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062137

WHAT! NO AIRPLANES

By
Colonel Edgar S. Gorrell
Chief of Staff, Air Corps, American Expeditionary Forces
President, Air Transport Association of America

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For the last twenty years, by means of both the printed and spoken word, even on the floor of the present Congress (page 2415, Congressional Record, March, 5, 1937) the American public has been constantly and frequently informed that, by Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, no American built "fighting" airplane had ever been used over the western front in the World War. With all its patriotic fervor, the public, has for a generation condemned those responsible for this alleged tragic situation.  The fact that such a statement is is false seemingly remains generally unknown in this country.  Although the truth is available, such a volume of erroneous statements has so frequently emanated from sources otherwise considered reliable that at last someone should finally point out the truth of what did happen and why it happened on this subject of American built airplanes fighting on the Western Front during the World Way.

I am the only American still alive who possesses first-hand information on the ramifications of this subject.  Ere I pass away, I feel that the truth should be given to the American public through the channels of some reputable medium.

Even such a world authority as David Lloyd George, war-time Prime Minister of England, in his recent memoirs adds fuel to the flame by his unqualified statement that General Pershing on February 28, 1918, pointed out in a telegram to his Government that "as a matter of fact, there is not today a single American-made plane in Europe."

To an interested reading public, this statement would seem to indicate that Pershing was stating to his Government that America had been in the war for ten months, and during that time had failed to produce a single airplane for use on the western  
as he, Pershing had anticipated.  Also that the Allies, within the same period of time not only could do, but actually had done, a better job in designing, engineering and producing airplanes than had America.
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