Corporal Arnold Hoke Sails with His Unit for France

Corporal Arnold Hoke Sails with His Unit for France

Description

Arnold Stephen Hoke served in the Iowa National Guard between February 1916 and August 1917, when he joined the regular United States Army. As a member of the National Guard, he took part in the Mexican Campaign of 1916‒17. In the army he was assigned to Machine Gun Company M of the 168th Infantry Regiment, part of the 42nd Infantry Division. Hoke was promoted to corporal on November 1, 1917, and at about that time shipped out for France via Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was promoted to sergeant on April 4, 1918. In 1971, Hoke and his wife, Clara Hoke, sat down to record their memories of the Great War. Like so many other soldiers, Arnold Hoke was thrust into trench warfare in France with little knowledge of what to expect and initially without a weapon. He saw every major battle that the United States Army participated in during World War I, including the Champagne-Marne and the Aisne-Marne Offensives, the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. His straightforward descriptions of the trenches, of the men lost, and of the randomness of who lived and who died are a timely reminder of the true cost of war. Presented here is an excerpt from the recordings that Arnold Hoke made in 1971. The recordings are preserved in the collections of the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, which collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans.

Last updated: September 11, 2017