While going through photos taken in France during WWI by my grandfather, Willie Benoit — a tiny (1-1/2″ by 2-1/2″) photo of a man with a mustache surrounded by children and adults caught my eye. I turned the photo over and was completely surprised to see the name General Pershing written in pencil on the back. The photo was on an album page with two other photos — one of Pershing addressing the troops and one of the car in which Pershing was riding. Seeing and photographing Pershing must have been an incredible moment for my grandfather. I wish I had known about the photos while he was alive. I would have asked him to tell me about them.
General Pershing in France
After departing New York under top secrecy in May 1917, Pershing arrived in France in June 1917. 1 I’m not sure when or where in France the photo was taken. My grandfather’s photo album is dated Sept. 1918 through Aug. 1919, so it probably was taken during that period of time. Even though he was stationed in Dijon, he has photos from other places in France, so it could have been taken in one of the places he visited.
Photo of Pershing’s Car
This photo is really interesting to me because of the women to the right of the car in the photo. Who were they? Were they with Pershing or were they there to see him? The four stars on the car are also fascinating to me.
Does anyone know what kind of car this was?
Photo of Pershing Addressing the Troops in France
In the bottom right of the photos, you can see the tops of the heads of soldiers. Pershing is standing above, so he looks as if he is addressing the troops below.
My Grandfather’s WWI Photo Album
I wrote about my grandfather’s wonderful photo album a couple of weeks ago, and I go through it, I will continue to share the photos here .
- General Pershing – Wikipedia
- John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing – Arlington National Cemetery Website
About Military Monday
We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military. Military Monday is an ongoing series by Cindy at Everything’s Relative – Researching Your Family History.
- Wikipedia ↩