Recruitment poster for the Polish Army in France by the graphic artist W. Benda.
Image used with permission of the Polish Museum of America, Jan Lorys, Curator.
How to obtain copies of the records once an entry is found in the index
Description of the Army
An estimated 20,000 Polish persons answered the call to fight for freedom and the opportunity to regain Poland’s independence during World War I in the Polish Army in France (in Polish, Armia Polska we Francyi). They were recruited from among the Polish immigrants who came to America.
The Polish Army in France was also called “Haller’s Army” after the general who commanded it; or the “Blue Army” for the blue uniforms the soldiers wore.
For more information, see:
Polish Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. X, #1, Spring 1987, pages 1, 3-4.
“World War I Polish American Military Records,” by Joseph T. Hapak, a brief history of the Polish Army in France
About the Records Index
The city and state give the place the person was from when volunteering. This is helpful to narrow the choices if the person of interest has a common name. The last column, labeled “Form”, serves as a location code describing in which record group the information is found.
Group A is a collection of form A papers. This is the intention to volunteer. It contains the name, address, age, and marital status.
Form B is a medical examination report for the volunteer.
Group C is a collection of form C papers. This is the final commitment paper and the most genealogically significant for researchers. Form C includes date and place of birth and usually the name and address of a parent or other close relative.
Group L is a collection of loose papers. They are duplicates of those in Group A and Group C. If you order Group L you do not need to order Group A and C.
To locate a record, the page number, volume and record group must be provided. These are obtained through the PGSA database search. The result of the index search tells you which forms you can expect to find among the loose papers. A single individual might appear in the index three times by having paperwork in each collection.
The forms are typically carbon paper copies of the original and in some cases do not provide a quality photocopy.
The following ship manifests provide listings of returning Haller’s Army soldiers to the US in the 1920s.
SS Antigone (from Danzig – April 18, 1920)
SS Latvia (August 17, 1922)
SS Pochontas (from Danzig – June 16, 1920)
SS Princess Matokia (from Danzig – May 23, 1920)