Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Images of U.S. Naval Aviation at War

DH-4s of the Northern Bombing Group

1 comment:

  1. Hello all!

    I have looked for years for official docs ('Station logs') re the day to day sorties from Moutchic, as operations commenced there in the Fall of 1917. Findings have been limited to secondary works, among them, 'Millionaires Unit', by Wortman, re. 'The Yalies' and numerous works by George C.Moseley, 'The letters of..' type compilations re McLeish, et al, the biographical studies of Dave Ingalls, 'Chevy', et al. I am frustrated about never finding anything about verified sorties as recorded in docs such as the 'station logs'.
    No info available at all from the several U.S. Naval Historical archives.
    The purpose of my interest is to establish that since the Navy's pontoon equipped Hanriot 'HD', 'pursuits' (the then current term for 'fighters'), were on strength with the U.S.N. around the French coast, as early as September, 1917, and therefore would have been flying combat sorties for many months before the Nieuport 28's, of the of Army's 'First Pursuit Group' went into combat, in the Spring of 1918.
    The 95th Pursuit squadron assumed the mantle of 'First To The Front' and Richard Blodgett's letter to his mother proudly claims to have been one of the Squadron 95 flight that went aloft on the pioneering "first ever sortie" against the Kaiser's airmen: However, Eddie Rickenbacker, a member of Harold Hartney's 94th Squadron, also a unit of the First Pursuit Group, writes of being taken out by Lufbery on what he claims was the first sortie by any members of a American pursuit squadron: Dates recorded by both these pilots indicate that the Lufbery led mission pre-dated the 95th's sortie as recorded by Blodgett.
    I have the serial numbers of all of the Hanriots and the dates of acceptance of each, but nary a bit,though, about who piloted them and to what effect.
    I am quite sure the Hanriots encountered no German A/C, but have read that a pair of Navy A/C escorting a U.S.N. crew in a flying boat, did fire suppression runs against the gunners a a U-boat during a successful attack. I presume the escorts would have been the single seater HD's? Again, no names, no combat reports: Any ideas?
    I do so appreciate this wonderful site as a tribute to my father's war of those, not so long. 100 years ago. Thank you for honoring them.

    navy the