A Doughboy with the Fighting 69th: A Remembrance of World War I
Ettinger's reminiscences, verified by his son's detailed research, show us Americans in France during the Great War as they have never been seen ... Show synopsis Ettinger's reminiscences, verified by his son's detailed research, show us Americans in France during the Great War as they have never been seen before. Here is a 17-year-old peripatetic motorcycle dispatch rider's view of New York's famous Irish-American regiment in action as part of Douglas MacArthur's equally renowned 42nd Rainbow Division. This remembrance contains true stories about MacArthur, Joyce Kilmer, William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, Father Francis P. Duffy, and other famous members of this regiment, stories told here for the first time. Young Ettinger was not a model soldier. His ingenuity at going AWOL was exceeded only by his ability to survive such inconveniences as a determined enemy counterattack during the Battle of the Argonne; four intimate shell bursts; convalescence in two hospitals; strafing by a German pilot; driving into a stone wall, through a railroad crossing guard, and off a bridge on his motorcycle; and a military stockade, where he was incarcerated -- and from which he was released by personal order of General MacArthur. Ettinger's stories are "earthy, " and, while contributing little to military, strategy or tactics (in Pershing's A.E.F., the synonym for tactics was "Attack!"), having many implications for understanding morale and leadership. In sum, the Doughboy of 1917-18 is revealed in dimensions of courage, determination, and good humor that have rarely been surpassed. These stories ring true, sometimes tragic, frequently hilarious, always full of human interest.