DEVENS -- The Fort Devens Museum will host a program about the 26th "Yankee" Division in World War I on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 1 p.m.

The centerpiece of the program will be screening of a tastefully compiled DVD, "Yanks Fight the Kaiser: A National Guard Division in WWI."

The National Guard division is the 26th or Yankee Division, made up of men from New England, the first full American division and the first National Guard unit to fight in France in World War I and also the first unit to be decorated by a foreign power.

The DVD features a great amount of filming of the Yankee Division in action as the division helped remove two German salients or substantial bulges in the line, each with German defenses extremely heavily built up, and push into the Ardennes Forest to fight even to the last half hour before armistice.

Also shown are the monuments honoring American soldiers who fought in these battles and the restoration work in villages that the Yankee Division itself and private persons financed after the war.

The DVD was produced by Ed and Libby Klekowski, of Amherst, who plan to release a book based on their extensive study of American soldiers fighting in World War I in Belgium and France in 2014, to be out for the centennial of the beginning of this devastating world war.

To accompany this video, the museum will be offering refreshments made from popular World War I recipes and will have an expanded Yankee Division display. Some members of the division trained at Camp Devens prior to leaving for France.


The entire division was demobilized at Camp Devens in 1919.

Yankee Division artifacts at the museum include uniforms, helmets with painted insignia, photographs and a journal from a cook who was in the 104th Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division.

This program is free and open to the public. The Fort Devens Museum is located at 94 Jackson Road, Devens, and is open on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For information, call 978-772-1286 or email