Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Author: James Patton (page 1 of 29)

The National Guard is 383 years old today

The National Guard traces its existence to December 13th, 1636. These citizen soldiers have served in all of our nation’s conflicts, and in the First World War the 26th through 42nd Divisions of the American Expeditionary Force were composed of Guardsmen. You can read more about this here. Happy Birthday to the Guard! ...read more

False Memory: What We “Know” About WW1

In this recorded lecture Stephen Badsey Ph. D (Cambridge) FRHistR, for 19 years a professor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and now on the faculty at the University of Wolverhampton, discusses the myths and misconceptions that have passed down to us about World War 1. Click here to see the whole presentation on YouTube. Settle in, though, because it lasts over 47 minutes. ...read more

USAF Recognizes the Lafayette Escadrille

Four USAF F-22’s fly over the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial at Marnes-la-Coquette in April 2016. USAF photograph

A superb documentary film about the Lafayette Escadrille premiered on November 9th at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Ohio. Read the whole story by clicking here.

Also well worth a read is the 2007 monograph entitled Like a Thunderbolt, produced by the Air Force Historical Studies Office. You can download it here, courtesy of The Doughboy Center. ...read more

The Story Behind the Painting ‘Gassed’

In the spring of last year John Singer Sargent’s iconic work was displayed at the National World War 1 Museum in Kansas City.

The famous photograph shown above, also from the Imperial War Museum Collection, may have inspired Sargent. The image was taken at an Advance Dressing Station near Béthune, France on April 10th, 1918.The gassed soldiers are from the 55th (West Lancashire) Division, a territorial force formation, which single-handedly stopped a German advance towards the vital rail center at Hazebrouck. The 55th had been paired with the Portuguese 2nd Division, which quickly broke into a full rout, leaving the ‘terriers’ alone in the line for over three days. Although the combat was intense, they didn’t yield. ...read more

More about Nick Metcalfe’s Project

Nick Metcalfe MBE

Regular readers may recall that I posted about Metcalfe’s project to find and properly mark all burials in the U.S. of persons who served in the British Imperial Forces in World War 1, and in August of 2017 I reported that his project had located two such burials in Kansas, You can read about this by clicking here. ...read more

Doughboy MIA

Only the British and the Americans attempted to keep track of the number of their missing, and the official counts are still changing as the remains of fallen soldiers are regularly found in the areas of France and Belgium that were the battle grounds of the Western Front. Every now and then an American soldier is found, particularly in the Meuse Argonne. ...read more

The Black Colts

Gun collectors and WW1 enthusiasts – Colt’s Manufacturing Co. are re-issuing their 1918 U.S. Army contract version of the .45 ACP M-1911 automatic pistol in blackened metal. These new units are faithful in every detail. Click on this link for more information. ...read more

Michiline Resco Pershing

Gen. John J. Pershing (1860-1948) was the consummate professional soldier – utterly dedicated to duty. He didn’t marry until his forty-fifth year, to Helen “Frankie” Warren (1880-1915), the only daughter of the wealthy and prominent Sen. Francis Warren of Wyoming. The Pershings had four children in the space of six years, all while Pershing’s career took the family to Japan and the Philippines. Back in the U.S. they settled at The Presidio of San Francisco. Pershing was sent off to temporary duty at the Mexican border, leaving the family at The Presidio, where Helen and their three daughters died in a fire at their residence. Surviving was six year old Francis Warren Pershing (1909-1980). ...read more

The Six-Star General?

In the middle of one lonely night in 1970 when I had the duty at headquarters I answered a telephone call from an off-post bar. It seemed that there was a hot controversy going about whether there was such a rank as a six-star general. I knew that Pershing had been promoted to a higher rank than General but I didn’t know what the insignia was so I wasn’t able to be the tie-breaker. What follows is the whole story about ‘six-star’ generals. Judge for yourself what I should have said. ...read more

The Big Red One Comes Home

One hundred years ago (plus a few days) the 1st Infantry Division disembarked in New York, the last of the American Expeditionary Force’s fighting units to return. You can read more about the Big Red One by clicking here or here.

The 1st Division were literally the first infantry to arrive in France in June of 1917 and the last ones to leave. However, the 28,000 or so men that returned home was a substantially different group – the 1st had lost 6,020 dead or missing and 17,201 had been wounded. ...read more

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