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Grande Voiture du Texas
La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux
Double Tree Hotel
San Antonio, Texas
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OUR 1920 FOUNDERS WERE VETERANS OF W.W.I. FRANCE. During the First World War, French boxcars carried American Doughboys to the front. These wartime boxcars, which held either 40 men or 8 horses, were emblazoned with a “40/8”; a symbol readily understood by American veterans of that era. Today our organization’s titles are in French and we meet in symbolic W.W.I. train depots, in grateful homage to the sacrifices of our Doughboy founders and indeed to honor all Americans who yet serve. -- We are most commonly known as “La Societe” or simply “The Forty & Eight”.
The Texas Merci Boxcar was part of the Gratitude Train sent from France to the United States in February 1949. The Grande Voiture du Texas of the Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses, more commonly known as the “Forty & Eight”, are the custodians of the Texas Merci Boxcar and have maintained it since it was received by then Governor Buford Jester and a host of delegates in 1949.
In February 2014, the Texas Merci Boxcar was moved to Camp Mabry to be put on extended display in the Great Hall of the Texas Military Forces Museum. More information below.