First American shot down?

Discussion in 'World War I' started by DerAdlerIstGelandet, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Does anyone know who the first American military airman to be shot down while serving in an actual US air unit?

    I know Victor Chapman was the first American but he was serving in the Lafayette Escadrille which was a French unit. I am looking for the first American serving in an American unit.
     
  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Well I was looking it up. I found Captain Phelps Collins. They didnt clarify if he crashed because of Pilot error or got shot down. I'll look into it more
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yeah its not him.

    That was my guess as well, but my prof. says I that it is not correct.
     
  4. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Ok. I am not having much luck finding anything then. I'll keep trying :D
     
  5. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Adler, this is what I found........but I'll keep looking also

    The first American Airman shot down by enemy fire was Victor Chapman, on June 23, 1916 near Luxeuil-les-Bains near Switzerland. The US had not yet entered WWI and Chapman was one of about two dozen American pilots who volunteered to serve in the French Army, despite the fact that France, Germany and England had many more pilots than the US. The American volunteers were called the Lafayette Escadrille, after the Frenchman famous for helping fight the American Revolution.

    The US finally joined the war in October 1917. By March 1918 they had two squadrons of planes, the 94th and 95th. Famous pilots included Major Lufbery, a French-born American from the Lafayette Escadrille, and Eddie Rickenbacher, both famous aces before the war ended.

    On March 12 Captain Phelps Collins of the 103rd Aero Squadron crashed while on a combat patrol near Paris, the first member of the American Aviation Section to die in a war zone.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yeah it is none of them. I have found all of the same info. I am beginning to think I am going to have to look outside of the box and start thinking of Balloon airman going all the way back to the Civil War.
     
  7. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Again he was serving in the French Airforce. The guy I am looking for was serving for the US, hense after the US entered the war.
     
  9. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    How about this....

    The first 47 | Airman | Find Articles at BNET

    May 19, 1908

    Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge became the first American servicemember to solo in an aircraft, the Aerial Experiment Association's "White Wing." Three months later, on Sept. 17, 1908, while flying as a passenger with Orville Wright, he became the first person to die in an aircraft accident.
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    He died in an accident. I am looking for the first one to be shot down by enemy fire.

    This is a reall tricky one!
     
  11. Haztoys

    Haztoys Member

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    Now I could be way off on this ..I was thinking that America was at war with Mexico at the late 1800's early 1900's and aircraft were first used..Was the first America shot down then..??????
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    If so, I can not find a reference to it.
     
  13. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    What do you think about this Adler?:

    Capt James Ely Miller was the first American assigned to an American squadron under American authority. *The date was 9 March 1918 and the sqn was the 95th. *Miller was lost over enemy territory.

    History of the WW1 US95th Aero Squadron
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yeah according to the proff that is not right either.
     
  15. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I got the same as V2 from:

    WW1 1918 historical timeline for 1st Fighter Group

    10 Mar 1918 - 95th - Captain James E. Miller went to Coincy and obtained the Nieuport left there on the 8th and flew it to Coligny where it was turned in for a Spad. He then joined a patrol with Major Davenport Johnson and Major Harmon over the Rheims sector. They were attacked by two German planes inside the German lines. Major Davenport Johnson last saw Captain Miller in a "Vrille" inside the German lines. This was the first casualty to be suffered at the Organization Center and the first battle casualty of the organizations which were to comprise the First Pursuit Group. Captain Seth Low assumed command of the squadron.

    I also checked the Mexican Punitive War but the 1st Aero Sqdrn suffered no casualties. Maybe a balloon unit?
     
  16. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I did some looking around and I keep coming up with Capt. Miller. I always knew about this guy becuase there was an old air field named after him in the town I grew up in.

    Miller Field (Staten Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    "Miller Field was a United States Air Force facility on Staten Island, New York, near Fort Wadsworth. It was founded in November 1919 and completed in 1921. It was named after James Ely Miller, a captain of the 95th Fighter Squadron in the Air Force, who died in combat on March 10, 1918 over Rheims in World War I and was the first United States aviator killed in the war."
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Thorlifter, I think thats it! Thanks alot. My prof said I was on the right track with a lighter than air airman...
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  20. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I think thats it. I think he was the first American to be shot down by enemy fire.
     
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