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My great-grandfather may have been a driver for FDR in 1918


Suvorov
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Hi all,

My grandmom showed me pictures on Saturday that my great-grandfather took in France in 1918/1919. At least two of the pictures feature FDR and one of them shows FDR in front General Pershing's AEF headquarters. I did a little research and I believe FDR was in charge of demobilization after the war but I don't know too much else. Can anyone give me more information about what FDR was doing in late 1918 and early 1919? I would really like to use that information to figure out how my great-grandfather played into this.

Picture information:

-Most of the pictures either featured snow or heavy overcoats.

-FDR pictured standing in front of Gen. Pershing's headquarters with other officers.

-I believe there was one of FDR in what appeared to be an open field with snow on the ground. (I'm assuming that he was touring the battlefields.)

-A picture of the bridge over the Louvre river.

-A possible picture of something in Colbrentz in Belgium? (I don't know if that's how it's spelled but it did sound familiar.The description on the back of these pictures was very hard to read.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Wilson Roosevelt sailed for France on 1 Jan 1919 - at the time, he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and was part of a delegation sent to discuss demobilisation of American troops. (He doesn't seem to have been part of the Versailles delegation per se).

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FDRM9DF8-I0C&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=roosevelt+demobilization+1919&source=bl&ots=yECV-kfunD&sig=hta8M1rzXrjGe72N8La-oYkTVII&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Y_qVU7rIFYKiO8ONgWg&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=roosevelt%20demobilization%201919&f=false

He returned "on the same ship as Wilson", which would mean either mid-February or the end of June.

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-g/id3018-p.htm

Not very much to go on so far - there is no doubt a detailed diary in his papers somewhere in the Presidential Library, though!

http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/

I suspect the town was "Colblenz" - now Koblenz, a German city in the Rhineland. The American occupying army was based in a fortress outside here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehrenbreitstein_Fortress

Andrew.

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Seems to be some confusion here. The Wilson mentioned is clearly President Woodrow Wilson. FDR was Secretary of the Navy at the time.

Charles M

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Seems to be some confusion here. The Wilson mentioned is clearly President Woodrow Wilson. FDR was Secretary of the Navy at the time.

Charles M

Yep, absent-minded typing. My first "Wilson" should have been "Roosevelt" :-) (They departed seperately and returned together). Now fixed - thanks!

A.

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