The World at War: Across the Atlantic, Summer 1917

By June 1917, the first Americans were on their way to France and the War. One of those traveling across the Atlantic Ocean was Yellow Springs native and Antioch College graduate Alice Carr, a nurse serving with the American Red Cross. Alice and her fellow nurses of the John Hopkins Hospital Unit #1 departed New York Harbor aboard the USS Finland on June 14, 1917. The Finland would travel in a convoy with ships carrying the First Infantry Division to France.

“Sunset & evening star and one clear call for me. June 1917 going over. Sub chaser-one of those which watched out for us.”

On June 28, 1917, the convoy anchored near St. Nazaire, France, and by early July Alice was on her way to Base Hospital #18 near Bazoilles-sur-Meuse. She would remain with Hospital #18 until her discharge on April 25, 1919.

In the following letter home, possibly written onboard the Finland or on the ground in France, Alice lists “somewhere” for her location and opens with:

“Dear Folks-

Of course I can’t tell you where we are or what we are doing but rest assured that we are safe and happy…”

More information on Alice Carr can be found by visiting the finding aid for her collection (MS-135). Please continue to check back as we will be commemorating U.S. involvement in World War I now through Veterans Day (formerly Armistice Day), November 11, 2018.

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