From Memphis, Tennessee, Everett Richard Cook, the son of Jesse E. Cook, enlisted in the United States Air Service on 4 June 1917. Graduating from the School of Military Aeronautics at Champaign, Illinois on 8 August 1917, he was ordered to Chanute Field for preliminary flight training. In November, he was ordered to Garden City, Long Island for overseas assignment and was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the aviation section of the Officers' Signal Reserve Corps. Arriving in France, he received advanced flight training at Issoudun before reporting for duty with the 1st Observation Group in Amanty on 15 February 1918. After completing an aerial gunnery course at Casaux in March, Cook was reassigned to the 91st Aero Squadron on 1 April 1918. Having been appointed Flight Commander on 10 August 1918, Cook assumed command of the squadron on 31 August 1918. Flying Salmson two-seaters, he and his observers shot down one Pfalz D.III and four Fokker D.VIIs during September and October of 1918. Discharged from active duty on 15 August 1919, Cook returned to Memphis where he later became a member of the Cotton Exchange and served as its president in 1931. During World War II, he returned to active duty, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. 8th Air Force in England. Following World War II, he joined his friend Edward Rickenbacker at Eastern Airlines in 1946, serving first as a board member and later as director. Cook eventually retired from the Air Force reserve having attained the rank of Brigadier General.
The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, Tuesday Morning, 12 November 1968, page 23
The Evening Times, Trenton, New Jersey, Tuesday, 22 January 1974, page 4
The Greensboro Record, Greensboro, North Carolina, Tuesday, 22 January 1974, page A14
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Everett Richard Cook, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Damvillers, France, September 26, 1918. While on a photographic mission in the vicinity of Damvillers which necessitated a penetration of 20 kilometers within the enemy lines, Captain Cook was attacked by seven enemy pursuit planes, and his plane was riddled with bullets. In spite of the attack he continued on his mission, turning only for our lines when his observer had secured photographs of great military value. In the combat one enemy aircraft was destroyed.