Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 1996.51.136DL
Object Name Letter
Accession number 1996.51
Description 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
People Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
Subjects World War I
Letters (Home)
Military life
Search Terms American Field Service (AFS)