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Name: Thomas Gantz Cassady
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) with Oak Leaf Cluster
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
Croix de Guerre with 3 Palms and 1 Star
Thomas Cassady
Country: United States
Rank: Captain
Services: French Air Service
United States Air Service
Units: Spa157, Spa163 (FAS)
28th Aero, 103rd Aero (USAS)
Victories: 9
Born: 05 January 1896
Place of Birth: Freedom, Indiana, USA
Died: 09 July 1972
Place of Death: Lake Forest, Illinois, USA
Cemetery:: Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Born on a farm in southern Indiana, Thomas Gantz Cassady enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1914 but left school in 1916 to join the United States Ambulance Service during Christmas vacation in 1916. Sailing from New York, he arrived at the front on 3 February 1917. After serving in the Champagne, Chemin des Dames and Argonne sectors, he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion. In July 1917, he transferred to the French Air Service receiving his flight training at Avord, Tours, Pau and Plessis-Belleville. Breveted on 6 October 1917, Sergeant Cassady was posted to Spa157 on 26 December 1917. In February 1918, he joined the United States Air Service and after serving with the 103rd Aero Squadron, he was attached to Spa163 on 14 May 1918. The highest scoring ace in this escadrille, Cassady scored 5 victories as a SPAD pilot. On 8 September 1918, he was reassigned to the 28th Aero Squadron where he scored 4 more victories flying the SPAD XIII. Cassady was promoted to Captain in March 1919. In 1926 he formed an investment firm in Chicage. As an officer in the OSS during World War II, he worked closely with the French underground until detained by the Germans in 1942. Released in 1944, he was sent to Algiers where he resumed undercover assignments in preparation for the Normandy invasion. With the liberation of Paris, Cassady returned to that city to serve as chief intelligence officer. Following the war, he joined the Chicago investment firm, Farwell-Chapman and Company, and in 1953 he took over the American Wringer Company plant at Waterloo, Iowa. Later, he became chairman of the board of directors of the Chamberlain Corporation and was its largest single stockholder. He died at his home in Lake Forest, Illinois. He was survived by his widow, Elizabeth and a sister, Mrs. I. P. Swain. Cassady was 76.
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Thomas G. Cassady, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Fismes, May 29, 1918, and near Epieds, France, June 5, 1918. On May 29, 1918, Lieutenant Cassady, single-handed, attacked an Lvg. German plane which crashed near Fismes. On June 5, 1918, as patrol leader of five spades, while being attacked by 12 German Fokkers, he brought down one of the enemy planes near Epieds and by his dash and courage broke the enemy formation.
General Orders No. 138, W.D., 1918
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Oak Leaf Cluster
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Thomas G. Cassady, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action on August 15, 1918, near St. Maire. While in action as protection for a Salmson, First Lieutenant Cassady was attacked by seven Fokkers, two of which he brought down and enabled the Salmson to accomplish its mission and return safely.
General Orders No. 138, W.D., 1918
Légion d'Honneur
He came to serve France at a time when there was no military obligation or compulsion. Object of a brilliant citation and gravely wounded in the Medical Section. He has since passed to aviation where he is indispensible in turn by the greatness of his character, his skill as a pilot, and his absolute disregard for danger. Officially credited with five enemy planes.
Légion d'Honneur citation
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 28 May 1918 1330 Spa163   LVG C 1 Savigny
2 05 Jun 1918 Spa163   Albatros D.V Epieds
3 23 Jun 1918 Spa163   Halberstadt CL.II 2 Ferte Gaucher
u/c 29 Jul 1918 1745 Spa163   Two-seater Cornilette
u/c 01 Aug 1918 1150 Spa163   Two-seater 3 Montspar
4 11 Aug 1918 1205 Spa163   Two-seater 4 Betheniville
5 15 Aug 1918 Spa163   Fokker D.VII 5 St. Marie-a-Py
u/c 15 Aug 1918 Spa163   Fokker D.VII 5 St. Marie-a-Py
6 14 Sep 1918 0733 28th   Fokker D.VII 6 Villers-sur-Troy
7 26 Sep 1918 0723 28th   Fokker D.VII St. Marie-a-Py
8 02 Oct 1918 1750 28th   Halberstadt C 7 Iviory
9 27 Oct 1918 1500 28th   Two-seater 8 Briquesny

1 Shared with Lt William Ponder, Cpl Dequeker
2 Shared with Sgt M Guillet, Sgt S Lederlin
3 Shared with Sgt James Connelly, Sgt A A Cook
4 Shared with Lt William Ponder, Sgt A A Cook
5 Shared with Sgt James Connelly, Sgt Penevynick
6 Shared with Lt H C Allen, Lt E J Hardy, Lt W T Jebb, Lt C I Merrick, Lt L P Moriarty
7 Shared with Lt J R Hardendorf, Lt E J Hardy, Lt W T Jebb, Lt J F Merrill, Lt A H Smith, Lt Martinius Stenseth
8 Shared with Lt B E Brown, Lt George Furlow
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)
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