English Online: World Traveler, Proficiency 1 by Sarah Schrire

By Sarah Schrire

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It could thus expect to see combat first and achieve the first victories. The 95th’s pilots were cock-of the-walk at Villeneuve and lorded it over the pilots of the 94th, who naturally resented their second class status. On March 6, the American squadrons began receiving airplanes. Months earlier, the Bolling mission had recommended the purchase of two different pursuits. One was the new Spad XIII, successor to the Spad VII, believed to be the best French chasse available. The other was a rotary-powered Nieuport chasse then under development.

The unit received orders to bomb and strafe German troops and positions. Ground attack was a dangerous duty generally despised by most self-respecting pursuit pilots. The Escadrille’s armament officer developed a technique that required the pilots to fly level at 1,000 meters until the target disappeared under the lower wing, then dive at a forty-five degree angle to 500 meters, level out, count ten, and release. Adding the weight and drag of the externally-mounted bombs to an already fullyloaded Spad, however, presented what the pilots saw as an unnecessary hazard, as did the requirement to fly within the range of ground-based weapons.

Air Service, and the squadron formed the nucle41 us around which the 2nd Pursuit Group would be assembled. ”17 The sector remained quiet, however, and bad weather grounded the squadron much of the time. During July, the 103rd saw only five days of combat. The squadron also changed as its members continued to scatter to new American squadrons, spreading the outlook, attitude, culture, and techniques of the Lafayette Flying Corps flyers throughout the American pursuit force. “The Lafayette squadron is being all broken up,” Capt.

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