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"It seems mine was the death room, each new patient brought in being very sick, no one surviving while I was there." (Memoir, page 28)

   Harold W. Riley
Collection image
Harold Riley in uniform [ca. 1918]
War: World War, 1914-1918
Branch: Army Air Forces/Corps
Unit: 24th Aero Squadron
Service Location: France; Germany
Rank: First Lieutenant
POW: Yes
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When the United States entered World War I, Harold Riley wrote, "I believed that the excitement and thrills of military action could be better appreciated from close contact, with real fighting." Although his father had just been diagnosed with diabetes, Riley's family urged him to serve. He became a pilot in the newly formed Army Air Corps, dropping propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines and scouting for ground troop movements. In October 1918, his plane was shot down, and his observer, Sam Keesler, was killed. (Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi was later named for him.) Riley spent most of his brief time in captivity--the war ended a month later--under medical care for his wounds.

»Autobiography of WWI Experiences June 1917 to March 1919 by Harold W. Riley
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  October 26, 2011
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