Paul Frank Baer
Paul Frank Baer

Serving in the Lafayette Flying Corps and the United States Air Service, he was shot down on May 22, 1918, and captured by the Germans.

Paul Frank Baer
  • Country: United States
  • Rank: 1st Lieutenant
  • Services: French Air Service U.S. Air Service
  • Units: N124, Spa80 (FAS) 103rd Aero (USAS)
  • Victories: 9
  • Date Of Birth: January 29, 1895
  • Place of Birth: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Date Of Death: December 9, 1930
  • Place of Death: Hong Kong

Baer joined the Lafayette Flying Corps in February of 1917. In August, he was assigned to Spa80 where he remained until reassigned to N124 in January of 1918. In February, the American pilots of N124 transferred to the United States Air Service to form the 103rd Pursuit Squadron. Baer scored his first victory during March and on April 23, 1918, he scored his fifth victory to become the first American ace of the United States Air Service. On the morning of May 22, 1918, Baer scored his ninth victory but was then shot down by a member of Jasta 18, possibly Hans Müller. Badly injured when his SPAD S.XIII crashed near Armentieres, he was captured by the Germans.

Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)

"On 11 March 1918, alone attacked a group of seven enemy pursuit machines, destroying one which crashed to the ground near the French lines northeast of Reims. On 16 March, he attacked two enemy two-seaters, one of which fell in flames, striking the ground in approximately the same region." DSC citation