Old Magazine Articles

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.

 



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