Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 42 : American Aces of World War I
American fliers arriving in Europe from September 1917 brought with them no aircraft. Instead, American units had to obtain machines mainly from the British and French. Typical of such aircraft were the Sopwith Camel and Nieuport Type 28. The former was a good fighting machine, but the latter was an indifferent and unreliable type and was only tardily replaced by the altogether superior SPAD S.13. From a time early in 1918 more SPAD fighters became available, and American fighters first entered combat in April 1918. The first American-trained pilot to become an ace was Lt Douglas Campbell, who shot down five German aircraft by the end of May 1918. Campbell was a pilot of the celebrated 94th 'Hat in the Ring' Aero Squadron, whose other members included Captain 'Eddie' V.Rickenbacker, Major Raoul Lufberry and Captain Hamilton Coolidge. Rickenbacker, a one-time racing driver, began his military career as a driver and reached the rank of sergeant before transferring to the air service and ending the war with the rank of captain and 26 aerial victories. This is the story of Rickenbacker and his fellow pilots, men such as Capt William C. Lambert, Capt August T. Iaccaci, 2nd Lt Frank Luke Jr, 1st Lt George A. Vaughan Jr and Capt Field E. Kindley, whose individual exploits in fragile aircraft with open cockpits still possess the power to thrill. Text by Norman Franks with illustrations by Harry Dempsey.
- The US Air Service
- US Squadrons Attached to the British
- US Squadrons Attached to the French
- Aces Profiles
Osprey Aircraft of the Aces