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the world war

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the world war

Post by lynk2510 on Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:26 pm

Truman enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard in 1905, and served until 1911. At his physical in 1905, his eyesight had been an unacceptable 20/50 in the right eye and 20/40 in the left.[19] Reportedly, he passed by secretly memorizing the eye chart.[20]
With the onset of American participation in World War I, Truman rejoined the Guard. Before going to France, he was sent to Camp Doniphan, near Lawton, Oklahoma for training. He ran the camp canteen with Edward Jacobson, a Kansas City clothing store clerk. At Ft. Sill he also met Lieutenant James M. Pendergast, nephew of Thomas Joseph (T.J.) Pendergast, a Kansas City politician. Both men were to have a profound influence on Truman's later life.[21][22][23][24]
Truman became an officer, and then battery commander in an artillery regiment in France. His unit was Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, 60th Brigade, 35th Infantry Division, known for its discipline problems.[25] During a sudden attack by the Germans in the Vosges Mountains, the battery started to disperse; Truman ordered them back into position using profanities that he had "learned while working on the Santa Fe railroad."[25] Shocked by the outburst, his men reassembled and followed him to safety. Under Captain Truman's command in France, the battery did not lose a single man.[25] His battery also provided support for George S. Patton's tank brigade during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.[26] On November 11, 1918 his artillery unit fired some of the last shots of World War I into German positions after the armistice was signed at 5am but before the ceasefire took effect at 11am. In a letter he wrote, "It is a shame we can't go in and devastate Germany and cut off a few of the Dutch kids' hands and feet and scalp a few of their old men".[27] The war was a transformative experience that brought out Truman's leadership qualities; he later rose to the rank of Colonel in the Army Reserves,[28] and his war record made possible his later political career in Missouri.[25]
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