Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Lt Henry Clay pioneer WW1 Aviator DSC, DFC 43rd Sq RFC, 148th and 41st Squadron

Article about: I had previously posted Lt. Clay's wing badge on another thread, so I felt it was time for the rest of the story. Lt. Henry Clay is one of those early pioneer Aviators that trained and flew

  1. #1

    Default Lt Henry Clay pioneer WW1 Aviator DSC, DFC 43rd Sq RFC, 148th and 41st Squadron

    I had previously posted Lt. Clay's wing badge on another thread, so I felt it was time for the rest of the story. Lt. Henry Clay is one of those early pioneer Aviators that trained and flew with the British and then on to the American Air Service. He initially flew with the 43rd Squadron RFC and when the US entered the war he come over to the 148th Aero Squadron and eventually took command of the 43rd Aero Squadron. He was given credit for 8 1/2 kills. He died of flu complications shortly after taking command of the 48th in 1919. Attached are pictures of his uniform and a number of pictures of him during the war, a couple documents confirming his kills, a letter to his sister etc. Unfortunately the awards are replacements provided to the family after his death. His DSC would have been numbered #6293 and of course his DFC would have not been named or numbered.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 1.jpg 
Views:	222 
Size:	49.9 KB 
ID:	69470   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 2.jpg 
Views:	224 
Size:	64.0 KB 
ID:	69471  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 3.jpg 
Views:	232 
Size:	96.0 KB 
ID:	69472   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 4.jpg 
Views:	681 
Size:	54.9 KB 
ID:	69473  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 5.jpg 
Views:	191 
Size:	94.2 KB 
ID:	69474   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 6.jpg 
Views:	1413 
Size:	96.0 KB 
ID:	69475  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 9.jpg 
Views:	191 
Size:	85.6 KB 
ID:	69478   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 10.jpg 
Views:	172 
Size:	40.3 KB 
ID:	69479  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 11.jpg 
Views:	169 
Size:	42.9 KB 
ID:	69482   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 12.jpg 
Views:	168 
Size:	68.7 KB 
ID:	69483  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 13.jpg 
Views:	211 
Size:	64.9 KB 
ID:	69484   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 14.jpg 
Views:	156 
Size:	65.0 KB 
ID:	69485  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 15.jpg 
Views:	174 
Size:	97.5 KB 
ID:	69486   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 16.jpg 
Views:	145 
Size:	75.3 KB 
ID:	69487  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 17.jpg 
Views:	155 
Size:	84.5 KB 
ID:	69488   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay 18.jpg 
Views:	163 
Size:	72.4 KB 
ID:	69489  

    Last edited by Steven M; 12-14-2009 at 01:59 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lt Henry Clay pioneer WW1 Aviator DSC, DFC 43rd Sq RFC, 148th and 41st Squadron

    What a fantastic group!

    I am particually taken with the cap.

    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lt Henry Clay pioneer WW1 Aviator DSC, DFC 43rd Sq RFC, 148th and 41st Squadron

    Yet another fabulous addition Major.

    Reading the after action reports and the notice of award of the DSC really adds a new dimension of the sacrifice and courage demonstrated by these men. I know I sound like a broken record, but as many times as I see groupings like these, I am always filled with a sense of awe and respect for the individuals who willingly put their life at risk merely by straddling these flying coffins.

    I have gained a whole new understanding of how dangerous these planes were to fly even without the enemy firing at them after reading period books like "Contact" and "With the French Flying Corps" by men who actually flew. Just getting off the ground and back again in one piece during training was a feat of skill. To accomplish this, and then go on to fight not only your own machine, but the enemy as well, and live...well, that is the stuff of legend.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lt Henry Clay pioneer WW1 Aviator DSC, DFC 43rd Sq RFC, 148th and 41st Squadron

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    Yet another fabulous addition Major.

    Reading the after action reports and the notice of award of the DSC really adds a new dimension of the sacrifice and courage demonstrated by these men. I know I sound like a broken record, but as many times as I see groupings like these, I am always filled with a sense of awe and respect for the individuals who willingly put their life at risk merely by straddling these flying coffins.

    I have gained a whole new understanding of how dangerous these planes were to fly even without the enemy firing at them after reading period books like "Contact" and "With the French Flying Corps" by men who actually flew. Just getting off the ground and back again in one piece during training was a feat of skill. To accomplish this, and then go on to fight not only your own machine, but the enemy as well, and live...well, that is the stuff of legend.

    Steven,
    Thanks for the kind remarks.
    Yes they were certainly in a class of their own. I have talked at length with several vets prior to their passing and it was hard to fathom what they experienced. More WW1 pilots were killed trying to take off and land than were lost to combat. It was not uncommon for a pilot with 6 or 7 hours to find himself facing off with a german airman. They never understood the effects of high altitude flying and wondered why they couldn't perform the most simple task while flying at 16,000 feet. I asked Lt. Mero why I could never find an aviators tunic with matching trousers. He said the only way I would find that is if it was a uniform he purchased to come home in. Seems they lubricated the engines with caster oil and the pilots would breath the fumes coming from the engine while flying, which resulted in montezuma's revenge which in turn ruined many a pair of trousers. One doesn't hear details like that in the history book.

    Terry

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lt Henry Clay pioneer WW1 Aviator DSC, DFC 43rd Sq RFC, 148th and 41st Squadron

    Quote by hawk3370 View Post
    Steven,
    Thanks for the kind remarks.
    Yes they were certainly in a class of their own. I have talked at length with several vets prior to their passing and it was hard to fathom what they experienced. More WW1 pilots were killed trying to take off and land than were lost to combat. It was not uncommon for a pilot with 6 or 7 hours to find himself facing off with a german airman. They never understood the effects of high altitude flying and wondered why they couldn't perform the most simple task while flying at 16,000 feet. I asked Lt. Mero why I could never find an aviators tunic with matching trousers. He said the only way I would find that is if it was a uniform he purchased to come home in. Seems they lubricated the engines with caster oil and the pilots would breath the fumes coming from the engine while flying, which resulted in montezuma's revenge which in turn ruined many a pair of trousers. One doesn't hear details like that in the history book.

    Terry
    What I wouldn't give to have a long face to face with one of those fellows. I think I could listen to them tell of their experiences indefinitely. I look at my Lt. Charles Hill grouping and "regret" that I never knew him or had the chance to talk to him before his passing in 1994...to think that he was alive the same year I was married. what added meaning I would have in the grouping if I were able to speak with him.

    I must admit that I had never heard the bit of information on the pants, but now that you mention it, that makes perfect sense. As if these guys didn't have enough to contend with already...wow.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •