Date of Award

Winter 3-12-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nicoletta

Second Advisor

Dr. Burghart



The purpose of this paper is to research and analyze the American Army Air Service during the Hundred Days Offensive of World War I. Aviation was a relatively new concept to warfare in the beginning of World War I in 1914 and brought many new concepts to the battlefield, such as aerial observation and reconnaissance, aerial bombing and achieving air superiority. The research conducted reflects the desire to understand the impact American aviation had on ending the war in 1918 and helps others understand the importance and sacrifice made by hundreds of American airmen. The American Air Service played a critical role in Allied operations during the Hundred Days Offensive by replacing horse cavalry as the main means of reconnaissance for the army and creating new effective ways of eliminating enemy targets at long distance through bombing and strafing, which helped bring success in the Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne battles and aided the Allies’ push into Germany to end the war. This topic is particularly significant because it sheds light on one of the lesser covered topics of World War I, which is the American Army Air Service’s impact on the Hundred Days Offensive from August 8th to November 11th, 1918. The sacrifice and courage shown by thousands of brave aviators deserves to be remembered for their service in the war to end all wars, which was one of the most destructive events in human history. These aviators paved the way for a world that would come to rely more heavily on aircraft for military conflicts in the years to come up to the present day. Today’s United States Air Force still relies on aircraft to perform many of the same tasks as they did in World War I, including reconnaissance, bombing and pursuit aviation, in order to keep the country safe from enemies both foreign and domestic.