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Name: Harold Robert Buckley
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) with Oak Leaf Cluster
Croix de Guerre
Harold Buckley
Country: United States
Rank: Captain
Service: United States Air Service
Units: 95th Aero
Victories: 5
Born: 04 April 1896
Place of Birth: Westfield, Massachusetts, USA
Died: 13 June 1958
Place of Death: Rigby, Idaho, USA
 
 
   Harold Robert Buckley, of Agawam, Massachusetts, was one of two aces who attended Phillips Academy, Andover. He went overseas with the Andover Ambulance Unit in April 1917 but wanted to do more:
   “The sight of old, tired men, as old as our fathers, covered with mud and carrying a pack of heavy equipment, dragging themselves along the roads to and from the trenches, was too much for us, and practically all of us have changed, or soon will, from the field service to something else where we can feel that we are doing all we can, and not merely a part.” 1
   On 25 October 1917 he enlisted in the United States Signal Corps, Aviation Section. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 12 December 1917 and in March 1918 he was assigned to the 95th Aero Squadron at Toul. The other Andover ace, James Knowles, would join the same squadron three months later. With the 95th, Buckley scored 5 victories and was promoted to Captain on 1 November 1918 when he wrote:
   “Of the twenty aviators in my squadron who started with me at the front, there are only five left, including myself... I am now an ace, with five official victories to my credit.”
   Buckley returned to the United States in March 1919. Published in 1933, his book, entitled "Squadron 95," was illustrated by another American ace, Lansing Holden.

1 Claude M. Fuess, Phillips Academy Andover in the Great War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1919) 180.
 
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Harold Robert Buckley, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Perle, France, August 10, 1918. Lieutenant Buckley was on a patrol protecting a French biplane observation machine, when they were suddenly set upon by six enemy planes. Lieutenant Buckley attacked and destroyed the nearest, and the remainder fled into their own territory. He then carried on with his mission until he had escorted the allied plane safely to its own aerodrome.
General Orders No. 138, W.D., 1919
 
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Oak Leaf Cluster
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Harold Robert Buckley, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Neville, France, and Boureuilles, France, September 16 - 27, 1918. Lieutenant Buckley dived through a violent and heavy antiaircraft and machine-gun fire and set on fire an enemy balloon that was being lowered to its nest. On the next day, while leading a patrol, he met and sent down in flames an enemy plane while it was engaged in reglage work.
General Orders No. 138, W.D., 1919
 
French Croix de Guerre
Pilote de chasse et chef de patrouille calme et déterminé. A attaqué des avions et des ballons et mitraillé des troupes à terre à faible altitude. Le 30 mai, 1918, a, avec sa patrouille livré combat à deux avions ennemis dont l'un fut abattu, l'autre forcé de descendre désemparé.
general order of the Army
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 30 May 1918 0800 95th   Two-seater 1 Apremont-Jaulny
2 10 Aug 1918 95th   Fokker D.VII Perles
3 26 Sep 1918 0605 95th   Balloon 2 Reville
4 27 Sep 1918 1814 95th   Rumpler C 3 Montfaucon
5 27 Sep 1918 1925 95th   Rumpler C 3 Fleville

1 Shared with Lt W V Casgrain, Lt J A Hambleton, Lt S E McKeown, Lt J L Mitchell
2 Shared with Lt A H McLanahan
3 Shared with Lt T F Butz, Lt Edward Curtis, Lt H J Popperfuss, Lt G O Woodward
 
Books
American Aces of World War 1
by Norman Franks, Harry Dempsey (Illustrator) / Paperback / Osprey Publishing (September 25, 2001)
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
Squadron 95 (Literature and History of Aviation Series)
Harold Buckley / Hardcover / Ayer Co Pub 1971
 
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