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Name: Hilbert Leigh Bair
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC - United States)
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Hilbert Bair
Country: United States
Rank: Lieutenant
Service: United States Air Service
Units: 24 (RAF)
25th Aero (USAS)
Victories: 6
Born: 15 November 1894
Place of Birth: New York, New York, USA
Died: 24 November 1985
Place of Death: Hawaii, USA
Cemetery: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Section CT2-D Row 400 Site 423
 
 
A graduate of Cornell University's School of Military Aeronautics, Hilbert Leigh Bair joined the United States Air Service on 18 July 1917. To gain combat experience, he was attached to the Royal Air Force in July 1918. Flying the S.E.5a with 24 Squadron, Bair scored his first victory on 10 August 1918, becoming an ace in less than a month. In October 1918, he rejoined the United States Air Service, serving with the 25th Aero Squadron until the end of the war. During World War II, Bair served with the United States Army Air Corps and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
The Sunday Repository, Canton, Ohio, Sunday, 10 November 1918, page 1
 
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
For conspicuous bravery and skill in attacking enemy aircraft and troops on the ground. On 15 September 1918, he and another pilot attacked an enemy two-seater, which after considerable fighting, they drove down and crashed near Honnecourt Wood. On 16 September [1918], he engaged and drove down, completely out of control, an enemy two-seater southeast of Cambrai. On 30 August 1918, he performed brilliant and valuable work attacking and silencing an enemy battery west of Bouvincourt. When this battery reopened fire, he again attacked it and after silencing it, stampeded the battery. In all, he has destroyed or taken part in the destruction of three enemy aircraft besides driving down two others completely out of control. His work in attacking ground targets has been of the greatest value.
DFC citation
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 10 Aug 1918 0750 24 S.E.5a (C1945) Fokker D.VII (OOC) 1 NE of Rosières
2 19 Aug 1918 1130 24 S.E.5a (B8505) Fokker D.VII (DES) Fresnoy
3 19 Aug 1918 1130 24 S.E.5a (B8505) Fokker D.VII (OOC) 2 Fresnoy
4 30 Aug 1918 0630 24 S.E.5a (B8505) Albatros C (DES) 3 Bus
5 08 Sep 1918 0820 24 S.E.5a (B8505) Fokker D.VII (DES) N of St. Quentin
6 15 Sep 1918 1855 24 S.E.5a (B8505) Hannover CL (DES) 4 Honnecourt Wood
u/c 16 Sep 1918 24 S.E.5a (B8505) Two-seater (DD) 5 SE of Cambrai

1 Shared with Capt Wilfred Selwyn, Lt T M Harris, Lt William Lambert
2 Shared with Capt Wilfred Selwyn
3 Shared with Lt Horace Barton, Lt T M Harris
4 Shared with Capt Horace Barton
5 Shared with Capt Horace Barton, Lt W C Sterling, Lt R K Rose
 
Books
Franks, Norman. American Aces of World War 1. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2001
Franks, Norman and Frank Bailey. Over the Front: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914-1918. London: Grub Street, 1992
 
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