[Received October 7, 1917]







After the war, a Captain Hamilton Hadley of the Personnel Section, Air Service, A.E.F., compiled information on the “Foreign Aviation Detachments: June–December 1917” as part of Colonel Edgar S. Gorrell’s massive History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service 1917–1919. Hadley’s account of the snafu that led to “England instead of Italy” reads as follows: “This detachment sailed on approximately September 20; but on arriving in England gave no intimation that it was intended for duty in Italy as a result of special arrangements made between the Chief Signal Officer of the Army and the General in charge of the Italian Military Commission, acting for the Italian government. The American Aviation Officer, in England, therefore, had no way of knowing that the detachment was intended for duty in Italy, since that fact was not designated in its orders. As a result the detachment was diverted to English schools. Later at the urgent request of the Italian government a detachment of 88 cadets with Captain Dellaguardia [sic] was sent to Foggia from England.” 77 Geoffrey J. Dwyer, in his “Report on Air Service Flying Training Department in England,” also included in Gorrell, wrote: “Their orders for Italy were revoked because at that time the Italian situation was such that it was estimated to be more expedient to train these cadets in England” (p. 2).78

There appears to be no easily accessible list of the members of Parr’s detachment, particularly as they do not appear on the ship’s manifest for the Carmania.79 The Penttinen Collection in the Special Collections Department of the Eugene McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas has an item (a single printed page) of undetermined provenance which includes a “Roster of Second Detachment” that may be complete.80