Contact Me

Waiting for a letter from home.

Waiting for a letter from home.


I’d like to hear from readers.  Any person who had family in the United States Army Ambulance Corps, or has knowledge of people mentioned in my book Private Heller and the Bantam Boys: An American Medic in World War One, please contact me below.

I like to know what happened to the Bantam Boys and the Battle Creek Boys after the war. Any information would be appreciated.

I also welcome inquires from all nations involved in the Great War.  I would especially like to have World War I information from France and Germany.  After all, my grandfather was detailed to the French and he was a first generation German-American.

Furthermore, feel free to comment or ask me questions about the Great War.  I might know the answer.  Or where to find it.  I’ll post answers on this website.

If you prefer not to post to this forum, you may email me at: I will do my best to answer inquiries.

Thanks for taking the time to write!


 Letters Ralph wrote to Edyth that still survive.

Follow me on Twitter @DrGregoryArcher

8 thoughts on Contact Me

  1. Dr Archer,
    I just finished your wonderful book! I felt as if I was riding with your grandfather in the front seat of his ambulance. Being a psychologist, do you think the treatment of PTSD has improved at all since your granddad’s time? I would hope so! How has it changed? I’ve read several books, “With the Old Breed” by Eugene Sledge and others about WWII. It seems the times back home were a big adjustment for these boys. A “silent struggle” so to speak. If you get the chance, its a good read as well. Thank you.

    Jim Woodfin

  2. Thanks Jim for your kind words. My original intent was to write how the treatment of PTSD has improved over the generations. So the answer is yes, treatment is vastly improved but the “How” would require a book. That might be in my future but I am doing a “Picture book” with the over 200 photos my grandfather took in WW1. I will get “With the Old Breed” and perhaps my readers will do the same. Best wishes. Greg

  3. In going through my grandfather’s diary I came across a reference to pigeons and bantams that puzzled me until I saw the title of your book. My grandfather was in Allentown at the same time as the Princeton unit. He was with SSU 539, the Amherst Black Cats. He noted on September 21st how bad the Princeton group had it because of their ocean crossing: “The immaculately slick Princeton section looked like a bunch of thugs. They must have gone through Hell.”

  4. They were a slick group. They were on the Baltic when it was thought to be under torpedo attack. It is unclear what had happened but they were all shook up and for possibly the first time think that they might get killed. Three did eventually died from artillery.

  5. Dr Archer,
    As a military historian and nearly 3 decade veteran, I picked up your book out of curiosity. WWI was the only war that my family has not participated in since 1620. My own father was a medic in Vietnam. I and 2 of my brothers served 7 1/2 tours in the middle east in the previous decade. I found your investigation into PTSD interesting as well. Working my last tour in Personnel Recovery, on the topic of decompression and PTSD, we often discussed the differences between the inability of a mind to handle normal situations, and the stresses applied to the mind of a normal person placed in extremely abnormal situations. It is interesting to see the range experienced. Those who make social shut-downs and become introverted, to the other extreme where they become adrenaline junkies. For example, nearly 10 years after retiring, my brothers just bought a sky-diving school.

    Not sure that any of my post should be published on your website. Edit it if you like. But again, I really enjoyed your book. And if you ever decide to come up over the rim, I’m just down the street from a famous corner.

  6. My father(1892-1970) was a member of SSU 591, formed in Ann Arbor. He was on the Baltic and his account mirrors closely that of RH on events before and during the crossing–although his section was convinced it was a torpedo. They both were together at St.Nasaire and participated, so far as I can tell, in the same caravan to the front.

    You mention that when your GF’s unit arrived at Sandricourt (according to Schmucker’s 50th anniversary account) on the way to Eparney they found that an earlier unit had left their Fords at that spot. (See page 64 of Bantam Boys). Unless this drop-off happened to more that one unit this would have been my father’s for this is precisely what happened to them, unhappily. They then made their way on east to Jubecourt by train and truck where they took over the Fiats from Norton-Harjes Unit No. 62. The first day they got a call and only one of the group knew how to drive a vehicle with a “slide transmission.” He went, along from someone still there from #62 so he could find his way back.

    My father never easily adjusted upon his return and it is not clear whether he suffered from the then named shell-shock or from bipolar disorder–shell shock, nevertheless, was the prescribed treatment until lithium.

  7. Very interesting account. Sorry to hear about your father’s subsequent difficulties. I assume nearly 100% of the Bantam Boys had some degree of PTSD,
    It would be interesting if you could discover more about your father’s activities. I’d like to hear about it.
    Thanks for contacting me and if you have references or other information feel free to contact me.

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