Pictured at right is Jesse Davis Moore, an Itawambian who served in World War I with the 199th Aero Squadron. This photo was taken January 12, 1919 near Verdon, France.
Aero squadrons were initially part of the U.S. Army, organized under its Aviation Section, there being no such thing as the Air Force at that time. The first aero squadron was formed in 1913 - talk about cutting edge technology, when World War I broke out in 1914, there were no military aircraft anywhere in the world. The U.S. jumped into the conflict in 1917, but it wasn't until the following spring that it actually entered the battle zones of the war. By November, the war was over. Still, in that short period of time, the aero squadrons had downed 756 enemy aircraft and 76 enemy balloons, and Itawambian Jesse Moore played a part in those statistics.
One can just imagine what young Jesse Moore saw and experienced during his war-time service in the ground-breaking aviation branch. Actually, we don't have to imagine too much because Jesse left several photographs, now in the hands of his granddaughter, Brenda Moore Franklin, formerly of Frog Level, Itawamba County, Mississippi and now living in Oxford. Thanks to her for sharing.