Herbert Terry bannerFallen World War I soldier Herbert Terry of Scotch Plains, NJ (left) was honored on July 1, 2022 with the dedication of a street in his name. Family member Judy Terry holds up the street sign at the ceremony. The family has lived in Scotch Plains since the American Revolution. 

Scotch Plains Dedicates Street to Fallen WWI Soldier Sgt. Herbert Terry

By Robert Fallo
via the TAPinto Scotch Plains/Fanwood web site

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Township of Scotch Plains dedicated a sign to fallen soldier Sgt. Herbert Terry on Rahway Rd. on Friday, July 1.

Sgt. Terry was killed in action on Sept. 24, 1918, in France during World War I after saving a fellow solider from gunfire. Sgt. Charles Wolfel, whom Terry saved, was captured and taken prisoner by the German army. He said that Terry's final words were: "Tell them I died fighting for my country."

Terry, who grew up on Rahway Rd. in Scotch Plains before later moving to E. Second St. in Plainfield with his wife, was awarded a Purple Heart for his efforts in WWI.

 The Terry family has lived in Scotch Plains since the time of the American Revolution.

 

John S banner 1280John Sterkendries with his 2013 Harley- Davidson Police Electra Glide motorcycle. Man and machine have journeyed far across the United States on his mission to find to places, monuments, and people with a relation to WWI in America to which to give memorial clay figurines created to mark the losses that the people of Belgium suffered iduring the Great War. 

Journey Log: Centennial 

By John Sterkendries
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site

My father, Andre Sterkendries, was born in 1924 in the town of Neerhespen, Belgium. As a young man, he worked on locomotives at the nearby railways and his father worked at a track change station. During the 2nd world war the machinists would release an excessive amount of steam from the engines, creating a fog for the wagons to disappear into. This allows my father, grandfather and their peers to smuggle food from the German wagons. They then hid this food under the floor of the track changing booth to then distribute it later to families who couldn’t provide for themselves. If their were ever caught doing this, they would be executed by firing squad. Once the 2nd world war was over, my father moved to Germany in January of 1946 to join the Canadian occupying forces. After his duty, my father moved to Maaseik, Belgium in 1960 where he started his car body shop.

Sterkendries article 1I, myself, was born in June of 1965. When I was 1.5 years old, my mother passed away and left my father and their 3 children behind. Growing up, my father would often talk about his time at the railways during the war and his time in Germany with the Canadian occupying forces. Being 7 years old at this time, I listened to his stories with a sparkle in my eyes. Time marched on and by now I’ve been married for 35 years to my wife Christel. Together we have one daughter, Axelle, who turned 23 this year. This is where my story starts.

In 2017, Axelle moved to Pittsburgh, PA to do her undergrad at Duquesne University. After several years of visiting Axelle in the United States, I decided to buy a motorcycle in the US. I’ve been riding motorcycles for about 38 years now and have traveled Europe extensively with them. Unfortunately, running our businesses in both Belgium and the Netherlands has been eating up most of my time to the point where I’ve been unable to fully enjoy riding my motorcycle in peace. My thought process was that if I’m in the United States, no one would be able to disturb me, and I could finally truly enjoy some time off.

After some searching around, I finally settled on a 2013 Harley- Davidson Police Electra Glide and dragged my daughter and wife to Fredericksburg, VA to pick it up. (This motorcycle was used by the police but still in very good condition for my adventures in the USA). The drive back up to Pittsburgh, PA was already well worth it.

I quickly started to drive around Allegheny County and stopped by a small town named Glassport. I was astounded by the fact that every lamppost had a picture of a U.S. soldier attached to it. This kind of veteran pride is something that is unheard of in Belgium.

 

 Artwork that appeared in June 6 1965 edition of the Pittsburgh Post depicting the 28th Divisions action on Hill 204 during World War IArtwork that appeared in June 6 1965 edition of the Pittsburgh Post depicting the 28th Divisions action on Hill 204 during World War I

Hill 204: The 28th Division’s first combat action of World War I 

By Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Heft
via the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) web site 

Atop Hill 204 in Chateau-Thierry, France, a large double colonnade stands in memorial to the actions of Americans who fought to liberate the country during World War I. While Chateau-Thierry is most well-known for the defense fought by American and French units along the banks of the Marne River, Hill 204 itself marks the first combat actions of the 28th Division in the World War.

The 28th Division landed on ground in France in May 1918 and saw service in the rear areas under the watchful eye of British and French instructors. While the doughboys learned valuable lessons from their combat-hardened allies, many in the Keystone Division itched to get into real action.

On the evening of June 30, 1918, while marching with French troops to a new training area, Col. Edward Shannon of the 111th Infantry Regiment received a request from French forces to provide two platoons to join French troops in a raid on the German lines.

Shannon ordered two lieutenants from the lead companies, Lt. Cedric Benz of Company A, and Lt. John Shenkel of Company B, to assemble a platoon each for action with the French.

Sgt. Bob Hoffman recalled that as the lieutenants looked to select volunteers for the raid “the entire company, like one man stepped forward” and that “men who did not get to go on this trip cried real tears” as their comrades left them behind to become the unit’s first combat veterans.

The platoons moved into position on the slopes of the hill in the early hours of July 1 with soldiers of the French infantry leading the way. After hours of heavy artillery barrage, the allied soldiers leapt forward from the wooded edge of Hill 204 and began a climb toward German positions.

Almost immediately the platoons came under German machine gun fire. French commanders would later write that “from the beginning of the attack the American detachments were marked by their ardor, bravery and their enthusiasm.”

As the men of the patrol advanced, they entered into almost immediate hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. Hoffman recalled that after a bullet ricocheted off of his helmet he “forgot the line of combat groups and we fought just as our ancestors had always fought … rushing forward, stopping to shoot, rushing again, and shooting again.”

 

  

Three generations of Kluball family military service commemorated with Honor Banners 

NEWS Kluball 1 220629 1 400x810via the Tomahawk Leader newspaper (WI) web site 

TOMAHAWK – You may have noticed the new Veteran Honor Banners hanging in downtown Tomahawk for the 2022 season.

Several banners on the east end of W. Wisconsin Ave. commemorate the veteran descendants of the Rudolph (Rudy) Kluball family from Tomahawk.

“Dedicated service of the Kluball family spans from World War One through today, spanning four-plus generations,” the Kluball family said. “Kluball service and duty to the Armed Forces and community is continuing through the fourth generation.”

The veteran patriarch of the Kluball family is Rudolph G. Kluball (Rudy). Rudy was the son of immigrant Mathias Kluball.

Pvt. Rudolph G. Kluball (U.S. Army, WWI)

Rudy served in the Army Corps of Engineers. After basic training, he was stationed at the Aberdeen, Md., testing grounds. Rudy’s military responsibilities were in Tank Ordnance. He would make sure that tank weapons systems, vehicles and equipment were ready and available and in perfect condition at all times. He also assisted to manage the developing, testing, fielding, handling, storage and disposal of munitions. While in service, he also learned mechanical work.

After service, Rudolph and wife Margaret Kluball had six sons and one daughter: Charles G. Kluball, Robert J. Kluball, Delmar R. Kluball, JoAnn Kluball Scheffler, JoAnn’s twin Jerome G. Kluball, Ralph G. Kluball, Darwin R. Kluball and Delmar R. Kluball (Rudolph’s grandson).

 

 Switchboard Soldiers banner gangSwitchboard Soldiers (better known as the "Hello Girls") were the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, who broke down gender barriers in the military, smashed the workplace glass ceiling, and battled a pandemic as they helped lead the Allies to victory.

Switchboard Soldiers: one of the great untold stories of World War I

By Jennifer Chiaverini 
via the Goodreads web site

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini comes Switchboard Soldiers, a bold, revelatory novel about one of the great untold stories of World War I--the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, who broke down gender barriers in the military, smashed the workplace glass ceiling, and battled a pandemic as they helped lead the Allies to victory.

Expected publication date for Switchboard Soldiers is July 19th 2022 by William Morrow & Company

In June 1917, General John Pershing arrived in France to establish American forces in Europe. He immediately found himself unable to communicate with troops in the field. Pershing needed operators who could swiftly and accurately connect multiple calls, speak fluent French and English, remain steady under fire, and be utterly discreet, since the calls often conveyed classified information.

At the time, nearly all well-trained American telephone operators were women--but women were not permitted to enlist, or even to vote in most states. Nevertheless, the U.S. Army Signal Corps promptly began recruiting them.

More than 7,600 women responded, including Grace Banker of New Jersey, a switchboard instructor with AT&T and an alumna of Barnard College; Marie Miossec, a Frenchwoman and aspiring opera singer; and Valerie DeSmedt, a twenty-year-old Pacific Telephone operator from Los Angeles, determined to strike a blow for her native Belgium.

They were among the first women sworn into the U.S. Army under the Articles of War. The male soldiers they had replaced had needed one minute to connect each call. The switchboard soldiers could do it in ten seconds.

The risk of death was real--the women worked as bombs fell around them--as was the threat of a deadly new disease: the Spanish Flu. Not all of the telephone operators would survive.

The women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps served with honor and played an essential role in achieving the Allied victory. Their story has never been the focus of a novel...until now.

 

TUS surrounded by flowers 11 Nov 2021 US Army Photo Elizabeth FraserThe Tomb of the Unknown Soldier surrounded by flowers on November 11, 2021. As part of a flower ceremony from November 9-10, 2021, thousands of people placed flowers at the Tomb. U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series

By Allison S. Finkelstein, Ph.D., Senior Historian
Arlington National Cemetery 

In the months after the 2021 centennial of the creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the team at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) has continued to make the programs created for this anniversary accessible to the public online. On May 30, 2022—Memorial Day—ANC released a major virtual project as part of this ongoing effort: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series.

This virtual lecture series originated in the interpretive programming developed by the ANC History Office during the culminating week of the Tomb Centennial. On November 9 and 10, 2021, the public had the rare opportunity to walk near the Tomb and lay a flower there in tribute to America’s unknown service members. Thousands of people participated. To enhance this experience, the ANC History Office organized a series of in-person interpretive lectures to provide more context about the history, legacy, and meanings of the Tomb. Held in the historic Memorial Amphitheater, this program brought together experts from Arlington National Cemetery and throughout the federal government.

To make the lectures available digitally to those who could not attend in person, ANC asked these experts to come back and record their talks. We are excited to share their fascinating presentations with the public through the twelve episodes in our Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series. Each episode has it its own corresponding webpage with resources and photos for further exploration.

Access the lecture series here and learn more about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from anywhere in the world.

Rebecca StevensArlington National Cemetery’s Cultural Resource Manager Rebecca Stevens during her interpretive talk with Conservator Caitlin Smith on November 9, 2021. U.S. Army photo by Allison S. Finkelstein.

 

 Captain Erik Kokeritz is buried in Derry City CemeteryAn online fundraiser has been created to help raise money to erect a headstone for Captain Erik Kokeritz, who is buried in Derry City Cemetery in Ireland.

Online fundraiser for American WWI hero’s headstone in Derry 

via the Derry Journal newspaper (Ireland) web site 

Swedish-born mariner Erik Kokeritz’s final resting place in the cemetery is currently marked by a single white cross - but for more than a century his grave lay unmarked.

At the height of World War One, when US commercial ships were needed for the war effort, Kokeritz was one of two captains to volunteer to take supplies across the Atlantic.

In the autumn of 1917, his ship, the SS Rochester, left England to return to the US but 400 miles off the Irish coast it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Twenty-three of the crew were dead as the ship sank.

But Kokeritz - and 22 of his crew - survived. For four days and nights they drifted at sea. The survivors were taken to Derry where half the men were treated at the city’s infirmary. All were suffering from exposure. Captain Kokeritz took rooms at the City Hotel. Unwell, he was ordered to take bed rest but, in the months that followed, his condition worsened and, on February 3, 1918, he lost consciousness and died the following day.

He was buried in the City Cemetery and his grave lay unmarked for more than a century. However, local historian and genealogist David Jenkins, thanks to more than a decade researching the Kokertiz story, revealed the full story in a book published last year and, since then, interest in the Swedish sailor has snowballed.

David has now set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a permanent memorial to the captain at his burial plot in the cemetery.

He told the ‘Journal’: “More than a century since the captain’s death, I think it is time this WWI American hero has a headstone erected in his memory. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I am in a position to be able to organise an unveiling ceremony for the captain’s headstone.” 

 

Was this ‘badass Marine’ denied a medal of honor for WWI valor?

By Dave Kindy
via the HistoryNet.com web site

George HamiltonMaj. George W. Hamilton's bravery helped establish the reputation of the Marine Corps as one of the world’s toughest fighting units. George Hamilton may be a hero of the highest order — who you've never heard of.

Bullets were flying and men were falling on that deadly day at Belleau Wood in France. The counterattack by French, British and American forces on June 6, 1918, was designed to blunt the German Spring Offensive and protect Paris from capture.

At 3:50 a.m. that morning, Capt. George Hamilton of the U.S. Marine Corps led his company across an open farm field to secure the edge of the forested area — only to watch his troops be killed by lethal German machine gun fire moving like a scythe through the wheat that grew there.

With men hugging the ground and dying around him — Hamilton witnessed all five of his junior officers killed that morning — the captain recognized it was time for action. What he did next helped establish the legacy of the Corps as one of the toughest fighting units in the world and create his own legendary status as one of the bravest Marines in history.

Disregarding his own safety, Hamilton stood up in the withering fire and urged his men forward. He ran along the battleline, shouting orders and encouragement for them to leave the field and head into the trees of Belleau Wood.

With bayonets fixed, the Marines of 49th Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment (1/5) rose en masse and charged the German positions. Hamilton led the attack into what became a bloody mele. He personally killed four Germans in fierce hand-to-hand combat.

More than a thousand Marines of the 4th Brigade would lose their lives that day in this first test of combat for the Corps in World War I. However, the individual acts of bravery by Hamilton and other Marines, including Sgt. Maj. Daniel “Dan” Daly, would lead the Corps to victory and a place in history.

Yet despite his heroics on that deadly day, Hamilton’s name rarely ranks when compared to names of Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, and Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler.

 

Finding Pvt. Henry V. Traynham 

By Matt Mabe
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 

Pvt. Henry V. TraynhamPvt. Henry V. TraynhamGrowing up I was always fascinated with military history. I still am. I recall as a small child meeting my great grandfather Jeffrey Traynham, who served in the Navy during World War I, though I was never able to learn more about his wartime service. In the early 2000s, I took a class on World War II history in college, and began researching a family member who had served during the war. While discussing this with my grandmother and his sister, they commented as an aside that their father Jeffrey was initially reluctant to let their brother join the Army in WWII because Jeffrey had lost his brother Henry during WWI. I was surprised to hear this revelation, as I never knew my great grandfather had a brother who had also served in WWI and had been killed in combat. My grandmother and her sister produced an old family photo album from the closet and showed me a small photo of a young Army private in uniform wearing a campaign hat standing in front of a tent -- this was my great-great uncle Henry V. Traynham.

I endeavored to learn more about Henry’s service, and over the years I uncovered additional pieces of information about Henry’s life and service. Henry and his brother Jeffrey were born in a small town in Guilford County, North Carolina and Henry worked as a farmer before entering into the Army. He served in the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division (the “Yankee” Division), and was killed in action on June 19, 1918. He was 26 years old, and was one of the first boys from the county to be killed during the war. He was brought home for burial, and was laid to rest in a church cemetery in not far from their family’s home.

Many years passed before I would learn more, but in 2018 I found a blog written about a soldier from the 102nd Infantry Regiment, and it chronicled his service his service in France from start to finish. It mentioned Henry’s name amongst the soldiers from the Company F who were killed in action. My interest was raised once again. I learned Henry and his fellow soldiers were positioned near Chemin des Dames in the spring of 1918, where they encountered gas attacks from the Germans. In the weeks that followed, his company occupied positions in Remieres Woods, just outside the small village of Seicheprey in Eastern France. While holding their positions in the trenches, Henry’s company was engaged in multiple skirmishes with the Germans and fought off a large German assault in late April 1918. On June 19, 1918, Henry was killed in action; the only soldier from Company F to be lost that day. I wanted to know more about what these brave men endured, and I sought out more information about Henry’s final weeks on the western front.

 

The Great War in Color: Apocalypse World War I 

By Helen Beck
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 

Apocalypse World War I, airing now on NatGeo, takes its viewers into a fascinating and uncharted look at the events of World War I. Producers used over 500 hours of archival footage for compelling story-telling -- including some stunning colorized images of American soldiers and President Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference.

Apocalypse World War IBehind the Camera

Apocalypse: World War I originally aired on BelgianOne, France 2, and TV5 Québec Canada before being broadcast on NatGeo via bundled with streaming services like FuboTV. Following a chronological timeline, the series follows the War from its start to end, with all key battles and events covered.

Season One

Told through five episodes spanning 1914 to 1919, viewers get a look at some unique footage not previously seen by TV audiences. The video and photos have been colorized to help provide a more realistic feel that today's audiences can relate to very easily.

Season One of Apocalypse: World War I is available on DirectTV Stream or to buy on Blu-Ray from Amazon. All five episodes are available for viewers to watch whenever they wish. Being available on-demand makes it easier for viewers to watch the whole season at once or to break up watching the episodes over time.

 

The 369th Experience plays at the Kennedy Center in D.C.

via the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts web site

The 369th Experience: Continuing the Legacy is an historic series of global music programs designed to acknowledge, educate, and preserve the legacy of The 369th U.S. Infantry regiment band and soldiers.

The 369th Experience re-creates the original band with African American and Puerto Rican music students from HBCUs and other universities across the country.

Continuing the Legacy and Forward March for Freedom will brought 65 HBCU students to the DC area on June 13-20, 2022 to participate in celebrity-conducted master classes, a panel discussion, and time travel concert performances at the John F. Kennedy Center in observance of Black Music Month and Juneteenth. 

The 369th Experience activites were sponsored in part by the Doughboy Foundation.

A Musical Salute to African American Military Heritage

The goal is to continue to honor the original band members, educate new audiences and students about the band’s importance, and foster a dialogue that acknowledges and respects their contributions to the US military and music around the world.

 

The Battle of Belleau Wood During WWI 

By Brandy R. Williams
via the Owlcation web site

The Battle of Belleau WoodWhat is Belleau Wood?

Belleau Wood: An Ideal Hunting Ground

Belleau Wood, half the size of America’s Central Park, had long been a hunting ground for the French aristocracy. With its dense growth and rocky terrain, it made an ideal place to hunt. In the Spring of 1918, during World War I, it became the hunting ground for a different animal. During Germany’s Spring Offensive, the German army set up machine gun nests and barbed wire throughout the thick covering of Belleau Wood.

The natural terrain offered ideal camouflage. The woods were only accessible through the open fields of wheat that surrounded the area. Any troop attempting to breach the woods would be in plain sight, and at the mercy of German artillery fire.

Having endured four years of brutal trench warfare, the French lacked manpower and suffered from low morale. Conversely, the German army had recently been bolstered by troops and supplies arriving from the Eastern Front.

Calling Upon American Forces

The depleted French army called upon the Americans for reinforcement. In response, the German army became determined to defeat the allies before the arrival of American forces. As such, Germany made a push to take Paris. General Ludendorff hoped that this maneuver would draw the Allies into a climactic battle, that would decide the war in favor of Germany.

With the rapid arrival of American reinforcements, the German troops took up positions in Belleau Wood just sixty miles outside Paris. As the US 2nd Infantry Division arrived at Belleau Wood, the French army, battle weary and outnumbered, were retreating. They advised the Americans to do the same, to which Major Lloyd Williams replied, “Retreat, hell! We just got here!” As the first major battle of the war that Americans had witnessed, it was this attitude of bravado that lead them to victory.

 

Harold Furlong twinHarold Arthur Furlong in his World War I uniform (right) and as pictured by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society in later life. Furlong was the only Michigan native to be awarded the Medal of Honor in WWI. 

Harold A. Furlong: Michigan’s Only Native Son to Receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War I 

By David H. Dinger, M.D., Adjutant, Harold A. Furlong American Legion Post #341
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 

Harold Furlong was born in Pontiac, Michigan Aug. 1, 1895 where he was raised and graduated from Pontiac High School. He interrupted his college education at Michigan Agricultural College (later became Michigan State University) when he joined the U.S. Army in 1917.

First Lieutenant Harold A. Furlong was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor by General John Pershing for his heroic action on Nov. 1, 1918. The Citation reads:

Immediately after opening of the attack near Bantheville, France when his Company was held up by severe machine gun fire from the front, which killed his company commander and several soldiers, 1st Lt. Furlong moved out in advance of the line with great courage and coolness, crossing an open space several hundred yards wide. Taking up a position behind the line of machine guns, he closed in on them, one at a time, killing a number of the enemy with his rifle, putting 4 machine gun nests out of action, and driving 20 German prisoners into our lines.

The Medal of Honor was awarded to 1st Lt. Harold A. Furlong on Feb. 5, 1919 by General John J. Pershing, General of the Armies and Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front, WWI.

After the War, Harold Furlong returned to Michigan and finished his education including Medical School at the University of Michigan. He made his home in Pontiac and practiced OB/GYN at Pontiac General Hospital where he became head of the Department of OB/GYN. He founded the OB/GYN Residency Program at PGH and became its first Director. This Residency Program which Harold Founded and Directed, graduated several physicians who remained in the community to practice OB/GYN and serve the medical needs of women in this Oakland County community.

Dr. Harold A. Furlong also served in the Michigan Army National Guard from Dec. 16, 1921 to May 31, 1946 and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Colonel.