Americans at War in Foreign Forces

A History, 1914–1945

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About the Book

The role of Americans in the two world wars is well known, but with a glaring exception—one that reveals a little-known aspect of the common history of the United States and Canada. By the time of the American entrance into World War I in April 1917 and World War II in December 1941, tens of thousands of Americans had already fought and died in those conflicts in the uniforms of other nations.
Most had quietly traveled over the northern border to join the ground, air and naval forces of the Commonwealth nations, others to France, Poland, China and the other nations and armed forces that played a role in the continuing world conflict of the first half of the century. In preceding their own nation to war, they influenced the course of events in those years and, though threatened with loss of citizenship, were ultimately met with the acceptance of their own government. This book tells the story of who these Americans were, why they took the actions they did, their experiences in war, and the effects of their presence as Americans in foreign forces.

About the Author(s)

Writer Chris Dickon is an Emmy-winning former public broadcasting producer, reporter and writer. He has published several books on lesser-known aspects of American history. He lives in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Chris Dickon
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 54 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7190-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1537-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

One—The French American 3

Two—World War I 21

Three—An American Legion 34

Four—Canada 51

Five—Trenches and Clouds 65

Six—Splendid Work 77

Seven—Whisky and Soda 90

Eight—Some Come Home 99

Nine—A Troubled Respite 114

Ten—Spain and China 124

Eleven—World War II 136

Twelve—In the Sky and on the Sea 146

Thirteen—Americans in London 158

Fourteen—American Eagles … 170

Fifteen—… and Flying Tigers 180

Sixteen—Transitions and Transfers 192

Seventeen—Sorting the Dead 202

Afterword 212

Chapter Notes 217

Bibliography 225

Index 231

Book Reviews & Awards

Choice Outstanding Academic Title
“The author’s contribution is that he has gathered together information formerly available only in newspaper and magazine articles scattered over a century. His documentation, excellent bibliography, good index, and well chosen photographs are all assets, and a lucid and terse writing style make this an easy, enjoyable read. No other book covers this topic…highly recommended”—Choice; “for both the First and Second World War, Dickon provides a first rate discussion of the burial and commemoration of the Americans who served and died in Commonwealth forces…a valuable step…interesting and the prose is very readable. The subject matter is presented in an approachable way, and the author tells the story well, skillfully blending the stories of individuals to describe a broader movement. Many of these stories will be unfamiliar and intriguing”—Canadian Military History; “Dickon’s book tells a largely untold story, and is very much worth reading for that reason”—The NYMAS Review; “tells a largely untold story, and is very much worth reading”—Strategy Page; “the chronological treatment weaves their stories together in a narrative style, revealing why they enlisted in foreign militaries, their experiences, and their impact on the foreign military”—ProtoView.