Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The American Field Service

The American Field Service had over 2,400 individuals in its ranks during 1914-1917. At its greatest strength it had an active roster of over 1,000 men. Duties included the driving of ambulances as well as camions (heavy trucks) for the French cause. Daily activities consisted of hours of boredom mixed with perilous trips near the front, driving under random shellfire on torn-up roads. Their contribution was a significant one at a time when many Americans viewed the World War as something to stay out of.
During 1914 and the first half of 1915, the ambulance section as it existed then was the "Field Service" of the American Ambulance. The American Ambulance was a hospital in Paris created and funded by Americans prior to the outbreak of the war.
This photograph shows Arthur Chase Watson, wearing a British style uniform with leather belt and spiral puttees. The large beret was the 'Tarte' of the WW1 French elite Mountain Troops or Chasseurs Alpins.

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