Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Tag: Great War Kansans (Page 2 of 8)

The African American Soldier: John E. Wilson

1st Lieutenant John E. Wilson was born December 4, 1881 at Mobile, Alabama.  He had been working as a porter in 1901 when he enlisted in the 9th U.S. Cavalry, one of the “Buffalo Soldier” regiments.  He served for six years, and records found so far suggest he never rose above being a private.  However, since attendance at the officers’ training school at Fort Des Moines  required either being a non-commissioned officer or a college education, one may assume he did reach at least the rank of corporal, as there is no indication of a college education. more

Colonel James C. Hughes: The Full Story

In recognition of the anniversary of World War I, the Kansas Museum of History created a special exhibit about a Topekan who experienced both world wars. Captured: The Extraordinary Adventures of Colonel Hughes has been extended through May 2018.

Hughes’ story is both common and exceptional.  He was born in Topeka in 1888. The timing of his birth, the influence of his military father, and the impact of world politics shaped his life. He began his service as a member of the Kansas National Guard and was sent to the Texas border with the American Expeditionary Forces in 1916.  As a member of the U.S. Army he served from 1917 to 1948 and fought in both world wars. He left many detailed records of his time in service.  He photographed battlefields and towns in Europe, recorded his daily survival as a Japanese Prisoner of War (POW), and saved many belongings from the wars that were later donated to this museum.  In essence, he captured his life. more

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