What the Navy is Doing: The Road to France

U.S. Navy Recruiting Bureau Ca. 1917-1918 Lithograph

In June 1917 the United States had only 14,000 service members stationed in France. However, by May 1918, over one million United States service members were stationed in Europe.

The United States Navy was ill-prepared to transport such a large number of service members and the supplies needed to support them across the ocean. Thus, passenger liners were pressed into service and seized German and borrowed Allied ships transported troops.

The roughly two-week trip across the ocean could be treacherous with German submarines possibly lurking anywhere under the surface. Most United States servicemen, who had never traveled over the ocean, spent the majority of their time below deck and most became sea sick.


Poster of photographs from the U.S. Navy.

What the Navy is Doing: The Road to France