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The Gratitude Train

March 2024
1min read


“Letter From the Editor” in the August/ September 2003 issue of American Heritage mentioned that many of the cars of the French Gratitude Train still survive. A splendid example may be found at Ohio’s major National Guard facility, Camp Perry, the site of the United States National Rifle and Pistol Matches. Each year thousands of competitors, young and old, see the car and learn its story.

After the diminutive car, a third the length of rolling stock in the United States, completed a tour of the state in 1950, it was stored in a Camp Perry warehouse. Ten years later it was placed on display, but by 1986 the harsh Lake Erie winters had taken their toll. Three local men refurbished the car while Port Clinton High School art students restored the 40 plaques that decorated it, each representing a province of France.

A prominently displayed plaque adorns Ohio’s car of the Gratitude Train, telling all who care to read it the origins and history of this gift from the people of our oldest yet most difficult ally.

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