World War I Air Service recruiting poster
World War I Air Service recruiting poster

The following is a list of flying aces from the United States of America who served in World War I

Overview

See also: Aerial victory standards of World War I

Even before the United States entry into World War I in April 1917, many Americans volunteered to serve in the armed forces of Great Britain and France. Many eventually found their ways into the Royal Flying Corps and Aéronautique Militaire (French Air Service). The British integrated the Americans into their existing squadrons, while the French set up separate American squadrons such as the Lafayette Escadrille and then the Lafayette Flying Corps, as well as integrated the pilots into existing squadrons.

When American Air Service units began reaching England and France in the fall of 1917, many of the Americans serving in British and French squadrons transferred to the American units, but not all. This list is separated such that American pilots who served in the Royal Flying Corps (later Royal Air Force) squadrons and Aéronautique Militaire are listed as such, while those who served only in the Air Service, United States Army Aero Squadrons are listed separately. Known American air aces that chose to remain with their British or French squadrons are also listed.

The British and French documented aerial victories in different ways. The British decided early in the war that since the majority of air combat occurred behind enemy lines, confirmation of aerial victories would be made by witnesses mostly in the front line trenches. If an aircraft was seen going down "out of control", then the pilot would be given credit for a victory as it was presumed the plane crashed in enemy territory.

The French implemented a strict system of victories being confirmed by independent observers, and an enemy plane had to be seen to fall in flames and crash; or be destroyed in the air. Unconfirmed victories were also noted if the enemy plane was seen to spin out of control but the final end was not observed. These unconfirmed victories were noted, but not included in a pilots score.

The Americans generally used the French rules of scoring aerial victories with the exception of the 17th and 148th Aero Squadrons, which were under British control until October, 1918. The pilots flying in those squadrons were scored under British rules. "Shared" victories were noted when two or more pilots attacked an enemy plane, and it could not be determined precisely which pilot shot down the aircraft.

Air aces

Pilots who scored five or more aerial victories were classified as "air aces". The lists below show the names; military rank; units in which they served, and miscellaneous notes along with the known decorations which they received.

Served with the Aéronautique Militaire

Name Rank Units Notes
William Terry Badham Lieutenant Escadrille AR.214
Escadrille BR.40
Escadrille BR.210
91st Aero Squadron
5 victories (all shared) Flew as observer/gunner
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, December, 1917[1]
Awarded:
Paul Frank Baer Lieutenant Escadrille N.124 (Lafayette Escadrille)
Escadrille SPA.80
103d Aero Squadron
9 victories (2 shared)
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, February, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Frank Leaman Baylies Lieutenant Escadrille SPA.73
Escadrille SPA.3
12 victories (3 shared)
Killed in action: 17 June 1918[1]
Awarded:
James Dudley Beane Lieutenant Escadrille SPA.69
22d Aero Squadron
6 victories (4 shared)
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, August, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Charles John Biddle Major Escadrille N.124 (Lafayette Escadrille)
Escadrille SPA.73
13th Aero Squadron
103d Aero Squadron
7 victories (4 shared); 1 unconfirmed.
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, February, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Thomas Gantz Cassady Captain Escadrille SPA.157
Escadrille SPA.163
28th Aero Squadron
103d Aero Squadron
9 victories (5 shared); 3 unconfirmed.
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, July, 1918[1]
Awarded:
James Alexander Connelly Jr. Adjutant Escadrille SPA.157
Escadrille SPA.163
7 victories (5 shared); 2 unconfirmed.[1]
Awarded:
Charles Gossage Grey Captain Escadrille SPA.93
Lafayette Flying Corps
213th Aero Squadron
5 victories (3 shared)[1]
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, March, 1918
Awarded:
Lansing Colton Holden Jr. Lieutenant Escadrille N.461
95th Aero Squadron
7 victories (1 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Gorman DeFreest Larner Captain Escadrille SPA.86
103d Aero Squadron
7 victories (4 shared)[1]
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, June, 1918
Awarded:
Gervais Raoul Lufbery Major Escadrille VB.106
Escadrille N.124 (Lafayette Escadrille)
94th Aero Squadron
16 victories (3 shared); 3 unconfirmed.
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, April, 1918; Killed in action: 17 June 1918[1]
Awarded:
Edwin Charles Parsons Lieutenant Escadrille N.124 (Lafayette Escadrille)
Escadrille SPA.3
8 victories (2 shared)
Awarded:
David McKelvey Peterson Major Escadrille N.124 (Lafayette Escadrille)
103d Aero Squadron
94th Aero Squadron
95th Aero Squadron
6 victories (1 shared)[1]
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, February, 1918[1]
Awarded:
William Thomas Ponder Lieutenant Escadrille SPA.67
Escadrille SPA.163
103d Aero Squadron
6 victories (4 shared)[1]
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, February, 1918[1]
Awarded:
David Endicott Putnam Lieutenant Escadrille SPA.38
Escadrille SPA.94
Escadrille SPA.156
139th Aero Squadron
13 victories (2 shared); 16 unconfirmed.
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, May, 1918; Killed in action: 12 September 1918[1]
Awarded:
William Thaw II Lieutenant Colonel Escadrille D.6
Escadrille C.42
Escadrille N.65
Escadrille N.124 (Lafayette Escadrille)
103d Aero Squadron
3d Pursuit Group (Commander)
5 victories (3 shared); 2 unconfirmed.
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, June, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Remington D. B. Vernam Lieutenant Escadrille SPA.96
17th Aero Squadron
6 victories (2 shared)[1]
Awarded:

Served with the Royal Flying Corps (later Royal Air Force)

Name Rank Units Notes
Hilbert Leigh Bair Lieutenant No. 24 Squadron RAF
25th Aero Squadron
6 victories (4 shared)
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, October, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Louis Bennett Jr. Lieutenant No. 40 Squadron RAF 12 victories (1 shared)
Killed in action: 24 August 1918[1]
Charles Arthur Bissonette Lieutenant No. 24 Squadron RAF
No. 64 Squadron RAF
6 victories (1 shared)[1]
Harold Koch Boysen Lieutenant No. 66 Squadron RAF 5 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Sydney MacGillvary Brown× Lieutenant No. 29 Squadron RAF 5 victories[1]
Awarded:
Archibald Buchanan Lieutenant No. 210 Squadron RAF 7 victories
Royal Naval Air Service (prior to 1 April 1918)
Killed in action: 30 October 1918
Awarded:
Henry Robinson Clay Lieutenant No. 43 Squadron RAF
41st Aero Squadron
148th Aero Squadron
8 victories
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, September, 1918
Awarded:
Lawrence Kingsley Callahan Lieutenant No. 85 Squadron RAF
148th Aero Squadron
5 victories
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, November, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Alvin Andrew Callender Captain No. 32 Squadron RAF 8 victories
Killed in action: 30 October 1918[1]
Charles Gray Catto Lieutenant No. 45 Squadron RAF 8 victories (2 shared)[1]
Eugene Seeley Coler Lieutenant No. 11 Squadron RAF 16 victories (all shared with observer/gunner)[1]
Awarded:
Ernest Sidney Tooker, alias: Norman Cooper Lieutenant No. 73 Squadron RAF 6 victories
Awarded:
Roy Edward Dodds Captain No. 103 Squadron RAF
No. 106 Squadron RAF
7 victories
Awarded:
John Owen Donaldson Captain No. 32 Squadron RAF 7 victories[1]
Awarded:
Arthur Edmund Easterbrook Lieutenant No. 9 Squadron RAF
1st Aero Squadron
5 victories (all shared), Flew as observer/gunner
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, October, 1917[1]
Awarded:
Francis Warrington Gillet Captain No. 70 Squadron RAF 20 victories[1]
Awarded:
John Sharpe Griffith Lieutenant No. 60 Squadron RAF 7 victories
Awarded:
Frank Lucien Hale Captain No. 32 Squadron RAF
No. 85 Squadron RAF
7 victories[1]
Awarded:
Lloyd Andrews Hamilton Lieutenant No. 3 Squadron RAF
17th Aero Squadron
10 victories (6 shared)
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, June, 1918
Killed in action: 24 August 1918[1]
Awarded:
Harold Evans Hartney Lieutenant Colonel No. 20 Squadron RAF
27th Aero Squadron
185th Aero Squadron
1st Pursuit Group
7 victories (5 shared); 1 unconfirmed.
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, June, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Richard Alexander Hewat Lieutenant No. 19 Squadron RAF
No. 67 Squadron RAF
6 victories
Killed in action: 14 August 1918[45]
Malcolm Clifford Howell Lieutenant No. 208 Squadron RAF 5 victories (1 shared)[1]
Paul Thayer Iaccaci Captain No. 20 Squadron RAF 17 victories (all shared with observer/gunner)[1]
Awarded:
David Sinton Ingalls Lieutenant No. 213 Squadron RAF
No. 217 Squadron RAF
6 victories (5 shared)
Detached from: United States Navy, only US Navy air ace in World War I[1]
Awarded:
August Thayer Iaccaci Captain No. 20 Squadron RAF
No. 48 Squadron RAF
17 victories
Awarded:
James Alfred Keating Lieutenant No. 49 Squadron RAF 5 victories (all shared with observer/gunner)[1]
Awarded:
Field Eugene Kindley Captain No. 65 Squadron RAF
148th Aero Squadron
12 victories (2 shared), 1 unconfirmed[1]
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, August, 1918
Awarded:
Duerson Knight Lieutenant No. 1 Squadron RAF 10 victories (8 shared)[1]
Harold Albert Kullberg Captain No. 1 Squadron RAF 19 victories (10 shared)[1]
Awarded:
William Carpenter Lambert Captain No. 24 Squadron RAF 18 victories (5 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Reed Gresham Landis Colonel No. 40 Squadron RAF
25th Aero Squadron
12 victories
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, October, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Jens Fredrick Larson Captain No. 8 Squadron RAF
No. 34 Squadron RAF
No. 84 Squadron RAF
9 victories (2 shared)[1]
Oliver Colin LeBoutillier Captain No. 9N Squadron RNAF
No. 209 Squadron RAF
10 victories (4 shared)
Also: Royal Naval Air Service (1916-1918)[1]
Frederick Libby Captain No. 11 Squadron RAF
No. 23 Squadron RAF
No. 25 Squadron RAF
No. 43 Squadron RAF
22d Aero Squadron
14 victories (all shared with observer/gunner)
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, August, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Frederic Ives Lord Captain No. 79 Squadron RAF 12 victories (1 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Frederick Ernest Luff Lieutenant No. 74 Squadron RAF
25th Aero Squadron
5 victories
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, October, 1918[1]
Awarded:
Emile John Lussier Captain No. 73 Squadron RAF 11 victories (2 shared)[1]
Awarded:
William John MacKenzie Captain Dunkirk Seaplane Defence Flight
No. 9 Naval Squadron
No. 213 Squadron RAF
8 victories
Royal Naval Air Service (prior to 1 April 1918)
Awarded:
Francis Peabody Magoun Lieutenant No. 1 Squadron RAF 5 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
James William Pearson Captain No. 23 Squadron RAF 12 victories (2 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Cleo Francis Pineau Lieutenant No. 6 Squadron RAF 6 victories[1]
Awarded:
Orville Alfred Ralston Lieutenant No. 85 Squadron RAF
148th Aero Squadron
5 victories (1 shared)[1]
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, September 1918
Awarded:
Bogart Rogers Lieutenant No. 32 Squadron RAF 6 victories[1]
Oren John Rose Captain No. 92 Squadron RAF 16 victories
Awarded:
Evander Shapard Lieutenant No. 92 Squadron RAF 6 victories (1 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Harold Goodman Shoemaker Lieutenant No. 74 Squadron RAF
17th Aero Squadron
5 victories (3 shared)
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, June, 1918[1]
Walter Carl Simon Lieutenant No. 34 Squadron RAF
No. 139 Squadron RAF
8 victories (all shared with observer/gunner)[1]
Awarded:
Elliott White Springs Captain No. 85 Squadron RAF
148th Aero Squadron
16 victories (3 shared)[1]
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, September 1918
Awarded:
Edgar Taylor Lieutenant No. 79 Squadron RAF 5 victories[1]
Killed in action: 24 August 1918[68]
William Dolley Tipton Lieutenant No. 3 Squadron RAF
17th Aero Squadron
5 victories (3 shared)[1]
U.S. Air Force officially credits Tipton with 4 victories. Some have disputed the cited reference as possibly conflating the records of pilots William Dolley Tipton and William Duncan Tipton.
Kenneth Russell Unger Lieutenant No. 210 Squadron RAF 14 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
George Augustus Vaughn Jr. Lieutenant No. 84 Squadron RAF
17th Aero Squadron
13 victories (7 shared)[1]
Transferred to Air Service, United States Army, August 1918
Awarded:
Clive Wilson Warman Captain No. 23 Squadron RAF 12 victories
Awarded:

Served with the Air Service, United States Army

Name Rank Units Notes
Clayton Lawrence Bissell Captain 22d Aero Squadron
148th Aero Squadron
6 victories[1]
Awarded:

* Squadron attached to RAF July–October 1918

Arthur Raymond Brooks Captain 22d Aero Squadron
139th Aero Squadron
6 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Harold Robert Buckley Captain 95th Aero Squadron 5 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Howard Burdick Lieutenant 17th Aero Squadron 8 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:

* Squadron attached to RAF June–October 1918

Douglas Campbell Lieutenant 94th Aero Squadron 6 victories (1 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Reed McKinley Chambers Major 94th Aero Squadron 7 victories (2 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Everett Richard Cook Captain 91st Aero Squadron 5 victories (all shared with observer/gunner)[1]
Awarded:
Harvey Weir Cook Captain 94th Aero Squadron 7 victories (2 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Hamilton Coolidge Captain 94th Aero Squadron 8 victories (3 shared)
Killed in Action: 27 October 1918[1]
Awarded:
Jesse Orin Creech Lieutenant 148th Aero Squadron 7 victories (2 shared)[1]
Awarded:

* Squadron attached to RAF July–October 1918

Edward Peck Curtis Lieutenant 95th Aero Squadron 6 victories (5 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Charles Rudolph d'Olive Captain 93d Aero Squadron
141st Aero Squadron
5 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
William Portwood Erwin Lieutenant 1st Aero Squadron 8 victories (all shared), Flew as observer/gunner[1]
Awarded:
George Willard Furlow Lieutenant 103d Aero Squadron 5 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Harold Huston George Lieutenant 139th Aero Squadron 5 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Murray Kenneth Guthrie Lieutenant 13th Aero Squadron 6 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Edward Meeker Haight Lieutenant 139th Aero Squadron 5 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Leonard Coombes Hammond Captain 91st Aero Squadron 6 victories (all shared); Flew as observer/gunner[1]
Awarded:
Frank Kerr Hays Lieutenant 13th Aero Squadron 6 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
James Andrew Healy Lieutenant 147th Aero Squadron 5 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Donald Hudson Lieutenant 27th Aero Squadron 6 victories (5 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Frank O'Driscoll Hunter Captain 94th Aero Squadron
103d Aero Squadron
9 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Clinton Leonard Jones Jr. Lieutenant 22d Aero Squadron 3 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Howard Clayton Knotts Lieutenant 17th Aero Squadron 6 victories (1 shared)[1]
Awarded:

* Squadron attached to RAF June–October 1918

James Knowles Jr. Lieutenant 95th Aero Squadron 5 victories (1 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Robert Opie Lindsay Lieutenant 139th Aero Squadron 6 victories (5 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Frank Luke Jr. Lieutenant 27th Aero Squadron 18 victories (4 shared)[1]
Killed in Action: 29 September 1918
Awarded:
John Knox MacArthur Lieutenant 27th Aero Squadron 6 victories (3 shared)[1]
Killed in Action: 20 July 1918
Awarded:
James Armand Meissner Captain 94th Aero Squadron
147th Aero Squadron
8 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Zenos Ramsey Miller Lieutenant 27th Aero Squadron 5 victories**[1]
Awarded:

* Became Prisoner of War, 20 July 1918 after shooting down two enemy aircraft during combat. Air Ace status confirmed in November 1918 after release

Ralph Ambrose O'Neill Lieutenant 147th Aero Squadron 5 victories (5 shared)[1]
Awarded:
John Sidney Owens Lieutenant 139th Aero Squadron 5 victories (5 shared)[1]
Kenneth Lee Porter Lieutenant 147th Aero Squadron 5 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Edward Vernon Rickenbacker Captain 94th Aero Squadron 26 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Wendel Archibald Robertson Lieutenant 139th Aero Squadron 7 victories (6 shared)[1]
Leslie Jacob Rummell Lieutenant 93d Aero Squadron 7 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Karl John Schoen Lieutenant 139th Aero Squadron 7 victories (7 shared)[1]
Killed in action: 29 October 1918
Awarded:
John Joseph Seerley Jr. Lieutenant 13th Aero Squadron 5 victories (5 shared)[1]
Sumner Sewall Captain 95th Aero Squadron 7 victories (4 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Francis May Simonds Lieutenant 147th Aero Squadron 5 victories (5 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Martinus Stenseth Lieutenant 28th Aero Squadron 8 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
William Howard Stovall Lieutenant 13th Aero Squadron 6 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Victor Herbert Strahm Major 91st Aero Squadron 5 victories (5 shared with observer/gunner)[1]
Awarded:
Jacques Michael Swaab Lieutenant 22d Aero Squadron 10 victories (3 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Edgar Gardner Tobin Lieutenant 103d Aero Squadron 2 victories (2 shared), 1 unconfirmed[1]
Awarded:
Robert Miles Todd Lieutenant 17th Aero Squadron 5 victories (2 shared)[1]
Jerry Cox Vasconcells Captain 27th Aero Squadron
185th Aero Squadron
6 victories (1 shared)[1]
Awarded:
Joseph Frank Wehner Lieutenant 27th Aero Squadron 6 victories (3 shared)[1]
Killed in Action: 18 September 1918
Awarded:


Wilbert Wallace White Lieutenant 147th Aero Squadron 8 victories (2 shared)[1]
Killed in action: 10 October 1918
Awarded:
Chester Ellis Wright Lieutenant 93d Aero Squadron 9 victories (5 shared)[1]
Awarded:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg Franks & Bailey (1992)
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Bibliography