Volume 31 Number 4, Winter 2016 - Time to Renew


League President Michael O’Neal says farewell to retiring Managing Editor Lance Bronnenkant in “Between the Lines.”

The Winter 2016 issue kicks off with Peter Kilduff’s The 88th Aero Squadron, USAS “Flying Cowboy” insignia“Cowboys of the Air: A History of the 88th Aero Squadron, USAS,” which as the title states is the story of one of the US Air Service’s 18 operational observation units that served in World War I. This carefully researched account begins with the unit’s origin in August 1917 and chronologically highlights several of its missions and the men who carried them out, including one action in which all of the American participants were awarded France’s Croix de Guerre. The 88th Aero Squadron was one of the few American squadrons to remain in service after the war and its “Flying Cowboy” insignia is still employed today by the USAF’s 436th Training Squadron.

Dieter Gröschel then tells the story of one way in which Germany aided Turkey in “Providing Airplanes to Turkey in 1915: A Difficult Task for the German Aviation Commands in Southern Hungary.” With belligerent or neutral countries physically separating the two allies, covert methods often had to be created to attempt to bring German aircraft to the Ottoman Empire. Gröschel describes those intriguing efforts – some of which succeeded and others of which did not –and provides several tables detailing the men and aircraft that were involved.

Lt Kenneth P. Culbert, US Marine CorpsThe interesting story of “Lieutenant Kenneth P. Culbert: The First USMC Aviator in the Pantheon of US Army Air Heroes” is told by Terrence Finnegan. Culbert, a Harvard man, was assigned to the USAS’s 1st Aero Squadron as an observer and eventually became the first US Marine Corps aviator to be awarded an honor in combat. Finnegan provides a detailed narrative of Culbert’s wartime experiences and accomplishments – one of which earned him the Silver Star – that is supplemented by several photos of the man and his unit.

Greg VanWyngarden examines one of Germany’s most successful and numerous aircraft of the war in “The LVG C.V – A Photo Essay.” His richly illustrated account of the type begins with its design history and then delves into the colors, camouflage and markings applied to the type throughout its two years of service. This article will be a key resource for years to come for persons investigating the C.V and for model builders in particular.

While researching American aircraft, author Robert Casari encountered an unexpected version of “alternative facts” and decided to write about it in “Discovering the Fake Navy Aircraft Record Cards.” Casari carefully examines key records that were once considered definitive regarding the first US Navy’s first airplanes and explains how and why they inadvertently became corrupted.

The late Gary Sunderland provided a complete and authoritative account of “Designing at Albatros.” Sunderland made good use of his considerable experience as an engineer and aviator in compiling this work, which offers numerous interesting insights into the inner workings of the Albatros Flugzeugwerke. The article is supplemented with multiple photographs of the people and aircraft types highlighted in the text.

Lance Krieg tells the story of his rendition of 1/Lt Charles H. Woolley’s 95th Aero Squadron mount in “The Modeling Corner: Another Nieuport 28.” Krieg built the Nieuport 28 model as a presentation piece to Woolley’s son, Charlie.

The issue closes with our recurring columns, “Mentioned in Despatches,” “In the Cockpit” and “Between the Bookends” (where 12 recent World War I aviation-related publications are reviewed by Peter Kilduff, Carl Bobrow, Jon Guttman, James Miller and Aaron Weaver).

Look for your 2017 renewal form inside (the zip code was omitted; it's 55447-2228), or renew online.

Volume 32 Number 2 Has Shipped

The Summer 2017 issue of Over the Front will be arriving shortly.

President (and cover artist) Michael O'Neal discusses the League's fund-raising efforts to place a World War I memorial at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The 166th Aero Squadron – A History in Photos, by Charles G. Thomas and Michael J. O’Neal
The brief history of the 166th Aero squadron is captured in this article illustrated with 70 photos – most previously unpublished. From formation, through brief service at the front, to their role with the Army of Occupation, “Chuck” Thomas and League President Michael O’Neal have combined photographic resources to fil in the history of this obscure unit.   

The 9th Aero Squadron’s Fokkers – A Photo Essay, by Greg VanWyngarden
League Contributing Editor Greg Van Wyngarden provides a unique glimpse of the Fokkers assigned to the 9th Aero during their time with the Army of Occupation. Beginning with a well know photo of the famous “white” Fokker D.VII in 9th Aero Squadron Service, Greg fleshes out the story of this airplane with seventeen - many never-before published - photos of the airplane.  

Independent: New Jersey’s IAF Volunteers, by Michael J. O’Neal
The strategic Bombing mission of the Independent Force is the backdrop for the story of four American crewman – all New Jersey natives - who served with Britain’s premier long-range bombing units in 1918. Forty photos of the IF’s crews, aircraft and their German opponents illustrate the story of the IF’s first American casualty and his three successors.

A Short Time Across the Pond – 1/Lt. Lloyd Ludwig, by Michael J. O’Neal
Not all who served made it to the front. The brief biography of 2/Lt. Lloyd Ludwig illustrates the perils of flight training. Read what happens when youthful  enthusiasm, a snowstorm and a well-worn SE-5A collide.  

Jersey Driver: 2/Lt. Barry Truscott, 56 Squadron RFC, By Michael J. O’Neal
The story of the American YMCA delegate who enlists in the Royal Flying Corps, ends up with arguably the most famous British WW 1 fighter squadron and who ultimately succumbs to the stress of life as a combat pilot.   

The issue concludes with Between the Bookends.

Polaroid of pilot