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Old 15 January 2005, 01:19 PM   #1
pysonya
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Lt. Ernest A. Love of Prescott AZ

Hi all, I'm a newbie to this forum. This is my first post.

I own a flying business at "Ernest A. Love Field" the Prescott Arizona municipal airport. I'm trying to find information about our airport's namesake, US Army 1st Lt. Ernest A. Love.

The best information I have found so far indicates he was with "A" flight of the 147th pursuit squadron, flying out of Rembercourt. He apparantly was shot down in a SPAD on September 15th, 1918 near Tronville while on the way to Verdun.

He died of wounds on September 16, 1918 while in captivity.

Any information anyone can contribute would be appreciated. It seems strange to me how little seems to be known about the last hours of this young man. He is standing far right in the group photo.
Thanks,
Dan
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Old 15 January 2005, 05:47 PM   #2
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...some additional info...

I found an online history of the 1st Pursuit Group at WW1 1918 historical timeline for 1st Fighter Group
which shows: "16 September 1918 17th - First Lieutenant Ernest A. Love killed in action near Verdun".

The "17th" is presumably a reference to the 17th Aero Squadron. There is a book about the 17th entitled "The Camel Drivers" which I have, and it is fascinating, but contains no reference I can find to Lt. Love. Might this be a simple error, or might he have been detached to the 17th?

Does anyone have access to German kill claims that might shed any info on his loss on the 15th or 16th?

Local popular legend has him going down in a SPAD. Any info on markings or serial number would be appreciated. Sorry I'm such a newbie at this sort of research; any assistance at all will be helpful. Thanks,
Dan
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Old 4 February 2005, 02:19 PM   #3
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found some info

Hi,

Ernie Love is apparantly a more obscure fellow than I had guessed.

On the "Great War" forum I got some precious information from "Dolphin." He tells me: "German pilot Vizefeldwebel Josef Hohly of Jasta 65 was credited with a victory after bringing down 1st Lt E A Love's SPAD near St Rémy on 15 September. It was Hohly's 7th, and last, victory of the War; he was wounded in action and crashed on 2 October."

Wow, that's way more than I knew before. If anybody else has got anything else on this I'd sure appreciate it. For example, what aircraft was Jasta 65 flying in mid-September 1918? Colors, markings? Pic or any more info on Josef Hohley?

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 4 February 2005, 05:14 PM   #4
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Hi,

He gained Aero Club of America pilot certificate no. 978. No date I'm afraid, but probably around late 1917 or early 1918.
That's all I know about the chap.
Matt.
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Old 5 February 2005, 09:24 AM   #5
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I can’t really take credit for much of what follows, it’s all published information, mostly from folks on this forum, but here goes.

Lt. Earnest A. Love arroved at the 147th on 24 July 1918. I do not have any information about his prior training assignments. I do concure with MattyB that he earned ACA certificate #978. The only hint of his training here is that most – but certainly not all – of the US pilots who received ACA certificates trained in the US. A confirmation of sorts is that in the group photo, the wing appears to be a Curtiss Jenny. Probably a more sharp eyed forumite can confirm (or refute) that.

If this is true for Love, then he certainly attended one of the 7 Schools of Military Aeronautics (ground school) in the U.S. I only have the complete student roster for Princeton and can say he did not attend there.

I also have a hard copy of the 1st PG War Diary you found on-line and the reference to the “17th” is a typo. Love was never with the 17th. The only mention of him in my copy is the 15th September. If you contact the 1st Fighter Group Historian at Langley AFB they may be able to get you a copy (theoretically without typos !).

The 1st PG Operations office issued orders on the 15th
Called for each squadron to send patrols of 2 echelons of 6 a/c each, the morning patrol scheduled for 9H30 to 11h00. The lower echelon at 2500-3500 Metere and the upper from 3500-5500 meters patrolling from Chatillion-sous-les-Cotes to Etain-de-Lachausee.

Operations Office of the 147th Issued daily report #99 on the 15th:

1. Patrol, 8 planes, Lieut. Brotherton (leader), Jones, O’Neill, Simonds, Muther, K.L. Porter, Willard and Love. Altitude 3,500 meters. Visibility good. Mission. Patrol lines between Chatillion sous-les-Cotes to Etang-de-Lachausee. Time 9h30-11h20.

The rest of the report is tidbits of what each some of the pilots reported, fires in such-and such a town, etc. Love is reported simply as “Lieut. E.A. Love has not yet returned from this patrol, nor has word been heard of his whereabouts.”

Many EA and Allied aircraft were reportedly seen, but no combats reported by 147th pilots. Judging by that, and the fact that no one saw Love go down, I would say he was separated from the patrol for one reason or another. Chatillion-sure-les Cotes is a couple of kilometers ESE of Verdun and Etang about 22 km SE of Chattilion. Remy is somewhat west of this line, about 10 km directly south of Chatillion. Not far off the track, but not precisely along the patrol line.

If as you say he was shot down at Tronville, he was far from the patrol area. Tronville is just 2 km SE of Mars-le-Tour –itself about 10 km NE of Etang-de-Lechaussee - where Js. 65 was stationed. They also seem to have vacated Mars-le Tour that day for Marville. He was flying SPAD XIII Serial 15221 when shot down either at St. Remy or Tronville as you wrote. If at St. Remy, then he was apparently by Hohly for his 7th victory. I have no information about the markings on this airplane but I’m believe it was a Bleriot built machine

It’s always dicey to try to match victory claims with losses on either side since the records are not always complete as to time and location. Given the known German claims that day, Hohly seems the best fit, but there is not time quoted for his claim and if your information about the location is correct, this is nowhere near St. Remy.

If I recall correctly, the Gorrell Reports for the 147th are pretty complete. You may want to contact the National Archives to obtain a copy.

Vizefeldwbel Josef Hohly - trained at Jastaschule III and assigned to Jasta 29 on 8 December 1917 – 8 Feb 1918. Transferred to newly formed Jasta 65. Scored 7 victories with 65 including Lt. Love on the 15th of September. WIA 2 October 1918.

I should probably leave the markings and aircraft to the more knowledgeable, but I believe Jasta 65 was flying Fokker D.VII’s by this time. One example was “captured” by the 95th Aero Squadron and it’s now at NASM in Washington. Markings are grey fuselage and brown horizontal stabilizer and elevators. Another known example shows the same markings so it’s likely the grey fuselage and brown tail were the unit livery.

That's all I could gather in an hour - hope it helps.
Michael O'Neal
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Last edited by ONEALM; 5 February 2005 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 5 February 2005, 04:27 PM   #6
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Michael,

Thanks a bunch. That's an absolute treasure of information given how very little I knew beforehand. Even his airplane's serial number! Thanks for digging all that up for me.

I have a flight school at Prescott's "Love Field" where college-age student pilots are training in Pipers and Cessnas which have performance not all that very different from the SPADs and Fokkers of their grandparent's or great-grandparent's generation.

While there are a few buffs among them, I'm surprised to see how few of them know anything at all about WWI avaition. I'd like to change that. I'm hoping the tie to Ernie Love will help build a bridge back to those days and deeds.
Thanks again.
Dan
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Old 5 February 2005, 07:07 PM   #7
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Hey, didn't I see some yellow & blue (i.e., Lufthansa) Bonanzas at Love Field? Maybe some of those Embry Riddle chaps have contacts in The Old Country.
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Old 5 February 2005, 08:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyBoy
Hi,

He gained Aero Club of America pilot certificate no. 978. No date I'm afraid, but probably around late 1917 or early 1918.
Date listed in Aero Club of America record books is 11-28-17.
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Old 7 February 2005, 10:22 AM   #9
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Dan -

My pleasure to add to the students knowledge of Lt. Love. I took my ticket in 1979 at a similar field run by Mercer County College here in N.J. A good friend of mine, a painter and 737 pilot for Continental trained at Love back around the same time. He went commercial (obviously), I just toodle around in a '46 J-3 now and enjoy the view.

I'm not suprised the student pilots know little about the Great War - it was just the opposite when I was training - my instructors knew virtually nothing with one exception - a WW II Corsair pilot who seemed to know most everything about - well, everything. A great instructor. I made sure enyone in my class knew as much as they could stand to listen to.

I know it's a long shot with the name LOVE being fairly common, but have you tried contacting the family ? I found pretty good success with my NJ project this way and it has lead to some excellent material never before seen outside the families.

Keep at it,
Mike
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Old 7 February 2005, 11:10 AM   #10
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Love Field, Dallas?

pysonya:
I wonder if Love Field, Dallas is named after the same pilot from 147th Pursuit Squadron?
Blue skies,
Dan-San
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