WWI Soldier Postcard – Nice, France Bar/Club Advertising Card – 94 Years Later


Mapping and GIS (Geographic Information Systems)  nerds will geek out over this post!  Typically I post photographic material related to the service history of US soldiers during WWI and WWII with occasional dalliances into the Civil War and Korean War.  In this instance I’m posting an advertising card brought back by a WWI US soldier after the end of hostilities and occupation duties in WWI.

Europeans entrepreneurs quickly adapted to the new influx of comparatively cash-heavy US troops during the War and after hostilities ended in November of 1918.  Photo studios, souvenir shops, tour groups, brothels, theaters and bars/restaurants all flourished in the subsequent years.  In this case, I’m presenting a card describing the exact location of a seemingly popular soldier bar in the coastal city of Nice.  Many Allied (as well as Central Powers) soldiers took their vacations here, and this card is an example of the type of handheld ephemera that was given out in hopes of luring US soldiers into obscure bars.  We encounter the same material today when visiting major US cities.

Jack a Loo's Place WWI Handbill

Jack a Loo’s Place
WWI Handbill

The interesting aspect, for me, of the card is the fact that the obverse side shows a quick (albeit deceiving) map directing prospective clients to the club.  I’m a huge fan of historic maps, especially obscure and ephemeral maps from a specific historic context.  I compared the Jake a Loo’s map to a current set of maps and tracked down the current location of the bar!  16 Rue Halevy is still a bar and restaraunt, likely serving up similar victuals to the ones our unknown doughboy consumed nearly 100 years ago.   The location is snugly situated on a major intersection in Nice and currently specializes in pizza.  Please see below for a current street shot of the location:

16 Rue Halevy

16 Rue Halevy Today (2013)

Obverse of Card

Obverse of Card

Current Jake a Loo's Location

Current Jake a Loo’s Location

Maine in the First World War: The Maine National Guard and the 54th Artillery Regiment Coastal Artillery Corps in WWI


Everyone knows that I love Vermont WWI material, but I also enjoy collecting photos from other New England states as well.  I have a handful from every state but only one from Maine.  Now I have another!

This fantastic interior studio RPPC has a ton of great qualities that drove me to make the purchase.  The crossed flags at center, the helmet and pistol props, the uniform details, and the identification on the reverse all make it a great shot to add to the collection.  This particular group is comprised of men from Portland and Bath.

Battery D of the 54th Artillery Regiment, C.A.C.

Battery D of the 54th Artillery Regiment, C.A.C.

Identified to a Corporal Carl L. Pearson who I believe is positioned directly right of the flag, this shot shows a group of 19 soldiers posed in a French studio.  This may be a record for my collection!   I have a few with 6-8, but none with more than 10.

Pearson was from West Falmouth, Maine and was born in January of 1893.  He enlisted with the National Guard in Portland in March of 1917 and reported for Federal service in June of that year.  He was overseas from March of 1918 to March of 1919.  This photo was taken in either late March, or April or May of 1918.  He was promoted in early June of 1918.  Since this photo shows him as a Corporal at the time of the photo, we know it was taken before his promotion.  Also, his lack of OS chevron and the abundance of spats likely points towards an early photo taken in France.

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A little info on the 54th CAC

Source: http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cacunithistories/54thcac.htm

WORLD WAR I — 1917 – 1919The Coast Artillery Corps a Maine National Guard were mobilized on 25 July, 1917, and all companies, band, field officers, and non-commissioner staff officers reported on 27 July. 14 staff officers reported at Portland Coast Defenses and were assigned to duty in the Coast Defenses. The several companies were re-designated at once. This designation was changed again on 23 August 1917, and on 25 December 1917, nine of the thirteen C.A.C. Maine National Guard companies were made a part of the 54th Artillery, C.A.C., the supply company and Batteries B, D, E, and F, of the new 54th Artillery, C.A.C. 6 inch guns (Motor drawn), were entirely constituted from the nine companies Maine National Guard.

The 54th Artillery, C.A.C., was organized with a Headquarters Company, a supply company, and three battalions of two batteries each. Of the 6 batteries, four were taken from the Maine National Guard and from 25 December 1917, the further World War history of the C.A.C. Maine National Guard is properly that of the 54th Artillery since over 62 percent of its units were entirely Maine National Guard. In addition, only 30 percent of the units of the Maine National Guard were not included in the organization of the 54th Artillery C.A.C.

The 54th Artillery, CAC, (6-Inch Guns, Motor)

This regiment was organized in Portland Harbor Forts on 25 December 1917, five of its units being formed from National Guard units and three from Regular Army units.

The batteries of the 54th Artillery were organized as follows:

Headquarters Company, and Batteries A and C from the Regular Army.

Supply Company, from 20th Company, Lewiston.

Battery B, from 4th Company, Portland, and 7th Company, Biddeford.

Battery D, from 2nd Company, Portland, and 4th Company, Bath.

Battery E, from 3rd Company, Auburn, and 3rd Company, Kennebunk.

Battery F, from 9th Company, Lewiston and 11th Company, Portland.

Headquarters Company, Batteries C, D, E, and F, sailed from Portland, Maine, on the CANADA, 22 March 1918 and arrived Glasgow, Scotland 2 April, Winchester, England 3 April, and LeHarve, France, 6 April 1918.

The Supply Company, Batteries A and B, left Portland 14 March, sailed from Hoboken 16 March, 1918 on BALTIC arrived LeHarve, France, 6 April 1918.

The 54th Artillery C.A.C. was sent to rest camp at Mailly-le-camp (Aube) and on 2 May 1918, transferred to Haussimont (Marne), as replacement regimen to Railway Artillery Reserve and Tractor Artillery Regiments. On 20 September 1918, the 54th Artillery was reorganized into three battalion stations as follows:

1st Battalion, Training Battalion (A and B Battery) Angers (Marne-et-Loire).

2nd Battalion, Tractor replacement(E and F Battery), Haussimont (Marne) Angers (Marne-et-Loire.)

3rd Battalion, Unknown.

After the Armistice the 54th Artillery was assigned to Brest, and part of the Regiment sailed 23 February 1919 on the Vedic arriving in Boston 7 March 1919. It was completely demobilized at Camp Devons by 13 March 1919.

The four companies (1st, 6th, 10th and 12th) that were not formed into the 54th Artillery, C.A.C. were demobilized in January 1919 at Harbor Defenses of Portland however, but few of the original members of the companies remained in them late in 1918. Two large transfers of enlisted men from these batteries were made. The first was made on 23 August 1917, to the 26th Division Artillery and Engineers. One hundred-sixty-nine men were taken from these four companies in the transfer. On May 31 1918, the other large transfer was made to the 72d Artillery, C.A.C. From the 1st Company, 147 men were taken, and from the other three companies large numbers. However, the transfers were made as individuals no units being reformed or discontinued.

In July 1922, the regiment was reorganized and designated as the First Coast Defense Command, C.A.C., Maine National Guard. The regiment was formed into Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment, Band, Medical Detachment and 1st Fort Command.

1st Fort Command

301st Company, Portland, org. 1803 – later Btry A

306th Company, Sanford, org. 1903 – later Btry B

307th Company, Brunswick, org. 1884 – later Btry C

311th Company, Portland, org. 1807 – later Btry D

2nd Fort Command

303d Company, Camden, org. 1920 – later Btry E

304th Company, Thomaston, org. 1921 – later Btry F

305th Company, Rockland, org. 1921 – later Btry G

302d Company, Vinalhaven, org. 1921 – later Btry H

On 17 September 1923, the 1st C.D.C. was re-designated as the 240th Artillery, C.A.C., and individual batteries as shown above. The designation was again changed to 240th Coast Artillery, Harbor Defense, on 16 April 1924.

WWI Photo Research – Dedication Provides 26th Division, 103rd Regiment DSC Recipient’s Identity – Maine Veteran


Sometimes a little research and hard work pay off.  In this case, I received a WWI 26th Division portrait in the mail from a friend in Pennsylvania.  I knew it was a good image given the subject matter and the fact that the soldier was likely from the Lewiston area given the photographers embossed stamp.  Not an easy task.  I counted a dozen or so guys in a thirty mile radius of Lewiston that were possible contenders.  Lots of Maine men were members of the 26th during the war, and it’s not always easy to associate a location given a photographers stamp.

Mellen F. Tuttle

Mellen F. Tuttle

With a little forensic work I was able to figure out the identity of our mysterious hero.  Since I’ve handled thousands of vintage photos and negatives, I know that photographers often penciled info on the back of the print, or etched names/numbers on the bottom of the original negative.  The numbers would cross reference to a name and address to ship the photo.  In this case I was lucky to find a name etched on the original negative.  Obviously it was in reverse on the positive image, so I flipped it 180 degrees with photoshop and tweaked the contrast and brightness.  Bingo, a name appeared.  Tuttle.  A quick search found a Mellen F. Tuttle from New Gloucester, ME who served as a private in Company B of the 103rd Infantry Regiment.

Further research shows that his actual name was Francis Mellen Tuttle, but he went by Mellen F. Tuttle during the war.  After an hour of searching in vain for the death records of Mellen F. Tuttle, I decided to search for birth records for the Tuttle family in Maine.  I came across a Francis M. Tuttle Jr. and clicked on the birth record.  His father was Francis Mellen Tuttle!  Everything fell into place after that. Please see the end of the article for a photo of his grave showing his name as Francis M. Tuttle.  Somehow he made it all the way to Los Angeles and passed away in 1961!

His feat of bravery occured on July 20th, 1918 on Hill 190 near Rochet Woods, Chateau Thierry.  Mellen was with an automatic rifle team of Co. B of the 103rd when all of his fellow soldiers wounded.  He single-handedly advanced on an enemy MG nest and forced them to retreat.  His detachment was able to advance due to his bravery.

Reversed photographer etching

Reversed photographer etching

Lewiston, ME Photographers Stamp

Hammond Brothers
Lewiston, ME Photographers Stamp

 

DSC102small

Maine soldier registry entry

Maine soldier registry entry

Name: Mellen F. Tuttle
Serial Number: 67163
Birth Place: Freeport, Maine
Age: 22 6/12 yrs.
Residence: New Gloucester
Comment: Enl: NG Augusta, May 30/17. Pvt 1st cl Jan. 2/18; Cpl July 18/19. Org: Co B 2 Inf Me NG (Co B 103 Inf) to Mar. 6/19; 291 Co MPC to disch. Eng: St Mihiel; Defensive Sector. Awarded French Croix de Guerre; awarded DSC. Overseas: Sept. 26/17 to Aug. 3/19. Hon disch on demob: Aug. 8, 1919.

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Note the Chateau Thierry reference on the grave marker!

WWI 42nd Division Doughboy Sends Home a Real Photo Postcard


Ever wonder how doughboys sent their photo postcards home?  I actually don’t own a single example of a postmarked photo postcard from the war, but recently came across a grouping that contained an envelope and postcard sent home by a 42nd Division soldier.  A member of the 151st Field Artillery, Frank Svec sent home a studio portrait shot of himself.  Not incredibly rare, but a good example of how WWI photos were sent during the war.  The 42nd Division is one of my favorite divisions, so this is an addition “kicker”.

WWI Stars and Stripes Editor John T. Winterich Original Wartime Autographed Postcard


John Winterich was one of the first writers for the Stars and Stripes, managing editor, and eventually one of the most influential bibliophiles of the early twentieth century.  He is credited with having penned over 275 articles in over nearly 150 publications as well as having written the introduction to the American classic Of Mice and Men.  In a rare acquisition, I was able to pick up an original wartime signed postcard by Mr. Winterich in which he describes his present location and state of health to his mother back home in Rhode Island.  The best part?  I only paid $3.00!

 

 

"Censor & Press Co. No. 1. Staff of Stars & Stripes. Brest, France. July '19." Photograph. From Harry L. Katz, A Brief History of The Stars and Stripes, Official Newspaper of the American Expeditionary Forces in France (Washington, D.C.: Columbia Publishing Co., 1921), p. 41.

WWI RPPC Studio Photo – Armed w/ Colt Model 1911 and w/ M1917 Helmet in Germany


 

They don’t get much better than this!  Check out the detail on the equipment – this is the first photo in my collection that shows the M1911 pistol lanyard hanging from the right breast pocket.  I’ve owned a few in my day, but have always sold them to buy photos!  The soldier is proudly posing with his slightly dented helmet and his M1911 and leather holster proudly presented.  A top ten shot for me!

 

WWI 26th Yankee Division, 102nd Field Artillery Doughboy – Walter Laskowski


Originally a member of the 8th Co. Coastal Artillery based out of Narragansett Bay (RI) until April 1918, Walter eventually joined the 102nd Field Artillery of the 26th Yankee Division.  I was lucky enough to acquire two inscribed photographs depicting Walter in both roles.  His seated portrait was taken before his June 1918 departure for overseas service.

An interestingly decorated backmark shows that the seated portrait was taken in at 162 Thames Street in Newport, RI.  The Electric Studio’s logo includes a fanned array of lightning bolts emanating from the written portion of the backmark.

For further information on the Rhode Island National Guard unit Walter belonged to, click the link below:

http://www.or.ng.mil/sites/RI/army/56tc/a219sf/default.aspx

WWI Photo – Wounded Doughboys Rest w/ Mascot Dog and Pretty French Girl


A fabulous shot of a group of doughboys taking some much needed R&R in a French city.  A busty French girl stands in the doorway as the men pose for a photo.  Just read the back!  A superb WWI dog mascot photo with great content.  Note the two wounded soldiers – one with a face wound, the other with a broken hand.

The details of the image pop out once the casual observer steps back from noting the obvious and begins to look for subtle details.  Notice the reflection in the window?  How about the stone gutter along the street?  The hastily buttoned blouse of the facially wounded soldier?  Enjoy!