May 12, 2017

Over There: Profiles of American Jews in World War I

Approximately 225,000 American Jews served in World War I. They served as Marines, soldiers and sailors. They served in all aspects of the military: infantry, artillery, cavalry, engineering, signal, aviation, ordnance, quartermaster branches and more. Four received the Medal of Honor. Some were heroes, some did their part, some never made it home. As we observe the centennial, this continuing series will profile Jewish individuals who served.

  • Over There: Edwin Schwarz - When a Jenny or D.H. 9 fell from the sky and thundered into the ground, routine activities immediately ceased and the total emphasis of the medical group turned to the rescue and recovery of the involved airmen.  Interrupting his other duties, Edwin rode out to accident sites in an ambulance, across bumpy, hole-ridden, rough roads and fields, kicking up massive clouds of choking light brown dust.
  • Over There: Abel Davis - In World War I, Abel Davis commanded the 132nd Infantry. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism at Consenvoye.
  • Over There: Samuel I. Trachtenberg - Private Trachtenberg was shot 12 times in both legs, both thighs and right hand.  The next day as his comrades planned to continue the attack, news of the armistice arrived at 8:30am.
  • Over There: Abie Fox - Abie Fox, a Polish émigré and Fort Worth, Texas, coffee shop owner, entered the U.S. Navy in April 1917 and he immediately shipped out for training at the Great Lakes Naval Air Station.  He eventually joined the USS Texas as a Fireman Second Class on June 28, 1917.
  • Over There: Benjamin Prager - The riflemen of Company E were having difficulty identifying where the machine gun fire was coming from. Sergeant Prager had a solution. Give the Germans a clear target. He stood in the window of the house providing the Germans something to shoot at.
  • Over There: Harold Epstein - A series profiling American Jewish service in the First World War Private Harold Epstein Wounded in Grimpette Woods Harold Epstein left Sheffield, Pennsylvania for the Army on February 25, 1918. Epstein was the son of a Russian-immigrant father, one of eight children. He’d graduated from Sheffield High School five years earlier and worked as a Read more about Over There: Harold Epstein[…]
  • Over There: James J. Joffe - In mid-January 1918, Lt. Joffe flew his Airco de Havilland twin seat bomber at several hundred feet altitude. The aircraft suddenly became uncontrollable and spun toward the earth nose first at full speed.  He pulled back his control stick with all his strength and hit his pedals attempting to stabilize the plane to no avail.
  • Over There: Zadoc Morton Katz - A series profiling American Jewish service in the First World War Zadoc Morton Katz Baltimore Boy Killed in Action at Montfaucon The U.S. had entered the Great War.  Friends of Zadoc Morton Katz suggested his education and training as an executive in the clothing industry might make him well-suited to contribute to the war effort by Read more about Over There: Zadoc Morton Katz[…]
  • Over There: Abraham Krotoshinsky - Before the war, the "Savior of the Lost Battalion" was still an immigrant barber in the Bronx. Krotoshinsky came to New York from Płock, part of the Russian Empire in Poland. He'd left there specifically to escape military service. His attitude toward military service changed drastically in his adopted country.
  • Over There: Joseph Linett - Joseph Linett left Ukraine for the United States. He was inducted into the Medical Corps and served in France as doctor. While overseas, he tragically lost his wife back home.