Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Flying The Flag 'Over There'


In our last installment we brought you a really groovy photo of a pooch sitting atop a Salmson 2A2 of the U.S. Army Air Service's 1st Aero Squadron. (we've since learned the make and model of the dog... 'twas a Mutt 14S) That photo captured your blogmeister's interest like no other 'Great War' subject has done recently, and a hunting expedition resulted. Today's installment on Stringbags is the first 'catch' from said hunting trip that we'll be sharing with you in the coming days...

The U.S. Army Air Service's 1st Aero Squadron was more or less officially formed a little more than one-hundred years ago, in March of 1913. By the time the U.S.A. threw its hat into the ring that was the Great War, in April of 1917, the only 'combat' experience the 1st Aero Squadron had under its belt involved some unpleasantness down along the U.S.A.'s border with Mexico. The role played by the 1st during this time was primarily that of reconnaissance, communication, and possibly the odd burrito run. (hey, you never know) We may cover this in a future installment... or we may not. But today we're gonna focus on the 1st Aero Squadron's time 'on the continent' during World War One.

The outfit was sent 'over there' in August of 1917, arriving in England on September 1st, then on to France the next day. I'm sure the fellas of the 1st were eager to join the fray, but it would be several months before they saw action. Those months were spent in training... more training... and more trai... well, you get the picture. Finally, in April of 1918, the 1st got into the war, performing visual and photographic reconnaissance of the enemy's rear areas. No rude jokes, please, or we'll boot 'yer rear outta the area...

Anyhoo, the outfit was initially equipped with the SPAD S.XI, but suffered through chronic engine problems until they converted to the Salmson 2A2 in June of 1918. It was also in June that the 1st Aero Squadron adopted the American Flag as its emblem.

And it is here that your blogmeister stops typing to present you, the reading audience of less than half-a-dozen, a series of photos showing Salmson 2A2 #8 of the 1st Aero Squadron... enjoy...


San Diego Air & Space Museum

via Jim Landon (aka 'thegreatlandoni' on flickr)

San Diego Air & Space Museum

San Diego Air & Space Museum


More Salmsons of the 1st Aero Squadron to come...


Fade to Black...

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