Tacoma Historical Society announcement.
Please join Tacoma Historical Society for our November 8 (7 pm) virtual meeting, when, in honor of Veterans Day, our featured speaker will be Donald Christian, retired United States Air Force Veteran. The virtual meeting will air on our YouTube Channel and our Facebook Page.
Christian is the proud son of WW1 Veteran AEF Engineer Ernest Earle Christian. Don has written a book about WW1 and the first AEF Engineers to arrive in France in August 1917.
Christian’s presentation for Tacoma Historical Society will place his father’s time at Camp Lewis into his larger story of service, with a focus on some of his father’s collection of photographs from WWI, which have never been shared before. His intimate and historical photo archive presents a new personal side that the U. S. AEF troops brought to the war effort, both here and overseas in France.
This multi-media lecture tells the story of the vital construction work done by the US American Expeditionary Force and the 18th Engineers Regiment in WW1. AEF Engineer Ernest Earle Christian was among the first American engineers to arrive in France in late August of 1917. He was among the 1,700 handpicked Pacific Coast Engineers who were tasked with building a 10-berth, 4,100’ dock and railroad infrastructure at Bassens, France. This American base and dock supply depot’s location was important as it allowed the US to quickly move AEF troops and supplies to the French war front. It was built in record time, over existing lowland mudflats, and with minimal equipment, tools and supplies.