This never-before published diary of Lt. Howard G. Rath shows the War through his eyes. Rath was the lead bombardier of the 96th Aero Squadron, which was the first American bomb squadron in World War I. He was the first American to drop a bomb in combat. Later, he became the squadron Operations Officer but still flew missions as bombardier. The last two months of the war he was also the Operations Officer of the 1st Day Bombardment Group and flew bombing missions in the St. Mihiel and Meuse Argonne offensives. His day-to-day accounts describe the ups and downs of the squadron and the human costs involved during times when the U.S. was learning how to bomb under war time conditions. Rath received the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in combat.
Historian Hugh T. Harrington has added historical structure for the reader providing clarification and further information to fill out the history provided by the diary. People and places mentioned in the diary are also identified. There is an Index and comprehensive Bibliography. This book provides an active, and intelligent, participant's view of life and combat in America's first bombing squadron. World War I historian, Gerald C. Thomas, Jr., has called Lt. Howard G. Rath's diary a "most valuable source of unpublished material."
This thoroughly-researched and footnoted book includes photographs, map, and index.