Battles Give Way to Sports in A.E.F.


This World War I recruiting poster shows scenes of military life in France, featuring sporting and recreational events with soldiers of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). The text states: “How would you like to be with Uncle Sam's privileged tourists? Why worry about the hot weather or a job? Take a cool and comfortable ocean voyage. See Hawaii, Panama, or the Philippines, and better yourself by attending the Vocational Schools. Earn - Learn - Travel. Enlist in the U.S. Army.” The photographs show pole vaulting, boxing, swimming, a mule race, a vaudeville show, banjo playing, and other recreational scenes. Beginning with the first landing of U.S. troops in June 1917, by the end of the war the United States had deployed more than one million soldiers and marines to France as part of the AEF. The then-territory of Hawaii, the Panama Canal Zone, and the then-U.S. colony of the Philippines were the location of bases where U.S. soldiers continued to be stationed after the AEF returned from Europe.

Last updated: October 25, 2013