George Rock
History of the American Field Service
1920-1955

 

INTRODUCTION
1914 to 1940

2. BETWEEN THE WARS. . . . .
The Fellowships for French Universities and Blérancourt
(1919 to 1939)

In May 1915 there were three sections of 20 ambulances each working on different sectors of the front in France under the direction of Colonel Andrew, Inspector General, and Stephen Galatti, Assistant Inspector. The U.S. representative was Henry Davis Sleeper, who conducted an office in Boston to solicit funds and volunteers. He was so successful that the American Field Service was operating 1,220 donated ambulances organized as 31 sections serving 66 French divisions when it was taken over by the U.S. Army in late 1917. Nearly 2,500 unpaid volunteers had contributed their services as ambulance drivers, some serving for several years and others for no more than the basic enlistment period of 6 months. Twelve had given their lives.

Their work had been outstanding, resulting in a great number of decorations---2 Légion d'Honneur, 5 Medaille Militaire, 245 Croix de Guerre, and 21 section citations. After May 1915, AFS ambulances carried the wounded from practically every important battle along the French front, from the plains of Flanders during the battles of Ypres and the Yser, from the hills of northern Lorraine during the violent engagements in Bois-le-Prêtre, and in the mountains and valleys of reconquered Alsace during the battles of Fecht and Hartmannsweilerkopf.

In 1916 during the Battle of Verdun they were everywhere in that sector from the Woevre to the Argonne. And in the autumn of that year two sections were sent to the Balkans, where they worked during the following year with the French troops in the mountainous regions of northern Greece, Serbia, and Albania. In 1917 they carried wounded from every great engagement, from the April battle in Champagne to the October battle on the Chemin-des-Dames.

In May 1917 the French needed transport drivers and asked if the Field Service could provide them. Men arriving in France with the expectation of driving ambulances were asked whether they would be willing to drive supplies to the front instead-and unanimously they agreed. Three sections of 40-45 men, two men for each truck, were sent to the front that month, and more than 800 followed in the next several months. As a result of this enlargement of its services, the organization shortened its name to American Field Service.

The French need for transport was pressing. The work was arduous, the roads poor, and the hours long. Orders came in so continuously that the trucks had to work steadily while their two drivers alternated days of work and rest, One record-breaking group kept its trucks on the road 669 out of the 744 hours of one month. More ammunition was carried by the transport service than the U.S. Army used during the whole war; and 180,000 troops were carried from reserve positions to the edge of battle. At one hard-pressed moment, the ingenuity of its drivers created the first tank transport---an experience which was later used in the preparation of instructions for all outfits of the American Expeditionary Force.

The U.S. Army began to arrive in France in the summer of 1917, and both branches of the AFS were taken over, the camion service as an official American adjunct of the French army. Many AFS members continued in the same work, while others transferred to the Air Force or another branch of service. By late spring 1919 most men had returned to the States and the Headquarters at 21 rue Raynouard was closed down. The First World War was over.

"The Field Service motto was 'Tous et tout pour la France,'" Inspector General Andrew wrote in 1920. "We all felt it. We all meant it. It is forever ours. In serving the armies of France, the men of the old Field Service enjoyed a privilege of unique and inestimable value, a privilege the memory of which will remain not only a cherished heritage but a living influence as long as any of us survive."

At the first reunion, held in New York in June 1920, the veteran ambulanciers formed the American Field Service Association to preserve the bonds that tied them to France and to each other. Further reunions were planned and held-in New York, Plymouth, and Paris-as well as smaller regional get-togethers in cities all over the country. The Association sporadically issued a Bulletin, which reported on the doings of AFSers wherever they were. However, from the first it was realized that something more than reminiscence and reunions could be built upon the sentiment held by the members.

"The French people during the war won our warm admiration for their spirit, their devotion to high ideals, their strength of character, and their efficiency," one member wrote. "The people of the United States should know them better in the future, should strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two nations, and should increase their co-operation in the advancement of civilization according to their common ideals."

In this spirit, during the first year after the war, members of the AFS held many consultations to consider ways to continue the work they had begun in 1914. It was finally determined that the most practical and enduring effort would be the establishment of scholarships between French and American universities. However, on returning to the United States in the summer of 1919 they discovered that an association had already been formed for the same purpose-the American Fellowships in French Universities, founded and sponsored by Mr. Myron T. Herrick. This organization was in every respect too well established for AFS to consider duplication.

The American Fellowships in French Universities had had its beginning in 1915. Dr. John H. Wigmore, Dean of Law in the Northeastern University of Chicago, had in correspondence with Professor C. H. Grandgent, then Exchange Professor at the Sorbonne, learned that the project would be welcomed by the French authorities. Meetings of scholars and scientists were convened and at them was planned the volume entitled Science and Learning in France. About 100 authors, distinguished members of the faculties of American universities and colleges, contributed to its preparation. It was published in the summer of 1917, largely through the activities of Mr. Dwight W. Morrow, and copies were sent to those interested in both the United States and France.

Mr. Herrick, having heard that the AFS was interested in a similar project, advised that an alliance of the two was possible. At the conference to consider this, Mr. Herrick and his associates of the Society for American Fellowships in French Universities, in deference to what the AFS had already accomplished for Franco-American relations, offered to give up their own identity and to rename the organization the American Field Service Fellowships for French Universities. The AFS was to be entrusted with the responsibility of administering the work, selecting the fellows, and so forth, aided by the influence and co-operation of the earlier group.

The Fellowship program was begun with the AFS funds left over from the war (authorized by a decree of the Supreme Judiciary Court of Massachusetts, 11 June 1920). At the time of the first reunion, the Association started a campaign to raise a sum sufficient to endow 127 fellowships, one to be named in honor of every member who had given his life in the war. For the year 1919-1920 there were 8 fellows. The following year 22 fellowships were awarded, of which 4 were to former AFS drivers.

The aim of the Fellowships was to

"encourage the development of a body of university scholars who by personal acquaintance with French achievements will be in a position to restore in all branches of American public opinion the just status of French science and learning and a better appreciation of the place of France in the leadership of the world. It is also hoped that through such fellowships the peoples of the world who cherish the same ideals of democracy, justice, and liberty will be helped to know one another better, to understand and appreciate more fully one another's labors and achievements in various fields of human activity and more and more to co-operate in the realization of their common hopes and ambitions."

The AFS Fellowships were a pioneer venture, even as the ambulance and camion sections had been. During the war there had been no precedent for light ambulances so close to the front and manned by the nationals of a country not involved in the war. In 1920 the only other organized scholastic interchanges were those sponsored since 1903 by the Rhodes Scholarships and since 1911 by the American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowships, both of which were different in scope, purpose, and backing. Individual scholars had, before the war, usually gone to Germany, whose scholastic tradition had so much influenced the system developed in the United States. Thus the Fellowships were a "way of carrying the spirit of the 'good old days' into the future," Stephen Galatti wrote in 1922.

"There is growing today in Paris a new off-shoot of the old Service," he continued. "In France today the AFS scholars are paving the same paths among the universities that the first three sections paved in the armies. How parallel the problems are! The same groping to find our places, the same slow untangling of administrative difficulties, and finally the same winning of confidence. And just as the success of the first three ambulance sections made it imperative that the Service should grow, so now the proved success of the small band of scholars make it imperative that the number of scholarships should grow.

"I wish I could take you just for a moment to the Café du Panthéon, where Paul Cadman [SSU 8, the holder of a fellowship] told me all that the scholars were accomplishing, how much they were taking advantage of their opportunity, and how much they were helped by the French- and then to the University Union to have all this confirmed again-or an introduction by hazard to a French Professor whose greeting 'Vous êtes un ami de M. Cadman, alors vous êtes mon ami, monsieur.' (Was it my fancy that it sounded so much like my first night at a poste, when the 'cuisto' said to me: 'Un ami de l'Américain S-, quel chic type!' )

"The excitement, the danger, and the panoply of war surrounded us all with a glamour, and it was easy in the ambulance days to bear our message to all our countrymen. It is more difficult now to interest even those who know France best, even though there is as great an adventure for the scholar of today as there was for the ambulancier of yesterday. It is the very same path they are treading. They are justly bearing the same name---and they are bringing new and distinguished honor to the American Field Service name, and through its name to the United States."

The large fund necessary to endow 127 fellowships did not immediately come in. By the end of 1922, some 80 annual fellowships had been awarded, some being renewals for a second year of study. But, while these had been financed by a few individuals, the Association at large had not raised the sum hoped for. It took the generosity of Georges Clemenceau, former Premier of France, to spark the formal Fellowship Campaign.

In 1922, M. Clemenceau made a lecture tour of the United States as unofficial spokesman for France, then under some criticism for its attitude towards German reparations. The proceeds of his tour, he announced, were to be used in some way for the promotion of understanding between France and America. Although many Franco-American organizations requested for the carrying-on of their work the funds resulting from these lectures, M. Clemenceau decided to make the AFS Fellowships his sole beneficiary.

"In memory of my student years in America," he wrote, "I hope you will permit me to contribute the proceeds of my lectures to your fund for sending American boys to France and bringing our students here."

The splendid goal of 127 endowed fellowships was never reached. The Fellowships Campaign in the first half of 1923 added considerably to the funds and ensured the continuance of the program. In the years that followed, the value of the American dollar suffered some change, allowing fewer fellowships to be granted in the 1930'S than in the first years.

The second World War and the fall of France in 1940 intensified the shift in the program that had begun in the middle 30's, when the Fellowships brought their first French scholar to the United States. Thereafter an increasing number of French students were brought over or were given grants-in-aid to continue their studies in American universities until, in 1943, the program was temporarily discontinued. In all, in 23 years it had granted 222 appointments to 168 scholars, of whom 7 were French.

Administration of the Fellowships after 1924 was delegated to the Institute of International Education, in New York City, thanks to the generosity of Mr. James Hazen Hyde, whose advice during the war years had already been of invaluable assistance to the AFS. The administration in France was in the hands of Dr. Horatio S. Krans, Director of the American University Union in France. Several programs were instituted during the 1920's by foreign governments and binational groups, bringing the total number of Americans sent abroad for study in 1926 to 78, in 1928 to 104, and so on. Of these, the Institute considered the AFS Fellowships "among the most valuable."

Their value in more important terms has been abundantly witnessed in the outstanding accomplishments and varied activities of those who have held them. Former fellows, in all sections of the United States and in several foreign countries, went on to teach in colleges and universities, as well as to hold important posts in government, business, and in the arts. Particularly impressive was the contribution made in the scholastic world, not only by classroom instruction given but also by a great number of published works.

Excerpts from the reports of some of the fellows show the depth of their experience, which many claim to have changed the subsequent course of their lives:

It is curious to me to note how my early attitude towards French civilization has changed with time. I have not found my first judgments wrong, but they have ceased to seem important to me. Instead, other things stand out. I have learned something about conversation. Americans seem to base their conversation too much upon personal conviction. I have become an admirer of the French ability to let the mind run over the logical implications of any case, regardless of one's personal views about it. I like the Frenchman's recognition and acceptance of what one is tempted to call the real, that is the immediate motives, of personal action. Apart from science of learning, thinking stands out here in its relation to social life in its clearest aspect. And also the fixity of French character, although it appeared somewhat mean at first in contrast to the intangibility and elasticity of our natures, has begun to seem to me something honest and reliable.

The end of the year as an American Field Service Fellow brings back a host of pleasant memories. France is certainly the ideal place to study international law and relations. One finds not only the tools with which to work, but also the helpful advice and inspiration which are so necessary if one is to make real progress and enjoy the work at the same time. I have been extended every possible courtesy by Dr. Krans of the American University Union and French and American professors with whom I have had contact this year.

I feel that by far the greatest advantage which I have derived from my two years of study in France is an international viewpoint. I have been intimately associated with a number of French people and have made some very close friends among them. I have also been in more or less direct personal relations with representatives of at least 15 other nationalities. The constant intercourse with people of such a diversity of backgrounds has been of inestimable value. Above all, by considering my own country in perspective in the light of these new ideas, I have a much better conception and understanding of her problems.

In regard to my research, I feel that I have actually accomplished a great deal, in spite of the difficulties which I have encountered. My progress has not been so rapid as it might have been in America, but the other advantages which I have enjoyed more than make up for any slight loss of time. In one of my reports I outlined my reasons for believing that France is the best country for Americans to choose for research in chemistry; after the lapse of a year I am still more firm in my convictions. As I have often stated and written to friends in the chemical profession in America, I have now a much better comprehension and greater admiration for modern French research in chemistry than is common in our county.

These contacts, made early in life, have been extremely useful and are an inspiration to go ahead with greater energy on the work I have undertaken. They could have been possible in no other way than by going to France, and I am therefore deeply grateful to the Fellowships that made them possible.

 

If the Fellowships could so change a person's opinions, and in many cases direct the course of his life, on a large scale they could accomplish yet more. One fellowship holder so influenced, Kenneth G. Holland, studied International Law and Relations and later became head of the Institute of International Education. Of the possible effect of large-scale international exchange, in 1942 he said the following:

"What we are doing is important. If you will let me use my imagination, I would venture to say that if we were to select the right students, give them the right training and experience . . . and have a sufficient number participate in these exchanges, we might very well determine the course of the world for generations to come.

"Let me illustrate, if I may, from a personal experience. When I was studying in France, and incidentally on a fellowship from the [American Field Service through the] Institute of International Education, I became acquainted with what is known as La Tribune Internationale. It was a student organization in Paris, made up for the most part of students on fellowships or scholarships who were studying there. There were young men and women from England, Germany, France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, the United States, Canada, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, and from many other countries, certainly all of the countries of Europe. This organization received financial assistance from the French Foreign Office in the days when Briand was Foreign Minister. These men were under the influence of such men as de La Pradelle, Renovain, and Tibal-great professors at the University of Paris. I am convinced that had that group of students controlled the destiny of the world we would have avoided the present war. That may sound fantastic. It may sound idealistic. But it seems to me it is quite possible. I reiterate: if we could select the right students, give them the right guidance and training, and arrange for a sufficient number of exchanges, we could have a very great influence on the peace of the world."

 

Between the wars, the AFS Association held more reunions. It sent out occasional bulletins and newsletters. Finally it announced in the Bulletin of March 1935 the organization of a museum: "To provide a permanent resting place for our Field Service trophies and records, that they may long bear witness to the high purpose and achievement of the men, now living or dead, who served with the French armies in the American Field Service, is our present hope and task.

"No suitable or appealing place seems to exist in our own country. In France there are several. Colonel Andrew and Major Galatti have recently discussed with Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt and Miss Anne Morgan the possibility of our having a room in the Franco-American Museum which they have organized at Blérancourt and turned over to the French Governments. Always good friends of the Field Service, they would welcome us with enthusiasm. There is, however, no room available. But this means merely a postponement of our plans, for it is possible for a room to be added in the Museum for our use, and this will be done. . . . Field Service men living in France, or going over this coming summer, may be able to attend the laying of the cornerstone on the last Sunday in June. On this date every year many prominent people, French and American, go to Blérancourt for the annual meeting of the trustees and friends of the Museum. . . . Aside from the particular appeal for our purpose of this Musée de la Coopération Franco-Américaine, we shall have no cost of upkeep, for it is one of the National Museums of France."

Before an AFS room could be built, in June 1936 occurred the death of A. Piatt Andrew. Stephen Galatti, who as his assistant during the war had known him best and who succeeded him as director of the American Field Service, wrote the following in the Memorial Bulletin:

"Not long ago I stood in Doc's garden at Gloucester and looked at the pine tree, now grown tall and firm, which he had brought back as a tiny sprig in 1915. Taken from a small corner of Alsace Reconquise, it had meant to him then the symbol of freedom of two great provinces. His conviction of what the civilization of France meant to the world had made him want to throw all his energies to help her in her hour of need. I felt so happy that he must have often passed by here and realized that he had so gallantly and effectively played an unusual part in these great events.

"I like also to remember that in giving his energy and his intellect, his constant courage and tenacity, he also gave so many others this opportunity. And I am sure it is fitting here to recall a few incidents which stand out as of vital moment and which directly affected all of us.

"When Doc arrived in France he found that the American Hospital had a detachment of ambulances to do evacuation work, and some cars back of the front in Belgium. The French had no idea of allowing neutrals any closer. But Andrew saw something that no one at that time could visualize. He saw Americans sharing hardships, danger, mixing with the soldiers at the front. He knew what a link that would be between America and France. He would not be rebuffed, and found his way to French Headquarters, where he had a friend, Gabriel Puaux. He pleaded with him of the great morale effect of having these Americans at the front and finally got permission to go to Commandant de Montravel, then stationed in the east. Here again he had to use the force of his argument that he wasn't interested simply in getting a few men at the front, but that its importance lay in that it would attract more and more American youths to come to France. He won his point, and the Service aux Armées de I'Ambulance Américaine became a reality.

"And in early 1915, with this settled, funds had to be gotten, so he went about it in his direct way---got on a steamer and went to Harry Sleeper and imbued him, a willing friend, with his vision of what America could do---so much so that Harry dedicated his life for those years to a magnificent accomplishment of financial and recruiting organization.

"Day and night for three years---the incessant details and the constant creation---the construction and improvement of the ambulances---the perfecting and organizing of supplies for cars and men---the relationship with the French Army and officers at the front and rear---the problems of ever-shifting volunteers---the constant necessary contact with the United States---nothing was too small not to be looked after, nothing was too large to be conceived and put into motion. I want you to see him as I did and you all couldn't. Your job was at the front. But it was his vitality, imagination, and strength of purpose that got you there, kept watching over you while you were there, and so often got you attached to the right division--got the funds to keep you there. And all the time the American Field Service was growing until nearly 3,000 volunteers were serving, with their own supplies, and functioning with marvelous efficiency---really a great undertaking when you realize that men, money, and supplies came from all over the United States across the ocean to France, and that the sections were then scattered throughout the French front---all this conceived and co-ordinated by 'Doc' Andrew.

"On the day of America's going to war, when Commandant Doumenc sorely needed men for the transport service and men who had come to do one thing had to be asked to do something else, he never thought of himself. He kept to what he had stood for for three years---and which the French Army had learned to know he would---that this service was built on loyalty to the army it was with and that it had served in the most exposed and difficult work. How could he have refused? It was April 1917. You all know what a dark period it was then. And he realized that it was a sacrifice from the glamour of the built-up tradition which these volunteers had read and talked about, and so he bent redoubled vigor in trying to lighten their sacrifice in building there in the short time available something independent and consequential. It was not hazard that the Mallet Reserve was a picked group and that it was at the great offensive of the Chemin-des-Dames.

"Always, when any of us meet, vivid recollections come to us---friendships, this or that adventure, mud, fog, 'soixante-quinze,' a dressing station, hospital smell, a 'bistro,' a billet, a 'poilu' in blue, Paris, the countryside of France, Soissons, Esnes, Hartmannsweilerkopf---and when it does, let's pause for a moment and think of 'Doc' Andrew, for it was he who made it all possible for us.

"And during those difficult days of being taken over by the American Army, when you at the front couldn't know what was going on, he was cajoling, persuading American and French commanders that those who were staying in the Service should be fully recognized and replacements hurried for those who were leaving. Yes, he did his job with his head and with his heart.

"Later he earned the love and respect of his Congressional district as no one else has, but I think those days in France were always strongly with him. And the statue of Jeanne d'Arc in front of the Legion building in Gloucester, which he had brought there, seems to stand for the freedom that he believed in and for his love and championship of free peoples."

PIATT ANDREW
1873-1936

He created the American Field Service. He directed its activities in France. When peace came he said the Field Service volunteers themselves gained far more than the wounded poilus from the work which they performed in serving with the armies of France. They enjoyed a privilege the memory of which will remain not only a cherished heritage but a living influence.

These are the words inscribed beneath the bust of Colonel Andrew which occupies the place of honor in the main Field Service room at the museum in Blérancourt. Not just a single room had been added but a whole wing to house the memorials of many of those who had aided France during World War I---notably the American Field Service and the Lafayette Escadrille.

For two years, members of the AFS, living in France worked with the museum's curator, André Girodie, and its staff to bring the rooms to completion---chief among them Lovering Hill (SSU 3) and John Maxwell Grierson (SSU 13). Many members ransacked their private collections of souvenirs for items of special interest, which were listed and sent off to France. Finally, the dedicating ceremony took place on 11 September 1938, as described by Lansing Warren (SSU 70):

"More than 3,000 persons came to the lovely gardens of the Chateau to witness the ceremonies. Among them were nearly the whole population of Blérancourt, who had beflagged their village with French and American colors. There were many notables of France and the United States, and many prominent friends of the Field Service and the Lafayette Escadrille. Among them were Miss Morgan and Mrs. Vanderbilt, M. Jean Zay (French Minister of Beaux Arts and Education), Ambassador William C. Bullitt, General Henri Gouraud (former Military Governor of Paris and great friend of the American Ambulance), General Lasson (representing the Department of France of the American Legion). The Veterans of Foreign Wars sent their color guard to participate in the parade. The 67th French Infantry Regiment came to Blérancourt to take part. . . .

"Reservists of France had been called out to man the Maginot Line in case the Czechoslovakian crisis should precipitate a call to arms. The newspapers were full of war scare, and many of the prominent persons who had expected to come to Blérancourt had been obliged to remain in Paris because of the tenseness of the international situation. This was .also the reason there were not more members of the Field Service there, although at least 40 had found ways to attend. (Jean Zay, the French Minister, spoke of this in his address, when he expressed the hope that the blood of French and Americans in the last war would not be found to have been shed in vain.)"

After the formal entry to the grounds of the colors, the soldiers and their band, the officials, and the guests,

"Mr. William de Ford Bigelow, dean of the Field Service men who were present, took the rostrum to speak. Mr. Bigelow represented Major Stephen Galatti, who to the regret of all present had been prevented at the last minute from coming to Europe.

"In his speech, Mr. Bigelow evoked the memory of Colonel Andrew and made formal presentation of his bust. He paid tribute to the efforts of all who had made the permanent museum possible, and reviewed the work of the Service in the war. His speech . . . concluded with a tribute to our friend, the French 'poilu'. . . .

"M. Zay was the only other speaker. He spoke warmly of the acts of friendship for France performed by the Field Service, other volunteer services, and by generous individuals whom he named. 'Blérancourt,' he said, 'will remain the temple of a living friendship.'

"Immediately after this address, which was vigorously applauded, the new wing of the Museum was opened by M. André Girodie, the curator. The Field Service veterans led the way.


Blérancourt, 11 September 1938:
Ambassador Bullitt, Mrs. Vanderbilt, and M. Zay
in front of the bust of A. Piatt Andrew

"The main entrance of the new wing leads directly into the main Field Service room. At the end of the room stands the memorial to Colonel Andrew. . . . In the center of this same room is a large showcase containing the Section 'fanions' spread in a bouquet. The flags are those of sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. In the bottom of this case are numerous section and individual citations, original messages from notables of the French army and French government addresses to the Service; samples of the uniform insignia of the Field Service; brass plates taken from ambulances and bearing the names of donors of cars; interesting communications and correspondence relating to the Service. The walls of the room are decorated with flags and with paintings showing the Field Service history. One is the honor scroll done by Waldo Peirce showing the Winged Victory. Above the staircase hangs the old banner which was in the entry to Headquarters at 21 rue Raynouard".

"Descending the staircase to the room below, every Field Service man who goes through the experience will get a thrill. In the center of the room stands a Field Service 'voiture'! It is old Hunk O'Tin himself. The car, so far as can be learned, is the only Field Service ambulance now in existence. It came from Section 30 and is marked on the side with the number 141858. On the small toolbox to the left of the driver's arm there is the number 27. It is the real thing and in perfect condition. . . .


Hunk O'Tin

One of the ambulances had long ago been taken to America and preserved, in the hope that some such appropriate and permanent resting place might eventually be found for it. It had been for some years under the good care of Edward N. Seccombe (SSU 2) at Derby, Connecticut; and, when the time came for it to be shipped to France, Seccombe had taken great pains to see that it was put into the best possible shape. It bears on its side, in addition to the regular service inscriptions, the official falsehood about these cars having a maximum capacity Of 3 'couchés' or 4 'assis.' Probably nobody knows what was really our maximum load. Good authority can be given for the fact that one car, at any rate, carried as many as 14.

"In the room with Hunk O'Tin are several radiator fronts, punctured and battered by shellfire, which belonged to cars that were glorious in the Service. One is from the car in which Richard Hall was killed, in Alsace; another is from the car driven by Roswell Sanders of Section 4 at Verdun the night that he was seriously wounded and his companion, Edward Kelley, was killed.

"There is an old 'écriteau' of the Groupe Brancardier Divisionnaire, inscribed as follows: 'G.B.D./Poste Relai des Pyramides / Hartmannsweilerkopf.'

"On another wall is the 'fronton' decoration that surmounted the entrance to the ambulance training headquarters at May-en-Multien, near Meaux. There are several section insignia, taken from the cars themselves by persons who thought them worth preserving when the cars were broken up. Among them is the famous Indian Head of Section 1. There is also the perhaps less famous, but nonetheless notable, mascot of the French bathing girl done by George Hall of Section 70 on the side of the Section's White Truck. It had a motto-'Yes, I spick Englich'-which caused infinite merriment to all French friends of the Section."

The Blérancourt issue of the AFS Bulletin, issued in June 1939, announced the plans for a reunion trip to France for that September. The booklet closed with these words: "During the 20 years that have passed since we left the shores of France, we have seen our American Field Service Fellowships established and functioning without interruption; our rooms for the permanent exhibition of our mementos dedicated; our 19th American edition of the Bulletin published. We have held four reunions and many local get-togethers. Now---'Where do we go from here . . . ?"

The answer was quick to come.


Introduction 3, Preparations for World War II
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