One of the few American observers to become an ace, Arthur Edmond Easterbrook, the son of Major E. P. Easterbrook of Fort Flagler, Washington, enlisted on 17 August 1917. After serving with a squadron of the Royal Air Force, he was reassigned to the 1st Observation Squadron of the United States Air Service in August 1918. An observer on Salmson 2A2s, he scored his first four victories in October 1918 while flying with William Erwin. Scoring his fifth victory on 4 November 1918, Easterbrook became an ace after shooting down a Fokker D.VII near Vaux. During World War II he served on the staff of General H. H. (Hap) Arnold, chief of the Army Air Corps, and later was commander of the Air Force Western Training Command
and commander of the Santa Ana Air Base in California. He retired with the rank of Brigadier General on 21 August 1946. Paralysed in a fall from an avocado tree on 21 January 1950, he was confined to a wheelchair until he succumbed to a heart attack in the summer of 1952 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach, California. He was 58.
Appears as Arthur Edmund Easterbrook in medal citations and other sources.
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Arthur Edmund Easterbrook, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near St. Mihiel, France, September 12, 1918. Because of intense aerial activity on the opening day of the St. Mihiel offensive, Lieutenant Easterbrook, observer, and Second Lieutenant Ralph E. De Castro, pilot, volunteered to fly over the enemy's lines on a photographic mission without the usual protection of accompanying planes. Notwithstanding the low-hanging clouds, which necessitated operation at an altitude of only 400 meters, they penetrated 4 kilometers beyond the German lines. Attacked by four enemy machines, they fought off their foes, completed their photographic mission, and returned safely.
General Orders No. 116, W.D., 1919
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Oak Leaf Cluster
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Arthur Edmund Easterbrook, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Exermont and Varennes, France, October 8, 1918. Lieutenant Easterbrook, with Lieutenant Erwin, pilot, successfully carried out a mission of locating our Infantry, despite five encounters with enemy planes. During these encounters he broke up a formation of three planes, sending one down out of control; killed or wounded an observer in an encounter with another formation; and sent a biplane crashing to the ground, besides driving away a formation of two planes and several single machines.