Original U.S. WWI Named Army Air Service Mechanic’s Uniform and Large Correspondence Grouping - Sergeant Warren Hogan, 12th Co, 2nd Regiment Air Service
Original Items: Only One Grouping Available. Training mechanics, pilots and observers to maintain and fly the large numbers of aircraft needed by American forces in World War I presented great challenges. Schools in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, France and Italy sprang into action to turn recruits and draftees into experts in the new field of military aviation.
The Army quickly established training courses for mechanics in the U.S. at civilian vocational schools, aircraft and engine factories, and military flying fields.
Some men even trained in Canada with the Royal Flying Corps. The training program operated smoothly after overcoming some initial obstacles. By the Armistice in November 1918, 28 schools in the U.S. had graduated 14,176 enlisted mechanics.
Even more Americans trained as mechanics in Great Britain. The British set up a revolving pool of 15,000 students, and although German submarines prevented the U.S. from sending a constant flow of men from the United States, 22,059 Americans had been trained in Great Britain as mechanics by the end of the war. More than 11,000 went on to serve in France, and a small number of U.S. mechanics learned their trade from the French. Despite this great surge in training, and even though the U.S. Army Air Service had 51,229 enlisted men in France at the time of the Armistice, American forces still had a serious shortage of mechanics.
This grouping belonged to one of those newly trained Aviation Mechanics. Sergeant Warren W. Hogan (1266734) served with the 12th Company, 2nd Regiment, Army Air Service during WWI as a Mechanic. He enlisted on December 9, 1917 out of New Haven, Connecticut at the age of 25. He served honorably during the Champagne-Marne and Aisne-Marne offensives. He was discharged in good standing.
The Following Items Are In This Grouping:
- Tunic & Trousers: They are both in field worn condition but are present without extensive damage. There is light fading and age toning but complete with all buttons, snaps and strings.
The items featured on the tunic are as follows:
- French Made Bullion District of Paris Patch: The patch is located on the left shoulder and in good condition with minor fading.
- Honorable Discharge “Red Chevron” (upside down): “The red chevron is the sign that you have been honorably discharged; that you have passed from the military to civil jurisdiction.” Placement of the red discharge chevron was to be: Point up, centered on the left sleeve, midway between the elbow and the shoulder. Not every soldier received the word on the direction in which the chevron was to be sewn on, and as a result many wore them upside down like this one. There are moth nips present throughout the chevron.
- 2 Gold Service Chevrons: The chevrons are on the lower sleeve above the cuff, indicating 12-17 months of overseas service.
- Army Air Service Sergeant Chevron: The chevron is located on the right upper sleeve and is in good condition with the Air Service “wings & prop” in gold bullion.
- Collar Discs: The discs present are the standard US and the Air Service “Wings & Prop”.
- WWI Victory Medal W/ Separate Ribbon: There are two awards present, both being the WWI Victory Medal. The medal is in good condition with a vibrant ribbon featuring campaign bars for Aisne-Marne and Champagne-Marne. The separate ribbon is faded and has one campaign star present with the other one unfortunately missing.
Other items include:
- Honorable Discharge/Enlistment Record: The record is double sided, in good condition and easily readable.
- Personal Letters and Correspondence: There is well over 100 different letters ranging from early 1917 to 1919. At a quick glance, most are from when he was overseas with a lot being sent from addresses in the United States during his training.
- Postcards: The postcards were actually discovered in a letter and there are about a dozen or more.
- “Silk” Handkerchief: The handkerchief was actually founded folded up in an envelope with a letter. Warren wrote to his wife stating that he didn’t have much time while at Camp Merritt to get her a souvenir, but he was able to get this patriotic handkerchief for her.
- “Preface To History of Second Regiment, Air Service Mechanics”: This is the history of his unit. The “book” is over 40 pages long and talks about how the unit was formed, training, organization and time overseas including times and dates of Air Raids and how long they lasted. In a letter we found, Warren talks about writing about the history of his unit, and we believe that he had a helping hand in writing this.
- x2 Pictures: The first picture is a large patriotic “button” style portrait featuring Warren in uniform. The 2nd picture is the same as the button style, but is in a lovely wooden frame without a glass cover.
This is a fantastic and extensive grouping attributed to a Sergeant who served during the war as a Mechanic in the Army Air Service!
Comes more than ready to be read through, further researched and displayed!
Collar to shoulder: 9”
Shoulder to sleeve: 22”
Shoulder to shoulder: 17”
Chest width: 18”
Waist width: 16”
Hip width: 19”
Front length: 29"
The United States Army Air Service (USAAS) (also known as the "Air Service", "U.S. Air Service" and before its legislative establishment in 1920, the "Air Service, United States Army") was the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army 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.
The Air Service was the first form of the air force to have an independent organizational structure and identity. Although officers concurrently held rank in various branches, after May 1918 their branch designation in official correspondence while on aviation assignment changed from "ASSC" (Aviation Section, Signal Corps) to "AS, USA" (Air Service, United States Army). After July 1, 1920, its personnel became members of the Air Service branch, receiving new commissions. During the war its responsibilities and functions were split between two coordinate agencies, the Division of Military Aeronautics (DMA) and the Bureau of Aircraft Production (BAP), each reporting directly to the Secretary of War, creating a dual authority over military aviation that caused unity of command difficulties.
The seven-year history of the post-war Air Service was marked by a prolonged debate between adherents of airpower and the supporters of the traditional military services about the value of an independent Air Force. Airmen such as Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell supported the concept. The Army's senior leadership from World War I, the United States Navy, and the majority of the nation's political leadership favored integration of all military aviation into the Army and Navy. Aided by a wave of pacifism following the war that drastically cut military budgets, opponents of an independent air force prevailed. The Air Service was renamed the Army Air Corps in 1926 as a compromise in the continuing struggle.
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