Saturday, September 01, 2018

Roger Wolcott Hitchcock

1LT Roger Wolcott Hitchcock (4th cousin 2x removed), 88th Aero Squadron AEF, KIA, France, Sep 1918. Recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross. Married Alta Icye Williamson in December 1917 just 3 days prior to shipping out for France. She never remarried and there were no children. His DSC reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Second Lieutenant (Air Service) Roger W. Hitchcock, United States Army Air Service, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 88th Aero Squadron, U.S. Army Air Service, A.E.F., near Fismes, France, 11 August 1918, together with John W. Jordan, second lieutenant, 7th Field Artillery, observer; Louis G. Bernheimer, first lieutenant, pilot; James S. D. Burns, deceased, second lieutenant, 101st Field Artillery, observer; Philip R. Babcock, first lieutenant, pilot; Joseph A. Palmer, second lieutenant, 15th Field Artillery, observer; Joel H. McClendon, deceased, first lieutenant, pilot; and Charles W. Plummer, deceased, second lieutenant, 101st Field Artillery, all attached to the 88th Aero Squadron, Air Service. Under the protection of three pursuit planes, all carrying a pilot and observer, Lieutenants Bernheimer and Jordan, in charge of a photo plane, carried out successfully a hazardous photographic mission over the enemy's lines to the River Aisne. The four American ships were attacked by 12 enemy battle planes. Lieutenant Bernheimer, by coolly and skillfully maneuvering his ship, and Lieutenant Jordan, by accurate operation of his machine-gun, in spite of wounds in the shoulder and leg, aided materially in the victory which came to the American ships, and returned safely with 36 valuable photographs. The pursuit plane operated by Lieutenants Hitchcock and Burns was disabled while these two officers were fighting effectively. Lieutenant Burns was mortally wounded and his body jammed the controls. After a headlong fall of 2,500 meters, Lieutenant Hitchcock succeeded in regaining control of this plane and piloted it back to the airdrome. Lieutenants McClendon and Plummer were shot down and killed after a vigorous combat with five of the enemy planes. Lieutenants Babcock and Palmer, by gallant and skillful fighting, aided in driving off the German planes and were materially responsible for the successful execution of the photographic mission.