Full transcription of text follows:
2nd Lt. J.E. Henschel M.T.C. M.T.C. School #1 A.P.O. 772- Decize (Nievre)- France- Am. Ex. Forces- November 7th/1918 Dearest Mother- My little friend Jean is sick! Last night Tad and I went to the little cafe of which I have written before and heard the news. Immediately - we hastened across the street to the school which is chez Jean and there he was - in a small room by himself - seated at the table - not looing at all well. You should have seen the expression on his face as he saw us in the door! It made me think of Mary when I
returned home suddenly after being away for some time. I held the poor little fellow on my lap for some time - to his great delight. His Mother came in a few minutes after our arrival - and seemed as pleased as Jean. We left him with a bit of chocolate that his Mother would not let him eat (after the fashion of Mothers - eh?) - and tonight I feel awfully glad that we paid him the little visit. According to his Mother - who thanked us very prettily - the little laddie slep all night long and is much better this evening - because, as she would have us believe, we went to see him.
The "new" feeling has not worn off yet. In short - insignia being unaccustomed sensations. For example - I am always astonished for a second when I am hurrying (yes it's true!) along the street and see a groupe of soldiers come to a salute. Unconsciously - I look around for the officer - to find that it is myself. This afternoon - by request of one Robertson - the enclosed bit of typeing was brought forth on an unsuspecting world. It's horrible but I am sending it along for it applies to quite a number of fel-
lows - especially Coburn - as well as Tad. Also - therein you will find my history in the warring bunch - "expressed in Henschel's [ms illegible: 1 wd] style". Military data - requested a long time ago - June 20th 1916- enlisted in Co. F. 4th [Missouri] [March] 1st 1917- mustered out of federal service. June 25th Sailed for France with the Field Service- July 4th landed at Bordeaux July 5th Enlisted in the Field Service for camion work- Note - I never have been certain whether I enlisted in the A.F.S. in France or the States. Signed a lot of papers both in New York & Paris! About 2 weeks later in active service - which was better than a training camp.
[October] 1st Enlisted in the Q.M.C. U.S. army at Jouaignes-France - doing exactly the same work with the same trucks and with the same army as before [November]? Ate too much Thanksgiving dinner [December] 24 to about [January] 1. Received Xmas packages and a bushel of [Kasnas City] Stars- ? Blessei par un camion - ? Put on one gold bar - service chevron 2 mos. later - Took it off - for the A.F.S. time did not county. About 3/1 Acting Sgt. in Co. "A". later "Mess " " " " (Much mourning by a number of [New York] gentleman. June 8th To officers' school at the Centre d'Instruction Automobile a Meaux
later - Back to Co "A" - as staff car artist - lots of excitement - (You have remarked on my careful - intelligent driving?) ? 1918 Retired from the war to become an instructor at M.T.C. School #1. [October] 26th Appointed 2nd Lt. M.T.C. U.S.A. [November] 2nd Accepted " " " " [November] 3rd Borrowed two gold bars - 3rd Returned first salute. Which brings the tale up to date. An important date - two - in fact. [August] 15th - my one and only permission and the Montdidier trip. Am enclosing also my certificate from the French school. There are four grades - failed - almost failed - passed - and passed well - that are
given to the students. I might say in passing that this school is based fundamentally on the old French one. Every instructor - save three - are old Reserve Mallet and Field Service men - so you can derive some idea of the value of the A.F.S. is becoming to the U.S. Army. All officers and as many non-coms as possible in the M.T.C. must go through this school some time or other. We feel quite proud of the old Reserve for that reason - for it training now the entire American automobile service - either directly or indirectly,
but at the same time - we all feel mighty disconsolate at the prospect of being out of the game ourselves. However we are all soldiers - more or less. Have a class - must go - My love as ever - Ned.
From the service of James E. (Ned) Henschel, Co. B Reserve Mallet--French Army, American Field Service, Quartermaster Corps, General Hdgts., and Motor Transport Co. 831.
|Date||November 7, 1918|
|Year Range from||1918|
|Year Range to||1918|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I
American Field Service (AFS)