Remains of the Pfalz D.III shot down in flames by Lt. Campbell one minute after Lt. Winslow had scored his victory. The French hauled the burnt remains to the square in Toul for display. On May 31, 1918, Lt. Campbell became the first U.S.-trained pilot to receive official credit for his fifth victory, thus becoming an "ace." (U.S. Air Force photo)
Lt. Winslow stands by the Albatross D.V he shot down, the first enemy aircraft officially destroyed in combat by a U.S. Air Service pilot in the American sector. On July 31, 1918, Lt. Winslow was shot down, seriously wounded and captured. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The first U.S. Air Service aerial victories by fighter planes in the American sector in France were by Lts. Alan Winslow and Douglas Campbell, two pilots of the 94th Aero Squadron, which had just been transferred to the Front. On Sunday morning, April 14, 1918, they were on "alert" at Gengoult Aerodrome near Toul, France. German planes were reported in the area and the two U.S. pilots, completely inexperienced in aerial combat, took off in their Nieuport 28s. Almost immediately they saw two German aircraft and attacked them directly over the flying field at less than 1,000 feet altitude, in full view of not only the Americans at Gengoult Aerodrome, but of the French citizens of Toul. Winslow and Campbell shot down two German airplanes and were back on the ground in a matter of minutes. This initial fighter combat by the U.S. Air Service, although probably successful due as much to luck as skill, convinced the French people that the Americans were "super-human."
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