origins of the term, it is important to look at how it was used. Initially, members of the mounted cavalry used "doughboy" as a derogatory term for members of the infantry, who were generally looked down upon by other members of the armed forces. Infantry kits and supplies were also referred to using the moniker “doughboy,” to distinguish them from cavalry supplies, which were often of higher quality. By World War One, however, the doughboys had adopted the term for themselves, and were using it in letters home and to describe themselves. Official military dispatches and publications also began to refer to members of the infantry as doughboys, and Europeans used the word as a blanket term for all American soldiers, or Yanks.

The most likely explanation for the origins of “doughboy” is tied in with the Mexican American War. During long marches, the infantry would stir up large amounts of dust and dirt, closing the day looking like clay figures. Their dirty faces and uniforms resembled the adobe structures used throughout the American Southwest, and it is possible that the cavalry teased the infantry by calling them “adobe boys,” and that the term was corrupted into “doughboy”.

The term may also be related to baked goods. The mounded buttons on infantry uniforms resembled the small pastries known as doughboys, and it is also probable that a number of young bakers apprentices sought their fortunes in the war. Some theorists have also suggested that many infantry meals included doughy breads baked in camp fires, although this theory is not very plausible, since the whole army presumably ate the same food. However, since the infantry moved at a slower rate than the cavalry, it is possible that their bread tended to be more doughy, since it did not have time to cook properly, and this is a possible explanation for the doughboy title.


 Isolation Ward US Army hospitalUS Army General Hospital No. 40 in St. Louis kept American soldier patients with facial wounds under a “visual quarantine”; the men lived in a building that was physically separated from the rest of the hospital by a wooden ramp.

Holworthy Hall’s The Man Nobody Knew and Facial Wound Narratives after World War I 

By Evan P. Sullivan
via the Nursing Clio collaborative blog project web site

In his 1919 novel The Man Nobody Knew, Holworthy Hall introduced readers to Richard Morgan, a fictional American soldier who enlisted in the French Foreign Legion during World War I.[1] Disaffected from his hometown of Syracuse, New York and a broken engagement, Morgan fought in the war to prove his worth to society. Authorities reported Richard Morgan as dead shortly after he arrived in France in 1915, but he had actually suffered a severe facial wound and was recuperating, anonymously, in a French hospital. Despondent about his disfigurement, he found hope after hearing that surgeons could reconstruct his face to appear as it had before the war, as long as Morgan gave them a photograph of himself to guide their reconstruction. Rather than lend a pre-war photo, Morgan gave surgeons a postcard that depicted an attractive image of Jesus Christ. Morgan obtained his new sanctified face and went home to reclaim his lost love.[2] It might be easy to write this story off as silly fiction, but Hall’s Richard Morgan saga reflected the American public’s simultaneous confidence in medicine, and searing unease about the facial reconstruction of wounded soldiers after World War I.

Facial wounds loomed large in the cultural milieu of belligerent societies after the war. Shrapnel, mustard gas, and bullets disfigured hundreds of thousands of soldiers’ faces.[3] There were even specific terms in France and Germany that invoked the traumatic nature of facial wounds: the French called them les gueules cassées (the men with broken faces); the Germans called them Gesichts-Entstellten (twisted face) or Menschen ohne Gesicht (men without faces)[4] Historian Marjorie Gehrhardt has argued that such wounds were both “very personal and extremely public,” and though these men tried to live ordinary lives after 1918, they became embodied reminders of the war’s carnage.[5] When leaders of the belligerent nations came together to sign the Treaty of Versailles, for example, the French delegation sent a group of facially-wounded veterans to serve as “a living protest to the German delegation.”[6]

The US Army struggled to reintegrate facially wounded veterans into postwar society. Over 2,000 American soldiers had facial or jaw wounds, and 600 of those soldiers required extensive surgery in hospitals in the United States.[7] At US Army General Hospital No. 40 in St. Louis, American surgeon Vilray Blair assumed a similar role to his European counterpart, Harold Gillies, who famously operated on facially wounded soldiers at Queens Hospital in England.[8] Under Blair’s direction, the St. Louis hospital kept American patients under a “visual quarantine”; the men lived in a building that was physically separated from the rest of the hospital by a wooden ramp.[9] The isolated patients usually endured eight to ten surgeries over a period of months or sometimes years in order to achieve restoration to a “normal type.”[10] The ramp that separated them, one observer optimistically wrote, was a bridge “not of sighs” but of “joy and light and laughter, for over it men pass, their jaws show away, every tooth gone, noses and cheeks cruelly torn, a sight to make angels weep; and back again they may come in time, restored to a normal type.”[11]


369th group croppedNine men from the 369th Infantry, Harlem Hellfighters, posing for an iconic photo on their return home from World War One. 

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

via the National Park Service web site 

The photo at the top of the page was taken on February 12, 1919, as soldiers from the 369th Infantry Regiment were waiting to disembark in New York on their way home from the Great War in Europe. This photo is one of several iconic photos of the 369th Infantry. Few of them, however, were accompanied by captions giving the soldiers’ names or anything about them. The 369th Infantry, whose members called themselves Harlem’s Rattlers, was the most famous all-Black regiment to fight during World War I. By the end of the war, France awarded the regiment the Croix de Guerre. One hundred-seventy-one of the regiment’s men received individual Croix de Guerre medals for their valor. Several soldiers were also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. In 2015, Henry Johnson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the war.

Henry Davis Primas, Sr. (Far left, back row)Henry Davis Primas Jr 2

Henry Primas was born on May 26, 1894, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Meshach and Annette Wilson Primas. Henry graduated with a pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1914. He enlisted on November 16, 1917. Due to his education, he was transferred to the 369th Infantry Medical Detachment. During World War I, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery. He was honorably discharged on February 24, 1919. After being discharged, Primas returned home to Pittsburgh and worked as a pharmacist. He later retired from the U.S. Post Office. He died on May 3, 1961, at the age of 66. He was buried at Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

Daniel W. Storms, Jr. (second from left, back row)

Daniel Storms was born in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1885. He worked as a hostler (a person who took care of horses in the stables of an inn) and a house cleaner. In 1915, Storms and his wife, Amy Price, lived in New York City. He enlisted in the 369th Infantry on May 8, 1917, at the age of 33. He was promoted to sergeant on December 4, 1918. During the Great War, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre by France. He was discharged from the Army on February 24, 1919. After the war, he returned to New York City and worked as an elevator operator and janitor. He died on February 28, 1922, at the age of 36, from complications from tuberculosis. He was buried in Woodland Cemetery in Stamford, Connecticut.


Lusitania sinkingA German U-boat torpedoed the British-owned steamship Lusitania, killing 1,195 people including 128 Americans, on May 7, 1915. The disaster set off a chain of events that led to the U.S. entering World War I. Image via The History Channel.

Commissioner O'Connell has family link to Lusitania tragedy

Libby O'ConnellLibby O'Connell

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.

Wiley200 1As the 100th anniversary of the historic sinking approached, O’Connell, then Chief Historian for the History Channel, was finally able to piece together the fascinating details of her great-great grandmother’s life.

Catherine Sterrit was a singer and pianist in Pennsylvania when she divorced her first husband and remarried. It was this second marriage to Cameron Willey, unknown to O’Connell during her initial archives search, which finally led her to discover the truth.

When her second marriage also ended in divorce—an almost unheard of circumstance in the early part of the 20th century--Catherine Willey left the country. “Like so many other women of her time who had the means, she left America and went to Paris,” O’Connell said. At the outbreak of war in Europe, Willey returned to the United States to visit family and raise money for those in need. “She collected money and jewelry and planned to use the proceeds to set up a home for penniless war widows,” O’Connell said.

Despite German warnings that any ship flying the flag of Great Britain would be sunk upon entering the war zone, Willey was one of more than 1,900 passengers aboard the Lusitania when it sailed from New York’s Pier 54 on May 1, 1915.

The Lusitania was sunk by a single torpedo, killing more than 1,100 passengers and crew, including Catherine Willey.

The sinking of the Lusitania was “one of the pivotal moments of World War I,” O’Connell said. “The United States was neutral at the time, but the sinking brought us much closer to joining the war.” Still, it would be nearly two years before the U.S. officially entered the conflict.



 Norwich 15cm Howitzer 5Norwich's "Kreigsbeute" World War I German howitzer. Fundraising for restoration of the howitzer as a memorial has proved challenging, but the Norwich World War I Memorial Committee is hoping that a schedule of upcoming events will help get the funds to restore the WWI treasure.

Norwich, CT holds golf tournament May 25, "Doughnut Day" event June 4 to raise funds for WWI memorial cannon

Donut Flyer 2022 The World War I Memorial Commission in Norwich, CT is planning events to help raise funds that will pay for the restoration of the centerpiece of a local World War I Memorial.

The captured WWI 15cm Krupp's field gun (howitzer), which was presented to the city as a trophy of war by American Legion Post #4 in 1926, had fallen into disrepair. The cannon's wheels deteriorated so much that it was deemed to be unsafe for public display, and it was removed from its place of honor on Chelsea Parade, and chained to a fence in a remote, woodsy part of nearby Mohegan Park.

The Committee, in copperation with the Norwich City Hostorian, are trying to bring it back into the public eye - hopefully by 2026, the hundredth anniversary of its arrival in Norwich.

Golf_Tournament_flyer_crop.jpgOn Wednesday, May 25, a golf tournament will take place at the Norwich Golf Course. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m. EDT, with the shotgun start at 11:00 a.m. The tournament registration fee includes use of golf cart, on-course barbecue, and a $5.00 drink voucher. Prizes will be awarded for low gross and net second and third place. For more information, contact Mike Gualtieri at 869-861-4717. Sponsorships for the tournament are available.

On Saturday, June 4th, the Committee is holding its 2nd Annual Doughnut Day from 10 A.M.-3 P.M. A World War I field kitchen will be set up by uniformed re-enactors on the historic Norwichtown Green, and "doughnut girls" will be making doughnuts.

A uniformed demonstrator is scheduled to give a presentation in the about carrier/homing pigeons in WWI; and there will also be a Sgt. Stubby look-alike contest.

Interspersed with those activities, Tom Callinan, Connecticut's 1st Official State Troubadour, will be performing a 60-minute program of "Songs From And About The Great War" from noon-1:00 P.M.

These events are sponsored by the Norwich City Historian and the Norwich WWI Memorial Committee.

If you can't make it to the golf tournament or the Donut Day, but you would like to support the restoration of the WWI cannon for the Memorial, you can send your donation check to: City of Norwich, CT, 100 Broadway, Norwich, CT, Attention: Finance Department. Thanks for your donation to honor the Norwich citizens who were killed in battle during WWI, and all who served.



Aaron Richard Fisher hostorical marker 

Hometown hero honored with historical marker

By Ann Powell
via the Tristate Homepage web site 

GIBSON COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) 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 town.

Lyles Station Historical School and Museum unveiled a historical marker to honor him this afternoon.

Fisher was born on a farm in Lyles Station, Indiana and went on to become one of the most decorated African American soldiers from Indiana.

“They say this one time, he came down the street down here and his jacket was lopsided because of all the medals he had accomplished,” said Stanley Madison. President and Founder of Lyles Station Historical Preservation Corporation.

He received the Distinguished Service Cross Award, which is the second highest military honor.

“The award is prestigious and rarely given,” said Dr. Randy Mills, Professor/Journal of the Liberal Arts and Science Editor at Oakland City University.

According to Dr. Mills, only four other people in Gibson County have the award. This is just one of the reasons why the Lyles Station Historical School and Museum created the marker. It is the fifth marker in Gibson County. It comes 20 years after the same museum dedicated the first historical marker in Gibson County.

Hoosiers from hundreds of miles away came. Elizabeth Mitchell is from Bloomington and has been to the site several times.

“This is one way to honor the community and it was important for me to be here and to bring my grandson, whom I am trying to teach about the contributions of African Americans to this nation,” Mitchell said.


EMS week Boston montage

World War I Veteran to be celebrated May 20 during EMS Week at National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC

By George Whitehair and Leigh Ferrier
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 

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 corp and a hospital, both of which continue to serve their communities almost 100 years later. His name is Dr. Frank Erdman Boston and he will be honored at the World War I Memorial along with all EMS workers during EMS week May 15-21, 2022. The Memorial is located at the former Pershing Park, along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 14th Street NW and 15th Street NW, across from the White House Visitor Center.Ambulance antique

Dr. Boston signifies how, as horrific as war is, the men and women who serve take those experiences with them and many, like Dr. Boston, apply those experiences for the public good. Wartime experiences have led to significant developments in civilian health care and emergency medical services (EMS), including advances in emergency medicine, triage and the ambulance corp. Medical breakthroughs and discoveries made during battlefield conflicts, have contributed to improved emergency care, advancements in surgical and emergency procedures and the development of a professional ambulance corps for the transportation and treatment of the injured.

“EMS has come a long way since the civil war when Dr. Jonathan Letterman is credited with starting the very first Ambulance Corps, training men to assist and then transport the wounded, and introducing the concept of triage medicine,” added Dr. Alvin Wang, Chief Medical Officer & Regional EMS Medical Director, Montgomery County PA and one of the speakers at this upcoming event.

EMS Week is a time to thank paramedics, EMTs and the entire Emergency Medical Services workforce for their service and sacrifices. “This year Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week is especially important as medical providers around the country remain on the COVID-19 front lines, fighting a pandemic that has claimed almost 600,000 American lives.” Kristy Van Hoven, Director, National EMS Museum, who will also exhibit a 1954 Packard Ambulance at the event. EMS Week celebrates the positive impact EMS providers have on the health and safety of people across the country.

EMS Week celebrates the positive impact EMS providers have on the health and safety of people across the country. Recognized since 1974, the 46th annual celebration for EMS Week is scheduled for the week of May 16-22. In Dr. Boston’s case, he started his professional ambulance service in 1933, almost forty (40) years before the official recognition of EMS workers.