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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Chris Liontas

Adrian Paul Brodeur

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I wasn’t sure where to share this, but since the uniform is French I thought France might be the best place.  It is the only non flying uniform I own, but it is unique in its own right.  When most people think of American vollenteers with France, they immediately think of the LaFayette Escadrille/Flying Corps.   However there were hundreds of Americans that fought for France in other branches.  

   Dr Brodeur graduated Harvard Dental School in 1917.   He then went to France to serve under the Red Cross for the th Franco-American Committee for Frontier Children. He held this position from July 1917 to March 1918.  In March he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion and was then sent to artillery school in Fontainebleau.   He was appointed aspirant June 12 and assigned to the 60th field artillery.  He was then subsequently transferred to the 288th field artillery in September 1918.  

      He participated in the Somme (1918) , Marine-Aisne Offensive, Champagne, and the Muese-Argonne Offensive.   Demobilized 3, May 1919 he returned to the Units States and became both a Orthodontist and famous sculptor.   His works are on display at Harvard and the Boston Museum of Art.  

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From what I understand, the French army was desperate in 1918 for educated men to refill tnical branches like artillery. I unfortunately don’t know what made Dr Brodeur enlist as all Harvard has on file is his enlistment record and passport application.   

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What a story and grouping, history being preserved is well worth sharing. :) 

 

PS - Nice looking displays behind the uniform too! 

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An interesting career... I would have thought they transferred him to the US army. Have you checked to see if he was in some way attached to the Yanks? I think many US units lacked artillery and were supported by French units attached to them... Would have been right up his street...

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Thanks for sharing!

 

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Hi guy, thank you for the comments! 

 

  I really don’t know why he was not transferred into the US Army.  As far as his obituary states he never joined the US Army but remained with the French until 1919.  As far as I understand, there was a group of Americans (company sized) that trained and served with the French Artillery.  I honestly don’t know how they were selected or how the word went out for recruits.  There are four other French artillery uniforms I know of to Americans — none of which joined the US Army; even though they all were at the Argonne.  Maybe liaison work?  

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Hello ,a comment . At the outbreak of ww1 many foreigners resident or not in France volunteered to service in the French Army.this corp of volunteers included citizens of USA . The Swiss writer Blaise Cendrars was among the volunteers . he wrote a book The chopped hand , in which related his war experiences . Two points of his book i think are in connection with the theme . One that all the volunteers were officially incorporated into the Foreign Legion . as infantrymen . Two ,during 1915 ,the French High Command searched the files looking for volunteers to serve in the heavy Artillery . the neccesity of artillerymen endured all the duration of the war . so if Dr Brodeur enlisted in the Foreign Legion it was because this Corp was the only allowed to receive foreign volunteers . acting as a sort of Depot . and being a graduate its not surprise that he was oriented to the Artillery, 

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Very nice uniform and history 

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Hello ,a comment . At the outbreak of ww1 many foreigners resident or not in France volunteered to service in the French Army.this corp of volunteers included citizens of USA . The Swiss writer Blaise Cendrars was among the volunteers . he wrote a book The chopped hand , in which related his war experiences . Two points of his book i think are in connection with the theme . One that all the volunteers were officially incorporated into the Foreign Legion . as infantrymen . Two ,during 1915 ,the French High Command searched the files looking for volunteers to serve in the heavy Artillery . the neccesity of artillerymen endured all the duration of the war . so if Dr Brodeur enlisted in the Foreign Legion it was because this Corp was the only allowed to receive foreign volunteers . acting as a sort of Depot . and being a graduate its not surprise that he was oriented to the Artillery, 

Excellent!   Thank you for the explanation.  It is interesting how desperate they were for artillerymen all through the war.  What is the book called you reference?   Is it in French or English? 

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Chris . The book is an autobiographic novel of the Swiss born writer Blaise Cendrars , intitled La main coupee, A English version exists with the title The bloody hand .

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