Collections Spotlight

Highlights and New Additions to the Collection

The National WWI Museum and Memorial holds the most diverse collection of Great War objects and documents in the world. Below, you can learn about some of the highlights and recent additions to this world-renowned collection. More information on additions to the Collection are available in the yearly accession records.

More than 97 percent of the items in the collection were acquired through donations. Learn how you can support the Museum with a donation.

Belgian Automatic Pistol

Recent Acquisition

Posted: July 1, 2014 - 10:30am
The pistol used by Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914 was a Model 1910 Belgian Automatic Pistol. A recent acquisition of the Museum is a same Model 1910 pistol, made at the same arsenal, Fabrique Nationale D’Armes de Guerre, Herstal, Belgium. It is marked with Belgian military acceptance marks.  Read More

German Soldier Medals

Recent Acquisition

Posted: June 4, 2014 - 10:00am
Karl Gottlob Männer was born on Nov. 2, 1879 in Adelberg, Germany. He enlisted at the age of 19 and served as Acting Officer, machine gun company, Württemberg King Karl Grenadier Regiment 123, 27th Division. This donation to the Museum from his military service includes numerous service medals.  Read More

Blue Star Mothers Painting

Recent Acquisition

Posted: April 27, 2014 - 4:33pm
A recent donation to the Museum is a painting done in 1969 by Daniel MacMorris in preparation for creating his mural in Memory Hall on the Blue Star Mothers. As patriotic gestures, families hung flags with blue stars in their windows during World War I to show that they had family members in the armed forces. These flags appeared in every city and town across the United States, expressing national unity and resolve.

During the war, Blue Star flags hung in the windows of homes, silently telling passersby that a family member from that house was in wartime service. In 1918, the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defense claimed that “the basic idea of the service flag is that there shall be a blue star used to represent each person, man or woman, in the military and naval service of the United States or [serving with] the allies. For a person killed in action, a gold star shall be placed over the blue star, entirely covering it.”   Read More

From the Philippines to Siberia

Recent Acquisition

Posted: March 25, 2014 - 9:15am
Fighting still raged on the Western Front of Europe in August 1918 when General William S. Graves was ordered to create a force to be sent to Siberia. The U.S. 27th and 31st Infantry Regiments, Field Hospital 4, Ambulance Company 4, Company D of the 53rd Telegraph Battalion and other smaller units were to be equipped “for winter service,” many of them coming from the balmy Philippines to the frozen lands of Siberia. One of the soldiers of the 31st Infantry was Corporal George Andrew Jensen, Company M.

The recent donation of his service materials from Jensen’s relatives contains a wide variety of materials: his Model 1917 Service coat with the S-AEF shoulder sleeve insignia (Siberia-American Expeditionary Forces) and the red discharge chevron, a trapunto (a decorative quilted design in high relief) souvenir plaque of his service in the Philippines, photographs, postcards, a color illustration on paper of a U.S. soldier in Siberia, leave passes, and 31st Regiment camp newspapers.  Read More

Panthéon de la Guerre Fragments Reunited

Recent Acquisition

Posted: February 26, 2014 - 2:06pm
A reunion at the National World War I Museum recently occurred with a donation of fragments from a heroic piece of artwork, the Panthéon de la Guerre. The donation consists of a British section depicting high-ranking army officers and a furled Union Jack flag. The Panthéon was created in France during World War I and was considered the largest painting in the world, measuring 402-feet long and 45-feet tall. The Panthéon was created as a cyclorama and involved hundreds of artists who collectively painted thousands of military and civilian personages from France and the Allied nations.

The Museum possesses most of the existing portions of the Panthéon, which toured the U.S. after the war. Through a meandering process, the Panthéon eventually was donated in the Liberty Memorial Museum in 1957. Kansas City artist and World War I veteran Daniel MacMorris was commissioned to reconfigure the massive artwork and create a mural that would reside on the north wall of Memory Hall at the Museum. During this process, most of the original canvas was cut and various pieces were given to friends and assistants of MacMorris.  Read More

French Bomber Tail Assembly

Recent Acquisition

Posted: January 24, 2014 - 11:51am
National World War I Museum Board of Trustee Brad Bergman recently provided the museum with an outstanding addition to its collection. Bergman acquired an insignia-decorated section from a tail assembly fin of a French Breguet XVI B2 bomber and donated the object to the Museum. The bomber was originally part of the 131st Escadrille, Bomber Group 4, flown by an American “loaned” to the French unit.  Read More

Pages