World War I, Siberia, American Expeditionary Force


By early 1918, the United States was deeply involved in the international politics of Europe's Great War. As the country's attention turned to Europe, Charles Love Flake left his pregnant wife in Arizona to go to Fort McDowell in California for military training. On May 13, he wrote to his wife about the difficulties of boot camp, "If it takes this grind to stop the Huns, I'm the boy that can do it cheerfully."1 On 22 June 1919, Charles Love Flake died from wounds received in active duty. His death happened long after the November Armistice, when most fighting had ended in Europe. Flake belonged to a group of American troops on an unexpected call to rescue five soldiers captured by Bolshevik forces in Siberia. As he entered the small village where the captives were being held hostage, enemies opened fire and killed Flake, along with three others.