Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roy Long: World War I

Steve and Norma were at my house last weekend. We were talking about Grandpa, Roy Milton Long, and how he never admitted he was half German. He was not happy about me studying German or living in Germany either. They related a story that when Grandpa had taken German prisoners, the Germans looked at him and asked if other people back home looked like him. He said they did. We are sure the Germans recognized he was German and realized they were fighting other Germans in World War I.

Roy Milton Long enlisted in the Army Dec. 15, 1917 in St. Louis, MO. (double click to make the photos and documents screen size, then use the back arrow to return) He was assigned to the 95th Aero Squadron where he was stationed in France. I remember growing up hearing his stories about him fighting the Red Baron, flying with Eddie Rickenbacker, but I just turned a deaf ear on it all. I have never been able to verify those stories, but we do know he was a mechanic in the Air Corps. We also know that he received an award (a medal?) for capturing Germans.

I found a story I'd written down that Roy drained the radiator of a plane so he could have hot water for a bath. Also, I know that Grandpa used to always say that his cough was from being gassed, I'm not sure that is true either. As his grandchildren got older, I realized that almost all of us had allergies, asthma, coughs. So, I'm not sure about the mustard gas story although we heard it frequently.

After the war ended, he returned on the U.S.S. Frederick and was stationed in Fort Dodge, Iowa until his release on March 22, 1919.This is from a huge (but cracked and brittle) photo of all of the men in the 95th Aero Squadron in Ft. Dodge Iowa.
Roy is not in the above section, but that section has the information.
Someone drew an arrow pointing out Roy (above). Below is a close up---I can't imagine why the German prisoners thought he looked German!

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