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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving 1918: Pork And Beans After All Was Quiet On The Western Front

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- These are some of the American flyboys who served over the killing fields in France during World War I with Eddie Rickenbacker, the ace of aces second from left. The survivors celebrated Thanksgiving on Nov. 28, 1918 while Over There and still in the field. Those brave men are long gone. But the menu from their feast barely two weeks after the end of the war to end all wars still survives in an Ohio museum. They did not have turkey. They dined on pork and beans gussied up as "Roti de Porc avec Sauce" and "Legumes Americaines." They washed it down with cocoa, coffee, champagne and wine, then smoked cigars. The four-page menu tells the story of their gathering after the guns fell silent.

The men of the 94th Aero Squadron went into combat on the Western Front on Oct. 27, 1917 and fought until the end on Nov. 11, 1918. They were credited with shooting down 65 German planes. That Thanksgiving, everybody hoped there would never be another war. How wrong they were. The photo is from the Auburn University Library.

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