Friday, January 12, 2018

WW1 ambulances... interesting history

Some ambulances were donated to the Red Cross. This group of London doctors gave this one to the British Red Cross.

the workers of W D and H O Wills Tobacco donated this one

Many other people helped raise money to buy ambulances, while others gave their cars as gifts.

But, there is a very remarkable ambulance I learned of, a 1912 Buick.

Looks like it's been through a war, right?

Yep. WW1, and it did it in the worst of the fighting, the front lines, all day long.

The ambulance corps it was in (section 7) happened to be awarded 3 Croix de Guerre medals... and that wasn't a snap of the fingers. They EARNED the medals back in WW1.

1912 Buick, American Red Cross vehicle number 144,694. brought to France in 1914 by the Norton-Harjes Volunteer Unit, and the wooden ambulance body added there.

The ambulance was taken over by the American Red Cross in 1917, and used in the British and French sections. The ambulance was decorated with three Croix de Guerre medals (painted on right side) each time the ambulance section was cited for their actions.

It was "captured" in the Montdidier section in the spring of 1918 by the Germans. When the U.S. 27th and 32nd Divisions pushed into Montdidier later in 1918, they found the Buick lying in a park, stripped of tires and radiator.

 It was taken back to the repair depot at Parc des Princes, Paris. By late 1919, it was sent to Washington DC and placed at the Red Cross National Headquarters.

It was placed in storage in Landover, Maryland prior to 1966, then stored in Silver Hills until 74, then it was at the US Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee, VA until '87 when it came to the Liberty Memorial Museum.

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