Perhaps the most famous American squadron of WWI was the 94th Aero Squadron. The unit’s insignia, an Uncle Sam Hat inside of a red circle (symbolic of the United States’ hat thrown into the ring) earned them the nickname “Hat In the Ring” Squadron. Serving in the 94th were some of America’s most illustrious pilots, including Raoul Lufbery, who had already become famous as a member of the Lafayette Escadrille, and Edward Rickenbacker, who would end the war as America’s highest scoring ace.
As one of four squadrons making up the First Pursuit Group, the 94th arrived in France in early 1918. For their first few months of service the unit was equipped with the Nieuport 28, one of the most attractive allied aircraft of the war. However, in July of 1918 design problems in the Nieuport 28’s wing caused the unit to switch to the SPAD XIII, which they would fly for the duration of the war.Uncle Sam’s Boys
is a tribute to the “Hat In the Ring” squadron and the first aircraft which they made famous, the Nieuport 28. Pictured from front to back are: Lt. Douglas Campbell. 6 victories, in “white 10”, N6164; Lt. Edward Rickenbacker, 26 victories, in N6169 (this could also be Major John Huffer as both men flew this aircraft); Lt James Meissner, 8 victories, flying “dark 14”, N6144; Lt Reed Chambers, 7 victories, in “white 11”, N6179.