Fresh from the Mexican Punitive Expedition, in June 1917, General John J. Pershing was selected by Secretary of War Newton Baker to lead the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Pershing withstood pressure from Allied military and political leaders to relinquish control of the American army in France and led the Americans to victory in Meuse-Argonne.
Throughout the war Colonel Pierpont Stackpole, a Boston lawyer turned aid to Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, maintained a diary that provides insight into his boss and is critical of many AEF officers.
Secretary of War Newton Baker, wearing a doughboy helmet, poses with a group of American and French officers in Verdun while on a tour of the front in September 1918.
General Pershing arrives at First Army headquarters in Souilly. His driver, Sergeant Caesar Santini, can be seen in the front seat of the Cadillac.
Army Group Commander General Max von Gallwitz led the German forces during St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne.
Colonel William “Wild Bill” Donovan, a battalion commander in the 165th Infantry Regiment, 42nd “Rainbow” Division. During World War II he headed the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
Future Missouri Senator and President of the United States Captain Harry S. Truman commanded a 35th Division artillery battery.
Marshall was instrumental in planning the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne battles and became an aid to Pershing after the war.
Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur led the 84th Brigade of the 42nd “Rainbow” Division during the attack on the Côte de Châtillon in October 1918. In this photo the colorful MacArthur makes himself at home in a French château that he used as his headquarters.
Next to his SPAD plane. Rickenbacker commanded the 94th “Hat in the Ring” Aero Squadron and with twenty-six victories was America’s top ace.
First Army chief of staff, at his desk in Souilly.
Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett at his desk in Souilly, shortly after he took command of First Army from Pershing in October 1918
Father Francis Duffy, chaplain of the 165th “Fighting 69th” Infantry, 42nd Division. Father Duffy was often seen at the front with ambulance litters.
Sergeant Alvin C. York from Company G, 328th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Division, a conscientious objector turned war hero, stands in the Argonne woods near Chatel- Chéhéry in February 1919 to point out where he captured 132 German prisoners in October 1918.
Commanders of the German army, Generals Erich Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg, pose with staff officers.
African-American troops, probably from the 92nd Division, march to the front under a canopy of camouflage netting.
A group of war correspondents stops for lunch on their way to the Argonne front.
A wave of doughboys advances across No Man’s Land after jumping off in the early-morning hours of September 26, the first day of Meuse-Argonne.
Liberated by the Americans in the St. Mihiel Salient, French citizens return home after being held prisoner by the Germans.
Congested and shell damaged roads leading to the front required some ambulance drivers to resort to hand-carrying wounded doughboys to the rear on litters.
An American artillery battery fires a French manufactured 155mm at German positions from the village of Varennes on the Aire River, which was taken by First Army on September 26.
A fourteen-inch naval railway gun fires from twenty miles away at a German railway and troop movement center.
Grandpré was heavily contested during the Meuse-Argonne until the 78th Division took the village in October 1918.
A group of doughboys enjoys German cigars and beer inside a captured trench at the Argonne front.
Doughboys model captured German armament, including breast plates, Mauser rifles, and a forty-one-pound antitank gun.
Jubilant doughboys on the Argonne front celebrate the armistice on November 11, 1918.