Hometown Boys from Louisiana: Information and Statistics about WWI Service Members
Louisiana provided about 80,000 men to the U.S. armed forces during World War I. The 39th (National Guard) Division drew units and troops from Louisiana, and Louisiana provided many of the original selected servicemen to the 87th Division as well. The 39th served as a replacement division once it arrived in France, and the 87th was in route to the front when the war ended. Most Louisianans who saw combat overseas served with other units, including 16 who earned the Distinguished Service Cross. Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, for example, commanded the U.S. Marine Corps and the 2nd Division in France, winning striking victories at Thiaucourt and Mont Blanc.
Camp Beauregard, near Alexandria, served as a large Army training facility, and New Orleans served as a major port. The well-developed cotton, petroleum, sugar and timber industries boomed in wartime, and proved critical to mobilization. Labor was in short supply, given the demands of both the military and wartime industrial and agricultural mobilization. Louisianans conserved food and other commodities, volunteered for field work to relieve labor shortages, participated in war bond drives, and served as volunteers or civil servants.
Editor's Note: This ongoing series will feature information and statistics about World War I service members from every state. You can also find this information in our new Chateau-Thierry Visitor Center.