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SSU 647.


solcarlus
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Hi.

 

Purchased on Ebay this photograph. I live in the village of LAGNEY (near Nancy).

I'd like to know the historical summary of the unit ambulance.

 

Merci. regards solcarlus.

 

 

post-241-1218054938.jpg

 

post-241-1218054990.jpg

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  • 12 years later...
Croix de Guerre

It is confusing but I will do my best to explain.  SSU 647 was formed during a period of flux when the US military was arriving in France and federalizing the preexisting American volunteer ambulance units, some of which had been in service with the French army since 1914.  Not only was the US Army taking control of the ambulance units, but they were also absorbing many of the privately run and financed American Hospitals.

 

Section 647 was formed in 1917 at Sandricourt and absorbed many of the volunteer drivers of SSU 24, a section of the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Service (officially named the Motor Ambulance Sections of the American Red Cross), who had enlisted in the United States Army Ambulance Service.  

 

What this mean is that SSU 647 was an American US Army ambulance section formed by new American draftees and former members of SSU 24 (Norton-Harjes Ambulance Service), which by late 1917 had been taken over by the American Red Cross.  Some of its members were also former volunteers of the "Paris Squad" of the American Ambulance Hospital of Neuilly-sur-Seine, (located in the Lycée Pasteur building).  The conglomerated unit formed by Americans either newly arriving in France as US Army soldiers, combined with Americans that were already in France driving ambulances on a volunteer basis, was then assigned as a US Army Ambulance unit attached to the French army.  

647.jpg

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Croix de Guerre
2 minutes ago, Croix de Guerre said:

It is confusing but I will do my best to explain.  SSU 647 was formed during a period of flux when the US military was arriving in France and federalizing the preexisting American volunteer ambulance units, some of which had been in service with the French army since 1914.  Not only was the US Army taking control of the ambulance units, but they were also absorbing many of the privately run and financed American Hospitals.

 

Section 647 was formed in 1917 at Sandricourt and absorbed many of the volunteer drivers of SSU 24, a section of the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Service (officially named the Motor Ambulance Sections of the American Red Cross), who had enlisted in the United States Army Ambulance Service.  

 

What this mean is that SSU 647 was an American US Army ambulance section formed by new American draftees and former members of SSU 24 (Norton-Harjes Ambulance Service), which by late 1917 had been taken over by the American Red Cross.  Some of its members were also former volunteers of the "Paris Squad" of the American Ambulance Hospital of Neuilly-sur-Seine, (located in the Lycée Pasteur building).  The conglomerated unit formed by Americans either newly arriving in France as US Army soldiers, combined with Americans that were already in France driving ambulances on a volunteer basis, was then assigned as a US Army Ambulance unit attached to the French army.  

647.jpg

C'est déroutant mais je vais faire de mon mieux pour expliquer. Le SSU 647 a été formé au cours d'une période de mouvement lorsque l'armée américaine arrivait en France et fédéralisait les unités d'ambulances volontaires américaines préexistantes, dont certaines étaient en service dans l'armée française depuis 1914. Non seulement l'armée américaine prenait le contrôle de la unités d'ambulances, mais elles absorbaient également de nombreux hôpitaux américains gérés et financés par le secteur privé.
 
La section 647 a été formée en 1917 à Sandricourt et a absorbé de nombreux chauffeurs bénévoles de SSU 24, une section du Norton-Harjes Ambulance Service (officiellement nommé les sections d'ambulance à moteur de la Croix-Rouge américaine), qui s'étaient enrôlés dans l'armée des États-Unis. Service d'ambulance.
 
Cela signifie que le SSU 647 était une section d'ambulances de l'armée américaine formée par de nouveaux recrues américaines et d'anciens membres du SSU 24 (Norton-Harjes Ambulance Service), qui à la fin de 1917 avait été repris par la Croix-Rouge américaine. Certains de ses membres étaient également d'anciens volontaires de la « Escouade de Paris » de l'Hôpital Ambulancier Américain de Neuilly-sur-Seine, (situé dans le bâtiment du Lycée Pasteur). L'unité conglomérée formée par des Américains nouvellement arrivés en France en tant que soldats de l'armée américaine, combinés à des Américains déjà en France conduisant des ambulances à titre bénévole, a ensuite été affectée en tant qu'unité d'ambulance de l'armée américaine rattachée à l'armée française.   https://www.the-afs-archive.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=5951:2007-039-a-history-of-section-647&Itemid=231

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Croix de Guerre

One thing that needs to be understood is that the French military had come to respect and depend on the volunteer American ambulance and transport units, (yes, there were American camion units working for the French military.). When the US Army began absorbing and assuming control over these civilian ambulance units, the French military was concerned about loosing these valuable assets.  The US Army acquiesced and allowed these units to continue to operate on detached service with their French divisions, but under US Army control.

 

There a number of other former American volunteer organization that were absorbed by the US Army in mid to late 1917 and if you come across photos of these men at this time it can be confusing.  You may see men wearing US Army uniforms but still wearing their old visor caps.  Orders came down to repaint all of their ambulances olive drab, but occasionally the old drivers did not put quite as much paint over the old insignia, so that it could still be seen as a reminder of past glory. 

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