Port Clinton in Ottawa County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The idea to send a "Thank You” gift to the United States for the $40 million in food and other supplies sent to France and Italy in 1947 came from a French railroad worker, and World War II veteran, named Andre Picard. Donations from the Merci Train came from over six million citizens of France and Italy in the form of dolls, statues, clothes, ornamental objects, furniture, and even a Legion of Honor medal purported to have belonged to Napoleon.
Forty-and-eights were French 4-wheel covered goods wagons used as military transport cars. The term refers to the cars' carrying capacity, said to be 40 men or eight horses. Built starting in the 1870s as regular freight boxcars, they were originally used in the military service by the French army in both World Wars, and then later used by the German occupation in World War II and finally by the Allied liberators.
In 1949, France sent 49 of those boxcars to the United States (one for each state in existence and one for Washington, D.C. and Hawaii to share) laden with various treasures, as a show of gratitude for the liberation of France. This train
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • War, World II. In addition, it is included in the Merci Train Boxcars series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1947.
Location. 41° 32.548′ N, 83° 1.214′ W. Marker is in Port Clinton, Ohio, in Ottawa County. Marker is on Niagra Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Clinton OH 43452, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gratitude Train (here, next to this marker); The Ohio Forty and Eights Box Car (a few steps from this marker); M4 Sherman (a few steps from this marker); M1 Abrams (a few steps from this marker); Nike Hercules Missile (a few steps from this marker); M551 Sheridan (within shouting distance of this marker); M42 Duster (within shouting distance of this marker); M106A2 Variand of the M113 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Clinton.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 10, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 26, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 45 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 26, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.