Over the weekend we visited the National Museum for the United States Air Force in Dayton.  There was a short ceremony on Saturday morning as the museum curator accepted my grandfather's uniform (issued in 1927)* followed by guided tours of the facility for Herbert family.  We were treated to a tour specifically well-suited for young children and the boys observed their way through the buildings with inquisitive enthusiasm.  Both have already shown interest in all things aviation, but this exploration made it come alive, their fingers pointing and their eyes wide the whole time.  It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday, and a neat way to help the boys feel connected to family and to history.
Uncle John, Tom's son
the plane Tom flew in France, an RAF S.E.5
Tolliver was with us.  He is not in this picture, but he was on a table or under a table or somewhere near by, yelling something about not wanting to say cheese.

*Distinguished Service Cross citation for Thomas Herbert
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Air Service) Thomas Herbert, United States Army Air Service, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 56th Squadron, Royal Air Force (Attached), U.S. Army Air Service, A.E.F., near Chaulnes, France, August 1 - 8, 1918 while attached to the 56th Squadron, Royal Air Forces, British Expeditionary Forces. When with a formation of six machines, Lieutenant Herbert attacked eighteen enemy Fokker biplanes, shooting one down in flames. During the fighting Lieutenant Herbert was shot in the leg and his plane was struck in the petrol tank, necessitating skillful maneuvering to regain his own lines. As he was landing he became unconscious from loss of blood. On 4 August 1918, at Cappy, France, he destroyed an enemy Pfalz scout plane at an altitude of 9,000 feet, thus saving his patrol leader, who was at the mercy of the enemy plane. On 1 August he joined in the attack of the enemy aerodrome at Epinoy, the altitude at time of attack being but 200 feet; he killed two enemy mechanics by machine-gun fire and shot up hangers and billets. The bravery, skill, and determination of this officer were an inspiration to other members of his squadron.


rht said...

Your pictures of wide-eyed wonder take my breath away -- what a memorable day.

Poppy John said...

Damn Skippy!

Coolest post E-V-E-R !


Kristy G said...

So outstanding! I love the Distinguished Service Cross write up. How brave, wonderful, and patriotic was he?! A true American hero.