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Claims Documentation
Claims Documentation
Frank Olynyk
Published by Frank_Olynyk
30 December 1998
Page 8

USAAmerican Air Service records are almost entirely contained within the Gorrell Reports. These are on about 60 reels of microfilm, available from the (U.S.) National Archives. Col. Gorrell gathered together as much of the daily reports for each squadron (aircraft and balloons) as he could find, and had almost all squadrons write some form of squadron history. So combat reports, reconnaissance reports, etc. are available for most of the time, for most of the units. U.S. units under British control (17 and 148 Aero Squadrons) followed British procedures, and in fact their victory claims appear in the RAF Communiques. U.S. units under French control followed French procedures, and their claims appear in the Resumées. Once U.S. units left French control, and were organized into Groups under American control, their victory credits appear in General Orders published by First and Second U.S. Armies. It should also be noted, for U.S. claims under French or American control, that failure to file a timely combat report with a claim against an enemy aircraft would cause the pilot to be excluded from consideration for victories during that combat. So pilots tended to file reports rather than be left out, which is one cause for the multiple shared claims. One aircraft found crashed on the ground, five pilots with claims to have sent an aircraft down (possibly out of control, but remember the French did not recognize OOC claims, just smashed airplanes), et voila, five victory credits! Credits for U.S. Navy or Marine pilots are scattered (and few); the Navy claims in France are all with British squadrons (ex-RNAS), as are most of the Marine claims. Marine claims with the Northern Bombardment Group are with that groups records. Claims in Italy are very few, and can usually be documented by award citatons (at least one Medal of Honor, in particular).

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