Pullman in the First World WarMain MenuPullman in the First World WarThe story of the people of the Pullman neighborhood and the Pullman Company during the First World WarIntroductionPullman, the town and the companyThat Rascal, Pancho VillaThe service of the people of Pullman during the Punitive Expedition to Mexico, 1916-1917Preparedness and NeutralityHow much should America prepare for a European war?Universal Military Training and PlattsburgTurning young middle and upper class men into soldiersForeign ServiceA number of Pullman residents and employees joined the armies of other nationsApril 6, 1917The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917The 35thRebuilding the French railways systemRallies and Bond DrivesPaying for the warVictory Gardens and Food SecurityFood production and securityLossThe price Pullman paidWomen in ServiceWomen take their part in the war effortsThe Fourth HorsemanThe Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 and Pullman1918 and 1919The End of the War to End All WarsAndrew Bullene5d9366487bd54fdac2245f21f3b76927ff9be2d
Troops posing in a Pullman troop transport
12018-07-25T18:45:50+00:00Andrew Bullene5d9366487bd54fdac2245f21f3b76927ff9be2d11Soldiers posing in a Pullman troop transport, based on the XM type boxcar2018-07-25T18:45:50+00:00Andrew Bullene5d9366487bd54fdac2245f21f3b76927ff9be2d
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12018-07-24T21:19:21+00:00The 35th8Rebuilding the French railways systemimage_header2018-07-30T02:47:24+00:00Many Pullman employees were sent to the 35th Engineer Regiment.
The 35th Engineer Regiment was formed at the request of General Pershing and was headquartered at Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois. This regiment, composed of three battalions of about 225 men each, formed in September, 1917 and shipped out to France in January 1918. Their mission was to repair the freight cars of the severely damaged French railroad in order to move supplies to the fighting forces at the front.
The first repaired car rolled out of the shops in March 1918. After that, the 35th repaired and built box cars, flat cars, low side gondolas, high side gondolas, ballast cars, tank cars and refrigerator cars.
After assembling 224 new cars in that first month of March 1918, the 35th Engineers improved their output to 2,370 cars in September of 1918. As the war wound down and demand lessened, so did the output of the 35th, and in May 1919, the last of the 35th left La Rochelle, France and what became known as Camp Pullman.
During their 17 months in France, they built over 17,000 cars. The last of the cars was still in use in the early 1970s.
My grandfather, Robert Whitefield Bullen, II. Bullen wrote of his experiences riding in a 40 and 8 boxcar: "Left Le Havre Oct. 23 for South France loaded in boxcars so crowded you couldn't think and weren't allowed to have a light or stick our heads out the door." The engineers of the 35th developed a better design, based on the XM type boxcar in use in the United States: