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Name: Eugene Seeley Coler
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Eugene Seeley Coler
Country: United States
Rank: Lieutenant
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 11
Victories: 16
Born: 13 January 1896
Place of Birth: Newark, New Jersey, USA
Died: 30 August 1953
Place of Death: Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England
Cemetery: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York, USA Image
 
 
In 1917, Eugene Seeley Coler, the son of William and Lillie (Seeley) Coler, was a medical student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and a sergeant instructor in the Canadian Field Artillery. The following year, with the Royal Flying Corps, he was assigned to 11 Squadron as a Bristol Fighter pilot. On 13 August 1918, he and his observer shot down five Fokker D.VIIs in three minutes of fierce fighting over Péronne. Wounded in action by Jasta 2 on 16 September 1918, Coler always shot down two or more aircraft at a time. After the war, he married Helen Feur on 28 June 1919, became a physician and served with the United States Army Air Corps in Africa, Italy and England during World War II. Colonel Coler rejoined the United States Air Force in 1951 and was stationed in England with the Medical Corps, 7th Air Division when he died in 1953.

 
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. (A./Capt.) Eugene Seeley Coler. (FRANCE)
   Bold in attack and skilful in manoeuvre, this officer never hesitates to engage the enemy regardless of disparity in numbers. On 13th August when on escort duty, he dived on a formation of twenty enemy aeroplanes. In the engagement that ensued he himself destroyed three and his observer two—making a total of five machines destroyed in the fight; a fine performance, reflecting great credit on the officers concerned.
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 09 May 1918 1220 11 Bristol F.2b (C792) 1 Pfalz D.III (OOC) Albert-Combles
2 09 May 1918 1220 11 Bristol F.2b (C792) 1 Pfalz D.III (OOC) Albert-Combles
3 09 May 1918 1220 11 Bristol F.2b (C792) 1 Pfalz D.III (OOC) Albert-Combles
4 13 Aug 1918 0840 11 Bristol F.2b (D7912) 1 Fokker D.VII (DES) Péronne
5 13 Aug 1918 0840 11 Bristol F.2b (D7912) 1 Fokker D.VII (OOC) Péronne
6 13 Aug 1918 0841 11 Bristol F.2b (D7912) 1 Fokker D.VII (OOC) Péronne
7 13 Aug 1918 0842 11 Bristol F.2b (D7912) 1 Fokker D.VII (DES) Péronne
8 13 Aug 1918 0842 11 Bristol F.2b (D7912) 1 Fokker D.VII (DES) Péronne
9 30 Aug 1918 1840 11 Bristol F.2b (E2215) 2 Fokker D.VII (DES) NW of Havrincourt
10 30 Aug 1918 1840 11 Bristol F.2b (E2215) 2 Pfalz D.XII (DES) NW of Havrincourt
11 06 Sep 1918 1030 11 Bristol F.2b (E2215) 3 Fokker D.VII (DES) W of Cambrai
12 06 Sep 1918 1030 11 Bristol F.2b (E2215) 3 Fokker D.VII (DES) W of Cambrai
13 15 Sep 1918 1200 11 Bristol F.2b (E2215) 4 Fokker D.VII (DES) W of Esnes
14 15 Sep 1918 1200 11 Bristol F.2b (E2215) 4 Fokker D.VII (DES) E of Esnes
15 16 Sep 1918 0830 11 Bristol F.2b (E2215) 4 Pfalz D.XII (DES) E of Cambrai
16 16 Sep 1918 0830 11 Bristol F.2b (E2215) 4 Fokker D.VII (DES) E of Cambrai

1 Observer Lt Cyril William Gladman
2 Observer Lt B E J D Tuke
3 Observer Lt D P Conyngham
4 Observer Lt E J Corbett
 
Books
American Aces of World War 1
by Norman Franks, Harry Dempsey (Illustrator) / Paperback / Osprey Publishing (September 25, 2001)
Bristol F 2 Fighter Aces of World War 1
by Jon Guttman / Paperback / Osprey Publishing (September 18, 2007)
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
In Clouds of Glory: American Airmen Who Flew With The British During The Great War
by James J. Hudson / Paperback / University of Arkansas Press (October 1, 1990)
 
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