The American Expeditionary Force

General John Joseph Pershing named the US military forces serving in WWI the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). Uneasy about integrating US forces into the Allied armies, Pershing insisted the AEF remain a unified fighting force under his command. When the first AEF forces arrived in France in June 1917, they trained to fight with both British and French troops. Following the German Spring Offensive in 1918, the AEF fought at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Soissons. St. Mihiel, the first American-led battle, took place between September 12 and 15, 1918. American and French troops under Pershing’s command took territory the Germans had held for three years. Under pressure from Supreme Allied Commander, French General Ferdinand Foch, the AEF turned its attention to preparations for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in mid-September.

For More Information:

“The American Expeditionary Forces - Stars and Stripes: The American Soldiers’ Newspaper of World War I, 1918-1919.” The Library of Congress. Accessed April 5, 2018,