Bob Swanson's First World War Books and Research

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cover 2nd edition of domestic us military facilities of the first world war by bob swanson cover bluejacket mail by bob swanson cover 1st edition domestic us military facilities of the first world war by bob swanson

My WW I Books Are Available for Direct Download, in Printed Form by, and from Amazon Kindle:

2nd Edition of Domestic U. S. Military Facilities of the First World War (2018)

Bluejacket Mail: A Postal History of the Great Lakes Naval Training Station (2014)

1st Edition of Domestic U. S. Military Facilities of the First World War (2000)

About Domestic United States Military Facilities of the First World War 1917-1919

This book represents three decades of work, and was first published in 2000. The second edition of the book (2018) is now available.

In the book, I've attempted to list every place in the United States and Territories where soldiers, sailors, or marines might have been stationed during the First World War. The reason for such a list is to provide source locations and checklists for postal history (letters and cards) from these military men. The book lists all fixed, land-based United States military camps and facilities that operated during the War period. There has long been a need for such a listing, as it was not known where military mail could have originated within the US.

(Buy a Copy of The Second Edition of the Book)

(If you wish, you may still Buy a Copy of The First Edition of the Book (2000))

Besides the direct download and print-on-demand listing above from, the first edition of the book is stored on Google Books, as Domestic United States Military Facilities of the First World War 1917-1919 . Note that there is no link on Google Books for ordering the book. Please visit that site for a book preview. If you wish to order, return to this page, and use the facilities book page. [Note that Google Books is a great way to search literature for specific information about the First World War (or any subject for that matter).]

Unique features of the Facilities Book include:

Purchasers of the electronic media versions of the second edition are provided a free copy of the separate Checklist of Facilities for Which No Postal History is Known. Purchasers of the paper copy of the second edition must order a separate paper copy of the Checklist, if they are interested.

The electronic media versions of the book are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format, among others, as used in the example pages listed here. I have observed that paper just cannot show the images as well as the computer screen. Owners of the electronic copies of the book are allowed to make copies for personal use, including paper copies. I have found that it is very beneficial to have an electronic based version of the book on a laptop computer, phone, or tablet, when visiting a stamp show, or poring over a dealer's stock.

An early draft of the New York chapter of the Facility book was published serially in several issues of: La Posta early in 1997. Here is a sample draft page from the California chapter of the book [78K Adobe PDF].

About Bluejacket Mail: A Postal History of the Great Lakes Naval Training Station

In 2014, I published a unique book Bluejacket Mail, a postal history of the Great Lakes Naval Training Station during the First World War. A "spinoff" of my work on all of the U. S. facilities, this monograph concentrates on only Great Lakes. It came about because the full Facilities book could not contain all of the interesting information about every military camp in the United States from that era. This 42-page monograph helps provide more depth of information, and showcases the letters written in 1918 by Carroll Miller, a sailor training at Great Lakes. His letters show the human side of the great influenza pandemic of 1918, along with his insights into camp and personal life.

(Buy a Copy of This Book)

This book contains additional images of Great Lakes, and related postal history material, that could not be included in the general facilities book (see above).

Contact Information

If you wish to contact me by paper mail, please send an email and I will share my postal location with you.

You can contact me at the e-mail address:


General Research

I have also done general research on the dates of usage for machine cancels (and some handstamps) for all known camps in the US. My research on the American Flag cancellations has been published in Machine Cancel Forum. The following link is to a copy of the most recent flag cancel census article. (Note that it is dated 1997, and has my old address listed.) The current database is located at: spreadsheet with all known usage dates of American flag cancellations of U.S. domestic military facilities of the First World War.

I maintain webpages about the troopship picture postcards, including the Jewish Welfare Board set, on my website. This list was first gathered by postcard collectors, and I have been merging other collectors' lists and keeping it all up to date, as more information comes in. Based on the troopship information, I now have a partial passenger list of soldiers carried by the USS George Washington to Europe during the War.

One of the fascinating subjects I discovered during my book research was the presence of U. S. Army men logging the spruce trees in the Pacific Northwest in 1918. In addition to logging, they also built roads and railroads, and operated a specialized sawmill to create the wood necessary for airplane construction.

If you have any First World War postal history, I would like to hear from you. Either use the contact information near the top of this page, or use our Contact Information Page.

Examples of Covers and Cancellations

I have a gallery of various First World War postal history items .

Also... First World War Images

And... War-Rate Postal History

My Google Photos Album of First World War Images

Some On-Line Military History References

You can see many very nice panoramic photographs of WW I military subjects (among others) at the Library of Congress site.

314th Field Artillery Information

314th Field Artillery Roster

First World War on the Web

Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War, a very important historical book about the First World War.

Article About Letter-Writing in WWI

Document About American Indian Code-Talkers, including in WWI

Just some of the WW I Books on-line (formerly at UKansas, now BYU)

The full "Order of Battle" book for the U.S. Army may be available in CD-ROM format from the United States Government Printing Office. We no longer have a direct link for the CD listing, but you can search for "United States Army in World War I" on their website.

  The details provided by the GPO include:
  United States Army in World War I (2001) (CD-ROM)
  Department of the Army Center of Military History (CMH)
  Format: Multimedia/DVD
  USA Price: $23.00
  GPO Stock Number: 008-029-00375-9
  ISBN: 9780160671166

[In addition, I have been informed that someone is selling copies of
the "Order of Battle" on Ebay. Search there for the book title.]

Naval Historical Center

A First World War E-Mail discussion group

Army Center for Military History Their FAQ helps with finding Army personnel records.

Finding U. S. Service Records from WWI

Information about getting Army personnel records from the National Archives. (Note that there was a fire at the archives building in 1973 that destroyed a quantity of WW I records).

The Army Center for Military History FAQ helps with finding Army personnel records. offers a search engine that may help connect a particular service person with a troopship.

Note the following item from the Florida State archives:

Congress ordered that a service record for each person serving between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918 be created and provided to the Adjutant General of each state from which that person entered the service. This record took the form of a card that contained information digested from the service record dossier of each veteran. Clerks in the Department of War (Army) and the Department of the Navy (Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) executed the work.

[Again, ] The cards were sent to the Adjutant General of each state.

Following are some links I have, but if you know the state from which the soldier, sailor or Marine served, be sure to also check with the state archives.

New York State Archives have WWI military records.

Also, Missouri State Archives.

And... Florida State Archives.

Some Other Interesting WWI Links

Missouri 'Over There' project

Roads to the Great War Blog

Trenches on the Web

The Polar Bears (U.S. troops in Northern Russia)

The Great War Archive

WW1 Historical Association

Searchable Newspapers at the Smithsonian. Their search engine makes it easy to narrow down on the WW I time period.

Great War Society publication


Postal History Page

Contact Info

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Copyright©1996 - 2023 Robert Swanson

Updated 11 May 2023