War and Military History
American Revolution
US in WW2

Who was the first American airman to be shot down by enemy fire When and where?

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2005-11-26 02:13:37
2005-11-26 02:13:37

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.

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