a3Genealogy - Accurate, Accessible Answers - specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American ancestry. The a3Gen blog is penned by Kathleen Brandt, an international genealogy consultant, speaker and writer. a3Gen clients span from Europe, Asia and Africa to the Americas.
If you are researching the
American Expeditonary Forces (AEF) Air Service for WWI, then you probably
already know of the Gorrell's History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air
Service, 1917-1919 collection. If you aren't familiar with Gorrell's History visit Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com). The AEF Air Service was responsible for the
employment of AEF aviation units that included observation balloons as well as
airplanes and this extensive historical collection holds many treasures for the
"WWI was the first war in
which air power was a strategic force." And for this reason, Maj. Gen.
Mason Patrick, Chief of the Air Service, instructed Col. Edgar S. Gorrell,
Assistant Chief of Staff of the Air Service, to gather all information that would
"assist in establishing Army
aeronautics on a sound basis for the future." The AEF maintained an air
service from 1917 to its demobilization and return to the United
States the summer of 1919 resulting in a 282
bound collection of historical narratives, reports, photographs, administrative
and technical documents, and tactical activities of the Air Service in the
American Expeditionary Forces.
We are mostly familiar with the
AEF female nurses, but what about the other 6000 women who served with the AEF
forces? Jennifer D. Keene author of World War Ioutlines the roles of Army female civilian volunteers and clerical
staff workers, as well as highlighting the roll those who enlisted as yeomen
and marines in Naval and Marine Corp Reserves. In the Women Support Staff Roles
section (pg 188) Keene discusses
many other roles women played in the AEF.
Genealogical Interest (extracted from Fold3.com)
There are rosters, photographs of
personnel, and even obituaries of pilots killed in action ensconced amongst the
lengthy historical narratives, copies of administrative and operations. Even reports by downed American aviators who were
prisoners of war are can be found along with AEF copies of the newspapers.
The Gorrell's History of the
American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917-1919
Take a gander at the rich
holdings in this collection: Series A:
Early History and General Organization of the AEF Air Service and Series B: Air
Service Activities With the French, British, Series C: Tactical Units and
Italians; Series D: Tactical History; E:
Squadron Histories; Series F: Balloon Section;
Series G: Photographic Section; Series H: Mechanics Regiments; Series I:
Paris Headquarters and Supply Section; Series J: Training; Series K: Technical
Section; Series L: Miscellaneous Sections of the Air Service (included AEF
newspapers); Series N: First Army Material (Some documentation included in
these volumes duplicates documentation included in the volumes of series C and
E); Series O: Weekly [Statistical] Reports; Series P: Third Army; Series Q: Air
Service Liquidation; Series R: Investigation of Damage Done by Allied Bombing.
Kathleen Brandt, Professional Genealogist