FIRST AMERICAN FLAG FLIES ON WESTERN FRONT
General HQ of the French Army in France (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, May 25, 1917, the first contingent of American soldiers arrived here on the Western Front. They were under the command of Captain E. I. Tinkhaf and Lieutenant Soully of Princeton.
The first American field service detachment, made up mainly of Cornell University undergraduates, were dressed in khaki, carried carbines and drove American five ton automobiles.
They were cheered on by other contingents as the American Flag flew proudly over them. Other detachments represented the colleges of Andover, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Chicago and Williams.*
*By June 1917 there were 14,000 U.S. soldiers in France & the American Expeditionary Force was established on July 5th. The AEF had minor participation at the front in late October. By May 1918, there were 1 million doughboys in France with half fighting on the Western Front.
"American Flag On Battle Line", The Chicago Daily Tribune, May 26, 1917.