1st Lieutenant Robert Haverty


This is a French Brevet certificate dated 1 July 1918, named to a 1st Lieutenant Robert Haverty of the US Air Service awarding him his wings in the French Air Service.     

According to the Tennessee State Library & Archives, Haverty was born 17 June 1889 in Atlanta, Georgia, and lived in Memphis, Tennessee.   He enlisted 17 July 1917 in Chicago, and was at the "School of Military Aeronautics" in Austin, Texas, to 18 October 1917 and then Cadet Unit #14 to 14 Dec 141917.

The archives go on to say that he was in the "Beaumont Det Flying Cadets #1 to discharge."   The Beaumont Detachment was an infamous holding pool for pilots in France.  Pilots had come to fight, only to find themselves spending months hanging around in the pool awaiting assignment as the military bureaucracy moved slowly.  A copy of the first issue of the "Beaumont Bull" is shown above. 

Haverty was a Private First Class from 17 July 1917 to his Honorable Discharge 13 June 1918 to accept his officer's commission.  He was called into Active Service as a First Lieutenant in the Air Service on 14 June 1918.  He was assigned to the 33 Aero Squadron.  He was listed as overseas from 14 November 1917 to 6 March 1919 and Honorably Discharged 8 March 1919.  One source reports that the 33rd Aero Squadron "arrived as a unit at Issoudon during the late fall of 1917, assigned to Field #6 or 7 as Cadre and helped to build the barracks and hangars in one of the worst winter's on record. Their job was repair of aircraft (minor), teaching, feeding and housing the students assigned to them.  They left France in about May or April 1919."

The front page of the 18 November 1930 edition of the "Memphis Evening Appeal" reports the formation by Major Robert Haverty of the 105th Observation Squadron, “a Tennessee State unit,” and goes on to say that “Maj. Haverty was attached to the 33rd Aero Squadron at Issoudon France. At the time of his enlistment, he knew that his eyesight was not up to wartime regulations so he memorized the vision charts so he could fight in the air.”