Helen Behal’s Jewish Welfare Board Uniform

Although the Armistice of November 11, 1918, brought an effective end to combat in World War I, many U.S. soldiers remained stationed in Europe well into 1919. In some cases, this was to maintain order while the Allies moved toward a peace treaty, but mostly it was part of a winding down process known as demobilization, which involved preparing soldiers for their imminent return to normal life...
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1918’s Deadliest Killer: The Flu Pandemic Hits Pennsylvania

I had a little bird, Its name was Enza. I opened the window, And in-flu-enza. —Children’s rhyme, 1918 The year 1918 was arguably one of the darkest in modern times and the deadliest ever recorded in human history. Much of Europe was locked in a hideous, relentless military struggle that had dragged on for three years, killing millions of soldiers and bankrupting its governments. Famine stalked...
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William Curtis Truxal’s Footlocker

William Curtis Truxal (1882–1960) was a 34-year-old attorney residing in Somerset when the Pennsylvania National Guard unit he commanded, Company C of the 10th Infantry Regiment, was mustered into federal service for World War I on July 15, 1917. A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, he had first enlisted in the guard as a private in February 1914, and by October of that...
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Trails to the 28th Infantry Division National Shrine

The year 2018 marks the centennial of the last year of World War I and the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, that ended the war’s active combat. (The Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended the war between Germany and the Allies, was signed in June of the following year.) Memorializing those lost in the war was an important step in putting the Great War in the past....
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The Sacrifices of Company C: Somerset County’s Valiant Soldiers in the Great War

In spring 2004 a resident of Somerset in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, chanced upon an aged postcard that had fallen behind a dresser many years before. Dated November 7, 1918, the postcard had been sent by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, and was addressed to “the Family of Herbert Foust,” a soldier of Company C, 110th Infantry Regiment, a Pennsylvania...
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Charles Lenker’s M1917 Doughboy Helmet

Charles W. Lenker (1896–1973) of Palmyra, Lebanon County, entered the Army from Lebanon on April 2, 1918, and wore this M1917 steel combat helmet during his service in World War I (also see inside front cover). It is preserved today not only as a relic of the war but also as a fine example of early helmet folk art with its painted record of a soldier’s military service. The steel combat helmet...
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Pennsylvanians at Meuse-Argonne: The 28th, 79th and 80th Divisions in the Last Major Offensive of the Great War

Pennsylvanians served with honor and distinction in World War I, with more than 297,000 men from the Keystone State engaged in the conflict as part of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), established in July 1917 to join the Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, Russia and Italy) in the fight against the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey and Bulgaria). The majority of...
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Editor’s Letter

The cover of this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage is graced with the famous 1822 painting titled The Artist in His Museum, in which Charles Willson Peale portrayed himself at age 81 in the museum he established in Philadelphia, located at the time in the Long Gallery on the second floor of the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall). In the painting, Peale lifts a curtain,...
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Keystone Men of Iron: The 28th Infantry Division in the Great War

In 1917, when America entered World War I, the 28th Infantry Division was the nation’s oldest National Guard unit. Organized by Pennsylvania in 1878, the division was made up of units that had already earned battle streamers for contributions in conflicts from the American Revolution to the Civil War. Arriving in France in late Spring 1918, the 28th immediately began developing a reputation for...
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Editor’s Letter

Sometimes Pennsylvania history occurs outside the boundaries of the Keystone State. Throughout the past, Pennsylvanians have traveled to other parts of the U.S. or have gone abroad to make their marks in the commonwealth’s history. Pennsylvania’s involvement in World War I is a good example, when soldiers from the state joined their fellow American servicemen in the Allied fight against the...
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