Victor M. Hasselman was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1885. He was born to an upper class family listed in Dau's blue book. The blue book contained "….selected names of Indianapolis and suburban towns: containing the names and addresses of prominent residents, arranged alphabetically and numerically by streets, also ladies' maiden names, receiving days, and other valuable social information".
In 1915 he enlisted into a Battery A of the Field Artillery Battalion, Indiana National Guard and was part of the troops called up to guard the US/Mexican border against the incursions of Pancho Villa. In June of 1916, he was promoted to Sergeant.
After America's entry into the War, Hasselman's National Guard unit, renamed as the 150th Field Artillery was assigned to the 42nd Division.
Hasselman, now an officer was assigned as an aerial observer. From his letters, I don't think he volunteered. Unlike many of the stories that you read about the glamour of flying, Hasselman doesn't seem to have cared for it. In his letters, he writes about his desire to return to the artillery. However, I believe he could have gotten out of his assignment as he wore glasses. Also he is not enamered with the pilots, writting that it is the observers that do all of the work and the pilots just drive them around.
Hasselman's assignments included an orientation assignment with a French squadron. His letters refers to a photo that he sent home of him in his "cork and leather helmet & "fur lined" pajamas"
He then serves with the 1st aero squadron, 88th aero squadron and finally assigned to the 6th Corps as the Adjutant of the 6th Corps Observation Group.
The grouping I have includes an unofficial log book, equipment stencil, promotion documents and around 20+ letters home. This was an eBay purchase several years ago, that I was quite pleased to win. Here are his flight log, and a few examples of his letters