After graduating from Yale in 1917, William Terry Badham joined the French Air Service. After serving as an observer with two French Escadrilles, he flew Dorands with AR214 shortly before transferring to the United States Air Service in the summer of 1918. Assigned to the 91st Observation Squadron, he was credited with five victories while serving as a Salmson 2A2 observer. In October 1918, he scored his last four victories while flying with his commanding officer, Everett Cook. After the war Badham returned to Alabama where he worked in his father's coal mining business before founding the Naphthalene Products Company. A brigadier general during World War II, he served with the U.S. 8th Air Force in England and the Middle East.
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to William T. Badham, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Buzancy, France, October 23, 1918. First Lieutenant Badham gave proof of exceptional bravery while on a photographic mission 25 kilometers within the enemy lines. His plane was attacked, by a formation of 30 enemy aircraft. By skillful work with his machine-gun, Lieutenant Badham successfully repelled the attack and destroyed two German planes. At the same time he manipulated his camera and obtained photographs of great military value.