John J. Pershing General of the Armies sculpture

John J. Pershing General of the Armies sculpture, Robert White, public art 

Public Art : John J. Pershing General of the Armies sculpture

Sculptor: © Robert White (September 19th, 1921 – September 21st, 2002)

Description: The bronze statue and red granite wall are a tribute to United States Army general John "Black Jack" Pershing (September 13th, 1860 – July 15th, 1948) the only person, while still alive, to rise to the highest rank ever held in the United States, Army—General of the Armies. General Pershing is depicted in his World War I uniform of long belted jacket, knickerbockers and high boots. In his left hand he holds his army hat while in his right he holds his field binoculars.

Date unveiled: 1983

Funded by: The American Battle Monuments Commission

Cost : $400,000

Location: The John Pershing memorial is located at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C., USA.

Inscriptions :

IN THEIR DEVOTION, THEIR VALOR, AND IN THE LOYAL FULFILLMENT OF THEIR
OBLIGATIONS, THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
HAVE LEFT A HERITAGE OF WHICH THOSE WHO FOLLOW MAY EVER BE PROUD
JOHN J. PERSHING

 

ON 6 APRIL 1917, THE UNITED STATES ENTERED WORLD WAR I. WITH FEW REGULAR FORCES THE TASK OF TRAINING AND TRANSPORTING AN EFFECTIVE ARMY TO FIGHT IN FRANCE WAS FORMIDABLE. THE U.S. NAVY, ACTING SWIFTLY TO COMBAT THE GERMAN SUBMARINE MENACE, DISPATCHED FIGHTING SHIPS AND AIRCRAFT TO EUROPEAN WATERS. SIMULTANEOUSLY IT BEGAN THE ORGANIZATION OF CONVOYS FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TROOPS TO UNDERTAKE THE TREMENDOUS WORK OF ORGANIZING THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES. GENERAL PERSHING LANDED IN FRANCE ON 13 JUNE 1917.

BEGINNING ON 21 MARCH 1918, THE GERMAN ARMIES LAUNCHED A SERIES OF POWERFUL ATTACKS ON THE WESTERN FRONT. ON THAT DATE THERE WERE ONLY 300,000 AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN FRANCE MOST OF THEM BUT PARTIALLY TRAINED. THE FIRST OFFENSIVE ACTION BY A U.S. DIVISION CAME ON 28 MAY WHEN CANTIGNY WAS ATTACKED AND HELD DESPITE VIOLENT ENEMY REACTION.

SIMULTANEOUSLY THE GERMANS SURGED ACROSS THE AISNE RIVER AND ADVANCED RAPIDLY TOWARD THE MARNE. U.S. REINFORCEMENTS HURRIEDLY BROUGHT INTO POSITIONS DIRECTLY ACROSS THE GERMAN PATH OF ADVANCE TOWARD PARIS, STOPPED THE ATTACK THEN ON 6 JUNE, U.S. TROOPS, INCLUDING A BRIGADE OF MARINES, STRUCK BACK AND IN FIERCE COMBAT LASTING A MONTH RECAPTURED BELLEAU WOOD AND THE TOWN OF VAUX. THE LAST GREAT GERMAN OFFENSIVE OF THE WAR CAME ON 15 JULY ALONG THE MARNE EAST OF CHATEAU THIERRY. IT WAS PROMPTLY REPULSED IN A SEVERE STRUGGLE IN WHICH AMERICAN TROOPS PLAYED A LEADING PART. THE IMMEDIATE U.S. FRENCH COUNTERATTACK ON 18 JULY AT SOISSONS MARKED THE TURNING POINT OF THE WAR.

Things You May Not Know

Pershing is the only person, while still alive, to rise to the highest rank ever held in the United States, Army—General of the Armies.

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