Great War Association Fall event – 2013

November 13, 2013 - 2 Comments

by Jim Barnes

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On Friday, November 1, I once again made the trip to Newville, PA for the Great War Association’s Fall WWI event. The parking lot was full, indicating a good turnout and the Flea Market was extensive and busy. This year, the weather was quite favorable during the event and although the sky clouded up Saturday afternoon, there was no rain.

One of the highlights of the fall event has to be the period aircraft. This year, there were six planes, two German and four Allied by my count. The flyers were quite bold, getting right down on the deck at times and drawing a great deal of ground fire. There were several dogfights and I noted one of the Nieuports trailing smoke as it broke off from a fight with a Fokker D-7. Also, there were numerous straffing runs over both trench lines and  a Belgian pilot dropped wanted posters for a deserter from the Legion Russe. On Saturday evening, I had the opportunity to talk with one of the pilots and learned to my amazement, that these planes are actually quite affordable. Check out this link; http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/

This year, my duties with the Russian Legion included working on the mortar team  and assisting with the unit mess on Friday and mortar team and sentry duty in the trenches on Saturday. Our front, the sector under French command, was hit hard and often by the Hun, but they never penetrated past our first line of trenches. There was a strong turnout among the French forces which also included the A.E.F. 372nd (Colored) Regiment of the 93rd Infantry division, and French Moroccan Zouaves. The Germans had little luck attacking our end of the line. Unfortunately, being preoccupied with our positions, I have no clear idea of what transpired to our left among the Americans and British Commonwealth troops.

A new feature for the French command this year was a canteen which was set up in the rear area by our hospital staff. The canteen offered food and period postcards among other goods. Troops paid using francs which were purchased before the event started and therefore, functioned as actual currency. Very cool!

All in all, this year was a very good event. A job well done goes out to everyone responsible for putting on the event. A monumental chore, I am certain. Also a special thanks to my unit commander, Eugene Poplavsky…большое спасибо!

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Comments (2)

Patricia Patterson

November 14th, 2013 at 7:40 am    


Looks like fun. Wish I had an impression for that period.

Jim Barnes

November 14th, 2013 at 8:14 am    


Yes, I think you would enjoy it! You would see lots of old faces, as well.

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