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C. W. - Flame throwers - Page

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Captain Hughes took this photo of C. W. (Chemical Warfare) demonstration of flame throwers. Flame throwers were used extensively in World War I by the Germans. During WW I the flame thrower consisted of blazing fuel oil shot from a canister carried by a person. Flame throwers were ineffective at long distances but very deadly in the trenches. The United States did not develop or use them until after World War I. After World War I, however many nations including the United States mounted the flame throwers on tanks. It is difficult to tell in this picture whether the flame thrower is on a vehicle or being carried by one of the soldiers near the flame. Hughes did not provide a location for this demonstration however there are two possible locations. One could be observed by a crowd in the grandstand at Camp Holabird or perhaps at the first temporary Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal, Md. Congress had made the Chemical Warfare Service a permanent part of the Army in 1920, with duties to continue "the investigation, development, manufacture or procurement and supply of all smoke and incendiary materials, all toxic gases, and all gas defense appliances." The date of this demonstration is not mentioned, however Captain Hughes was stationed at Camp Holabird, Maryland only until February 14,1920. James C. Hughes, as part of the 35th Division, left Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and traveled to Hoboken, New Jersey, where he boarded the troop ship "Ceramic" on May 18, 1918. Hughes arrived in Liverpool, England, on June 1, 1918 and then landed at Le Havre, France, on June 9, 1918. Hughes fought in the battles of St. Michael and the Meuse-Argonne. He was at Verdun on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. He took no photos of the actual fighting. He did take many photographs after the war as part of the Army of Occupation until he left France on July 18, 1919. A full biography of James Clark Hughes is available on Kansapedia.

Creator: Hughes, James Clark, 1888-1964
Date: Undated

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Item Number: 314990
Call Number: James C. Hughes Collection, negative 381
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 314990

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