Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Images from My Last Battlefield Tour

In August 2018, I led my last First World War battlefield tour. I intended it to be a comprehensive tour of the American battlefields of the war with an emphasis on the sites of personal significance to the members, especially those who had relatives who served in the war. The size of the group had me concerned, but I got all the support I needed from my company, Valor Tours. It turned out to be a wonderful success. Thanks to everyone who participated.

The full group at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery
Supt. Bert Caloud on the far right

Bob K. at the wheel of one of the veteran trucks of the Voie Sacrée

The group did a walking tour through Belleau Wood  
from the memorial glade to the hunting lodge.

Bruce Malone, Supt. of the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery.  We visited all the WWI Cemeteries in France and Belgium, and Bruce and all his colleagues at the ABMC sites gave us a wonderful welcome.

Jim O. at the Lost Battalion Site

Jose F., Tracy B., and Gary L. remembered the fallen of the Rainbow Division at the Croix Rouge Farm, 42nd Division memorial.  
Gary's grandfather served in the division.

Your editor with Virginia D. at the St. Juvin monument to the 16th Infantry, 1st Division.  Virginia's dad served with the division.

On our first day, we stopped at Le Hamel, where the U.S. 33rd Division supported a notable Australian victory on 4 July 1918.

Your editor with Mary Jane and Tim K. at the Meuse Heights.  Mary Jane's great uncle participated in a rescue mission at this location while serving with the 90th Division.

Preserved trenches at Navarin Farm, Champagne
Blanc Mont Ridge visible in the distance

Robin Richmond discusses the crossing of the Meuse River the last night of the war by the 5th Marines of the 2nd Division at this site.  Robin's uncle participated in the action.

North of Soissons is the Château de Blérancourt, 
site of the Musée Franco-Américain

On our final day of touring we visited General Pershing's former headquarters at Souilly.

View of Verdun from our hotel at the former officers club


  1. Sounds like an outstanding trip and a fitting tribute to all the tours Mike has led over the years.

  2. Fantastic trip with a great tour guide and lots of camaraderie among the participants.

  3. Great photos and great memories! Thanks Mike!

    We won't forget!

  4. It was great to see the areas my uncle fought and died on 11/1/18 with the 1st Bn 6th Marine at the jumpoff.

  5. I'm sorry that I never got to do one of your tours Mike. Congratulations!