Surnames/tags: The_Great_War military_and_war
The Air Service, United States Army (also known as the "Air Service", "U.S. Air Service" and after its legislative establishment in 1920, the "U.S. Army Air Service") was the military aviation service of the United States between 1918 and 1926 and a forerunner of the United States Air Force. It was established as an independent but temporary branch of the U.S. War Department during World War I by two executive orders of President Woodrow Wilson: on May 24, 1918, replacing the Aviation Section, Signal Corps as the nation's air force; and March 19, 1919, establishing a military Director of Air Service to control all aviation activities. Its life was extended for another year in July 1919, during which time Congress passed the legislation necessary to make it a permanent establishment. The National Defense Act of 1920 assigned the Air Service the status of "combatant arm of the line" of the United States Army with a major general in command.
In France, the Air Service of the American Expeditionary Force, a separate entity under commanding General John J. Pershing that conducted the combat operations of U.S. military aviation, began field service in the spring of 1918. By the end of the war, the Air Service used 45 squadrons to cover 137 kilometers (85 miles) of front from Pont-à-Mousson to Sedan. 71 pursuit pilots were credited with shooting down five or more German aircraft while in American service. Overall the Air Service destroyed 756 enemy aircraft and 76 balloons in combat. 17 balloon companies also operated at the front, making 1,642 combat ascensions. 289 airplanes and 48 balloons were lost in battle.
For more information on the United States Army Air Service in World War I, see:
- Maurer, Maurer, The U.S. Air Service in World War I: Volume 1, The Final Report And A Tactical History Publisher: (Maxwell AFB, Ala. : Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center 1978)
- Maurer, Maurer, The U.S. Air Service in World War I: Volume 2, Early Concepts Of Military Aviation Publisher: (Maxwell AFB, Ala. : Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center et.al 1978)
- Maurer, Maurer, The U.S. Air Service in World War I: Volume 3, The Battle Of St. Mihiel Publisher: (Maxwell AFB, Ala. : Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center et.al 1978)
- Maurer, Maurer, The U.S. Air Service in World War I: Volume 4, Postwar Report Publisher: (Maxwell AFB, Ala. : Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center et.al 1978)
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