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First Army Enlisted Observer


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#1 cwnorma

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 01:43 PM

All,

 

I normally don't like to post names on the forum, but in this instance I will make an exception.

 

I recently got the following enlisted observer's uniform from a good friend, I mostly bought it to get the incredible French-made Observer wing:

 

FUSA OBS - 1.jpeg

 

When I bought it, the uniform came attributed to a R. Yates, with a hand-written card describing Yates.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to even remotely verify that there was an R. Yates in the Air Service or Signal Corps that fits the specifics of this uniform.

 

For one thing, the rank on the uniform is for an Electrician First Class.  Neither the Air Service, nor the Signal Corps seems to have used this chevron:

 

FUSA OBS - 2.jpeg

 

Electrician First Class seems to have been a Coast Artillery rank.  The equivalent Air Service and Signal Corps grades were Sergeant First Class (three chevrons and a rocker).  I know there was a shortage of enlisted personnel in the expanding Air Service and many men from other branches were transferred in--I have a grouping from a Navy Cook who was transferred to the Air Service.  The Air Service did have Master Signal Electricians, but that was a grade higher than Sergeant First Class...



#2 cwnorma

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 01:53 PM

The uniform has a really nice, First Army Shoulder Sleeve Insignia with a bullion Signal Corps insert:

 

FUSA OBS - 3.jpeg

 

The jacket also has a single, blue "Less than 6 months" overseas chevron.

 

I have owned hundreds of WW1 jackets and this one shows no signs that any of the insignia was recently added or that the jacket was in any way put together.

 

As I noted above, I normally hate to post names here but some of you guys are extremely talented military researchers and I frankly need the help.

 

My working theory on this uniform is that it is real and has been together since the War, but that some collector along the way appended the "R. Yates" name and information to it.

 

I have searched Gorrell, and the Army Transport manifests and cannot find a match.  Can anyone out there help me find an: Electrician First Class, Observer, who served overseas for less than six months in a First Army unit?

 

If not I will just assume that R. Yates was an embellishment to an otherwise very interesting uniform.

 

Thanks for any help you can give!

 

Chris

 

 



#3 cwnorma

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 02:02 PM

The French-made Observer wing:

 

FUSA OBS - 4.jpeg

 

Like I noted above, I bought this jacket to get the wing above, so it won't hurt my feelings if in the end it's just an unidentified uniform.  

 

I would like to either confirm or rule out the R. Yates name.

 

Thanks for any help you can give.

 

Best wishes

 

Chris




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