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"Hezzie" Goes to War: World War I through the Eyes of a Mid-Missourian

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Medical Corps

Mapping and Aerial Reconnaissance

Western Front Experience

After Armistice: AEF University

Hezzie's locations in France
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Mapping and Aerial Reconnaissance

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Officers of the G-2-C Second Army
Hezzie officer id card
AEF Officer Identity Card

2nd Army patch
Second Army patch

U.S. insignia

Letter No. 68

France, June 23, 1918

. . .Yesterday I received permission to put on my service stripes. I will now wear two gold stripes on my left arm, each denoting six months service in France.

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i.d. bracelet and insignia
I.D. bracelet and
Corps of Engineers insignia

aerial reconnaissance
Reading aerial reconnaissance photos

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Letter No. 80

Sunday, September 1, 1918
(location cut out)

Dear Mother and Dad:
Well, as I supposed in my last letter, I have been relieved of my duties with the 29th Engineers and in the morning will report to the Commandant of the Army Schools as Instructor in Airplane Photographs. . . . Of course it is a higher grade of work as I will be instructing officers entirely now. The man I relieved was called away suddenly last night. The work, on the whole, will not be quite so time-taking as now perhaps, as I will be relieved as Teacher here, with no more night guard duty to do and will also discontinue being Court Officer. In my new place I will instruct only there afternoon, so that will give me additional time and often there will be a day when the other courses will not permit the coming of the students to us. I will have to be able, however, to answer more thoroughly any questions pertaining to my subject, as the majority of the officers are those who have been serving at the front.

my pilot
My pilot and Liberty plane

Letter No. 83

Tours, France,
Sept. 23, 1918

. . .on Friday morning last at 10 o'clock I left the ground from the aviation field here on a Liberty airplane and soared over the Town of Tours to my heart's content. It was another thing accomplished which I have been trying to get for a long time. It was a wonderful sensation indeed. The airplane I went up in was one of the powerful types and an all-American machine. We left the ground going at about 60 miles an hour, up over the hangars and soon the earth begin to drop away very quickly. It seemed that we had not been up over five minutes until I looked out at one side and there alongside us was a large rain cloud which looked just the same as looking up at them. Soon we entered one to emerge presently on the other side in clear open sky. Nothing much could then be seen but soon he turned the machine up on one wing and we didn't do anything but actually drop back thru those clouds. It was some sensation and I am frank to say I didn't exactly enjoy that part of it until he flattened out like I thought a bird ought to fly. He perhaps did it to test my nerves. I didn't cheap although I couldn't feel my weight at all on the seat and I didn't seem to weigh an ounce.

artillery practice
Artillery Practice
Saumur, France

Letter No. 85

2nd Lieut. J.H. Pattrick,
Engrs. Co. "A" 29th Engineers,
A.P.O 714 American E.F.,
Sunday, October 6, 1918

. . .
From Tours I went to Saumur and saw Mandry for a couple of hours, he will be an artillery officer in a couple of weeks now and likely go into the thick of it at the front. I saw some of the guns fire and then got into an auto and went about a couple of miles and got in a rock dug-out and watched the shells fall from the same guns. It is remarkable how accurate they get in their shooting.

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A Joint Exhibit
of the
University of Missouri
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Columbia
and the University of Missouri-Columbia
Museum of Anthropology

Acknowledgments and World War I Links