GENET IN THE AMERICAN ESCADRILLE
Young Edmond Genet was very happy when, early in June, 1916, he found himself no longer a Légionnaire, but a student at the French military aviation school at Buc, not far from Paris. "We're treated finely here," he wrote to his brother, "have excellent quarters, the food is good, and, except for the uniform and other personal clothes which we buy ourselves, we're fitted out extremely well." The future looked very bright to him. "This is what one can call the real thing. This is sport with all the fascination and excitement and sporting chances any live fellow could ever wish for."
Under the stress of war the previous year of 1915, however, had witnessed such a marvellous development, both in the construction of airships and in the art of controlling them, that a much longer time was required than formerly to qualify a novice for this increasingly difficult branch of the army service. The consequence was that it was not until about the middle of the following January, in 1917, that Genet at last found himself at the front as a fully qualified pilote aviateur in the American Escadrille. In the meantime, while learning all the tricks of the pilot of an avion de chasse, Genet, like his fellow compatriots in the different branches of the French service, was deeply interested in the result of the presidential election in the United States, especially in its relation to the war. His elation over the early reports of the election of Hughes was followed, when later news announced that Wilson had been re-elected, by hot indignation and a feeling of bitter humiliation. To a friend he wrote, under date of November 15:
Where has all the old genuine honor and patriotism and humane feelings of our countrymen gone? What are those people, who live on their farms in the West, safe from the chances of foreign invasion, made of, anyway? They decided the election of Mr. Wilson. Don't they know anything about the invasion of Belgium, the submarine warfare against their own countrymen and all the other outrages which all neutral countries, headed by the United States, should have long ago rose up and suppressed and which, because of the past administration's "peace at any price" attitude have been left to increase and increase ? They crave for peace, those unthinking, uncaring voters, and what's the reason? Why, they're making money hand over fist because their country is at peace--- at peace at the price of its honor and respect in the whole civilized world---at peace while France and Belgium are being soaked in blood by a barbarous invasion---while the very citizens of the United States are being murdered and those same invaders are laughing behind our backs even in our very faces.... It couldn't be possible for Americans in America to feel the same bitter way as Americans over here among the very scenes of this war's horrors. It's not comprehensible over there where peace reigns supreme. Come over here and you'll be engulfed like the rest of us in the, realization of the necessity of the whole civilized world arming itself against this intrusion of utter brutality and militaristic arrogance. Peace---God forbid such happiness until the invaders have been victoriously driven back behind their own borders, knowing the lesson of their folly in treading ruthlessly on unoffending neutral territory and all the rest of their deeds of piracy and the blood of France and Belgium has dried up.
During his period of training Genet met with the usual accidents to which students are subject. Once he fell fifty yards or so in a fifty-horse-power Blériot monoplane, smashing the machine to "pieces no larger than matchsticks." Being strapped in tightly, however, he escaped with only a badly wrenched hip and back. On another occasion he turned over completely in a Nieuport plane, without the slightest injury to himself. For diversion he was able, on one of his trips to Paris, to enjoy a performance of "Samson et Delila" at the opera. At last, on January 20, 1917, he reached the front as a member of the Lafayette Escadrille, finding himself, oddly enough, in the same neighborhood where, nearly two years earlier, he had begun his service in the Foreign Legion.
In a letter to his brother Rivers, Genet gave this description of his first flight over the lines in his new 110 horse-power Nieuport:
The first morning I flew over the lines I went 4,200 metres (about 12,600 ft.) which is some altitude for a clear and very cold morning. The view was wonderful and just about 500 metres below and to our right (I was out with one of the other fellows) shells fired at us from a German anti-aircraft battery were bursting. A light covering of snow helped to accentuate the outlines of the ground, the railroad-lines, roads, villages, etc. That was one of our exceptional clear days though. This is surely no kid's game. It's mighty tiring and trying on the nerves and one feels it lots at the end of each day's flying. One has to keep constantly on the alert---and a mighty wide-awake alert too. Maneuvering the machine has practically to be done involuntarily---mechanically, I should say, and keep all the senses absolutely on the alert for the enemy and the course taken. The enemy machines drop down behind one with blamed suddenness and then there's the devil to pay. It's some job ! There isn't a great deal of danger of being brought down by shells although there have been machines brought down that way---mostly with a lot of luck on the part of the gunners. Both sides, though, do possess some mighty good anti-aircraft batteries.
Genet made many flights and had several combats with German air-ships, on one occasion coming very near getting lost in the enemy's territory, owing to the thickness of the weather. Finally came the expedition with McConnell, Genet's description of which has already been given. Genet himself was a fatalist and expected to meet the same end as that which had overtaken Chapman, Rockwell, Prince, and now McConnell. But he faced the probability with high courage. "All we ask," he said, "is to be able to bring down a few of the enemy machines before our turn comes." Genet's last letter to his " dear little Mother " was dated April 15, a little more than a week after the United States declared war against Germany. He was killed on the following day while making a sortie over the lines with Lufbery.
Lufbery's account of his companion's death was as follows:
One afternoon, at half-past two, Genet and I were ordered to make a patrol on the lines between St. Quentin and La Fère. I was leading and everything seemed to be all right. At about 3 o'clock somewhere around Moy the German anti-aircrafts started to shell us. I saw very plainly three shells bursting right behind Genet's machine, about one hundred yards from it. As we get that very often I did not pay much attention to it. Many times I myself had been shelled much closer than that and nothing had happened. Anyway, I don't know if he got hit or not, but he suddenly turned around and went toward the French lines. I followed him for about three or four minutes to make sure that he was taking the right direction, after that I went back to the lines to finish my patrol duty. There is another thing: Genet that day was not feeling well. He went out in the morning for a moment, and when he landed he told us that there was something wrong with him and went to bed. We did not want to let him go to the afternoon sortie, but he insisted, saying he was now much better.
Soldiers who saw him fall say that the machine got in a corkscrew dive at about 1,400 yards high, finally a wing came off and the whole thing crashed on the ground.
I do not know exactly what happened, but might suppose that, being ill, he fainted. He also might have got wounded by a piece of shell.
Genet was a nice little fellow and everybody in the Escadrille was very fond of him. He was very brave and I am sure he would have become one of the best.
In a letter to Paul Rockwell, Sergeant Walter Lovell, of Newtonville, Massachusetts, then in the American Escadrille, after having been graduated, as so many of his fellows were, from the American Ambulance service---told of the finding of Genet's body at a spot a few miles within the French lines and not far from where McConnell fell a few weeks earlier. "He had fallen with the motor in full speed in the middle of the road, which proves that the German shell had killed him or rendered him unconscious."
He was buried with full military honors at Ham.
Genet is thought to have been the first American to be killed after the United States entered the war. In accordance with his request, his body was wrapped in the French flag, and both the French and the American flags were placed upon his grave. Finally, it is difficult to read dry-eyed these paragraphs from Paul Rockwell's letter to the boy's mother:
I feel a sympathy with you that I cannot find words to express. I would have written you ere now, but the loss of dear little Edmond coming right after that of Jim gave me such a feeling of the "blues" that I could not write.
Anyway we know that Edmond fell for something worth while, and that he was so fine an idealist he didn't mind dying for the cause. He is over there with Kiffin and Jim and the other boys and it will not be long until we will be with them too.
I think that one enters eternity with the same force and strength that one quits this world with, and that one falling in battle in the full bloom of youth and energy has a better place in the next world than those who linger here and die of illness or age. Anyhow I would change places with any one of the boys who have died so gallantly.
MAJOR LUFBERY, ACE OF AMERICAN ACES
No more romantic career than that of Raoul Lufbery, of Wallingford, Connecticut, world-rover and soldier of fortune, has thus far emerged from the turmoil and smoke of the great war. That a wanderer for years over the face of the earth, born of an American father and a French mother, should have finally found himself on the bloody fields of France and should have won, by his brilliant conquests of the Boches in the air, the three highest honors the French could bestow upon him, together with the British Military Cross for distinguished service, must seem indeed like a fairy-tale.
Lufbery was born thirty-four years ago in Clermont, France, and was brought up after he was six, when his mother died, by his maternal grandmother. Unlike most French boys, and owing possibly to his American blood, he developed a roving disposition---wanted to see the world. So when he was fifteen he ran away and went to Paris. But Paris disappointed him---there were too many people and there were too few opportunities for quiet meditation, of which he was increasingly fond, even at that early age. The conventional life did not appeal to him.
Then began the wanderings of this Franco-American Ulysses. First he sailed to Algiers, where, being ill, he went to the hospital. Being a likable sort of a fellow, sympathetic by nature and deft with his hands, he became, on his recovery, an orderly in the hospital and stayed there two years. Speaking of his adaptability for army service, his brother Charles said to a writer for the New York Sun:
He was always ready to risk everything, and the moment's joy was all he wanted from it. Ah, he is splendid for an army ! He could dress wounds, or cook or comfort the wounded, and do all those simple things which so few know how to do at all. He ought to know them. He has made his living since he was fifteen.
From Algiers Lufbery wandered to Egypt and thence, after many adventures, to Constantinople, through Roumania and finally to Germany, learning, while working in a brewery at Fulda, to speak and read German. But he wanted to see the rest of the world and to visit his own people, his father, his brothers, and his half-sisters in New England. So he made his way to Hamburg and worked until he had money enough to take him to New York. He reached Wallingford in 1906, but family ties were not strong enough to keep him there permanently. Regular work in a silver factory was not to his taste. So, after a year and a half, he set forth again, making brief stays in New Orleans, where he worked in a bakery, and in San Francisco, where he was a waiter in a hotel. In 1908 he was in Honolulu and from there he went to the Philippines, where he served in the United States Army for more than a year. In 1911 his people in Wallingford received word from him that he was in Canton, China, and had a place in the Imperial Chinese customs service.
While he was in the Far East Lufbery got his first taste of aviation and through this experience was led to offer his services to the French in the war. The circumstances were thus stated by the New York Evening Post in a sketch of Lufbery:
Several years ago he met the aviator, Marc Pourpe, in Asia, who trained him as his assistant. Lufbery discovered for the first time that he was an American when he attempted to enlist with Pourpe at the outbreak of the war, and was rejected on account of his nationality. He was finally permitted to go to the front as Pourpe's mechanic. Pourpe was killed soon afterward, and Lufbery importuned the French authorities for permission to be trained as a pilot, and his request was finally granted. He joined the Lafayette Escadrille when it was sent to the Verdun sector in May, 1916.
Before becoming a member of the Lafayette Escadrille Lufbery had gone through the usual experience of beginners in bombing machines. He contributed to Everybody's Magazine for February, 1918, a description of one such expedition in which he took part in January, 1916, as the pilot of a 140 horse-power Voisin airplane. The fleet consisted of no fewer than forty ships and the objective was the Metz-Sablons railway-station. Lufbery pictured the approach to this objective through shrapnel fire, and continued-as follows:
A few minutes later I found myself over the spacious station of Metz. This was our objective. The machine in front of me executed a semi-circle in order to give the slower aeroplanes time to come up. Handicapped by my 140 h. p. I took no part in this manoeuvre, but flew straight to the point, where I was the first to arrive.
Our coming must have been announced, as several enemy machines came from every direction to meet us. One of them advanced toward me. Quickly I turned my head to see if my observer was on his guard. His machine gun was pointed at the enemy, his finger on the trigger. At a distance of one hundred and fifty metres, the enemy machine made a brisk movement to get beyond our range, turning to enable its gunner to fire at us. But this manoeuvre was useless, for the greater number of the biplane machines have two guns, one stationary, which fires from the front, the other mounted on a turret in the rear.
I kept my eye on my adversary. I could clearly see the black painted cross on his fusilage and helm. The fight began. We exchanged a shower of bullets. The Boche piqued, apparently having had enough. I did not think it worth my while to follow him, as there was nothing now to obstruct our way, and I had an important mission to fulfil.
Through the wind shield I could distinguish railroad tracks, trains, stationary and on the move, stores of goods, hangars, etc.
My observer tapped me on the shoulder and signed for me to go ahead. Another tap informed me that the bombs had been dropped. Our mission was accomplished. All that remained for us to do now was to get back to camp as soon as possible. The Boches were hurrying up in numbers. We had to keep a watch on all sides. We were surprised by a monoplane Fokker, which hurled at us a shower of bullets and departed before we had time to respond. Two or three short, sharp, familiar sounds told me that my machine was hit. But my motor continued its regular throb, and my observer reported that the gasoline tank was untouched.
The wind blowing from the north facilitated our return. In a short time we were over our lines. Then I laughed, without knowing why. I looked at my observer, and he too laughed. We were both feeling good.
Lufbery's skill as a fighting pilot developed rapidly after he joined the American Escadrille. From that admirable record of the achievements of the members of this corps, McConnell's "Flying for France," two instances may be cited. This relates to a combat over the Verdun battlefield:
A pilot seldom has the satisfaction of beholding the result of his bulls-eye bullet. Rarely, so difficult is it to follow the turnings and twistings of the dropping 'plane, does he see his fallen foe strike the ground. Lufbery's last direct hit was an exception, for he followed all that took place from a balcony seat. I myself was in the "nigger-heaven," so I know. We had set out on a sortie together just before noon one August day, and for the first time on such an occasion had lost each other over the lines. Seeing no Germans, I passed my time hovering over the French observation machines. Lufbery found one, however, and promptly brought it down. Just then I chanced to make a southward turn, and caught sight of an airplane falling out of the sky into the German lines.
As it turned over, it showed its white belly for an instant, then seemed to straighten out, and planed downward in big zigzags. The pilot must have gripped his controls even in death, for his craft did not tumble as most do. It passed between my line of vision and a wood, into which it disappeared. Just as I was going down to find out where it landed, I saw it again skimming across a field, and heading straight for the brown band beneath me. It was outlined against the shell-racked earth like a tiny insect, until just northwest of Fort Douaumont it crashed down upon the battlefield. A sheet of flame and smoke shot up from the tangled wreckage. I watched it burn a moment or two, then went back to the observation machines.
I thought Lufbery would show up and point to where the German had fallen. He failed to appear, and I began to be afraid it was he whom I had seen come down, instead of an enemy. I spent a worried hour before my return homeward. After getting back I learned that Lufbery was quite safe, having hurried in after the fight to report the destruction of his adversary before somebody else claimed him, which is only too frequently the case. Observation posts, however, confirmed Lufbery's story, and he was of course very much delighted. Nevertheless, at luncheon I heard him murmuring, half to himself, "Those poor fellows ! "
Noticing on another occasion during a fight with a Boche that a German plane was over French territory, Lufbery swooped down near his adversary, waved a good-by, which was returned, and "whirred off to chase the other representative of Kultur." McConnell continued:
He caught up with him and dove to the attack, but he was surprised by a German he had not seen. Before he could escape three bullets entered his motor, two passed through the fur-lined combination he wore, another ripped open one of his woolen flying boots, his airplane was riddled from wing-tip to wing-tip, and other bullets cut the elevating plane. Had he not been an exceptional aviator he never would have brought safely to earth so badly damaged a machine. It was so thoroughly shot up that it was junked as being beyond repairs.
Lufbery's conquests in his combats with the Germans won for him in quick succession the Croix de Guerre, the Médaille Militaire and the Croix de la Légion d'Honneur from the French, and the Military Cross for Distinguished Service from his British associates. On December 27, 1917, he wrote in quaint phraseology to his brother Charles in Wallingford, as quoted in the sketch in the New York Sun already referred to, as follows:
Now, I am looking like a Christmas tree, medals all over my chest. The last one I was decorated with is a Montenegrin order, with a ribbon red, blue and white. Though it has not the value of the French Legion of Honor or the Military Medal, I am awfully proud to wear it.`
You certainly have heard through the newspapers about my commission in the American aviation, but the truth is I have been appointed to that rank (Major) a month ago, but I cannot wear the uniform yet, as the French are still holding my discharge.
I now have sixteen official German machines to my credit, and many others unofficial. On December 2 I brought two of them down.
Well, how is everything up at the old Wallingford ? I would like very much to see it back again. Unfortunately, I must to give it up for the present. For I should like to organize some sort of a little flying circus for the Germans before I leave here.
Major Lufbery, however, was destined never to see "the old Wallingford" "back again." For a few months later, on Sunday, May 19, 1918, he was killed by a fall from his machine, which had apparently been set on fire by incendiary bullets from a huge German airship, with two guns, in a desperate combat over the city of Toul. At the time of his death he was officially credited with having shot down eighteen enemy planes, far and away the most noteworthy achievement of any American in the aviation service.
Major Raoul Lufbery
One of those who took part in the military funeral of Major Lufbery the next day was a fellow aviator, Lieutenant Kenneth P. Culbert, who had been graduated at Harvard in the previous year. In the middle of a long letter dated May 21 from Lieutenant Culbert to Professor C. T. Copeland, of Cambridge, which was printed in the Harvard Alumni Bulletin, appeared this description of the funeral of Major Lufbery:
Perhaps you'd like to hear of Major Lufbery's funeral---you doubtless know that he was shot down, and fell from his burning plane into a courtyard. He had done a great deal in uniting the French and Americans,---he was the greatest of our airmen and seventh on the list of French aces,---he had all the qualities of a soldier, audacity, utter fearlessness, persistency, and tremendous skill, in every way, sir, he was a valuable man.
As we marched to his interment the sun was just sinking behind the mountain that rises so abruptly in front of T ; the sky was a faultless blue, and the air was heavy with the scent of the blossoms on the trees in the surrounding fields. An American and French general led the procession, following close on to a band which played the funeral march and "Nearer My God to Thee" in so beautiful a way that I for one could hardly keep my eyes dry. Then followed the officers of his squadron and of my own---and after us an assorted group of Frenchmen famous in the stories of this war, American officers of high rank, and two American companies of infantry, separated by a French one.
How slowly we seemed to march as we went to his grave, passing before crowds of American nurses in their clean white uniforms, and a throng of patients and French civilians ! He was given a full military burial; with the salutes of the firing squad, and the two repetitions of taps, one answering the other from the west. General E---made a brief address, one of the finest talks I have ever heard any man give while throughout all the ceremony French and American planes circled the field. In all my life I have never heard taps blown so beautifully as on that afternoon---even some of the officers joined the women there in quietly dabbing at their eyes with white handkerchiefs. France and United States had truly assembled to pay a last tribute to one of their soldiers. My only prayer is that somehow through some means I can do as much as he for my country before I too wander west---if in that direction I am to travel.
On the very next day, as Fate willed it, May 22, the writer of these words was killed in combat, his spirit, one may believe, joining that of his comrade Lufbery in the journey "westward."
MAJOR THAW, PIONEER AMERICAN AVIATOR
The opening chapter of this book was devoted to some of the experiences of young William Thaw, of Yale, in the Foreign Legion. Its final chapter shall treat of the exploits in the aviation service of France and of the United States, of Major William Thaw, of Pittsburgh, now four years older than he was when he decided that this was to be a conflict between civilization and barbarism, and that it was up to him as a good American to take active part in it. At last accounts he was still fighting the Boches, the only survivor over the firing-lines of that gallant little band of American volunteers who formed the original Lafayette Escadrille, and the pioneer as well, in the French air service, of them all.
Thaw joined the Legion as the quickest and easiest way of getting into the firing-lines. But, as we have seen, his experience with this branch of the French service was disappointing, and as soon as he was able to pull enough official wires he got himself transferred, in December, 1914, into the French flying service. He was not altogether a novice in an air machine, for, like Norman Prince, he had done some flying in the United States before the war, though not, as he admits in one of his letters, over land. He returned to the United States on a brief furlough in the autumn of 1916; and this visit recalled to a writer in the Yale Alumni Weekly that at the beginning of his sophomore year Thaw had arrived at New Haven in a hydroaeroplane.
At the end of December, 1914, Thaw was at Mervel, attached to Escadrille D 6 of the French Aviation Corps as an observer. His capacity for this work and his personality evidently impressed the French officers, and they made his pathway easy. The contrast, moreover, between his present mode of life and that of the trenches made him very contented.
From the same group of Thaw's letters to his family from which quotations have already been made---originally published in the Yale Alumni Weekly--- a few more selections relating to this period may be taken. Thus, under date of December 2S, 1915, he wrote:
About three or four times a week I have to go on little joy-rides in a good machine (we have six 80-gnome Deperdussins) with a good pilot (two of the six here have won the Legion of Honor and two the Military Medal), mark the position of German batteries, and regulate by means of smoke signals the firing of our guns.
A career as an observer and as a regulator of artillery-fire did not, however, satisfy Thaw's ambition; he wanted to fly his own battle-plane ! So he schemed and maneuvered to secure admittance to a military training-camp, where he could obtain in time a license to fly. Finally, in February, 1915, he carried his point and was sent to the Reserve of Pilots, as it was called, Caudron Division, at Buc. His letter of February 14 tells how he evaded being sent to school at Pau:
They wanted to send me to the school at Pau, but I know what schools are, so I told them that my name was W. Caudron Thaw, and finally persuaded them to give me a try. I was rather up against it though, as I'd never flown on land, never with a rotary motor, never with the propeller in front, and never with that control, and at Buc they have nothing but the big regulation 80 H. P. machines. But one of my favorite mottoes is, "try anything once," so the second day I got a ten-minute ride as a passenger to get the feel of the machine, and since then, in the occasional streaks of fairly good weather, I have flown alone twice, and the Captain says that I can take the brevet militaire the first good day. But that is very simple, as they have eliminated the cross-country tests, and all you have to do is to stay up for one hour at two thousand metres.
So I hope to be back at the front in two or three weeks (and this time with a good job instead of being a ditch-digger), probably with my old escadrille, which, I believe, is going to change to Caudrons. Anyway, the Captain (of D. 6) who is now at Buc practicing, having changed from Dep. to Caudron, has asked to have me with him, whether he takes the same escadrille or not, so I should worry !
Under date of April 7 Thaw wrote that the French aviation centre had been moved from Buc to Bourget, only a few miles from Paris, which was easily reached by tram-car. Evidently he had made good progress, for he said that he had been acting as a sort of instructor, "teaching green observateurs how to observe."
At the time of writing Thaw had just reached the front again and was glad to be there:
The Caudron, though very slow (113 kils. p. h.*), is really a remarkable little machine. Day before yesterday four of us came over here to Lunéville, where we are located indefinitely on the champ des manoeuvres, about 8 kils. behind the lines; the other two are coming over later.... It is interesting to note that although I am supposed here to be a pretty good pilote, it was my first cross-country flight. And it certainly is sport sailing along through the clouds, steering by map and compass.
*About 70 miles per hour.
Under date of April 18 Thaw wrote of his first meeting with a German "Taube":
Another short letter, just to say " Hello " and "tout va bien."---The past few days since I wrote you have passed very quickly---just enough work to seem to be busy, and very, very interesting work at that. Have made six reconnaissances to date, and to-morrow morning I do my first regulating of artillery fire, having tried out my wireless to-day. Have so far flown about 1200 kils.* over German territory and have more than once brought back fairly important information. So, as I said before, it certainly feels great to be really doing something.---Met my first and only "Taube" last Thursday morning, and, believe me, I was scared. But so was he and beat it straight down, much to my relief, as we were 40 kils. from our lines.---Every day something new' something exciting. It's a great life.
* Approximately 750 miles
McConnell notes that during the autumn of 1915 Thaw was doing excellent work at the front as the pilot of a Caudron biplane carrying an observer. During the autumn and winter, however, he was co-operating heartily with Norman Prince and Elliott Cowdin in their efforts to persuade the French authorities to allow them to form a purely American flying squadron.
When, late in the winter, the project seemed likely to succeed, Thaw is found elaborately planning to have Captain Thenault appointed to the command of the new squadron. Thus in a letter dated February 21, 1916, Victor Chapman wrote:
Now we must have a French Captain. But first, as to the people who are running this. They are, of course, the three you know---Thaw, Cowdin and Prince. Thaw, though the youngest, has perhaps more weight, being a sous-Lieutenant. Thaw wants his old chief at his Caudron Escadrille, Capitaine Thenault, a charming fellow, but young. Balsan, after being asked to look into the matter, gave some uncertain answer. Thaw wants him if it's physically possible. Meanwhile we wait, and if nothing is done, we greatly fear that Thenault may be definitely refused us and some service" Capitaine be dumped upon us to make our life unpleasant.
Thaw as usual carried his point: Captain Thenault was put in command of the Lafayette Escadrille, with Lieutenant de Laage de Mieux second in command. A year later Edmond Genet, in one of his letters describing the American Escadrille as it then was, wrote of Thenault:
We have a very pleasant captain of the escadrille, and the lieutenant (de Laage) is a dandy fellow. Of course, Thaw, who is a lieutenant, looks out for us a good deal, but de Laage is our regular lieutenant. Both he and the captain speak English---particularly de Laage. We all eat together in one mess, and our cook is an A1 man.
Thaw and Cowdin had become expert fighting pilots before the Lafayette Escadrille was finally assembled on the Alsatian front in May, 1916, and had seen service at Verdun, where Cowdin had brought down a German machine, and by so doing had become the first American to win the Médaille Militaire "the highest decoration," McConnell calls it, "that can be awarded a non-commissioned officer or private." Almost before the members of the squadron had got settled at Bar-le-Duc, after the transfer from the Alsatian front, Thaw brought down a Fokker one morning. In the afternoon of the same day, however, in a big combat far behind the German lines, he was wounded in the arm. His wound bled profusely, but he succeeded in landing just within the French lines, although in a dazed condition. French soldiers carried him, too weak to walk, to a field dressing-station, and from there he was sent to a Paris hospital. On his recovery he rejoined the American Escadrille.
The latest information concerning him was in a news despatch dated April 24,1918, which stated that Major Thaw---like Lufbery, he had been taken into the aviation service of the United States Army with the rank of major--- commanding the Lafayette Escadrille, had just brought down his fifth enemy plane and a captive balloon on the same day, and that he was thenceforth to be classed among the "aces" in aviation in France. Long may he live to fly !
Ahern, Dr. William P., with Red Cross
Andrew, A. Piatt, in ambulance service
Andrews, Philip, in Coldstream Guards
Arrowsmith, Robert, with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Bach, James, in Foreign Legion
Balsey, Clyde, in aviation
Barber, William M., in ambulance service
Bastados, in Foreign Legion
Boligay, Edwin, in Foreign Legion
Bostwick, Elmore McNeil, in ambulance service
Buswell, Leslie, in ambulance service
Butler, Ethan Flagg, with Red Cross
Campbell, Douald, in Foreign Legion
Capdevielle, in Foreign Legion
Carey, J. J., in Foreign Legion
Chapman, Victor, in Foreign Legion, in aviation
Clyde, W. P., in ambulance service
Covalieros, in Foreign Legion
Cowdin, Elliot C., in aviation
Culbert, Kenneth P., in aviation
Curtis, Edward D., with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Delpeaehe, in Foreign Legion
Donovan, Dr. James C., with Red Cross
Dowd, Dennis, in Foreign Legion
Downer, Dr. Karl B., with Red Cros
Drummond-Hay, Colonel, in Coldstream Guards
Elliott, General George F
Engler, in Foreign Legion
Evans, Frank E
Farnsworth, Henry in Foreign Legion
Fletcher, Horace, in Belgium
Gailor, Frank Hoyt, in ambulance service
Genet, Ednond, in Foreign Legion; in aviation
Gray, Prentiss, with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Gregory, Warren, with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Hall, B. S., in Foreign Legion
Hall, Bert, in aviation
Hall, Richard, in Ambulance Corps
Harjes, H. Herman
Hath, in Foreign Legion
Haupt, George H., in ambulance service
Hill, Dudley, in aviation
Hill, Lovering, in ambulance service
Hollinshed, in ambulance service
Hoover, Herbert, with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Hoskier, in Foreign Legion ; in ambulance service
Imbrie, Andrew C
Jennings, in ambulance service
Johnson, Chouteau, in aviation
Kelley, Edward J., in Ambulance Corps
Kellogg, Prof. Vernon, in Belgium
King, Clapham P., with Red Cross
King, David W., in Foreign Legion
Kirby-Smith, Dr. Raymond M., with Red Cross
Kittredge, Tracy P., with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Kohn, in Foreign Legion
Lane, Morton P., with Red Cross
Lawrence, Richard, in ambulance service
Leach, Dr. Charles N., with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Lebrun, Corporal, in Foreign Legion
Lipton, Sir Thomas, with Red Cross
Long, John D.
Lovell, Walter, in aviation
Lufbery, Raoul, in aviation
Lumaden, D., in Black Watch
Lytle, Richard R., with Committee for Relief in Belgium
MacCreery, Lawrenee, in ambulance service
MeConnell, James P., in American field ambulance service, in aviation
McCord, in aviation
Magruder, Dr. Ernest P., with Red Cross
Masson, Didier, in aviation
Matter, in ambulance service
Maurice, Arthur Bartlett, with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Maveriek, Robert V., with Committee for Rehef in Belgium
Mitchell, Clarence V. S., in ambulance service
Morlae, E., in Foreign Legion
Morrison, H. D., Secretary, American Ambulance Corps
Mortens, in Foreign Legion
Mussorgsky, in Foreign Legion
Nicolet, in Foreign Legion
Norton, Richard head of Ambulance Corps
Oakman, Walter G., in Coldstream Guards
Ogilvie, Francis D.
Ohlinger, in Foreign Legion
Paradise, Scott Hurtt, with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Phelizot, in Foreign Legion
Poe, John Prentiss, in First Black Watch
Prince, Norman, in aviation
Rainey, Paul, in ambulance serviee
Rockwell, Kiffin, in aviation
Rumsey, Lawrence, in aviation
Ryan, Dr. Edward W., with Red Cross
Salisbury, Edward Van D., in ambulance service
Sanders, Roswell S., in ambulance service
Scanlon, Bob, in Foreign Legion
Schroder; Bernard N. P., in ambulance service
Seeger, Alan, in Foreign Legion
Sperry, William H., with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Starr, Dillwyn P., in Coldstream Guards
Stockton, Gilchrist, with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Strong, Dr. Richard P., with Red Cross
Stuart, Dr. Edward, with Red Cross
Subiron, Bob, in Foreign Legion
Suckley, Henry M., in ambulance service
Sudie, in Foreign Legion
Sukuna, in Foreign Legion
Thaw, William, in Foreign Legion; in aviation
Trinkard, in Foreign Legion
Tuck, William H., with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Uhlin, in Foreign Legion
Ware, Gordon, in ambulance service
Warren, Robert H., with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Wendell, in ambulance service
Wheeler, David E., in Foreign Legion
Wheeler, Walter H., in ambulance service
Wickes, Francis C., with Committee for Relief in Belgium
Winslow, Carroll D., in aviation
Zampanedes, in Foreign Legion
Zinn, F. W., in Foreign Legion
Zinn, Wilhelm, in Foreign Legion
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