John A. McGill was an American soldier who served in the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I as a member of the 23rd Engineers. After training at Glen Burnie, Maryland, and at Camp Meade, Maryland, McGill deployed to France in the late spring or early summer of 1918. During his time in France, McGill compiled an album of 226 photographs depicting a variety of subjects, including battle scenes, wire entanglements, the interiors of trenches, machine-gun nests, gun emplacements, ammunition stocks, downed German and American airplanes, and damaged churches and other devastation to French towns and cities wrought by the war. Some of the views were taken by news photographers of the day and were used in postcards that McGill acquired and then pasted into his album. The photographs offer a vivid record of the war as experienced by soldiers on the Western front. The album is 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.
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Last updated: November 14, 2017