Illinois, New York, and France: 1917-1918. Envelope or Cover. A sad archive containing 20 letters and ephemeral items documenting Private Warmowski’s wartime service and death. Warmowski was born in Poland in 1877, immigrated to United states in 1891, and became a citizen in 1913. During World War I, he was first assigned to the 86th Division and then transferred to the 89th Division’s 354th Infantry Regiment. Warmowski was killed near the village of Remonville, France during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on 1 November 1918 and is buried at the American Cemetery in Romagne-Sous-Montfaucon, France.
This neatly mounted and partially described archive begins with Warmowki’s draft notice and concludes with a photographic image of the graves at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery. Highlights include:
An intact, Christmas Package shipping coupon with forwarding note and envelope, dated 13 Oct 1918. (These coupons have been described by Hennan Sanford (the dean of AEF postal history) as “one of the outstanding rarities of the AEF mail,” and John Hotchner (a distinguished philatelist and former President of the American Philatelic Society) discussed a recently found coupons at the Linn’s Stamp News website on 11 Jan 2021, “Despite the fact that there must have been hundreds of thousands of these labels produced, this is only the second example I have seen.” That said, although very scarce, I don’t believe the coupons are as rare as Sanford purported. I had one in my personal collection 30 years ago, one was sold at a Military Postal History Society auction in July 2012, and a half-dozen or so have been changed hands via ebay in the past ten years at prices ranging from $10 to more than $250.)
Two 1918 letters returned to Warmowski’s mother after his death whose envelopes are covered, front and back, with various routing handstamps and handwritten annotations.
Two telegrams with delivery envelopes, one stating Warmowski had been “severely wounded,” and the other with a “10c due” handstamp, reporting that he had actually “Killed in Action” on 1 Nov 1918.
A 1919 War Department letter to Warmowski’s mother about insurance benefits and back pay.
An undated handwritten note identifying the location of his gravesite in France and two photographs
A real photo postcard (RPPC) of Warmowski in his Army uniform.. Very good. Item #009779
A poignant archive. At the time of listing, no similar World War One KIA archive is for sale in the trade, and Rare Book Hub identifies none as having been sold auction.