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25. Letter From the Committee on Public Information Commissioner in France (Kerney) to the Chairman of the Committee on Public Information(Creel)1

My dear George:

I suppose we all of us get credit for a lot of things that we don’t have so much to do with. I know I got a great deal of glory out of “America’s Answer to the Hun” that really belongs to E.B. Hatrick and C.J. Hubbell.2 It is easily the best piece of propaganda that we have had in Europe, and I am certain that you will find it of untold value in America.

They have many times risked their lives, and their deeds of daring have attracted the widest attention in the army. They were the first Americans to get to the Chateau-Thierry front having been sent out in a General Staff car, under a special order from General Pershing. General di Robilant, Military Representative of Italy at the Inter-Allied Council at Versailles, says that the view they made of Chateau-Thierry, while the shelling was the fiercest, is one of the best pictures, from the viewpoint of the artillery technician, that he has ever seen.

From the time of their landing here they have been most energetic in their efforts and their work for the Committee on Public Information has been of the very highest value. Hatrick has been instrumental in reorganizing the Signal Corps photographic service, and in having shipped to America all original negative films. As you know, when they first came to France, the Signal Corps was badly demoralized in its photographic end. The Signal Corps now has seventeen operators in the field and is able to render highly efficient service.3

With kindest regards, I am

Very sincerely yours,

James Kerney 4
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 63, Entry 1, General Correspondence of George Creel, Box 11, Hatrick, E.B. No classification marking.
  2. For America’s Answer, see the Online Supplement, Appendix A.5.
  3. On July 31, Creel wrote to Edgar B. Hatrick: “In the matter of motion pictures for war records and publicity purposes, it was not only the case that you showed rare courage, risking your life time and again, but you also acted throughout with judgment, discrimination and intelligence.” (National Archives, RG 63, Entry 1, General Correspondence of George Creel, Box 11, Hatrick, E.B.)
  4. Printed from a copy that indicates Kerney signed the original.