Mid-Atlantic Chapter Meeting, June 10, 2017

Saturday – June 10th 2017

Will be the 23rd meeting of the

Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the

League of World War I Aviation Historians.

The meeting is at the

National Air and Space Museum’s

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

On the Hangar Floor Level, Classroom 2a and2b

Hazy Map

Schedule for Saturday – June 10th 2017

10:00AM - Museum door opens

Pre-meeting Book Exchange…. we are going to continue our book exchange. The idea is for attending members to go through their own collection and find aviation or WWI books that they no longer want and exchange them for equal or lesser value.  How does that work… if you have a paperback you can exchange it for another paperback if you have a hardcover you can exchange it for a hardcover or paperback. The limit will be four (4) books per member. Special thanks to Frank Garove a member of the group who made a generous donation of nearly 100 aviation books.

10:15AM - 10:30AM – Meeting begins in Classroom 2a and 2b – Nuts, Bolts, Stick and Fabric (the opening remarks and our short business meeting)

10:30AM - 11:30AM – Presentation by Roger Connor, NASM Curator

From Archie to Ack-Ack

In July 1918, the German III Army Corps headquarters in the aftermath of the Kaiserschlacht stated in a memo to its commanders, “It is evident that during our offensives we have suffered extremely heavy losses from the enemy’s aviators.” This call to arms for improved anti-aircraft defense illustrated the challenge of the ground arms in response to the growing effectiveness of tactical aviation. From the protection of vulnerable aviation assets like observation balloons to defense against strategic bombardment of interior population centers, the technology of anti-aircraft defense evolved in parallel with military aviation. This presentation details the equipment and armament of aircraft defense supplemented with after-action reports and lessons-learned.

11:45AM - 12:30PM – Presentation by Jon Guttman, Author and Historian

The Amerikaprogramm and the Rise of the Jagdgeschwader

On April 6, 1917 the United States declared war on Germany. Anticipating the potential the Americans had for fielding a formidable air arm, the command of the Luftstreitskräfte (Kogenluft) proposed a plan to virtually double its strength by the time the U.S. Army arrived in Europe in force. Called the Amerikaprogramm, it involved the doubling on paper of the Jagdstaffeln, which would be filled with aircraft and pilots by early 1918. In practice, this took the form of small cadres of experienced officers leading various numbers (usually under strength) of airmen with relatively hasty training. As for the production of aircraft, by the end of 1917 the Germans still had yet to perfect a type capable of equaling the overall performance of the latest Allied fighters. Only when the Fokker D.VII began reaching the front in April 1918 could they boast such a plane, but until they were more widely available the Amerikaprogramm units had to make due with either ageing Albatros D.Vs, D.Vas, Pfalz D.IIIs and D.IIIas, or settle for second best with a variety of supplemental types, such as the Fokker D.VI, LFG Roland D.VI or Pfalz D.XII. Meanwhile, in April 1917 the Germans experimented with organizing and coordinating a temporary Jagdgruppe of Jagdstaffeln 3, 4, 11 and 33. This proved successful enough for further such Jagdgruppen to be formed, but on June 26 a permanent such grouping was organized to be sent wherever local air superiority was needed. Commanded by Hauptmann Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen and consisting of Jasta 4, 6, 10 and 11, Jagdgeschwader Nr.1 would become notorious over the Western Front as the Red Baron’s Flying Circus.

12:30PM - 1:15PM – Lunch at McDonalds or at McDonalds Café, or if you are inclined of course you can brown-bag-it.

1:20PM -1:35PM – Works in Progress (WiP)!

Typically we have some interesting WIP’s that will be shared at these meetings… 

If you have something to share please do so this section of the meeting it is the perfect opportunity to share, request and exchange information, and some very good opportunities have come at this portion of the meeting

1:45PM – 2:30PM - Presentation by Chris Moore, NASM Curator

A Machine gun, A Pilot, And A Dog: Collecting a WWI Artifact at NASM

Offers to donate artifacts to the National Air and Space Museum many times come out of the blue and can lead to some interesting back stories. NASM aircraft armament curator Chris Moore relates the story of how the offer of a Spandau machine gun led to research into the service of observation pilot Ray Krout in the 135th Aero Squadron during WWI. Chris will relate a history of this notable squadron and Ray Krouts’ service during the war, as well as the story of one of the squadron’s more well-known members.

2:45PM - 3:30PM - Presentation by Steve Suddaby, Author and Historian

Aerial Bombardment: The Big Question

Steve was invited to contribute an essay on aerial bombardment to a book of essays on WWI aviation that NASM will publish in 2018.  His presentation will preview that essay, discussing the big question of whether WWI tactical or strategic bombing had a critical impact on the course of the war.  Steve will review a number of circumstances in which bombing could be called successful and use those to try to answer the question of whether any of them reached the level of having a critical impact.  He will also examine the impacts of WWI bombing on events between the wars.  Since this question has not been explored comprehensively in the past, Steve hopes that this discussion with the audience will help him refine his perspective on these issues.

4:00PM – Meeting room closes

4:00 – 5:30PM On your own tour of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

5:30PM – The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center closes

We would appreciate an RSVP as soon as possible so that we can gauge the number of people planning to attend.

There is no formal membership required to attend therefore if you know of anyone who is interested in this aspect of aviation history they are most welcome.

The parent organization, the League of World War I Aviation Historians, publishes a periodic journal and there are dues for that. If anyone wants to join they are welcome on their own to do so outside of this meeting.

There is no fee for attending the meeting, although there is a $15 parking fee at the museum, therefore consider carpooling.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

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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.

Polaroid of pilot