Letters from a Yankee Doughboy: Private 1st Class Raymond W. Maker in World War I (Paperback)


Norton, Bruce H.


Author of Stingray: The History of Reconnaissance Marines Vietnam - 1965-1972 and The Encyclopedia of American War Heroes

Letters From a Yankee Doughboy is a collection of more than 125 letters written by Private 1st Class Raymond W. Maker, to his sister, Eva, a county nurse living in Framingham, Massachusetts, describing his everyday service in combat during World War 1. These letters, edited by Private Maker’s grandson, Major Bruce H. Norton (USMC retired) are accompanied by 365 pocket-diary entries that Raymond religiously kept throughout the year 1918.
Private Maker was assigned to Company C, 101st Field Signal Battalion, as a wireman, whose duty was to repair and replace the communications lines that were destroyed by artillery and mortar barrages during the horrific battles that took place between German infantry forces and the 26th “Yankee” Division of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), in France, from October of 1917 until the end of the war.

Assigned to the 104th Infantry Regiment, Private Maker saw the very worst of ground warfare. He fought at the Battle of Belleau Wood; was gassed by German artillery forces at the Battle of Château-Thierry and was wounded by artillery fire outside of Verdun, just one day before the Armistice was signed. The theme of his letters will vividly evoke memories in the tens of thousands of men and women who have served their country and their friends and loved ones.

As a postscript, toward the end of the war, Raymond took the key to the North Gate of Verdun as a battlefield keepsake and mailed it home to his sister, instructing her to “keep that key, as someday it will be of value.” On November 11, 2018 – the centenary of Armistice Day – the author returned that key to Thierry Hubscher, the Director of the Mémorial de Verdun, to be placed on display in that great Museum, closing a 100-year chapter in Raymond’s life.

American History, American Studies, American Military History, Military Science, Military History, European History, World War I, Combat, Epistemology, American Studies, War Studies, France, French History, Germany, German History, New England
Release Date: 
July 1, 2020
978-1680532012 Paperback
Trim Size: 

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