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"A Real Biplane Pilot. Can you help?" Topic


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176 hits since 2 Aug 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo vonLoudon Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2017 9:43 a.m. PST

Gordon Bandy Enders born Iowa,1897, raised in India bordering Tibet. Father, Presbyterian minister. Attended Wooster College (Presbyterian) until 1917 when he applied to Norton-Harjes Ambulance. Served six months. Immediately joined French Foreign Legion to obtain flight training. Training at Tours and follow up at Issodoun etc. Ferried planes at Tours and sometime instructor until assigned elsewhere. He put in for officer commission around November 1917. He crashed a ferry Caudron 3 near Savenay Base hospital Nov/Dec 1917. Located by Gray Lady Elizabeth Crump of the Red Cross who later became his wife. Returned to Tours around Christmas time 1917. Said would spend a total of 4 months in hospital until discharge. Did not indicate how much at a time. Commissioned as 1st Lt due to French training in April 1918. Now it gets hinky. His book in 1935 claims assigned to bomber squadron with 31 others "bombing along the Somme". (The German offensive?) Book is titled Nowhere Else in the World. Gets word to professor at Wooster in July 1917 that he had just spent two months at the front flying observation and photographic missions. This was published in Wooster newspaper as well as his previous crash. He did get the training. I have one of his photographs that he took in Ft Meade MD. He also took a photo of my family. Known for his photography in New Mexico when he retired.
Since he had some idle time and there was not much progress in American Bombardment squadrons ramping up (note the collapse of the 96th), he could have been assigned to a French Bombardment Squadron in Breguets and/or utilizing his observer training.
Now the hard part. Have not seen him listed on any American squadron roster. The only exception is a Park Squadron 223rd. Probably a later assignment since it was not a flying squadron. Not listed in G.D.E. as loaned to the French or in the French war chronology. Not listed in Wings of Honor. Not listed in Italy. His army record indicated France and Italy as service areas but it looks like much WW1 info for him was lost. The French squadron lists on the net are right now pretty incomplete. I knew him as a Colonel at Ft Meade MD in the late 50's. I know he was a flyer, observer, and photographer. The question is which squadrons, when, and where? Anybody who can solve this will get a lot of "props" from me. Side note: the aforementioned Mrs Enders was recently buried with her husband Gordon on June 15, 2017 in Santa Fe National Cemetery after 56 years, having been cremated in 1961. The urn was kept in the second family's possession. I knew this fine lady too, which started me on this wild ride again of looking for Gordon's squadron(s). Quite fitting I think for the centennial of our joining in World War 1.

Personal logo vonLoudon Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 10:38 a.m. PST

Already printed elsewhere.

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