World War I Doughboy's Legacy

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Telegeekster, May 18, 2016.

  1. Telegeekster

    Telegeekster Tele-Meister

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    I have in my possession a file bulging with every scrap of documentation pertaining to a U.S. World War I soldier: record of induction, discharge, and everything in between; maps of and visitors guides for his training camp and French battlefields; a yearbook for his division assembled in 1919-- among the photos is a 30-inch fold out panoramic image of the 53rd Infantry Division. There's a diary describing his travels and the names and addresses of men in his immediate unit. And lots more.

    I appreciate suggestions for what to do with this stuff. One idea is to scan everything and assemble a book, with teasers placed on a blog every so often. I don't expect to get rich, but I hesitate to "give it away."

    ThanKue...
     
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  2. S00NERMAN

    S00NERMAN Tele-Meister

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    Assuming the soldiers family has no interest in the documents (or there is no family), you might contact the U.S. Army to see about donation to a museum that has WW1 displays. I doubt that there is much monetary value in those documents. (Of course my personal matra seems to be "buy high, sell low" so keep that in mind.)
     
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  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Someone might in his platoon. My great grandpa got mustard gas and shrapnel in that one. WW1. I also had a great uncle that was one of the first American flyers over there using other peoples planes.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  4. KDAD

    KDAD Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    My grandfather was also in WWI and in fact posed for the statue in my avatar
     
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  5. Telegeekster

    Telegeekster Tele-Meister

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    Very nice!
    Any thoughts on what to do with this stuff?
     
  6. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    I like the blog idea. Although donating it to a museum is always commendable, it would all likely get filed away in a box in some warehouse. Actually letting people benefit and learn from it via a blog would be great.
     
  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Most of the US divisions in WWI were National Guard divisions absorbed into the army, so they were each tied pretty strongly to the state they came from. I was going to suggest the state history museum of whatever state the 53rd was from, but E5RSY makes a good point about it possibly being filed away and forgotten. A blog is a great idea, maybe with the idea of eventually donating the original documents? Those have survived nearly 100 years, you should make sure they're preserved for the future by professional archivists.

    My great grandfather was a Canadian Military Policeman during WWI who (fortunately for him) spent the war in Canada. Ironically it was his future wife who was wounded in the war, when an ammunition ship exploded in Halifax harbor in 1917 and leveled the city. It was the largest man-made explosion of the pre-atomic age.
     
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  8. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Saw a show about that event recently. Incredible story.

    Scott
     
  9. don71

    don71 Tele-Afflicted

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    Our national WWI museum is located in Kansas City. Its known as the Liberty Memorial.

    FYI...in case you are interested in contacting someone in an official capacity.
     
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  10. Tazz3

    Tazz3 Friend of Leo's

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    Yes make a book, the lady across the st i call my aunt
    He dad was in world war one.
    He craved an eagle with a knife
    On a silver army plate she still has it
    Its awesomw
     
  11. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Is it unusual to have a file as complete as this? I would want to know how a library or museum would recommend how to proceed. A blog would be interesting and handy, but if this collection of documents is rare enough, WWI scholars (such as one of our members who is not as active now as he used to be) might benefit more from a formal acquisition and cataloging method that adheres to a research standard of some kind.
     
  12. Telegeekster

    Telegeekster Tele-Meister

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    Great answer, thx!
     
  13. Telegeekster

    Telegeekster Tele-Meister

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    Thank you!
     
  14. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I would scan and blog it. I would love to see the contents. I can't imagine it has a monetary value but personal accounts are wonderful historical records, especially when they're not written by those in large roles.
     
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  15. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd try to track down the family. My great uncle was in WW I and was shell shocked. I would definitely want at least a copy of that stuff if it were his. Publishing it or looking for a museum are good ideas. Probably not a whole lot of value to it unless there is a tie to a famous event or person.
     
  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm with Larry F. It seems very complete, so maybe inquire at the Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/ for how to handle this kind of set of documents. What makes it valuable is for it's availability to historic researchers IMO.
     
  17. Telegeekster

    Telegeekster Tele-Meister

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    The soldier in question is my grandfather in-law. After my wife and I are gone, our daughter will be his only living descendent. Thx
     
  18. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    What was the unit, again? From what state? Tried to look up 53rd ID, but no such American unit turned up (there was a French one). Was it 53rd Regiment, perchance?

    Scott
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  19. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    My father was a bombardier with the 8th AF in WWII and I have a ton of stuff he left me. I believe he saved every single flight order and mission description from
    training through his last mission (they were shot down).

    I don't really want to keep all of this and talked to somebody in his Bomb Group who said they'd love to have whatever I could provide them because it's rare to find such a complete history. I just haven't sorted through the mountain of papers & photos yet.

    There is likely a museum or historical association who would like to get a copy of your stuff.
     
  20. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    What about trying to locate surviving family members to see if they would have any interest? Although that might be a tall order trying to find them, if they even exist.
     
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