- AFHF Member Authors
Worthy Son: The World War I Letters of Lieutenant Harold E. Loud, Pilot, 88th Aero Squadron, U.S. Air Service
by David K. Vaughan
Lieutenant Harold Loud was an Air Service aviator who fought and died as a member of the 88th Aero Squadron during the Battle of the Argonne Forest in France in September of 1918. The 88th was an observation squadron tasked to observe and report on the movements of both German and American ground forces during some of the most intense fighting of the war. Loud lost his life while participating in a combat patrol when his solitary aircraft was attacked by five German aircraft.
In his letters to his family in Michigan, Loud documented his entire training program, from ground school in Illinois to advanced flight training at six fields in the United States and France. His letters describe his progression from apprentice to master aviator and provide a fascinating record of the flight training program experienced by American aviators during World War I.
While most accounts of American aviators who flew in World War I were published by men who survived the war, few have appeared which document the lives and experiences of those who did not, and even fewer have documented the effects of the death of the flyer on immediate family members. In addition to providing explanatory comments on Harold Loud’s letters, this book, in the final section, illuminates the struggle to comprehend the personal loss that is felt by every survivor of a veteran who falls in combat.