The "Showbird" SPAD XIIIs of the 94th Aero Sqn USAS

By Bob Pearson

During early 1919 the pilots of the 94th Aero Sqd decided to paint their SPAD XIIIs. In an attempt to outdo one another they came up with what were termed the "showbirds".

Click on the top and starboard views for full size images.

   
SPAD XIII 'Rising Sun'
Lt John Jeffers
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Cologne
Spring 1919

A most intriguing design is seen on the aircraft of John Jeffers. The 'rising sun' motif radiates out from the star on the fuselage and the roundel on the upperwing. The design repeats on the bottom of the lower wing, however the bottom of the upper wing is left in light yellow of the French five-colour camouflage originally carried.


  
SPAD XIII 'Lightning Bolt'
Lt Weir Cook
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Cologne
Spring 1919

Overall black with white lightning flashes, adorn this SPAD. Note that the two sides are not the same. The lower wings and the starboard rudder are cnectural as not all aspects are visible


   
SPAD XIII S.16546 ' Flag Bus'
Captain Reed Chambers
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Spring 1919

Captain Chambers SPAD carried a representation of the American flag. I am still waiting on information as to whether the leading edge of each wing was in blue. I would tend to think so.

 


 
SPAD XIII 'Barber Pole'
Lt Dudley 'Red' Outcault
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Cologne
Spring 1919

 

 

 


  
SPAD XIII 'Eastah Aigg'
Lt Samuel Kaye
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Spring 1919

 

 

 


 
SPAD XIII 'Zig-Zag'
Lt Ben Jones
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Spring 1919

 

 

 


   
SPAD XIII 'Shamrock'
Lt Leo Dawson
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Cologne
Spring 1919

 

 

 


   
SPAD XIII 'Checkerboard'
Lt Robert Donaldson
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Spring 1919

 

 

 


SPAD XIII "Diamond Dick"
Lt William Palmer
94th Aero Sqn USAS
Cologne
Spring 1919

 

 

 


Epilogue:

When the 94th was returned to the United States, their aircraft went to the 138th AS while still wearing the colours below. However the squadron insignia was removed by the pilots of the 94th, and this was replaced with that of the 138th.

Many of these aircraft then had a further lease on life then they were transferred to the new Polish Air Service

  
SPAD XIII S.16546
Major Kirby
138th Aero Sqn USAS
April 1919


References:

  • Cross & Cockade (int) 29/1
  • Over the Front 14/3
  • Greg VanWyngarden photos

All content 1996-2002 Bob Pearson & Chris Banyai-Riepl. All rights reserved.
Site design by ALGA