Military Monday: Willie Benoit’s WWI Photo Album

My grandfather, Willie Benoit (1894-1985), was stationed at a POW camp in Dijon, France during WWI. He never talked about the war itself, but often spoke fondly of the French people and the towns he visited. As a Cajun from Louisiana, he spoke French and was able to communicate with the people he met. When he came home from the war, he brought with him a photograph album, chronicling what he saw and the places he visited, including Paris, Monte Carlo and Le Mans. The album is interesting in that it appears to have been something that was officially issued.

The Photo Album Cover

Willie Benoit's WWI Photo Album

Willie Benoit’s WWI Photo Album

The cover of the album is embossed as follows:

R.U. 309 M.T.C.
On Foreign Service
With A.E.F. France (A.E.F. means American Expeditionary Forces)
Sept. 1918.
Aug. 1919.

R.U. could stand for release unit or rescue unit. I have searched but cannot find what M.T.C. means. Please leave a comment if you know.

Inside the Album

For each set of pages, the left page has a photo with a printed caption, and the right page has photos that were taken by my grandfather.

Willie Benoit's WWI Photo Album

Willie Benoit’s WWI Photo Album

My grandfather captioned many of the photos in his album, leaving a wealth of information about his service in France.

Willie Benoit's WWI Photo Album

Willie Benoit’s WWI Photo Album

My grandfather made notes on some of the official photos, as he did on this one captioned “A village in Chatau Chierry that was wrecked by the Germans in their big drive towards Paris in July 1918.”  He wrote, “As it looked when I saw it!”

About Military Monday

We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military. Military Monday is an ongoing series by Cindy at Everything’s Relative – Researching Your Family History.

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  1. Blue Eyes and Bluebonnets says:

    Liz – Thanks for sharing the great link!

  2. I never knew your Grandfather’s “history”. I do remember one thing…when my Dad use to speak of your Grandfather it was always in a respectful manner. He also always said his whole name,ie first and last name together.
    I think he wanted to set him apart from others because Daddy knew him as a friend and a man that had an interesting life. He knew more about your Grandparents lives than he ever said to me, I think.
    There have been people I have met and became friends with that from the the first moment I spoke to them I felt they were different than others, special. I got that feeling the first time or two I talked with them.
    I look forward to reading more about them.

  3. Blue Eyes and Bluebonnets says:

    A.D. – your words about my grandparents are so wonderful and appreciated!

  4. Fastidious response in return of this difficulty with solid arguments and explaining all regarding that.

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