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History of the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron

History of the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron

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Published by: TDRSS on Jul 29, 2010
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10/25/2012

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HISTORYOF THE99
TH
RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON
ByCoy F. Cross II9
th
Reconnaissance Wing History Office
 
Table of Contents
The Great War ………………………………………………………………………………….... 2World War II …………………………………………………………………………………….. 5The Birth of the Air Force ………………………………………………………………………. 8Strategic Reconnaissance, Again ………………………………………………………………... 9Lineage …………………………………………………………………………………………. 12Emblem …………………………………………………………….………...………………. 1399
th
Squadron Commanders ……………………………………………………….…………… 14Squadron Aircraft …………………………………………………………….………………… 18Decorations …………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
i
 
The Great War
Organized as the 99
th
Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas on 21 August1917, the 99
th
moved to Garden City, New Jersey in Early November and sailed for France on 14 November. After training in the Sopwith and the Salmson, thesquadron began flying combat missions in June 1918. In July the 99
th
’s 3
rd
Flight,consisting of seven Salmsons, seven pilots, seven observers and their maintenancecrews moved from Luxouil-les-Bains, France to Dogneville. The flight, assignedto the 33
rd
French Corps, flew reconnaissance missions and directed artillery fire insupport of U.S. Army, 5
th
Division’s offensive against German soldiers entrenchedat Frapelle.From Dogneville, the 3
rd
Flight flew photographic missions more than 40kilometers behind enemy lines. No other unit, in this sector, had ever  photographed deeper than ten kilometers before. When the 5
th
Division began itsattack on 17 August 1918, the 3
rd
kept two aircraft airborne throughout the day.One observed enemy positions and directed artillery fire. The other maintainedcontact with Allied infantry and advised headquarters of the line-of-advance.Since the ground troops never displayed panels to show their position, pilots oftenhad to fly low enough to distinguish between friendly and enemy uniforms. Thisexposed the aircraft and crew to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. Contact crewsoften aided the ground offensive by attacking machine-gun sites and firing atenemy troops. After the successful offensive, 3
rd
Flight crews photographed thenew front lines.Observers developed an effective means of communicating their informationto the ground commanders. They first radioed the data to their ground station.
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