Missouri in World War I
Jeremy Paul Amick
The state of Missouri played a unique role in World War I--as the birthplace of Gen. John J. Pershing, the commanding officer of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Maj. Gen. Enoch Crowder, the primary author of the military draft--and it is an impressive legacy featuring a colorful cast of characters, events, and communities. Missouri was home to two flying aces of the war as well as Bennett Champ Clark, the youngest colonel in the American Expeditionary Forces and the first national commander of the American Legion. During the war, the state was home to farms and ranches that provided an army of mules that assisted Allied forces in hauling critical materials and equipment in the harshest of conditions. Additionally, 156,000 of the state's citizens served in the military with approximately 10,000 wounded or killed in action.