Name: Frederick C.
Country: United States
Service: Royal Flying Corps, U.S. Air Service
Units: 11, 23 (RFC) 25, 43 (RAF) 22nd Aero (USAS)
Date Of Birth: July 15, 1891
Place of Birth: Stirling, Colorado
Date Of Death: January 9, 1970
Place of Death: Los Angeles, California
The first American to down five enemy aircraft during World War
I, Libby never flew a combat mission for the United States Air
Service. He became an ace while serving as an observer in the
Royal Flying Corps. When the war began, Libby was in Canada where
he joined the Canadian Army. In 1916, he was serving in an
ambulance unit in the trenches of France when he volunteered to
join the Royal Flying Corps.
Later that year, as an F.E.2b observer, he became the first
American ace of the war. In 1917 Libby completed pilot training
and was assigned to 43 Squadron on April 18. After scoring 2
victories, he was reassigned to 25 Squadron as a D.H.4 pilot in
August of 1917. At the request of General Billy Mitchell, Libby
transferred to the American Air Service on September 15, 1917.
Returning to the United States, he participated in the Liberty
Loan drive before joining the 22nd Aero at Hicks Field in Texas.
Unfortunately, Libby was seriously ill by this time and was found
to be permanently disabled and medically unfit for military
Military Cross (MC)
"For conspicuous gallantry in action. As an observer, he, with his
pilot, attacked four hostile machines and shot down one. He has
previously shot down four enemy machines." MC citation, November