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Request WW I photos from Belleau Wood

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I have all the post cards, and have seen stuff on line, but might anyone have actual photos of  WW I Belleau Wood? The US or German cemetery or the battlefield pictures that have not been published?

I  collect USMC  Belleau  Wood post cards & maps.  Maybe I  will post the many  I have.  

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Hi USMC, if I come across any will let you know, in the meantime it would be nice to see the ones you already have  👍 

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Here is a documentary I found about Belleau Wood - recommend otherwise an internet search. You can also find cemeteries in the area under Commonwealth War Graves and Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, which lists and describes all German cemeteries in the area.


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  • 1 month later...

 For Belleau wood information and some photos please see:





an interesting photo:



A great book but you have to enlarge and down load the maps from this source. 

Paste this search in (www://usmcu.edu/Portals/218/BravestDeedsMen _web.pdf?ver=2018-12-11-080219-267)

  If you have problems viewing. To get this pasted link to view, click on the books cover picture below and you will then see the same cover picture on a black background, then click AGAIN on the small cover picture and scroll down to read the book. Do not use the > this does not function on my  Mac computer. There are 95 pages.

BravestDeedsMen_web.pdf?ver=2018-12-11-0      👈  click on this cover photo and you see the black

 image.png.1d67fdf6702781a4cafda818f05a3f2c.png You will see this black box on the screen, then click on this black one you see on your computer screen  again👈

Then just scroll down to view...

 However, if you order the book it comes as a small paperback (2008). Hard cover is out of print. Note, that the Kindle version has butchered maps in the conversion to a paperback. The cover is different and the pb has very small useless maps for old eyes. It is better to read the copy on the web and down load the color maps to print out as 8 1/2 x 11 fold outs and glue them into the paper back book. This is a very nice field guide of the battle.  It is great with larger readable maps to refer to. The color and size really improves the small black and white maps found in the book. Here is an example of what I did : 



Printed out color maps, I  added a total of 13 maps. 




Company history with photos:




C span lecture:





 Grave registration and removal for reburial back home:



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 This is a link to Doc Joel T Boone at the Belleau Wood HQ  aid station where a good number of marines were first buried.




Here is the HQ & aid station.  The USMC graves can be seen off the left shoulder of the Marine standing in the picture1517325411_ScreenShot2021-10-31at11_06_29AM.thumb.png.7f29b8f1d059da5bdbf9c68df1f6fa66.png


Here is the view of the entire stereoview card. 




Photos of the first cemetery near the aid station -HQ,.  USMC  men that fell on hill 193.



A view of Hill193. source: https://www.loc.gov/item/2007663874/


Map showing Hill 193 and town of Belleau









Note the dog tags identifying the recent graves in the above photo.




A post card view.


A french post card is below.




There are many post WWI French post card booklets containing photos as Post Card collections. Belleau Wood photos can be found in the many Chateau-Thierry  books. Each is different and not all have views of the cemetery. These three do.







Maison Blanc US Marines Base Headquarters  Stereoscopic Cardimage.png.ffe5f28288bf342f46843edf7a0d586a.png 


After the war, ?? 1930




The graves at the aid station were moved in 1919. Reinterred at the new cemetery which was to become the Aisne-Marne American soldier Cemetery which enlarged to become approximately 42 acres  at the foot hills of where the Battle of Belleau wood was fought. Later many more doughboys that lost the lives in the Battle of Chateau-Thierry were also buried here at the new 1919 cemetery.  

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Here is a link to pictures of Belleau Wood - if you follow this more intensively, you will find a lot more, which you can quite simply download.

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 Thank you,  I am aware of this search and it indeed provides a good number of photos and others will find it useful as a source for references to maps and photos. Its weakness is the lack of views of most post cards, stereographic cards, and magic latern slides. There are some great photos in each link. A search of the many individual links provide many battle scene views both photos and art.  A neat map  (if into a specific battle this is a jewel on Belleau Wood) that is reproduced in actual topographic map size is also provided 🙂 it takes up a good portion of the wall:

at this source and is a high quality print:https://battlearchives.com/products/belleau-wood-front-line-progression-battle-mapimage.png.98033f0698bfb2f12a24021b051a8ba5.png

A fantastic map to have : see   



In addition some of the Yard long  WW I photos can be obtained from the Fine art reprints, but at a cost and most viewers are most likely not into such expensive reproductions. Now to find an original photo is quite a feat and expensive. Any USMC  original yard longs command top buck. Below are some of the best views. These are posted for general informationonly, not to advertise.  Price info. is out of date. These are for show to provide some nice period overviews of the Belleau Wood area -what was generally seen. The unit yard longs of Marine companies dating to WW I are seldom found in the states and not reproduced.  If an original is found, such a photo commands a stiff value to place in ones collection.  Some portions of these are shown/used on original steroview cards from the many makers of the cards.  Below are some reproduced pieces:







And my favorite cemetery photo is this one shown below. I wish I could find an original...image.png.d36397479f08c2d632213e7a567d1491.png

see    https://2nd-division.com/_div.misc/chateau.thierry/belleau.dedication.htm


So Fritz, As always, Thank you.  That general LINK provides a source of many photos for the reader. I  shall present some more views of the later cemetery next.

 As a side note a good number of military collectors collect original" Yard long" unit photos or base photos in the states from WW I and WWII.  Heck, I got a unit photo from my time in the Corps.  This is one I stumbled onto last month. Its a rare one due to subject, clarity in the photo, and size 57 inches ( 45cm) long.  This is a U.S  War department Panoramic photograph dated December 1917. This is a very detailed view of  the US ARMY  Camp Mac Arthur, Texas showing  the camp and men of the 119th& 121st US Machine gun Battalion and the 127th & 128th Wisconsin National guard Infantry units. It was recovered at a estate sale in WI. Even the Camp Mac Arthur archives does not have this photo! This was a rare  find that sold for an unbelievable $40 in the frame with old WW I  glass that has bubbles in the flat glass.  Most go around $500 in the USA for unknowns or limited rare originals.  I am not even sure how one would take a photo of such long photos.  Like most, I have far to many and they take up wall space. Especially the longer panoramic views. 

Here is the Camp Arthur photo I need to find wall space for.  The more recent dime a dozen Viet Nam unit photos are much easier to come by. This is my unit. You got to love the old peanut butter USMC overseas uniforms. The four old guys in front were WW II Jar heads that were lifers- they had some stories. Hard core.




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Nice items, the largest unit photo I have from WW1 is 16 x 68 inches, I have never seen another quite so large before. Mine is of the 115th infantry, 29th Division in Camp McClellan. 

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 Gildwiller1918, By chance is it this one with all the buildings?   https://portraitofwar.com/2013/06/17/wwi-29th-division-115th-infantry-regiment-panoramic-yardlong-photo-amazing-details/


Might you have a link to one show on the web?  The one below is the kind of views that are of interest. 



I generally go after units where the different rifles are shown in their hands or large Camp views. Also Wi logging camp views (Not military and really rare). I am still looking for an original where the unit is holding /using Mosins rather than 1917s, 1903,0r Krags.  Some of the machine gun units have guns set up and make for an interesting  unit photo.  I like them in the frame not rolled up in the mailing tube.  The cost to build a frame is rising and glass costs have doubled. 


 Now,  this yard long  with Mosins is one I'd love to find... here is a portion of the view with markings on the photo:


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I understand the framing costs, that it why I make my own now, wood is still fairly reasonable, but I cut my own glass so its not as bad. I will post an image of the large camp photo I have a little later today.

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Some views of the moved graves that grew into the main cemetery. HQ graves moved in fall 1918.  Stereoviews, post card and photos. image.thumb.jpeg.3e31f2ff3ff3d9bbe9802f0d9a592c58.jpeg
























Date confirmed   8/26/1919 ;  16 September 1919 press photo original. Shown below.











 A stereoview I have not obtained yet;


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Well I will have to try some outdoor photo's as my large photo is in an area that does not allow for good pictures. We have a tropical storm heading our way, so it will have to wait a few days. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I found some French post cards from Mhiljian and 2 French newspaper photos from Belleau wood 

Below is a post card of the relocated graves to the new large Chateau Thierry cemetery.   very similar to the crosses at the HQ cemetery but no lower wisks of ribbon seen in photos of the photos of the first cemetery near the aid station -HQ,.  USMC  men that fell on hill 193. look at that photo. 



French Mhiljian post card views



Notice no bodies , but German equipment scattered about in the lower card view. 


 French graves on the way to Belleau wood 



Roads to Belleau wood




 newspaper official photos


The backs of the French post cards.




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  • 3 weeks later...

 I got some more post cards on the way.  I was lucky to get a few more I did not have. Here is a 26 Aug 2002 interview of a Belleau Wood  USMC vet born in 1899. He was 103 years old when he did this interview in 2002. , image.png.5f533117db8fc39af7b454533081c0c1.png 



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  • 2 weeks later...

A card I am on the look out for... I do not yet own this post card or booklet.  Update found a specimen see page 2.  Still looking for the booklet.


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Note most photos of the Hunter's Lodge are way after the battle and do not show the graves of U. S.  Marines that where relocated in 1918.  This photo does in the left lower side.



A post card view showing the graves.



For some reason the top of this booklets cards were to far to the top of the post card and the title was cut short in this booklet's production. All cards have a brownish tone.




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  • 2 weeks later...

 In the U.S. , WW I stereoview cards from  the Keystone View Co. and Underwood and Underwood are fairly common and can be found somewhat easily. Finding cards in great condition is always a problem, they were not always stored under the best conditions. All to many were religated to the damp basement or hot attic.  Specimens in excellent condition with the great photo subjects are always expensive. In contrast, one rarely encounters  Realistic Travels and W. E. Troutman Inc. stereoscopic cards.  And finding one in great condition with the WW I subject matter you are looking for is difficult.  I was lucky and found some Belleau Wood cards over the holidays that no one bid on.  Here they are :



W.E. Troutman Card 5131 is of german POWs captured at Belleau Wood. 



W. E. Troutman card 5009  presents an early 1920s view of Belleau Wood cemeteryimage.thumb.jpeg.0e564cfb9d5bcde9b12c174d2c068fb8.jpegimage.thumb.jpeg.1f3f76f3fba81c7f935fcd5a3cda24e1.jpegimage.thumb.jpeg.e0abb661932253e93cc8f1f1e5be1a0d.jpeg


Less exciting is stereoscopic card 5033 showing the destroyed village of Belleau Wood.


 Then there are a few post cards that show small groups of burials or individual burials from after the battle. These were later relocated to the main cemeteries:  German,  American, and French. 

 I have showed the burials near the Hunter Lodge. Here are some views  found on post cards. 


 Finally I got a nice reproduction of a map:



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 A very common set of approximately 20 post cards was produced in 1918 by the Chicago Daily Newspaper.  These are easily found.  Due to a somewhat thick coat of print, they have a tendency to crack with age and heat. These are divided back, somewhat dark black and white lithographed post cards. On the front is a title and the circular Chicago News WAR postcard circular imprint and on the reverse is written  THE CHICAGO DAILY NEWS, G.J. KAVANAUGH, WAR POSTAL CARD DEPARTMENT”    What is difficult to find is the entire set in its original post card folder ! Most of the ones that are actually post marked date to late 1918 or 1919. 


There are two Belleau Wood scenes. image.thumb.jpeg.502adb3b84dffe7043103586e8291156.jpegimage.thumb.jpeg.4e1753657f1a241eda0cd2dda3df4e95.jpegimage.thumb.jpeg.a775f5c1e6b16fefd84e4b5c56133018.jpeg




Groups of cards are always for sale on Flee bay. Here is a sample showing some cards in the set. Photo source is an on line grab.  It is difficult to find these thick  cards in good condition. The surface has a tendency to crack. I do favor stamped and post marked used cards that were actually sent in the mail.  Others like unused mint cards. image.thumb.jpeg.2ae64afc8c49cc00b9b772a52927ac10.jpeg

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Nice postcards, especially the ones from the Chicago newspaper.  

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Commentary about the WWI silent film.  I  would like to again highlight the activities shown in this  Reel American silent 10 min. film. What a difference from the way an archaelogist in America would approach such work: As a contrast see current approaches (NOT WWI), but still a rare find that required a scientific approach:  There are many other University examples...  I post this one because it is interesting and in Europe. Enjoy

Incredibly Rare Battle Of Waterloo Skeleton Uncovered



Reel America

Graves Registration Service U.S. Army Silent Film




To listen to the lecture and comments.




Also very interesting...


Reel America

Chateau-Thierry Sector U.S. Army Silent Film

Historian Mitchell Yockelson and French World War I battlefield guide Guillaume Moizan provided commentary for silent U.S. Army Signal Corps films from 1918. Restored by the National Archives, the film shows activity related to battles in the spring and early summer of 1918 when American and French forces stopped a German offensive northeast of Paris. 




One of my favorite WW I documentaries I use to show my archaeology class was the program "Digging Up The Trenches (WWI Documentary)"


In Flanders Fields, Belgium, a team of archaeologists seek to uncover the secrets of World War One by finding and excavating a German and a British trench. Digging up the Trenches is a two-hour special that reveals each stage of trench warfare by focusing on the remarkable finds made by this unique excavation.

For a great archaeological  perspective to recovering WW I artifacts please view this one and a half  hour  TV program:


Some may enjoy the  2014 book by David Kenyon and Andrew Robertshaw,  Digging the Trenches: The Archaeology of the Western Front 


 or Traces of War: The Archaeology of the First World War , 2018 by Birger Stichelbaut


also for general survey, a text: 

The Historical Archaeology of Military Sites: Method and Topic

by Clarence Raymond Geier, Lawrence E. Babits, et al. | Dec 15, 2010
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Good stuff. I was at Waterloo in 2015 for the 200th anniversary, lots of neat display and artifacts from the area. 

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  • 1 month later...

Recently I ran into a batch of odd very thin, original, vintage post cards of Chateau Thierry.  I was delighted to get the set. What surprised me is that they are very thin. Much thinner than a normal WW I post card and thinner than the detachable post cards found in the WW I post card booklets.   They are French and have an oval " Paris" marker's mark in the center that I show. The cards are yellowed with age. They are as thin as a contemporary 3x5 ruled index card that is made in China, not like the 1960s real  U.S. made index cards that are thicker.  These French cards sort of stick together like fresh, just made, new US dollar bills and it takes three of them to be the normal thickness of a WW I  Chicago News post card in the set I showed in a previous post.  What I was after was the two cemetery views of Belleau Wood.  I show these two views below.  However, the set has some interesting Belleau Wood views. Here is an overview photo of the set:



Here is a out of focus photo (intentional) of a contemporary white index card and the degree of  patina the yellow paper is showing on the card.



The cemetery views are shown below.  The first view is fuzzy on the card, the second view more clear.  The camera is set on B&W: 

 (notice the thin card has an odd heavy  paper with fibers or hair within the paper. It is not smooth, it kind of reminds me of old water color paper from my art days, (but much thinner paper) prior to the USMC  




Views of the reverse and Paris maker's mark. image.thumb.jpeg.39f05b77f0790b91b8959d02787a7541.jpegimage.thumb.jpeg.a3e9611dfe43897286ae0519fab39963.jpeg

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  • 3 weeks later...

A rare view of the wheat field at Belleau Wood not bad at $3.50- a great find . A rarely seen post card.image.thumb.jpeg.1d0f0d115df5fb7745d4a278be3d0c96.jpeg


All too many never buried. A great post card. 


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Good stuff USMC! Where are you typically finding these postcards at? 

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  WI Antique stores  have boxes of cards not sorted and sometimes flee bay. It takes hours to go through the boxes. 

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