Escorting French officers In WWI

Decatur, IL

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My father had a keen sense of humor. He was in the first motorcycle unit in the Army. He told me that during World War I his motorcycle unit was assigned to take visiting French officers around an Army base in Texas so they could see how the U.S. trained their soldiers. That was in the days when there were lots of horses in the Army. The streets had to be cleaned frequently. The manure would be swept into piles and left at the side of the road so the wagons could come along later and remove them. Dad said he and his unit buddies would drive along very prim and proper and avoid looking at the officers who were in sidecars attached to the motorcycles. They would aim the sidecar directly at the pile. As they got closer Dad said he would look out the corner of his eye and see the officer’s grip on the edge of the sidecar getting tighter and tighter. Just before he would get to the pile, he would turn the handlebars back and forth to raise the sidecar up and over the pile then set it down on the other side. Then the officer would get the joke and laugh, “ho ho ho.”

Submitted by:
Willard Titus Sudduth

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