The Doughboys of World War One
They were American men who served in the U.S.
military during World War I. About 4,000,000 men
served in the Army of the United States during
that war (April 6, 1917 through November 11, 1918).
The total number of men serving in the armed forces
of the U.S., including the Army, Navy, the Marine
Corps, and the other services, amounted to 4,8000.000.
It could have been said that among each 100 American
citizens, 5 were Doughboys. Whatever you do, don't
call them "Sammies" (as in "Uncle
Sammy's Boys"); they hated that. This ill-conceived
term was the brain-child of some aspiring adman
who thought it best, once he'd learned how broadly
his "Sammies" idea was rejected, that
he go unremembered. Some didn't even like the
term, "Doughboys" and insisted that
they be called simply, "Yanks". The
Southerners in the ranks would not have that;
it was after all, only fifty-two years since Richmond
burned. Somewhere in our digitalized archive of
Stars and Stripes articles you can find the
origin of the term, Doughboy, and you are
welcome to do so.
Articles From The Stars and Stripes
It is our intention to gain an understanding as
to who these Doughboys were. Born between the
late 1880s and throughout much of the 1890s, these
fellows were an odd lot. The vast majority of
them were from the Middle West; that is to say
that these were the recruits who were most likely
to have passed the physical examination in greater
numbers. And although so many Doughboys were of
good country stock, it should be remembered that
it was the state of New York that supplied the
highest number for the U.S. Army: 367,864. The
Stars and Stripes was the paper that the Doughboys
wrote for and edited; it served as a mirror for
these fellows and are able to understand them
all the better for it's existence.