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Combat Record

DAYTON, Ohio -- SPAD XIII at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- SPAD XIII at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The combat record of the relatively small Air Service, AEF, was most impressive. It had logged thousands of combat sorties, flown 150 bombing missions, taken more than 18,000 photos of enemy positions, and had shot down 781 aircraft and 73 observation balloons. Lastly, 72 Air Service flyers had become "aces" by shooting down at least five enemy planes and balloons.

This success was not without its price. The U.S. lost 289 planes in combat, including 57 piloted by U.S. Air Service flyers attached to British and French units on the Western Front and to Italian units flying against the Austrians over the Alps. Personnel losses were heavy -- 237 U.S. flyers gave their lives in action while 279 were wounded.

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