Edgar Gardner Tobin joined the United States Army Signal Corps, Aviation Section, at Austin, Texas in May 1917. In July 1917, upon completion of ground school training at the University of Texas, he was sent overseas and received flight training in France. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 12 December 1917 and, following gunnery training in January 1918, he was joined the 94th Aero Squadron on 7 March 1918. Tobin was transferred to the 103rd Aero Squadron on 2 April 1918 and appointed Flight Commander in July 1918. He scored six victories flying the SPAD XIII and was the third highest scoring ace of his unit. After returning to the United States in December 1918, he was assigned to Kelly Field where he served as assistant to the officer in charge, Major Russell.
Post-war, Edgar Tobin returned to San Antonio, Texas and, for a time, sold cars. In 1928 he formed Edgar Tobin Aerial Surverys, the largest aerial mapping firm in the world, and devoted most of his working life to aerial mapping systems for the oil industry. On 10 January 1954, returning from a duck hunting trip in snowy weather, he and eleven others perished when their Grumman Mallard crashed into a vacant house near Wallace Lake.
The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Tuesday, 12 January 1954, page 1
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edgar Gardner Tobin, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Vieville, France, July 16, 1918. While leading a patrol of three machines in the region of Vieville, First Lieutenant Tobin attacked an enemy formation of six single-seaters. He destroyed two himself and forced down a third out of control.