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Home » Albert Lester Kleinecke

"War is mostly work, partly like a 4th of July celebration; partly like a circus, and to anyone with ambition and life in him, extremely fascinating.... I would very much like to get into the an observer, or a range finder, and hope to see real action before the fighting is over." (Letter to his mother, June 12, 1918)

   Albert Lester Kleinecke
Collection image
Portrait of Bert Kleinecke in uniform [1918]
War: World War, 1914-1918
Branch: Army
Unit: 4th Battalion, 29th Engineers
Service Location: Fort McDowell, California; Camp Devens, Massachusetts; Langres, France
Rank: Sergeant First Class
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Bert Kleinecke, born in Chicago and raised in California by his widowed mother Ella, was a 28-year-old surveyor when he enlisted to serve in the Great War. Between April 1918 and June 1919, he wrote regularly to his mother and to his sister Grace Jones (with loving asides to his niece Charlotte and nephew Albert), and occasionally to his brother-in-law Chas, who was serving stateside. Though he yearned to be closer to the action, Kleinecke had to be content with producing military maps from photographs and existing maps. His correspondence, about a third of it written during the Occupation, is filled with sharp observations of the French people (whom he found grateful), the Germans (to whom he was not allowed to speak), and the often haunting evidence of war in the aftermath of battles and skirmishes.

»Photo Album  (3 photos)
»Letters written from France during World War I
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»World War I Remembered: Correspondence and Photographs

Home » Albert Lester Kleinecke
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  October 26, 2011
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