On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


The forecast today calls for cloudy skies with thundershowers this evening and into tomorrow. Today’s high will reach 82° with the low near 62°. The city will provide a parking lot for army trucks. The lot will be located on ground bounded by Broad, Arch, Filbert and 15th Streets. Until now military vehicles have had to try and find parking wherever they could locate a vacant area. Sometimes that would include parks and playgrounds. Down at Hog Island, the 19th ship’s keel was laid today. The keel was for the Scatacook, a 7,500 ton cargo ship.

The Acting Superintendent of Police, William B. Mills, summoned the city’s police lieutenants to his office today to instruct them that the police are not to be involved in the primary election tomorrow. Superintendent Mills stated emphatically “the police are out of politics, out to stay”. He told the lieutenants that they were responsible for the men under their command. And that disciplinary action will be taken against any policeman interfering with a citizen’s right to vote, intimidating any voter or attempting to sway them to vote in a certain way.


There are 45 names on the casualty list received from General Pershing’s headquarters today. Seven are listed as killed in action, one died from wounds, one from accident, seven from disease, twenty-seven are listed as severely wounded and two as slightly wounded. Two local men have lost their lives. Captain Harris Buckwalter of Royersford has been killed in action. Captain Buckwalter enlisted last June and was commissioned an officer in September. He was a 1910 graduate of State College earning a degree in civil engineering and was serving with the First Regiment Engineers. Also killed in action was Private George Devine of 1822 South 17th Street. Private Devine was 37 years old and had been in the service for 7 years. He was serving with the Sixteenth Infantry. He had previously seen action in the Philippines and Mexico.

Also on the list are E.L. Williams of 8090 Fairview Avenue, Holmesburg. Private Williams is listed as seriously wounded. He enlisted shortly after the United States entered the war and was serving with an engineer regiment. Finally Max Greenburg of 5620 Cherry Street has been slightly wounded. Private Greenberg is with the Fourth Engineers and joined the service in May of 1917.

Major Raoul Lufbery, America’s foremost flying ace was killed in battle yesterday. Major Lufbery was born in France to an American father and French mother. He spent his childhood in France where he was raised by relatives after his mother died. In 1907 he returned to America and joined the army serving until 1910. When the war broke out he joined the French flying service. In 1916 he transferred to the Lafayette Escadrille. After America entered the war he was commissioned into the United States Air Service. Major Lufbery was 33 years old and made his home in Wallingford, Connecticut. He had been credited with 18 air victories.

Major Raoul Lufbery