The Aerodrome Home Page
Aces of WWI
Aircraft of WWI
Books and Videos
The Aerodrome Forum
WWI Web Sites
Medals & Decorations
Search The Aerodrome
Today in History

Name: Reed Gresham Landis
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Reed Landis
Country: United States
Rank: Major
Services: Royal Air Force
United States Air Service
Units: 40 (RAF)
25th Aero (USAS)
Victories: 12
Born: 17 July 1896
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Illinois, USA
Died: 30 May 1975
Place of Death: Near Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA
Reed Gresham Landis was the son of Kenesaw Mountain Landis, a federal judge and the first commissioner of American professional baseball. After the war he became chairman of the American Legion and was a colonel with the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Reed Gresham Landis, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action west of Douai and south of Vitry, August 8, 1918; west of Brieve, August 12, 1918; and over Lens, August 13, 1918. During a general engagement west of Douai and south of Vitry on August 8, 1918, Captain Landis attacked and destroyed two enemy planes and one balloon in the course of a single flight. During a general engagement west of Brieve on August 12, 1918, he singled out an enemy plane and shot it down. While on patrol over Lens on August 13, 1918, he engaged four enemy triplanes and one biplane in decisive combat, and, despite the numerical superiority of the enemy, he destroyed two of their planes and forced the others to withdraw. On August 19, 1918, while leading a patrol of five planes he encountered and unhesitatingly attacked eight enemy Fokker scouts, one of which he shot down. During the combat several other enemy planes joined the action from above and observing one of these attacking a member of his patrol, he climbed up under it, and firing at point-blank range shot it down.
General Orders No. 8, W.D., 1934
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has carried out offensive patrols with marked determination and dash, and he has on all occasions engaged the enemy with marked skill and an entire disregard of personal danger. On 8 August 1918, he attacked an enemy kite balloon over Vitry-en-Artois. One observer jumped clear with a parachute and the balloon burst into flames and went down. Personally he has accounted for enemy aircraft as follows: On 8 August, during a general engagement west of Douai, he engaged a Fokker biplane and fired a short burst from point blank range. EA went down vertically after emitting a huge cloud of smoke and though the enemy machine was not seen to burst into flames, it was evidently on fire. He then attacked a balloon over Vitry but seeing a DFW below it, he attacked the EA instead. He fired a long burst from above; the enemy machine dived, started to spin and crashed on the southern edge of Vitry-en-Artois village. On 7 August, while on offensive patrol in the vicinity of Carvin, four enemy scouts were engaged. He selected one and fired about 300 rounds closing at short range. EA spiraled steeply, side-slipped at intervals and was seen to crash in the vicinity of Carvin. On 14 July, when on offensive patrol, he fired about 150 rounds into a Pfalz scout from 75 yards range. Enemy mahcine was observed to crash near Epinoy. In addition to the above, this officer has destroyed one EA and driven on down out of control.
DFC citation
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 08 May 1918 1745 40 S.E.5a (B189) Pfalz D.III (OOC) Vitry en Artois
2 19 May 1918 1855 40 S.E.5a (B178) Pfalz D.III (DES) Provin
3 14 Jul 1918 0730 40 S.E.5a (D6122) Pfalz D.III (DES) Epinoy
4 22 Jul 1918 0850 40 S.E.5a (E1318) Fokker D.VII (DES) Carvin
5 07 Aug 1918 1015 40 S.E.5a (E1318) LVG C (OOC) N of Pont a Vendin
6 08 Aug 1918 1035 40 S.E.5a (E1318) Fokker DR.I (DESF) W of Douai
7 08 Aug 1918 1045 40 S.E.5a (E1318) DFW C (DES) S of Vitry
8 08 Aug 1918 1047 40 S.E.5a (E1318) Balloon (DES) Vitry
9 12 Aug 1918 1000 40 S.E.5a (E1318) Fokker D.VII (DES) W of Mons
10 13 Aug 1918 1205 40 S.E.5a (E1318) Fokker D.VII (OOC) S of Lens
11 19 Aug 1918 1005 40 S.E.5a (E1318) Fokker D.VII (DES) Seclin-La Bassée
12 19 Aug 1918 1025 40 S.E.5a (E1318) Fokker DR.I (DES) W of Seclin
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)
Aces · Aircraft · Books · Forum · Help · Links · Medals · Search · Today