A SPAD XIII pilot from Madison, North Carolina, Robert Opie Lindsay was the son of Mrs. N. H. Lindsay of Madison, North Carolina. He joined the United States Signal Corps in 1917. Following preliminary training, he sailed for France where he served with the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center at Issoudun. Reassigned to the 139th Aero Squadron in 1918, he was wounded in action on the opening day of the St. Mihiel offensive. Recovering from his wounds in less than a week, he scored his first victories on the afternoon of 18 September 1918, shooting down two Pfalz D.IIIs over Pagny-sur-Moselle. By the end of October 1918, Lindsay scored four more victories and became the third highest scoring ace in his squadron. During World War II he served with the U.S. Army Air Corp and was commanding officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He retired in 1945 with the rank of Colonel. A founding member of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (forerunner to the Federal Aviation Administration), Lindsay assisted in the development of Berry Field in Nashville, Tennessee and remained actively involved in civil aeronautics throughout much of his life.
The San Diego Union, San Diego, California, Sunday Morning, 3 August 1952, page A16
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Robert Opie Lindsay, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Bantheville, France, October 27, 1918. In company with two other planes, Lieutenant Lindsay attacked three enemy planes (Fokker type) at an altitude of 3,000 meters, and after a sharp fight brought down one of them. While engaged with the two remaining machines, eight more planes (Fokker type) came at him from straight ahead. He flew straight through their formation, gained an advantageous position, and brought down another plane before he withdrew from the combat.