United States Army Air Service

The United States Army Air Service ( formally Air Service, United States Army ) was an existing 1918-1926 predecessor organization of the United States Air Force. It was founded towards the end of World War I by President Woodrow Wilson through an executive order on May 24, 1918. Through the National Defense Act of 1920, the Air Service was given a legal basis and became a separate combat division within the U.S. Army, such as the infantry, cavalry, or the Army Corps of Engineers. The Air Service was led by a Chief of Air Service with the rank of Major General (before a Director of Air Service ). The troop strength was about 10,000 men in 1920. Disputes by representatives of an independent Air Force (including Brigadier General Billy Mitchell ) and military, who primarily saw the Air Service as a support unit for ground troops, led on 2 July 1926 creation of the United States Army Air Corps.

Director of the Air Service

Director of Air Service

  • John D. Ryan (August 28, 1918 to November 27, 1918 )
  • Maj.Gen. Charles T. Menoher (January 2, 1919 to June 4, 1920 )

Chiefs of Air Service

  • Maj.Gen. Charles T. Menoher (June 4, 1920 to October 4, 1921 )
  • Maj.Gen. Mason M. Patrick ( October 5, 1921 to July 2, 1926)