World War I Victory Credits

(5038 total words in this text)
(3265 Reads)  Printer-friendly page [1]
In the first few months after the United States entered World War I, British and French organizations exercised tactical control over many American units and confirmed and recorded aerial victory credits earned by their members. Air Service pilots attached individually to French or British organizations also received credit for victories in aerial combat. The Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces, subsequently established its own victory credit system after U.S. aero squadrons began operating under American control.

The Air Service awarded credit to members of American air units who destroyed enemy aircraft in flight or forced them down in Allied territory. "Enemy aircraft" included both airplanes and balloons. The destruction of a balloon on the ground was counted if the balloon was inflated, but airplanes destroyed on the ground were excluded. Each victory claim had to be confirmed by a witness before it was officially counted as a credit. Confirmed claims became official credits through the issuance of general orders. The U.S. Army Air Service also recognized and counted victory credits awarded to its members by French and British organizations, but it did not count credits which Allied air forces awarded to Americans who were not members of the Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces, at the time of their victories. Consequently, the actual number of victory credits for some individuals is greater than the number appearing on this list, because some of those credits were earned in foreign service. For example, an American pilot who served first with the French Armee de l'Air before joining the Air Service of the United States might have been an ace, but the American list would not credit him with all five aircraft if some had been destroyed while he was in the service of France.

During World War I the French Armee de l'Air awarded a whole victory credit to each person who contributed to the aerial destruction of an enemy aircraft. For example, if two French aircraft, each carrying a pilot and observer, shot down one German aircraft, all four men each received one credit. In a few instances, as many as sixteen men (eight pilots and their observers) received one credit each for destroying a single enemy airplane. The British Royal Flying Corps, on the other hand, divided one whole credit equally among the crew members who shot down an enemy aircraft. If four men contributed to a single victory, each received one-fourth of a credit (.25), the sum therefore matching more closely the actual number of aircraft destroyed.

When the Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces, began independent military operations on the Western Front, it adopted the more generous French system of apportioning credit. Thus, in World War I, a U.S. Army military aviator earned a whole victory credit for destruction of an enemy airplane, even if he was only one of two or more flyers who brought it down.

Air Force historians who prepared Historical Study 133 in 1969 converted the whole credits awarded those who contributed to a victory into fractions to show which credits were shared and to calculate the number of enemy aircraft actually covered by the credits. This was more in line with the British system and with the criteria the Americans applied in World War II, but it did not reflect the actual credits awarded. Confusion resulted, because researchers using Historical Study 133 would sometimes add the fractions of flyers to get their aerial victory credit totals. This current list shows the credits earned by Air Service members according to the World War I criteria. The reader should not attempt to determine the actual number of enemy aircraft brought down by Air Service pilots by adding up the numbers of aerial victory credits earned, because several whole credits were sometimes awarded for the destruction of a single enemy airplane.

The World War I aerial victory credits list contains the following information per line: name, rank, service, squadron, crew position, number of credits, type of credit, and date. Abbreviations for these categories are:

Rank: SGT, Sergeant; 2LT, Second Lieutenant; 1LT, First Lieutenant; CPT, Captain; MAJ, Major.

Service: US, United States; BR, Britain; FR, France; IT, Italy.

Squadron: BMR, Bombardment; OBS, Observation; PUR, Pursuit (squadron abbreviations do not appear for Air Service members attached to foreign units).

Crew position: P, pilot; O, observer; G, gunner.

Type of aircraft destroyed: A, airplane; B, balloon.

A [2]B [3]C [4]D [5]E [6]F [7]G [8]H [9]I [10]J [11]K [12]L [13]M [14]N [15]O [16]P [17]Q [18]R [19]S [20]T [21]U [22]V [23]W [24]Y [25]Z [26]
NAME RK UNIT SV SERIAL CR DATE POS TYPE ENEMY US ORDER WAR
ABERNATHY THOMAS J 2LT 147 PUR US N/A 1 180724 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ABERNATHY THOMAS J 2LT 147 PUR US N/A 1 180724 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ABERNATHY THOMAS J 2LT 147 PUR US N/A 1 181012 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ADAMS MORTON B 1LT 90 OBS US N/A 1 181001 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ALDRICH PERRY H 1LT 135 OBS US N/A 1 181010 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ALEXANDER ARTHUR H 1LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 180903 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ALEXANDER ARTHUR H 1LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 180904 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ALEXANDER RAYMOND C CPL 20 BMR US N/A 1 181105 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ALEXANDER STIRLING C 1LT 99 OBS US N/A 1 181005 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ALLEIN HENRY C 1LT 28 PUR US N/A 1 180914 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ALLSOPP CLIFFORD W 1LT 11 BMR US N/A 1 181103 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ALLSOPP CLIFFORD W 1LT 11 BMR US N/A 1 181103 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ANDERSON CHARLES P 1LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 180904 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ANDREWS HAROLD W 1LT FR N/A 1 180811 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ARCHER HASSELL D 2LT 11 BMR US N/A 1 181023 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ARMSTRONG HENRY G 1LT 13 PUR US N/A 1 181004 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ARMSTRONG WILLIAM J 1LT 17 PUR US N/A 1 180803 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ARTHUR DOGAN H 1LT 12 OBS US N/A 1 180912 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ARTHUR DOGAN H 1LT 12 OBS US N/A 1 181030 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ARTHUR DOGAN H 1LT 12 OBS US N/A 1 181030 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ASH THOMAS JR 1LT 139 PUR US N/A 1 181105 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
ATWATER BENJAMIN L 1LT 99 OBS US N/A 1 181005 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
AUSTIN RICHARD S 1LT 166 BMR US N/A 1 181104 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
AVERY STEPHEN M 1LT 13 PUR US N/A 1 180926 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
AVERY STEPHEN M 1LT 13 PUR US N/A 1 181018 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
AVERY WALTER L 1LT 95 PUR US N/A 1 180725 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
AVERY WALTER L 1LT 95PUR US N/A 1 180810 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
TOP [27]
BABCOCK PHILIP R CPT 88 OBS US N/A 1 181023 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BABCOCK PHILIP R CPT 88 OBS US N/A 1 181023 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BACKUS DAVID H 1LT 49 PUR US N/A 1 180926 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BACKUS DAVID H 1LT 49 PUR US N/A 1 181023 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BACKUS DAVID H 1LT 49 PUR US N/A 1 181023 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BACKUS DAVID H 1LT 49 PUR US N/A 1 181023 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BADHAM WILLIAM T 2LT 91 OBS US N/A 1 180915 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BADHAM WILLIAM T 2LT 91 OBS US N/A 1 181025 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BADHAM WILLIAM T 2LT 91 OBS US N/A 1 181025 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BADHAM WILLIAM T 2LT 91 OBS US N/A 1 181028 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BADHAM WILLIAM T 2LT 91 OBS US N/A 1 181029 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180311 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180316 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180406 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180412 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180423 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180508 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180508 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180521 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAER PAUL P 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180522 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAGBY RALPH B 1LT 88 OBS US N/A 1 180902 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAHL JAMES L , JR 1LT IT N/A 1 181027 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAHL JAMES L , JR 1LT IT N/A 1 181027 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAILEY FREDERICK W 2LT 27 PUR US N/A 1 181104 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAIR HILBERT L 1LT BR N/A 1 180819 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAIR HILBERT L 1LT BR N/A 1 180830 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAIR HILBERT L 1LT BR N/A 1 180908 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAIR HILBERT L 1LT BR N/A 1 180915 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAIR HILBERT L 1LT BR N/A 1 180916 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAKER EDWARD D 1LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 181004 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAKER HOBART A H 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180521 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAKER HOBART A H CPT 141 PUR US N/A 1 181028 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAKER HOBART A H CPT 141 PUR US N/A 1 181105 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAKER JOHN M 1LT 20 BMR US N/A 1 181105 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAKER WILLIAM F 1LT 91 OBS US N/A 1 180927 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BARKSDALE EUGENE H 1LT BR N/A 1 180830 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BARTHOLF HERBERT B 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 181030 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BARTHOLF HERBERT B 1LT 103 PUR US N/A 1 181104 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BATES EDMUND E 1LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 180903 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BATES EDMUND E 1LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 180904 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAUCOM BYRNE V 2LT 1 OBS US N/A 1 180929 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAUCOM BYRNE V 2LT 1 OBS US N/A 1 181015 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAUCOM BYRNE V 2LT 1 OBS US N/A 1 181018 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BAXTER GEORGE R 2LT 49 PUR US N/A 1 181029 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEANE JAMES D 1LT 22 PUR US N/A 1 180926 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEANE JAMES D 1LT 22 PUR US N/A 1 180928 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEANE JAMES D 1LT 22 PUR US N/A 1 181009 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEANE JAMES D 1LT 22 PUR US N/A 1 181010 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEANE JAMES D 1LT 22 PUR US N/A 1 181029 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEANE JAMES D 1LT 22 PUR US N/A 1 181029 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BENELL OTTO E 2LT 135 OBS US N/A 1 181105 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BENNETT JOHN C JR 1LT 139 PUR US N/A 1 181006 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BENNETT JOHN C JR 1LT 139 PUR US N/A 1 181010 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEVERLY BELMONT P 1LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 180926 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEVERLY BELMONT P CPT 96 BMR US N/A 1 181004 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEVERLY BELMONT P CPT 96 BMR US N/A 1 181023 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BEVERLY BELMONT P CPT 96 BMR US N/A 1 181029 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BIDDLE CHARLES J CPT 103 PUR US N/A 1 180412 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BIDDLE CHARLES J CPT 13 PUR US N/A 1 180801 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BIDDLE CHARLES J CPT 13 PUR US N/A 1 180801 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BIDDLE CHARLES J CPT 13 PUR US N/A 1 180816 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BIDDLE CHARLES J CPT 13 PUR US N/A 1 180926 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BIDDLE CHARLES J CPT 13 PUR US N/A 1 181018 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BIGGS REUBEN D 1LT 11 BMR US N/A 1 180914 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BILLARD ARTHUR M 1LT 13 PUR US N/A 1 181104 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BINLEY HOWARD C 1LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 181029 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BISSELL CLAYTON L 1LT 148 PUR US N/A 1 180904 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BISSELL CLAYTON L 1LT 148 PUR US N/A 1 180904 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BISSELL CLAYTON L 1LT 148 PUR US N/A 1 181003 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BISSELL CLAYTON L 1LT 148 PUR US N/A 1 181028 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BISSELL CLAYTON L 1LT 148 PUR US N/A 1 181028 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BLACK EDWARD C 2LT BR N/A 1 180913 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BLACK EDWARD C 2LT 166 BMR US N/A 1 181104 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BLAKE CHARLES R 1LT FR N/A 1 180809 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BLEECKER LYMAN C 2LT 96 BMR US N/A 1 180926 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BORCHERS FRED W 1LT FR N/A 1 180718 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BORCHERS FRED W 1LT FR N/A 1 180722 O A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BOUDWIN JOSEPH E 2LT BR N/A 1 180720 P B N/A N/A N/A WWI
BOUDWIN JOSEPH E 2LT BR N/A 1 180811 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BRAID WILLIAM G 2LT BR N/A 1 180925 P A N/A N/A N/A WWI
BREWER LEIGHTON 1LT 13 PUR US N/A 1 180915
  
[ Back to Air Force [28] | Primary Sources Archive index [29] ]
Links
  [1] http://www.patriotfiles.com/index.php?name=Sections&req=viewarticle&artid=1498&allpages=1&theme=Printer
  [2] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#a
  [3] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#b
  [4] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#c
  [5] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#d
  [6] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#e
  [7] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#f
  [8] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#g
  [9] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#h
  [10] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#i
  [11] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#j
  [12] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#k
  [13] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#l
  [14] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#m
  [15] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#n
  [16] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#o
  [17] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#p
  [18] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#q
  [19] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#r
  [20] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#s
  [21] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#t
  [22] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#u
  [23] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#v
  [24] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#w
  [25] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#y
  [26] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#z
  [27] http://www.patriotfiles.com/#top
  [28] http://www.patriotfiles.com/index.php?name=Sections&req=listarticles&secid=25
  [29] http://www.patriotfiles.com/index.php?name=Sections