The first world war started in Europe on 07/28/14 and lasted until 11/11/1918. Known as the Great War or "the war to end all wars", WWI was one of the largest and deadliest wars in history. 8.5 million combat deaths and 13 million civilians died as a direct result of the war.The United States officially entered World War I on April 6, 1917 and the war was ended on Nov. 11, 1918 with victory over Germany and its allies.
The Doughboys pictured here were Troops deployed to Europe as American Expeditionary Forces. The origin of the name Doughboys has several theories. America’s last World War I Doughboy, Frank Buckles, died in 2011 in West Virginia at age 110. Buckles enlisted in the Army at age 16 in August 1917, four months after the U.S. entered the conflict, and drove military vehicles in France. One of 4.7 million Americans who served in the war, Buckles was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Pictured right, are five Alabama State University graduates commissioned as Lieutenants in the U.S. Army's first-ever Black officer's training school that went on to fight and lead in WWI.
171 African American soldiers were awarded the French Legion of Honor, which is the highest award for bravery issued by the French government.
The Harlem Hellfighters were an African American infantry unit who spent more time in combat than any other American unit. 375,000 African Americans served overall, including “639 men [who] received commissions, a historical first".
American troops preparing for embarkation. Many would not return home. By the end of the war the American Army suffered 52, 947 killed and 202, 628 wounded.
Photographs, quotes and data courtesy of History.com, Alabama State University, and Military Images.