On the lawn of a “beautiful old chateau” on the banks of the Marne River in France in July 1918 during the Great War (World War I) a commanding general of the American Expeditionary Forces pinned Distinguished Service Crosses to the chests of 37 marines for their “extraordinary heroism.” One of them was an Iowan, John J. Ingalls of Maquoketa. (Some sources indicate Ingalls’ address was Olin when he joined the marines, others Maquoketa.)
Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is a former history teacher, newspaper editor, and public television project manager. She is the author of four non-fiction books for young people. Double Victory was featured on C-SPAN’s “Book TV” and The Industrial Revolution for Kids was selected for “Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.” Her most recent book, Women in Blue traces the evolution of women in policing.