1927 Selfridge Field US Army Air Service Aviation PANORAMA Photo PURSUIT PILOTS
This listing is for an original 1927 panorama of the Officers and Pilots of the 1st Pursuit Group, Selfridge Field, April 26, 1927, Major Thomas G. Someone has carefully numbered each person in the photo and identified each on the back. One of them, J. Thad Johnson, has the word “Dead” next to his name. Johnson met with an accident while escorting Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis to a celebration in Ottowa, Canada. How many other interesting stories do each of these identified faces hold? Measures 24″ X 8″. Upper left and right corners are broken off and missing. Some tearing to edges. This is fresh from a closet and shows normal wear and patina for an item of this vintage. Pics give an accurate portrayal of condition. I WILL BE LISTING OTHER INTERESTING ANTIQUES THIS WEEK SO PLEASE CHECK MY OTHER AUCTIONS!! Please look at the photos to get an idea of what this is. Photos accurately reflect the condition on this item. I may not be able to answer your questions immediately, but every question will be answered. Realistic reserve set just to protect my investment, if there is a reserve at all. Good luck and thanks for looking!! Selfridge Air National Guard Base or Selfridge ANGB (IATA: MTC, ICAO: KMTC, FAA LID: MTC) is an Air National Guard installation located in Harrison Township, Michigan, near Mount Clemens. Selfridge Field was one of thirty-two Air Service training camps established after the United States entry into World War I in April 1917. The host organization is the 127th Wing (127 WG) of the Michigan Air National Guard, but a variety of Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Army Reserve, Army National Guard and active duty Coast Guard units use the facility as well.  In 1971, Selfridge ANGB became the largest and most complex joint Reserves Forces base in the United States, a position it held until surpassed by NAS JRB Fort Worth (former Carswell AFB) in the late 1990s. Army Garrison-Selfridge serves the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) supporting tank construction in the Detroit area.  Civil Air Patrolcivilian organizations at Selfridge are the 176th Selfridge Composite Squadron and the headquarters of the Michigan Wing. Selfridge is home to Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines and Marine Wing Support Group 47 MWSG-47. [better source needed] Selfridge Military Air Museum The on-base Selfridge Military Air Museum is operated by the Michigan Air Guard Historical Association, exhibits photos and artifacts of military aerospace history, and has an outdoor Air Park of over 30 aircraft. Selfridge Air National Guard Base is named after 1st Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge was detailed for aeronautical duty in April 1908 after being an assistant to Professor Alexander Graham Bell who was conducting aeronautical experiments in Nova Scotia. He was killed on 17 September 1908 while flying as a passenger with Orville Wright at Fort Myer, Virginia.  Selfridge was the first person to be killed in a crash of a powered aircraft. World War I The origins of Selfridge Air National Guard Base date to 1916 when a large tract of land on Lake St. Clair, Michigan, was acquired by the Packard Motor Car Companyat the urging of Packard president Henry B. Joy, who took a great interest in aviation and led the company to begin developing aircraft engines for use in aircraft engaged in World War I combat in Europe. In the spring of 1917, lobbying began in Washington to locate a military airfield at the site of the Joy Aviation Field on Lake St. The United States had just officially entered World War I on 7 April. Proponents of the site pointed out the advantages of the field’s proximity to the auto capital of the nation and the availability of the lake for practice bombing.  In May 1917, it was announced that Joy Aviation Field would be included as a training Camp as part of the expansion of the Air Service, becoming one of only nine military airfields in the country at the time. The United States Army leased the 640 acres (260 ha) of land, and construction commenced immediately to provide the necessary road and rail access to the site. Within a month, the newspaper was reporting that 1,000 men were at work at the field constructing hangars, barracks, supply depots, machine shops and a school building. On 9 July, the first training aircraft, a Curtiss JN-4D arrived at the new airfield, and the base was gearing up to train men in flying, bombing, radio and photography for the war effort. The first pilots were members of the 8th and 9th Aero Squadrons, and Captain Byron Q. Jones was the first commander at Selfridge. Actual training of pilots began on 16 July 1917, three months after war was declared. Some of these students, a few of them from Mount Clemens area, were given a few flights and then, within two weeks, were whisked overseas for advanced training and to meet the enemy. During the summer of 1917, 72 men won aviator ratings and logged over 3,700 flying hours. From that time on, hundreds of young men passed through Selfridge Air Pilot School for the four weeks of training which qualified them for a commission. Then they were on their way as instructors to the front or to the other flying schools. Being established throughout the country.  Training units assigned to Selfridge Field were: Post Headquarters, Selfridge Field October 1919 40th Aero Squadron, August 1917 Re-designated as Squadron “A”, JulyNovember 1918 380th Aero Squadron, January 1918 Re-designated as Squadron “B”, JulyNovember 1918 Squadron “C”, AugustNovember 1918 Squadron “D”, AugustNovember 1918 Squadron “E”, AugustNovember 1918 Flying School Detachment (Consolidation of Squadrons A-E), November 1918 November 1919 Flying was considered impractical in Michigan during the winter months, so the student pilots were sent to Gerstner Field at Lake Charles, Louisiana, and to Chapman Field at Miami, Florida, and Selfridge was transformed into a mechanics school for the winter months. From this school, which lasted until the end of March 1918, 700 qualified mechanics were graduated. Six squadrons from Kelly Field, Texas, were sent to Selfridge for study in the shops.  The training center suffered an early setback in March 1918, as the Clinton River flooded the entire site and all personnel were evacuated to schools and churches in nearby Mount Clemens.  On 1 April 1, 1918 preparations got underway for the opening of a new gunnery school. Instructors were borrowed from the French, British and Canadian flying corps. By July 1918, Selfridge had reached its peak performance in gunnery training. Over 250 students were enrolled at one time, and on one occasion 52 planes were in the air over the field simultaneously. Classes were so filled that 150 Lewis air guns, 60 Lewis ground guns, 80 Marlin air guns, 90 camera guns and 10 aerial cameras were in use daily. By the end of World War I, the young base had 1,028 enlisted men and 200 officers. It had trained 72 pilots and 700. Mechanics, and 1,002 men had attended gunnery school.  The 1918 Armistice with Germany ended World War I. The end of the war, however, produced some major changes. From a training field producing mechanics and gunners, Selfridge became a pursuit (fighter) field, but men who had enlisted for the duration of the war were being discharged, and no new students were being trained.  Inter-War period Beginning 27 June 1919, Selfridge became the home of the 1st Pursuit Group, currently the oldest combat group in the Air Force. The group was organized in France during World War I and like many others, was demobilized after the war then re-created in 1919. It remained based at Selfridge for approximately 20 years.  Many notable names are included in the group’s roster including George H. Brett, James “Jimmy” Doolittle, Carl A. Spaatz, Curtis LeMay, Frank O. Hunter, Emmett “Rosie” O’Donnell, Earle E. Partridge, Paul Wurtsmith and over 100 men who rose to the rank of Air Force general (“Home of Generals”).  The uncertain future of Selfridge Field, however, caused the 1st Pursuit Group to be moved to Kelly Field, Texas, shortly after its return. On 28 August 1919, following an order from Washington, all but 40 men left for Texas airfields. Finally reduced to a staff of only 14 civilians, Selfridge Field for all practical purposes ceased to exist for government officials. Until 1921, the government leased Selfridge Field from Henry B. But when the National Aeronautics Advisory Committee pointed out the field’s proximity to the mechanical and industrial centers of Detroit, the price was paid. In 1922, Selfridge was declared a permanent installation under command of Maj. Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, who later became Chief of Staff for the Air Force.  Air races at Selfridge from 1922 through the 1930s included the first John Mitchell Trophy Race named for John L. Mitchell and last held in 1936 at Selfridge, the Pulitzer Trophy Race, and the Curtiss Trophy Race and Boeing Trophy.  In 1925, planes equipped with ice skids left Selfridge for Camp Skeel in Oscoda, Michigan to determine the usefulness of airplanes in harsh winter. Squadron commander Thomas Lamphier declared the test a success and proclaimed that similarly planes could be used to in Arctic regions. Navy came to Selfridge in 1927 when Torpedo Squadron 31 (VT-31) was briefly assigned to the base. The squadron had only one aircraft, a Consolidated NY-1, which was used for training the squadron’s Naval Air Reserve pilots. The squadron left before the end of the year, moving to a hangar in downtown Detroit. Naval Aviation would return to Selfridge in 1969 following the closing of Naval Air Station Grosse Ile and the establishment of Naval Air Facility Detroit. During the 1930s and 1940s, squadrons “from Selfridge [frequently] performed maneuvers over Detroit, [causing delight to] local citizens”.  In 1935, Selfridge became part of the top-level General Headquarters (GHO), Air Force, along with five other strategically located installations: Mitchel Field in New York, Langley Field in Virginia, Barksdale Field in Louisiana, March Field in California and Hamilton Field in California. A large expansion program was launched in 1939 to train four new pursuit groups at Selfridge for eventual assignment to other GHQ fields.  The outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 again brought many changes to Selfridge Field. The 17th Pursuit Squadron, a member of the 1st Pursuit Group since June 1918, was reassigned to the Philippines. More Selfridge pilots left for the Pacific in a surprise move early in 1940, when 40 pilots and mechanics volunteered to serve with Gen. Claire Chennault and his Flying Tigers. They left for Rangoon early in the summer.  World War II Selfridge was a World War II army airfield of the First Air Force and the location where Colonel Lawrence P. Hickey headed a cadre that organized the VIII Interceptor Command on 19 January 1942 (transferred to Charleston AAF on 13 February, arrived RAF High Wycombe on 12 May).  On 29 March 1943, the 332d Fighter Group of the Tuskegee Airmen completed its move to Selfridge.  The commander of the Tuskegee’s European and Mediterranean operations was Colonel Benjamin O. The first black officer to graduate from West Point in the 20th century, and later the first black Air Force general.  Scandal hit Selfridge on 5 May,  1943 when the commander Colonel William Colman was charged with shooting Private William MacRae, a black chauffeur who was assigned to drive him.  Early reports stated that the incident occurred because Colman’s regular driver was off-duty and a dispatcher was unaware of his standing order that he not have a black driver. Colman was found guilty of careless use of firearms after a court martial and demoted to captain. However, he was acquitted of 23 other charges that included authorizing illegal transfers, accepting bribes and theft of government property.  The 477th Composite Group was formed at Selfridge on 15 January 1944 to train Tuskegee Airmen with Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters and North American B-25 Mitchell bombers. Following a reprimand of the Selfridge AAF commander for segregating blacks, the Group relocated without any prior warning or notification to its personnel to Godman Field, Kentucky, on 5 May 1944. United States Air Force After World War II Selfridge expanded to its present size of 3,600 acres (1,500 ha), and in 1947 the Selfridge Field was renamed Selfridge Air Force Base.  The base grew steadily and soundly, acquiring impressive buildings and long concrete strips. In 1950, Headquarters for the Tenth Air Force, which was in charge of all Air Reserve records for a 13-state area in the Midwest, moved to Selfridge. It recalled and trained Air Reservists, and as an administrative group, the Tenth was the largest of the tenant units at Selfridge.  From 19471970 the base hosted three successive Cold War aircraft units: the 56th Fighter Wing (28 July 1947 1952), which conducted the first west-to-east jet fighter transatlantic crossing (US to Scotland via Greenland, 1948); the 4708th Defense (later Air Defense) Wing from 19521956; the 439th Fighter-Bomber Wing (19527); and the 1st Fighter Wing (Air Defense) from 19561970.  The units’ Selfridge aircraft were F-51 Mustangs (439th, 1953-4), Lockheed P-80 Shooting Stars (439th 1953-6, 56th), F-84 Thunderstreaks (439th), North American F-86D Sabres (1st), and F-102 Delta Daggers (1st). In April 1954, the Selfridge’s 13th Fighter-Intercepter Squadron of the 4708th Air Defense Wing won the Eastern Air Defense Force rocket gunnery championship; and on 10 May 1956, a Selfridge F-86D accidentally fired 22 Mighty Mouse rocketswhile on the ground.  In November 1957, Air Defense Command (ADC) assumed control of Selfridge AFB.  In the fall of 1959, the inactivation of Tenth Air Force began, and it was completed by July 1960. At that time, the 5th Air Force Reserve Region was established at Selfridge. Also added as a tenant in July was the 4045th Air Refueling Wing, Strategic Air Command (SAC).  On May 8, 1964, disaster struck the area north of the base. A tornado cut a wide swath along the shores of Lake St. Clair, causing some damage to the base and bringing injury, death and destruction to the local area. The base was quick to render aid to its distressed neighbors, providing emergency medical care, sending vehicles to help clear away the debris and furnishing emergency shelters for those made homeless by the storm.  In 1965, the Strategic Air Command announced that the 4045th Air Refueling Wing was to be discontinued beginning in 1966. In the continually changing pattern of uses of the Selfridge facility, plans were announced for the activation of the U. Coast Guard Air Station, Detroit, at Selfridge. A new Wing Commander, Col. Rosebush, also arrived in August from Headquarters, Pacific Command. In July, 1966, the Coast Guard moved to Selfridge Air Force Base as a tenant.  From 19501974, the Selfridge AFB radar station, including a Missile Master Army Air Defense Command Post after 1960, provided ground-controlled interception coverage for interceptor aircraft and surface-to-air missiles. Selfridge was the 1950 location of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB) 28th Air Defense Artillery Group for the Army’s Detroit Defense Area, part of Army Air Defense Command. Beginning in 1955, the base also had Project Nike radars for dual launch sites on Selfridge AFB at 42°3546N 82°494W with battery D-14 in service until February 1963 and co-located battery D-16 continuing until June 1971. The “shared” Selfridge integrated fire control (IFC) area was at 42°3555N 82°499W.  The 3d Battalion, 517th Artillery manned the Nike facilities.  On 29 October 1969, the Secretary of Defense announced Project 703, a program calling for a reduction of military forces as a result of budgetary cuts. As a result, the 1st Fighter Wing was inactivated on 31 December, and a 33-year chapter in the history of Selfridge came to an end. The 94th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron prepared to move to Wurtsmith Air Force Base near Oscoda, Michigan, and elements of the 1st Combat Support Group were re-designated the 4708th Air Base Group on 1 January 1970.  Michigan Air National Guard The Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing moved its entire operation from Detroit Metropolitan Airport near Romulus to Selfridge in December, 1970. The 127th became the largest flying unit on the base, and Air National Guard jets dominated the Selfridge skies. On 1 July 1971, Selfridge Air Force Base was transferred to the Michigan Air National Guard, becoming the first major active Air Force base to come under control of the Air National Guard. At Selfridge Air National Guard Base, the 127th Wing (127 WG) is the host wing to more than 30 tenant units representing every branch of the military active duty (to include the Coast Guard), Reserve and National Guard. Border Patrol and the U. Collectively, these organizations comprise what is known “Team Selfridge, ” one community with synergistic goals and missions. The 127th Wing (127 WG) of the Michigan Air National Guard is a combined Air Combat Command (ACC) and Air Mobility Command (AMC) gained organization that was established at Selfridge ANG Base on 1 April 1996, by consolidating the former 127th Fighter Wing and the 191st Airlift Group. The flying units which previously flew the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the C-130 Hercules, converted their flying missions per 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) action. Today, the ACC-gained 107th Fighter Squadron flies the A-10C Thunderbolt II, also known as the A-10 Warthog. The AMC-gained 127th Airlift Group was renamed the 127th Air Refueling Group and its 171st Air Refueling Squadron now flies the KC-135T Stratotanker. The 127th Wing is also home to the Air National Guard’s 107th Weather Flight, which is operationally gained by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). These specially trained Airmen collect weather data, develop forecasting products and direct forecasts to the warfighters on the ground, sometimes going ahead of a main operation to prepare soldiers with weather data for the success of the mission. Air Force Reserve Command Pursuant to Base Realignment and Closure, 2005, the Air Force Reserve Command’s 927th Air Refueling Wing (927 ARW) that was previously based at Selfridge was directed to transfer its 4x KC-135T Stratotankeraircraft to the Michigan Air National Guard and relocate to MacDill AFB, Florida in August 2007 as verified by Selfridge’s Public Affairs Office. At MacDill, the 927 ARW has become an Air Force Reserve “Associate” wing to MacDill’s 6th Air Mobility Wing, with both organizations flying the KC-135R PACER CRAG variant of the Stratotanker. NAF Detroit was established as a tenant activity at Selfridge ANGB in 1969 following the disestablishment of Naval Air Station Grosse Ile, Michigan. NAF Detroit remained operational until 1994, when it was closed and realigned due to BRAC action. An Echelon IV command of Naval Air Force Reserve, NAF Detroit hosted numerous Naval Reserve augmentation units supporting fleet commands and shore activities in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, as well as three operational Reserve Force Aviation Squadrons (RESFORONs): Fleet Composite Squadron TWELVE (VC-12) flying the A-4F Skyhawk II, Patrol Squadron NINETY-THREE (VP-93) flying the P-3B Orion, and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron SIXTY-TWO (VR-62) flying the C-9B Skytrain II. NAF Detroit also hosted Marine Wing Support Group FORTY-SEVEN (MWSG-47) of the Marine Air Reserve’s 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. On 15 July 2012, Marine Wing Support Group FORTY-SEVEN (MWSG-47) will be deactivating from service. A ceremony was conducted on 15 July 2012 for Col. VC-12 was transferred to NAS Oceana, Virginia in 1975 and was redesignated as Fighter Composite Squadron TWELVE (VFC-12) in 1988, where it currently flies the F/A-18 Hornet as a Reserve adversary squadron. VP-93 was disestablished on 30 September 1994 due to (1) retirement of the P-3B from the U. Navy inventory and a transition to an all P-3C force, (2) a reduction in active and Reserve VP squadrons as part of post-Cold War drawdown, and (3) BRAC action directing the closure of NAF Detroit and its realignment as Naval Air Reserve Center Detroit (NAVAIRESCEN Detroit) with no operational flying units or activities. VR-62 was transferred in April 1994 to the former NAS South Weymouth, Massachusetts until that base’s closure in September 1996 due to BRAC 1995 action. Concurrent with that move, the squadron also transitioned from the C-9B to the C-130T Hercules. Transferring to the former NAS Brunswick, Maine, subsequent BRAC action in 2008 direct NAS Brunswick’s closure in May 2011, resulting in VR-62 being transferred again in 2010 to its current home station of NAS Jacksonville, Florida. NAF Detroit became NAVAIRESCEN Detroit on 1 October 1994 and remained as a tenant command at Selfridge ANGB. It was renamed Navy Operational Support Center Detroit (NOSC Detroit) in 2006 and downgraded to an Echelon V command. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit CGAS Detroit was established in 1966 as a tenant command at Selfridge ANGB, operating the HH-52A Sea Guard helicopter in the Great Lakes region. Air Station Detroit transitioned to the HH-65A Dolphin in 1988 and continues to operate the MH-65C version of this aircraft in search and rescue, maritime safety, and other homeland security/homeland defense missions. Other Uses Other activities located at Selfridge include STARBASE, an Air National Guard initiative that engages in activity-based science and math lessons. The program uses an aviation theme to allow local children to excel, regardless of their economic situation. STARBASE traces its roots to the Air National Guards 127th Wing at Selfridge ANGB in 1991 and the Department of Defense became an official supporter of the STARBASE program in 1993. The United States Border Patrol Detroit Sector headquarters is located at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Detroit Sector area of responsibility includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The 1st Operations Group (1 OG) is the flying component of the 1st Fighter Wing, assigned to the USAF Air Combat Command. The group is stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The 1st Operations Group is the oldest major air combat unit in the United States Air Force, being the successor organization of the 1st Pursuit Group. The 1st Pursuit Group was the first air combat group formed by the Air Service, American Expeditionary Force, on 5 May 1918. The Group was first organized at Croix de Metz Aerodrome, near Toul, France, as a result of the United States entry into World War I. As the 1st Pursuit Group it saw combat on the Western Front in France, and during World War II as the 1st Fighter Group combat in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Pilots of the 1st Group are credited by the USAF with destroying 554.33 aircraft and 50 balloons, and 36 pilots are recognized as being aces. The pilots of the 1st Group included Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, credited as the top scoring American ace in France during World War I. During World War II, the 1st FG was among the first groups deployed overseas in the summer of 1942. The group flew missions in England as part of the Eighth Air Force, then was transferred to North Africa in November 1942. It experienced significant combat as part of the Twelfth Air Force, moved to Italy, and became part of the fighter force of the Fifteenth Air Force. The 1st FG was equipped with the first operational U. Jet fighter aircraft, the P-80A Shooting Star, in 1946. Inactivated in 1961, after 30 years the group was renamed the 1st Operations Group (OG) and activated on 1 October 1991 as a result of the 1st Fighter Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization. In 2005, the 1st OG was the first operational combat unit to receive the F-22A Raptor, a fifth generation fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. He 1st OG directs the training and employment of two F-22A Raptor air dominance squadrons and an operations support squadron. The group’s flying squadrons maintain 36 F-22 air superiority fighter aircraft. In addition to carrying out local training requirements, the group deploys personnel and equipment on a regular basis to support air expeditionary operations worldwide as part of the Global War on Terrorism. Units The 1st Operations Group consists of the following component squadrons: 27th Fighter Squadron (F-22A) The 27th Fighter Squadron (FS) is one of the oldest fighter squadrons in the Air Force, being first organized on 15 June 1917. The 27th FS is tasked to provide air superiority for United States or allied forces by engaging and destroying enemy forces, equipment, defenses or installations for global deployment.  71st Fighter Training Squadron (T-38C) 94th Fighter Squadron (F-22A) The 94th FS is another of the oldest fighter squadrons in the Air Force, being first organized on 20 August 1917. The 94th FS is tasked to provide air superiority for the United States or allied forces by engaging and destroying enemy forces, equipment, defenses or installations for global deployment.  1st Operations Support Squadron The 1st Operations Support Squadron, which traces its history to the World War II 1st Airdrome Detachment,  is responsible for all facets of airfield operations, air traffic control, weather, aircrew life support and training, intelligence analysis and support, weapons and tactics training, 1st FW battle staff operations, airspace scheduling, range operations and wing flying hour program for three fighter squadrons. History World War I When first deployed to France, the Aero Squadrons of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) were dispersed among the various army organizations. This made it difficult, however, to coordinate aerial activities. Some higher organization was required. Origins The 94th and 95th Aero Squadrons had trained and traveled together since their organization on 20 August 1917 at Kelly Field, Texas. When the two squadrons boarded a train at Kelly Field on 20 September 1917 for the trip to Mineola, New York, they consisted entirely of the enlisted echelon that would form the squadron’s ground support element. Arriving at Mineola on 5 October, the squadrons reported directly to Aviation Mobilization Camp No. Each unit completed training there in about three weeks and proceeded to Pier #45, Hoboken, New Jersey where, on 27 October 1917, it boarded the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia for the trip to Europe.  The two squadrons arrived at Liverpool on 10 November, spent about fourteen hours in a rest camp, boarded a steamer at Southampton, and sailed for France on 12 November. The 94th and 95th entered camp at Le Havre the next day, but their travels were not quite over. On 15 November the 95th moved to the 3d Aviation Training Center at Issoudun Aerodrome.  On 18 November the 94th moved to the 1st Aviation Training Center at Paris, where it divided into seven detachments that immediately began advanced maintenance training in the region’s airframe and aero-engine plants. The 94th reassembled in Paris and departed for Issoudun on 24 January 1918.  After the 95th’s personnel arrived at Issoudun in November, they received advanced training on the same types of aircraft they would operate at the front. The 95th thus found itself well along in its training when the 1st Pursuit Organization and Training Center announced its readiness to receive units in mid-February, and it became the first unit to be attached to the center. The 94th made good progress at Issoudun, however, and it reported to Villeneuve not long after the 95th.  1st Pursuit Organization Center On 16 January 1918, Brig. Foulois, Chief of Air Service, AEF, assigned Major Bert M. Atkinson to command of the 1st Pursuit Organization and Training Center, a temporary administrative and training organization for arriving U. Pursuit squadrons on 16 January 1918 in Paris. Headquarters for the new unit was designated to be located at Villeneuve les Vertus Aerodrome. The command staff left Paris and selected a site for its headquarters adjoining that of the Groupe de Combat No 12 of the French “Aeronautique Militaire” at Vertus, near the airfield.  The initial task of the unit was to erect barracks for arriving personnel from the United States; obtaining hangar space from the French and obtaining airplanes. The 95th Aero Squadron arrived on 19 February from the 3d Instructional Center at Issoudun Aerodrome, however the squadron’s aircraft had not yet arrived. On 28 February word was received that the 94th Aero Squadron would be leaving Issoudun on 1 March. Bad weather with heavy sleet and snow inhibited the arrival of Nieuport 28 airplanes for the group, and the first elements of the 94th Squadron arrived on 5 March. The next day, two Nieuports arrived and by 8 March a total of sixteen aircraft were at the airfield and the squadrons began training and familiarization flights. The planes received, however, were unarmed due to a lack of machine guns due to the difference of American ammunition, which was 3mm longer than the French.  The first combat patrol by the 95th Squadron was made on 15 March, consisting of three unarmed Nieuport 28 planes and one French pilot in a SPAD took off from the airfield at 11:30. A second patrol was carried out in the afternoon to carry out a barrage of the Marne between Chalons and Eppernay. Continuous air rads by the Germans in the vicinity of Vetrus led to the digging of zigzag trenches on the Aerodrome and falling shrapnel was a hazard from the French anti-aircraft guns. Patrols continued to be carried out by the French, but none of the accompanying American planes were armed.  Due to the lack of armed aircraft, sixteen pilots of the 95th were ordered back to Issoudun to take the course in aerial gunnery. On 30 March orders were received that both squadrons were to proceed at once to Epiez Aerodrome (Meuse) where the squadrons flew combat patrols, although bad weather limited the number of patrols carried out.  On 9 April the 94th was detached from the group and was moved to Toul where it acted independently until it became part of the 1st Pursuit Group on 4 May. On 14 April, the first of many enemy aircraft was brought down by the 94th Squadron, being the first American Air Service organization to bring down an enemy plane.  Combat patrols by the 94th on 23 April and 25 April also shot down one enemy aircraft on each. On 29 April, Captain Hall and Lt. Rickenbacker attacked and brought down an enemy aircraft. Rickenbacker’s first official patrol.  During the period prior to the formation of the 1st Pursuit Group in May, the 94th brought down a total of nine enemy aircraft. One pilot, Lt Chapman was killed and one pilot became a POW, Captain Hall.  On 22 April the 147th Aero Squadron arrived and on 24 April the 27th Aero Squadron arrived. Reconnaissance patrols were carried out, however word was received that no flights over the Voil-Toul line would be permitted. On 4 May the 95th Squadron was moved to the Croix de Metz Aerodrome (Toul) where it joined the 94th Squadron which has been moved there from Epiez. The 27th and 147th were moved to Epiez. Group Headquarters was moved to Toul on 4 May.  1st Pursuit Group On 5 May 1918, the AEF replaced the 1st Pursuit Organization Center at Toul-Croix de Metz Aerodrome, with the 1st Pursuit Group, the first American group-level fighter establishment the 1st Corps Observation Group, organized in April 1918, was the first U. Major Atkinson became the 1st Pursuit Group’s first commanding officer, followed by Major Harold E. Hartney on 21 August 1918.  The 27th and 147th Aero Squadrons (Pursuit) were officially assigned to the group on 2 June, and the 185th Aero Squadron, a night pursuit unit, on 18 October. Second Battle of the Marne Upon its formation, the 1st Pursuit Group was equipped with Nieuport 28s.  On 15 May, Captain David McK Peterson of the 95th squadron brought down two Enemy Aircraft. These were the first to be recorded in the records of the Group.  Towards the end of June, the need for air support on the Château-Thierry front was critical due to the Germans breaking through the line. On the 28th, the group moved to Touquin Aerodrome, where the group was vigorously effective. During the weeks to follow in the Second Battle of the Marne, the group took the offensive on all points and was engaged continually in aerial combat in the Dormans-Eloup sector. Losses were heavy, however 38 victories were recorded while losing 36 pilots. This was the first real test of American airpower in the war.  On 5 July the group switched from Nieuports to SPAD XIIIs. The 94th switched over first, then by the middle of August the other three squadrons were also converted. Unfortunately, the American mechanics were unused to the V-8 engines of the Spads and so availability of the Spads suffered for the first few weeks after the changeover. On 9 July the group moved closer to the line at Saints Aerodrome. It is while stationed at Saints Aerodrome that Theodore Roosevelt’s youngest son Quentin Roosevelt, flying with the 95th Aero Squadron, was shot down and killed on 14 July 1918.  With the front moving north and east, the Group was now between 50 and 70 km from the lines. An advanced landing field at Coincy Aerodrome was established on 5 August for refueling and a detachment was established there from which alerts were dispatched.  Battle of Saint-Mihiel On 31 August the group began moving to Rembercourt Aerodrome, a new airfield in the Saint-Mihiel sector. On 12 September the Saint-Mihiel Offensive started. The group was given orders to fly low and attack enemy targets on the ground, a very dangerous mission that exposed the pilots to ground fire. A number of the pilots became experts in balloon strafing, and Lt Luke of the 27th shot down fifteen enemy balloons in seventeen days. During the offensive, the group began patrols before daybreak, and kept up a constant barrage each day until after dark at night. Patrols were constantly engaging in low-level aerial battles with enemy reconnaissance and large formations of Fokker pursuit aircraft. The group kept up an incessant barrage over and above the ground forces and claimed thirty-four victories while losing one pilot.  In late September, a flight of the 27th Squadron was sent to an advanced airfield at Verdun. This flight worked on alerts and protection of Allied balloons. The Group patrolled a new sector near Watronville on the east of the Argonne forest flying low-level attacks while the Infantry advanced through the sector. Reconnaissance was flown over the enemy rear areas to secure important information about his bridges, road and troop activity. On 7 October, the 185th Aero Squadron was assigned to the Group, equipped with British Sopwith Camel F. This was the first attempt at night flying attack patrols by the American Air Service. Enemy searchlights were attacked and patrols were flown where German bombers were known to cross the line at night. Adverse weather limited the effectiveness of the squadron, however the 185th engaged in five combats, however did not bring down any enemy bombers.  Meuse-Argonne Offensive In the last great offensive of the war, the infantry continued its advance. The Group’s sector advanced and lengthened considerably. On one day, 22d October, the group flew 84 Sorties with a total of 104 flying hours. Sixteen combats were engaged in, shooting down seven enemy aircraft. On 11 November news was received that the Armistice was formally signed.  Summary From May until 11 November armistice, the Group recorded 1,413 aerial engagements, accumulating 151.83 confirmed kills of enemy aircraft, and 50 confirmed balloon victories. Nineteen of its pilots five from each pursuit squadron except the 27th were recognized as “aces”.  For its participation, the 1st received seven campaign streamers. Two of the four pilots earning the Medal of Honor for actions during World War I were members of the 1st Pursuit Group: 2Lt Frank Luke Jr. Lieutenant Luke of the 27th Squadron during September became the American Ace of Aces for the time being. From 1229 September he gained eighteen victories. He shot down fifteen balloons and three planes. Joining the Group on 1 August, he had gained one victory on the Chateau Therry front which never was made official. On 18 September, he brought down two balloons and three planes in a period of less than 10 minutes. On 29 September, he was reported missing in action. He had dropped a note to one of our balloons asking them to be on the watch for burning balloons. Twenty minutes later he burned three enemy balloons but did not return from his mission.  Captain Rickenbacker, commanding officer of the 94th Squadron, became an Ace on the Toul sector in the spring of 1918. When the group moved to Rembercourt Aerodrome, Captain Rickenbacker made the 94th Squadron the leading American Fighting Squadron in number of aerial victories gained. From the period 14 September-11 November he brought down twenty more official enemy aircraft.  Aces of the 1st Pursuit Group Pilot Squadron Airplanes Balloons Total Capt. Rickenbacker 94th Aero Squadron 22 4 26 2d Lt. 27th Aero Squadron 4 14 18 Capt. Meissner 147th Aero Squadron 7 1 8 2d Lt. White 147th Aero Squadron 7 1 8 Capt. Hamilton Coolidge 94th Aero Squadron 5 3 8 1st Lt. Chambers 94th Aero Squadron 6 1 7 1st Lt. Sumner Sewall 95th Aero Squadron 5 2 7 1st Lt. Harvey Weir Cook 94th Aero Squadron 3 4 7 1st Lt. Holden 95th Aero Squadron 2 5 7 1st Lt. Douglas Campbell 94th Aero Squadron 6 6 1st Lt. Curtiss 95th Aero Squadron 6 6 2nd Lt. McArthur 27th Aero Squadron 6 6 2d Lt. Porter 147th Aero Squadron 6 6 1st Lt. Vasconcelles 27th Aero Squadron 5 1 6 1st Lt. James Knowles 95th Aero Squadron 5 5 1st Lt. Healy 147th Aero Squadron 5 5 2d Lt. O’Neill 147th Aero Squadron 5 5 1st Lt. Buckley 95th Aero Squadron 4 1 5 1st Lt. Wehner 27th Aero Squadron 5 5 On 10 December 1918, orders were received relieving the First Pursuit Group from First Army with instructions to report to Commanding Officer, First Air Depot, Colombey-les-Belles Airdrome for demobilization.  SOURCES: Air Service duty The end of World War I was followed immediately by a massive demobilization of the U. Army Air Service, both in reduction of personnel and dissolution of air units, including the 1st Pursuit Group, demobilized 24 December 1918. A new 1st Pursuit Group began to be formed on 10 June 1919, at Selfridge Field, Michigan, and became an active part of the Air Service on 22 August 1919, consisting of the 27th, 94th, 95th and 147th Aero Squadrons (Pursuit), and the 2nd Air Park (later the 57th Service Squadron). The new 1st Pursuit Group, as part of the 1st Wing, moved to Kelly Field, Texas, on 31 August 1919, and Ellington Field, Texas, on 30 June 1921. There, the 94th Aero Squadron operated the Pursuit Training School. The designation of the Aero Squadrons was changed to “Squadrons (Pursuit)” on 15 March 1921 The 147th Aero Squadron became the 17th Squadron (Pursuit) on 31 March. All were renamed “Pursuit Squadrons” on 25 January 1923. The 2nd Air Park was renamed the 57th Service Squadron on 2 January 1923. In 1924 the original 1st Pursuit Group was reconstituted and consolidated with the active group formed in 1919. Two squadrons were transferred from the group, the 95th (1927) and the 17th (1940), replaced on 1 January 1941, by the 71st Pursuit Squadron. The 27th, 71st, and 94th Squadrons became the permanently assigned components of the group and wing. In December 1939 the group was redesignated 1st Pursuit Group (Interceptor), and in May 1941, 1st Pursuit Group (Fighter). During the 1920s the group conducted pursuit training, tested new aircraft, participated in maneuvers and mobilization tests, conducted annual cold weather testing, gave demonstrations for other units, participated in civil airport dedications, and competed in the National Air Races each autumn. In 1922 Selfridge hosted the event. Skeel, commander of the 27th Pursuit Squadron, was killed 4 October 1924, in the crash of a Verville-Sperry R-3 Racer at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, at the start of Pulitzer Trophy event of the 1924 Races. The group changed aircraft frequently during its service between wars, as new types were developed and older models became outdated. It began its service flying Curtiss JNS, SE-5, and Fokker D. VII fighters left over from the First World War. From 1922 to 1925 it operated primarily MB-3A fighters. In 1925 it acquired Curtiss PW-8s for use by the 17th Pursuit Squadron, in 1926 Curtiss P-1 Hawks (a derivative of the PW-8), and in 1929 Boeing P-12s. Throughout this period each squadron often operated a different fighter type from the others. Winter flying was conducted each February at Camp Skeel at Oscoda, Michigan, although in January 1927 the group instead sent a detachment to Ottawa, Ontario. In January 1929 the group conducted a lengthy search and rescue operation for a missing person in Petoskey, Michigan; and in January 1930 flew a squadron to Spokane, Washington, and back by way of North Dakota and Montana. Temperatures during the Petoskey rescue reached 30 °F, disabling the aircraft engines. A local cement company extended a steam hose to thaw engine oil and other components, enabling the aircraft to operate. The use of airpower demonstrations and participation in the dedication of civil airports to publicize the Air Corps reached its peak in 1929, when units of the 1st Pursuit Group participated in 24 airport dedications and 8 demonstrations. It garnered favorable publicity in other ways, however, using bombs to break up an ice jam on the Clinton River on 24 February 1925, and escorting Charles Lindbergh to Canada in 1927. On 21 January 1924, the Adjutant General approved the 1st Pursuit Group’s emblem, designed with the unit’s history as its basis. The green and black colors represent the colors of the Army Air Service, the five stripes signify the original five flying squadrons, and the five crosses symbolized the five major World War I campaigns credited to the group. A crest above the shield bore the Group’s Latin motto “Aut Vincere Aut Mori” (translation: “Conquer or Die”). In 1957, the emblem was revised, with the crest removed and the motto placed in a scroll beneath the shield, now assigned to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing. Army Air Corps service The Air Corps Act of 1926, passed in part due to the controversies involving Billy Mitchell and in part to the recommendations of the Morrow Board, replaced the Air Service with the U. The Act authorized a 5-year plan for expansion and modernization of the Air Corps, still consisting of the original 6 groups, with the 1st the only pursuit group. Resistance by the Coolidge administration to implementation of the plan for economic reasons, followed by the onset of the Great Depression severely limited the expansion. The 1st Group experienced restriction on its training operations and curtailment of personnel salaries. Officers were detached for duty with the Civilian Conservation Corps at varied intervals. However the Air Corps was able to expand from 6 to 14 groups in its first decade of existence, half of which were new pursuit groups. The 1st Pursuit Group trained individual squadrons at Selfridge and provided experienced cadres to the formation of these groups. Six were involved in crashes in the first week, struggling through severe winter weather in Ohio, including one fatality on the first day. Altogether twelve aircraft were lost in eleven crashes, with one pilot and one enlisted man killed, and four pilots and one mechanic injured. On 1 March 1935, all operational flying units, previously assigned to corps-level ground commands, were consolidated under a new centralized air force command named General Headquarters, Air Force. GHQ Air Force was divided into three wings, and the 1st Pursuit Group became part of the 2nd Wing. In 1937 the group received its first enclosed cockpit, monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear, the Seversky P-35, replacing P-26s and PB-2As. The P-35 was obsolete from the beginning of its operational history and replacement by the Republic P-43 Lancer began in 1940. This fighter too was unsuitable for modern combat, and preparations for the possibility of U. Participation in the Second World War introduced the 1st Pursuit Group to the new P-38 Lightning in July 1941, with the 27th Pursuit Squadron receiving the first operational aircraft in the Army Air Force’s inventory. Davenport Johnson 22 August 1919 26 April 1920 Major Reed M. Chambers 26 April 1920 29 June 1920 Capt. Brooks 29 June 1920 5 October 1920 Major Carl Spaatz 5 October 1921 25 April 1921 Capt. Brooks 25 April 1921 21 December 1921 Major Carl Spaatz 21 December 1921 September 1924 Major Thomas G. September 1924 4 February 1926 Capt. Dixon 4 February 1926 26 June 1926 Major Thomas G. 26 June 1926 25 August 1928 Major Ralph Royce 25 August 1928 15 May 1930 Major Gerald E. Brower 15 May 1930 18 July 1932 Major Adlai H. Gilkerson 18 July 1932 4 July 1933 Lt. Andrews 4 July 1933 4 October 1934 Lt. Ralph Royce 4 October 1934 30 April 1937 Major Edwin J. House 30 April 1937 Col. Israel July 1941 June 1942. The item “1927 Selfridge Field US Army Air Service Aviation PANORAMA Photo PURSUIT PILOTS” is in sale since Friday, March 22, 2019. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Militaria\1919-38\Original Period Items”. The seller is “bm75″ and is located in Westminster, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.