Early use of AWOL as acronym

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Fri Oct 7 10:39:47 UTC 2005

>From the The Soda Springs Chieftain, Idaho, for 22 May 1919, discussing
the need to recapture US Army deserters in France after World War I:

At the present rate of rounding up deserters or "Awols," as they are
called, it will be necessary. perhaps, to maintain the American military
police bureau in France for another year, as the authorities are
encountering the extremest difficult in capturing the men. Most deserters
have regulation army automatic pistols which they don't hesitate to use.
so that the average French policeman doesn't dare to tackle them. Instead,
when the French authorities discover an American Awol they simply try to
keep track of him and notify the American provost marshal.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: wordseditor at worldwidewords.org
Web: http://www.worldwidewords.org

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