Louisville and the Ohio Valley made many contributions to the war effort in World War I. Camp Zachary Taylor, in what is now a residential neighborhood in Louisville, was a major training installation, where tens of thousands of troops from far beyond Louisville were trained for military service overseas. Soldiers were also trained at other installations in the region, such as Fort Benjamin Harrison, in Lawrence, Indiana.
Many Louisville families sent their children off to the war in Europe. John Speed (1893-1968), son of James and Jennie Speed, served in France after receiving artillery training at Fort Benjamin Harrison before the U.S. entered the war. He was 23 when he registered for the draft on June 5th, 1917, though he already had more than 2 years of training with a field artillery company. During the war, he advanced to the rank of Captain. This gallery contains a selection of Speed’s photos taken in training in Indiana, and during his service in France.