With the summer of 1914 came the start of the First World War. At the time, the aeroplane was seen simply as a tool for reconnaissance and observation— some military generals were dubious of their use for even that purpose—so, in the early months of the war, their exclusive use was as scouts and artillery spotters. Few countries other than the Germans had given other than perfunctory thought to a conflict in the air; consequently, the numbers of aircraft—and pilots to fly them—were very small. But it quickly became apparent what key contributions aircraft could make beyond mere reconnaissance—such vital tasks as tactical and strategic bombing, ground attacks, and naval warfare.
All are welcome to view our current exhibit which includes selections of photographs, photo albums, first editions, personal accounts, diaries, and memorabilia, highlighting the first air war from American, British, and German perspectives and those of many courageous, skillful and daring young pilots.
The exhibit is free and open to the public during the department’s business hours.
Fight on and fly on to the last drop of blood and the last drop of fuel to the last beat of the heart.
Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the infamous Red Baron
Tune in next week for the next installment…