In 1919 the French government refused to allow the American dead to be repatriated. Among their concerns was competition for the labor that would be required when there were millions of French dead that needed to be re-buried properly – the Americans could afford to pay higher wages for this work. Eventually though, in 1922 the French government relaxed the ban. The American Battle Monuments Commission then polled the next of kin wherever possible and 59% of them opted to have their loved one returned to the U.S. for local re-burial.  Most of these remains were transported down the Meuse Canal on barges for dispatch by ship from the port of Antwerp. You can read the whole story by clicking here.

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official from Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and is affiliated with the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Salonika Campaign Society and the Gallipoli Association.