• American Sailor Fears Being Attacked at Sea During WWI

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    The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, during World War I. While the U.S. was an independent power, American cooperated closely with the Allies militarily but acted alone in diplomacy. The U.S. made major contributions in terms of supplies, raw materials and money. American soldiers under Gen. John Pershing arrived in large numbers on the Western Front in the summer of 1918.  The U.S. was an important supplier to Great Britain and other Allied powers throughout the war.


    We’re offering two letters from an American sailor aboard the S.S. Saxonia written just a month after the United States entered World War I.  The sailor, who is part of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, writes two letters aboard the S.S. Saxonia, May 21, 1917, to his mother, the first being a one-page 8 ½ x 10 ½. The letter, typed in blue ink and signed in type, carries a mention of the sailor being frightened by a potential attack on the sea.


    “I am expecting that this is our last day at sea, as I think we are now very near land, either off the coast of Ireland or England. We hear so many rumors that it is hard to know what to believe.


    “The water is very still this morning and very good weather for subs, although we haven’t seen any yet.


    “Yesterday, we had our first scare in the afternoon, when a boat was sighted, and it was hours before we could identify it enough to want to approach it. We finally wound around it and disappeared in circles around it. We all were prepared to mount the life boats in a minutes’ notice, if needed. Last night passed without incident.


    “I have just heard that we will leave this boat to-morrow morning at six A.M. so I will have to stop for the present, although I expected to write a long letter, yet.


    “Tell Cleveland that Mr. Bridgeman was not on this boat.


    “Your loving son,




    P.S. We will no doubt land at Falmouth late to-night, but won’t get off the boat until early in the morning. We will then proceed to London where we will probably stay for quite a while.



    Second letter, 1 ½ pp, 5 ¾ x 8, on U.S. Army Medical Corps, onboard the S.S. Saxonia, Monday Evening 10 P.M., ALS from Foster to his Mother.


    “Nearly everyone is sending off cablegrams home but I was sure you would hear of our safe arrival even quicker than any cablegram would.


    “Our lone trip across the sea was met with excitement late this afternoon, & no words will explain it now, of the joy that came flying over the sea, like a wild bird on the still waves. Seventy-five percent of the danger is over now & when I awake in the morning, it will be only a matter of an hour before we will be on English soil.


    “Tomorrow night I will probably be in London


    “Greetings & Love to everybody,




    Toning. Fold split and small tear repaired with archival tape. Unusual to find American Sailor letters from WWI.


    Everything we sell is guaranteed authentic forever to the original buyer. We also offer a 30-day return policy. If you discover a problem or are dissatisfied with an item, please contact us immediately. Our goal is to please every customer.  We are pleased to be members of The Manuscript Society, Universal Autograph Collectors Club and The Ephemera Society.  [WWI-107]