Project Report - Iowa in the Great War

Speaker: Karen De Groote-Johnson for Constance Diamond

"I am going to give this report as though Constance were here. Please try to imagine me with dark hair, dark glasses and a black trench coat."

"Iowa in the Great War" Special Project was begun as a means of bringing together in one central location anything and everything that could be found, which had to do with Iowa’s contributions and sacrifices during the Great War, which were many! It has quickly become a 'favorite' military website of researchers who had family members who served during the Great War of 1914-1919.

The Great War Special Project contains records of all types and from every source imaginable. Newspaper articles, letters home, unit rosters, photos, posters, obituaries, cemeteries in Europe and the United States, Selective Service draft registration cards, community and county memorial books, Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross recipients, and much more.

For instance, did you know Jasper county had it's own world famous soldier, fighter pilot "Ace", and author all wrapped up in one man? Meet James Arthur Hall, born in 1887, Colfax, Jasper Co., Iowa, son of Arthur Wright Hall and Ella Annette (Young) Hall. James Hall was a soldier, co-author of 'Mutiny on the Bounty', and he was a fighter pilot "Ace" during the Great War. He was also the only man to fight for three separate countries in the same war: Serving first in the British Army's 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, as a machine gunner during the Battle of Loos. When it was discovered he was an American and not a Canadian, he was discharged. Then in 1916 he joined the Lafayette Escadrille Flying Corps (American Volunteer Pilots in WWI) fighting for France. The American pilots were later incorporated in the American Air Service. In 1918 he was shot down, captured and spent six months in a prison of war camp. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre with five palms and twice awarded the Medaille Militaire by the French. For more on James Arthur Hall check out Iowa in the Great War Special Project!

In the coming year I hope to add more selective service records for more counties, eventually having all 99 counties posted; finish posting the book 'Price of Our Heritage' and add more of the 'Adjutant General report for 1917' both books were contributed by Catherine "Cay" Merryman, retired CC of Mills county and whose father served in the Great War from Iowa.

This Special Project is for the benefit of all IAGenWeb counties and their researchers. All IAGenWeb CCs are encouraged and are welcome to use anything that is posted on the Great War website on their county website.

Thank you.