“My whole political career is based on my war service and war associates.” – Harry S Truman, Courtesy Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Courtesy of Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. He had enjoyed his military service, he was a patriot, and, as an active Democrat who had won a couple of minor political appointments, he knew that spending time in uniform could advance his political career. That changed after April 1917, when he decided it was time to pay his debt to Lafayette. The horse was hit by shrapnel and fell into a shell hole, trapping Truman underneath. He had to be pulled from beneath the horse. The Pendergasts’ mission was to gauge Truman’s interest in a job in politics. On June 14, 1905, the man who would become America's 33rd president enlisted in Light Battery B of the Missouri National Guard. Somehow Truman avoided reprimand and this incident and others demonstrated that he would protect his men. The popular boys were the ones who were good at games and had big, tight fists. After high school he took courses at a commercial college, eventually seemed to have found his niche, at least temporarily, as a bank clerk, and in 1905 found an outlet for his military interests by enlisting in a National Guard artillery unit (memorizing the eye chart so his eyesight would not disqualify him). After arriving in France, Truman was promoted to … The curriculum’s intellectual demands, long hours (seven in the morning to nine-thirty at night), and hard physical training prompted Truman to write, “When I come home I’ll be a surveyor, a mathematician, a mechanical draftsman, a horse doctor, a crack shot, and a tough citizen if they keep me here long. He had performed exceptionally well. His mother was well read and doted on Harry, the eldest of her three surviving children. . She married Captain Truman on 28 June 1919. In 1906, he heeded a call from his father and took up work on a family farm—to which the family had retired—where he spent the next eleven years working the soil, an occupation he did not like, and reading or playing the piano in his few leisure hours. Undernourished horses dropped dead in stagnant muck. With the war over, he wanted to go home, but he joked about his loyalty and affection for his artillery pieces: “If the government would let me have one of them, I’d pay for it and pay the transportation home just to let it sit in my front yard and rust. Rather than follow those orders, Truman ordered the battery off the road to rest for the remainder of the night. Long before serving as the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S Truman served his country on the front lines of World War I. Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884 in Lamar, Missouri to a farmer and livestock dealer, John Truman and his mother Martha Ellen Young Truman. Vere Leigh remembered, “We were firing away and having a hell of a good time doing it until they began to fire back.”. In less than a month, Germany surrendered. The Truman Depot 600 S. Grand Ave. Harry Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, on 8 May 1884. . A historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, he is a publisher of popular history, a podcaster, and online course creator. 4. and they sure give us thunder if we are late.” He graduated from the school, received his official promotion to captain, and was given command of a notoriously undisciplined artillery battery. Half of the noncommissioned officers and most of the first class privates had been demoted. That led to a nomination for vice president in 1944, which led to the presidency. All we had to do was do our duty and he was going to back us up, and he did.”, Truman privately worried about how he would behave under fire. A Military History of the United States in World War I. The men of the battery were not initially impressed with their new captain. Truman impressed his troops with his loyalty and compassion. His knowledge of the military contributed to the success of the Truman Committee, which investigated defense expenditures during World War II and conferred a national reputation. Scroll down further if you just want to read the Freemasonry parts. Summoned to the White House on 12 April 1945, he was greeted by Eleanor Roosevelt. All rights reserved. This article is part of our extensive collection of articles on the Great War. He saw his first action in August 1918, amid the mud and mire of the Vosges mountain range in Alsace-Lorraine, firing an artillery barrage and being fired on in return. Truman took the oath as the 33rd president of the United States after the sudden death of President Roosevelt. I was never like that. Everyone was soaked, hungry, cold, and exhausted. “Pretty soon they came sneaking back.” To his men, Truman appeared fearless. Very soon after he married Elizabeth “Bess” Wallace! Truman was a war hero who saw action in battle. “Give ’em hell Harry” got his start here, busting miscreants, promoting high performers, and surprising even himself with his success at managing and training a difficult lot of men: “Can you imagine me being a hardboiled captain of a tough Irish battery?” he wrote his girlfriend (and future wife), Bess Wallace. “We respected him,” one soldier recalled, “because he earned it.”, After the allied victory, men headed home. Truman had calculated that by dropping the atomic bombs he could end the war swiftly—and by ending it, save hundreds of thousands of lives. 3. The US suffered 53,402 combat deaths in World War I, many of them from the 129th Field Artillery. Harry S. Truman’s ID card from World War I, while he … After the United States entered the First World War in April 1917, Harry Truman reenlisted in the National Guard of Missouri. This article is from the book The Yanks Are Coming! Harry S Truman's Military Identity Card from the American Expeditionary Forces . Truman was on horseback when, on 29 August, his artillery battery came under German fire. In Truman’s arsenal was one weapon of which he had known nothing when he was vice president: the atomic bomb. In recognition of this fact, this unit has the official designation "Truman's Own." Join D.M. . Forced marches in cold, bitter rain brought them to the Argonne Forest and the enormous offensive that would end the war. The Depot is still an active Amtrak station and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Outtakes from Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman.President Harry S. Truman discussing his time overseas during World War I. He said of Truman, “It seems very unfortunate that in order to secure political preference, people are made Vice President who are never intended, neither by Party nor by the Lord to be Presidents.” In deeper trouble, however, were the Axis Powers. 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