New :

MÄRKLIN & RAILROADS

www.trains-and-trains.dk : A personal view by Christian Vinaa


New :






  • Scale and size
    • 5", 1, LGB, H0, TT, N, Z



  • Electricity - Electronics
    • Turnouts
    • Signals
    • Light barrier

  • Real trains ( scale 1:1 )
    • Real trains - scale 1:1
    • Selection of train videos



  • Items for sale
    • NEW
    • Second-hand




USA : The Merci Train : Persons



"The Merci Train" - "The Gratitude Train" - "Train de la Reconnaissance Francaise"

Table of Contents :

Small stories :

David C. White - Farmer in Kansas Ruth Nathanson - High school senior from New York City


Individual states :
Bold = new content. (G) = can be seen on Google Streetview.

Arizona - Alabama - Arkansas (G) - California (G) - Colorado - Connecticut - Delaware (G) - Florida (G) - Georgia - Hawaii - Illinois - Indiana - Iowa (G) - Kansas - Kentucky - Louisiana (G) - Maine - Maryland - Massachusetts - Michigan - Minnesota - Mississippi - Missouri - Montana - Nebraska - Nevada - New Jersey - New Hampshire (G) - New Mexico - New York - North Carolina - North Dakota - Ohio - Oklahoma - Oregon (G) - Pennsylvania (G) - Rhode Island - South Carolina (G) - South Dakota (G) - Tennessee (G) - Texas - Utah (G) - Vermont - Virginia - Washington (G) - Washington DC - West Virginia (G) - Wisconsin - Wyoming (G).



under work Always new small pieces of information added.

Titles as of February 1949. Newspaper articles can contain errors / mis-qoutes.

Based on information from 100+ newspaper articles / books and numerous websites.

I'll presume that you can use your favorite www-search-engine to get more information about the persons.

The French

Non-government :

André Picard
• Secretary General of the "French Gratitude Train Committee".
• French National Railroads ( SNCF ) Divisional Super-intendent.
• French War veteran and railroad worker.

Even though he is widely credited for being the "man" behind the "Merci Train", there is surprisingly little information about him. Almost everything we today know about him is thanks to Drew Pearson.

It seems obvious that many webpages in fact just have copied the information about André Picard from eachother, but the original source is hard to find.

Drew Pearson mentions André Picard several times in various editions of his column : "Washington Merry-Go-Round" :
» February 22, 1949 - Grand Canyon article.
» February 26, 1949 - Ham and Eggs article.
» May 06, 1949 - Firestone plant article.

Drew Pearson, indirectly, names André Picard in his columns in 1948 while the "Merci Train" is being prepared in France :
» July 01, 1948 - Inside story.
» November 13, 1948 - One year after the "Friendship Train".

Known appearances :
✔ Friday, February 04, 1949 - New York City ( NY ) ( ?? )
✔ Sunday, February 06, 1949 - Washington DC
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - Albany ( NY )
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - 08:00 AM - Binghamton ( NY )
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - 11:30 AM - Oneonta ( NY )
✔ Wednesday, February 09, 1949 - Syracuse ( NY )
✔ Saturday, February 12, 1949 - Indianapolis ( IN )
✔ Sunday, February 13, 1949 - Columbus ( OH )
✔ Saturday, February 19, 1949 - Los Angeles ( CA )
✔ Frankfort (KY) - February ??, 1949.
✔ Akron ( OH ) - Firestone Rubber Plant
✔ With Louis Cast and Drew Pearson in Grand Canyon ( AZ ).
Andre Picard 1949 merci gratitude train
Detail from photo from :
© www.mercitrain.org


Andre Picard 1949 merci gratitude train
Detail from photo © :
Binghamton Press (NY)
February 08, 1949.

Andre Picard 1949 merci gratitude train
Detail from photo ➚ © :
Los Angeles Public Library
Herald-Examiner Collection
February 19, 1949.
Louis Cast
• President of the Friendship Train Committee.
• Veteran of WW1 and WW2.
• President of "French National Committee of Gratitude Train" / "Gratitude Train National Committee".
• President of "French Railroads War Veterans" / "Railway Veterans Association of France". ( Association Nationale des Cheminot Anciens Combattants ? )
• French National Railroad Superintendent.

Known appearances :
✔ Sunday, February 06, 1949 - Washington DC ( ?? )
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - Hartford, CT.
Sunday, February 13, 1949 : Des Moines ( IA ).
With Andre Picard and Drew Pearson in Grand Canyon ( AZ ).
✔ Saturday, February 19, 1949 - Los Angeles ( CA )
Sunday, February 20, 1949 : Los Angeles

Wrote thank you letter to Erie Railroad Co., Cleveland ( OH ).
Louis Cast merci gratitude train
Louis Cast merci gratitude train
Detail from photo © "Along The Line"
New Haven Railroad - February 1949.

Louis Cast merci gratitude train
Detail from photo ➚ © :
Los Angeles Public Library
Herald-Examiner Collection
February 19, 1949.
Pierre Maurice Artiguenave
• Treassurer of "French Gratitude Train Committee".
• Vice-President of "French Railroads War Veterans".
• Treassurer of the Friendship Train Committee who helped distributing the food to the people of France.
• French National Railroads ( SNCF ) Divisional Super-intendent.

Known appearances :
✔ Sunday, February 06, 1949 - Washington DC
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - Albany ( NY )
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - 08:00 AM - Binghamton ( NY )
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - 11:30 AM - Oneonta ( NY )
✔ Wednesday, February 09, 1949 - Syracuse ( NY )
✔ Saturday, February 12, 1949 - Indianapolis ( IN )
✔ Sunday, February 13, 1949 - Columbus ( OH )
✔ February 13 ?, 1949 - Kansas City ( MO ).
✔ Noon - Sunday, February 13, 1949 - Emporia ( KS ).
✔ Could not attend Lincoln, ( NE ), due to bad weather.
✔ Saturday, February 19, 1949 - Los Angeles ( CA )
✔ Sunday, February 20, 1949 : Los Angeles ( CA ).
Pierre Maurice Artiguenave 1949 merci gratitude train
Detail from photo :
Binghamton Press (NY)
February 08, 1949.


Pierre Maurice Artiguenave 1949 merci gratitude train
Detail from photo :
Binghamton Press (NY)
February 08, 1949.

Pierre Maurice Artiguenave 1949 merci gratitude train
Detail from photo ➚ © :
Los Angeles Public Library
Herald-Examiner Collection
February 19, 1949.
Charles D'Hagues
Mis-spelled "Charles d'Hugues" - even Charles Digues - in some newspapers.
• French railway shop worker / mechanic / shop foreman. He described the 49 boxcars as "très fatigué"
• Train commandant.
Appeared before the State Legislatures of Vermont, Arizona and New Mexico.

Known appearances :
✔ February 13, 1949 - Kansas City ( MO ).
✔ Noon - Sunday, February 13, 1949 - Emporia ( KS ).
✔ Saturday, February 19, 1949 - Los Angeles ( CA )
✔ Sunday, February 20, 1949 : Los Angeles ( CA ).
Charles D'Hugues 1949 merci gratitude train
Detail from AP Photo - February 1949

Charles D'Hugues 1949 merci gratitude train
Detail from photo ➚ © :
Los Angeles Public Library
Herald-Examiner Collection
February 19, 1949.
Anne-Marie Yvonne Max
• French Press Representative.
• Journalist of the French magazine "Realité" ( where her father, Alfred Max, was editor ), and "France-Soir".

Graduate of the University of Delaware - Class of 1943. Studied for 2 years 1942/1943.
Served with the OWI during WW2.
Broadcasted on VOA to France.
Joined the French WA. Stationed at Fort Meade (MD )

Known appearances :
✔ Monday, October 18, 1948 - 10:30 AM - Track 25, Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris.
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - Albany ( NY )
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - 08:00 AM - Binghamton ( NY )
✔ Tuesday, February 08, 1949 - 11:30 AM - Oneonta ( NY )
✔ Wednesday, February 09, 1949 - Syracuse ( NY )
✔ Saturday, February 12, 1949 - Indianapolis ( IN )
✔ Sunday, February 13, 1949 - Columbus ( OH )
✔ Tuesday, February 14, 1949, Santa Fe ( TX ).
✔ Saturday, February 19, 1949 - Los Angeles ( CA )
✔ Sunday, February 20, 1949 : Los Angeles ( CA ).
anne-marie yvonne max merci gratitude train
From Yearbook 1943
University of Delaware


anne-marie yvonne max merci gratitude train
Detail from photo :
NEA Telephoto
October 18, 1948.


anne-marie yvonne max merci gratitude train
Detail from photo :
Library of Congress

anne-marie yvonne max merci gratitude train
Detail from photo ➚ © :
Los Angeles Public Library
Herald-Examiner Collection
February 19, 1949.
Pierre Le Rouzic
• French Radio Representative.
Born 1923.
Went on to become a famous journalist and radio reporter in France.

Known appearances :
Pierre Le Rouzic Merci Gratitude Train
Michel Alexis
• Journalist from "L'Parisienne Libre".


Known appearances :
✔ February 13, 1949 - Kansas City ( MO ).
Michel Alexis Merci Gratitude Train
Detail from AP Photo
February 1949
Auguste Lobjois
• Vice-President of "French Gratitude Train Committee".
• French National Railroad Divisional Superintendent.
• President of Association of French War Blind.
• Vice-President of French Railroads War Veterans.

Known appearances
Merci Gratitude Train
Miss Lobjois
• Secretary of "French Gratitude Train Committee".

Known appearances
Merci Gratitude Train
Mme. Denise Henrietta Suzanne Davey ( born Rotival )
• Vice chairman and co-founder of the "Free French Relief Committee" - during WW2.
• Director / Co-Chairman of "American Aid to France".

Involved in the "Help Dunkirk help Dunkerque" drive from 1947
Explorer - Lecturer - Graduate of Smith College ( Masters Degree ).
Married to an officer serving under General de Gaulle.

Misspellings :
Sometimes refered to as "Denise David". "Denise - Denice".

Smith College emailed me this information about her time at Smith :

"...she came to Smith during the 1920/1921 academic year to study English Language and Literature.  She wrote a thesis titled "The idea of nature in some nineteenth century American essayists" and a copy resides in our main library, the William A. Neilson Library.   
While at Smith she took the following courses (instructors names are in brackets):
» ENG 36  Shakespeare (Elizabeth D. Hanscom)
» ENG 316 The Essay: its History, Structure and Influence (Robert Withington)
» ENG 322  George Eliot and Her Circle (Richard A. Rice)
» ENG 43  Middle English Poetry (Howard Patch)

She returned to give the 1943 Rally Day speech on campus. ..."


Known appearances
✔ Sunday, February 13, 1949 - Kansas City ( MO ).
✔ Noon - Sunday, February 13, 1949 - Emporia ( KS ).
Denise Davey 1949 Merci Gratitude Train
Detail from AP Photo
February 1949


Denise Davey Merci Gratitude Train
© : 1944 - Smith Alumnae Quarterly
Mary Hoyt Wiborg
[ January 28, 1888 - March 26, 1964 ]

Travelled on the "DeGrasse" in December 1948 to New York.

Mary Hoyt Wiborg DeGrasse Merci Gratitude Train

Worked on the Washington DC "Merci Train" committee.

Obituary - April 02, 1964.

Known appearances
merci gratitude train Mary Hoyt Wiborg
Detail from photo 1948 / 1949 :
Baltimore Sun Archives

French Government officials :

Henri Bonnet
• French ambassador to the USA from 1944 to 1954.
• Diplomat / civil servant.

Known appearances
✔ Sunday, February 06, 1949 - Washington DC
✔ Sunday, February 06, 1949 - Arlington Ceremony
Henri Bonnet 1949 Merci Gratitude Train
Detail from photo from 1950 :
© State Archives of Florida
Ludovic Chancel
• French consul-general in New York - 1946-1950.
• Diplomat / civil servant.
Merci Train
Albert Chambon
( January 21, 1909 - December 28, 2002 )
• French consul in Boston - 1946-1950.
• Diplomat / civil servant.
albert Chambon France Merci Gratitude Train
Photo © la-loupe.over-blog.net
Michel Junot
( September 29, 1916 - July 20, 2008 )
• Chef de cabinet du secrétaire d'État à la présidence du Conseil ( Paul Devinat ) du gouvernement Henri Queuille.
Professional politician / civil servant.
Wrote about the Merci Train in "J'ai connu trois républiques".
Gossip : Father of Philippe Junot - briefly married to Princesse Caroline of Monaco.

Known appearances
✔ Sunday, February 06, 1949 - Washington DC
✔ Sunday, February 06, 1949 - Arlington Ceremony
✔ Wednesday, February 09, 1949 - Spartanburg ( S.C. )
Michel Junot 1949
Detail from photo :
Truman Library


1949 Michel Junot
Detail from photo :
Spartanburg Herald (S.C.)
February 10, 1949.
Madame Marie Geoffray
Special assistant to Robert Betolaud - French Minister for War Veterans Affairs.

Robert Betolaud stayed in France.

Known appearances
✔ Wednesday, February 09, 1949 - Spartanburg ( S.C. )
Merci Train
Guy de la Vasselais
Executive Vice-president of French Gratitude Train Committee.
Counselor to the "Union Francaise" ( Overseas Territories).
Mayor of Saint Symphorien - ( Departement Eure et Loire ).
Secretary General of the "Voie de la Liberté" ( Normandy Invasion Route ).
During WW2 French liaison officer to General Patton's 3'd Army.

Known appearances
✔ Sunday, February 06, 1949 - Washington DC
Guy de la Vasselais

The Americans

It is not easy to choose which Americans should be included on this list.
Each state and each stop had numerous American politicians, officials and veterans appearing with the Merci Train.
Drew Pearson
Journalist - writer. Took the initiative for the "Friendship Train".

Merci Train
US Vice-President Alben Barkley
Senator - Democrat - Kentucky.
President Harry Trumann did not take part in the "Merci Train" arrangements; not even the one in Washington DC, where the vice-president represented the US-Government. It should be noted though, that Harry Trumann valued and used his vice-president much more than up-to-then had been usual.
Merci Train
Senator Arthur Vandenberg.
Republican - Michigan.
Merci Train
Governor John O. Pastore
Rhode Island.
Merci Train
Jefferson Caffery
U.S. ambassador to France.
Merci Train
Mrs. Jefferson Caffery
Wife of U.S. ambassador to France.
Merci Train
Grover Whelan
New York City's official "greeter".
Grover Whelan New York Merci Train
William O'Dwyer
New York City Mayor.
William O'Dwyer New York Merci Train
Ruth Nathanson
Schoolgirl from New York City.
Ruth Nathanson
Ruth Nathanson New York Merci Train
Lesser significant persons :

New York State
» Ulster County 40&8 [ 381 ]
» » Attorney Walter J. Miller, Kingston. [ Grand conducteur ]
» » Meyer Kaplan, Kingston. [ Grand cheminot ]
» » Thomas Bohan, Ulster Park. [ Chef de train ]
» » Wesley J. O´Brian, Woodstock. [ Cheminot ]

» Oneida County 40&8
» » William J. Spargo. [ Grand cheminot ]

» Walter Donnaruma, Representing Kingston.
» Governor Dewey, NY
» State Attorney-General Nathaniel Goldstein, NY
» Lt. Col. Albert S. Callan, chairman of the New York State Committee to welcome the "Merci Train"

YOUR banner could be here.

Contact webmaster for more information.






Copyright © Christian Vinaa
2014 -
"Märklin" and other brand names and product names and logo's
are ©, TM or registered trademarks of their respective owners,
and are used on this website for purely informational purposes.

"Let's Lok'n Roll"