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American who flew to France and Russia in WW1


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I've just acquired a British pair to a Lieutenant Frank Anthony Flynn who enlisted as a 2nd Lt with the US Cavalry in 1917. He was discharged to undertake training as a pilot in Canada with the British Royal Flying Corps. He saw overseas service in England and the closing stages of the war in France. Lt Flynn then volunteered for service in Russia where he did bombing raids on the Russian lines. He accidently shot himself in the leg while loading an automatic pistol which finished his service and he was discharged and he returned to his home in San Francisco, California and studied to be a Lawyer. Frank enlisted in the US Army Air Force Reserves in 1926, I have found a number of Newspaper clips on some air crashes he was involved in.


During WW2 he entered active service as a Lt-Colonel on 18th May 1942 and was discharged to the Reserves again on 3rd March 1945 at Camp Beale, California. I have just received a 96 page service record for him which gives his other medals entitlements as the following, however not sure about some of them:


WW1 US Victory (This was re-issued to him in 1948 after he lost his other one issued in 1920)

ACM - Would this be a Army Commendation Medal or a American Campaign Medal?

ADSM - Not sure what this is?

Amer Def Sv Med - American Defence Service Medal (would he have a clasp on this medal)

Amer Cam Med - American Campaign Medal

WW2 Victory Medal

AF Res Med - Air Force Reserve Medal

Nat Def Svc Med - National Defence Service Medal


He was also authorised to wear the British War Medal, British Victory Medal and the Russian Order of St Anne and he retired in 1956 after 30 years service. It would have been and interesting combination of ribbons on a US Reserve Officers uniform. He also applied for a Purple Heart which was rejected due to him not serving with the US Forces.


I did post in another section for Colonel Flynn however never had any replies, hoping someone can confirm the awards above that I haven't identified yet, thanks in advance.




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John Conway

ACM - Army commendation Medal

ADSM - American Defense Service Medal


Very interesting find. Makes a guy wonder what happened to everything else???????

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Thanks for this information


At first I thought ADSM might have been Army Distinguished Service Medal however did'nt think a Colonel in the Reserves would have got one of those. I purchased the single British WW1 Victory Medal from E-Bay. I think asked if they had his British War Medal which is also named to him and they said yes, so I purchased that as well. They then can back and said they found his WW1 US Victory medal, so I have just purchased this. I'm assuming it'll be in it's named and addressed box of issue to him. They have all been posted to a fried in New York so I have only seen photos off them so far, I have asked if they can look for any other items to him, and I'm hoping they do.


I have found quite a lot of Newspaper articles on him, he crashed a plane into a ploughed field in 1918, he was instructing a Cadet A. E. O'Carrol who was from Los Angeles when they were at around 400 feet from the ground the machine went into a tail spin and the controls refused to work and they struck a newly ploughed field, O'Carrol who was flying broke an arm and two ribs. Flynn received a broken noise and other head injuries.


On 17th September 1928 he was a Co-Pilot which crashed near the city of Tulare. They were circling around trying to find a landing place as they were low on gasoline, they ended up running out and they crashed into a Alfalfa Field along the Santa Fe right of way, north of Tulare, seriously, though not critically injuring Lieutenant Gilbert and bruising Lieutenant Frank Flynn.


In 1936 as a Major, he again crashed from 400 feet, when he was flying over Golden Gate Park narrowly missing hundreds of picnickers when they were scattering the ashes of a former comrade, Arthur Theodore "Tex" Frolich. The plane crashed and landed between two trees.


Very interesting guy, and hopefully more items will turn up. Would have been an interesting medal ribbon bar, he also received a Russian Order of St Anne with swords 3rd Class and I have found photos of him in uniform and he also wears RFC Wings. The same seller also sold a set of RFC Wings and cloth shoulder titles which I believe were his, just did'nt put two and two together at the time and did'nt place a bid on them, they sold very cheaply. I did think that he would have received a Legion of Merit for his long service, however reserve Officers may not have qualified for this award.



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Hello Jeff,


Yes I think your correct, I ended up downloading an abbreviation list for American decorations and have worked out that Colonel Frank Anthony Flynn received the following awards over his more than 30 years service with the British Royal Flying Corps, British Royal Air Force and US Army Air Corps Reserve:


WW1 US Victory Medal without clasp

American Defence Service Medal

American Campaign Medal

WW2 US Victory Medal

Armed Forces Reserve Medal

National Defence Service Medal

British War Medal

British Victory Medal

Russian Order of St Anne, 3rd class with swords


From photos I have found he also wore either RFC or RAF wings along with his Command Pilots Badge. I've managed to get his WW1 British pair and his US WW1 Victory medal in it's box of issue, not sure if the seller has any other items.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,


Hoping that someone can help about devices this man may have received on his WW2 campaign medals, the seller does have other medals however there not very good with descriptions (or in getting back to me), the US Victory medal ended up not being in it's box of issue and arrived just by itself.


He had 18 years service with the US Army Air Corps Reserve from 12th July 1923 to 17th May 1942

He served 4 years during the Second World War on the active list from 18th May 1942 to 30th July 1946

Transferred back to the reserves on 31st July 1946 and retired after another 9.5 years on 31st Jan 1956

Total length of service being 31and a half years


Would the following medals have a device on them:


American Defense Service Medal (would this have a bar)

National Defense Service Medal (I'm thinking he wouldn't be entitled to a bronze star?)

Armed Forces Reserve Medal (Would this medal have come with an hour glass device for his previous service, and what class)


Any help would be appreciated



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