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World War I marked the first aerial combat operations of the United States military - meaning the United States Air Service, the United States Naval Aviation and United States Marine Aviation. This took place in or over France, England, Italy, Ireland, Germany and elsewhere during World War I. The United States Air Service aviators in World War I included Eddie Rickenbacker, Raoul Lufbery, Quentin Roosevelt, Frank Luke, Joe Werner, Carl Spaatz, Everett Cook, Billy Mitchell and many others.
By the time World War I ended, the forty-five United States Air Service fighter, bomber and observation squadrons had participated in seven campaigns, claimed 781 planes and 73 balloons downed. They produced 71 aces of whom five had more than 10 victories each. They dropped 140 tons of bombs in 150 bombing runs. And in exchange, they lost 289 airplanes, 48 balloons and 237 of their own men either killed or missing in action.
United States Naval Avation and United States Marine Aviation also had their combat starts in World War I. See US Naval Aviation, United States Navy ace David Ingalls and US Marine Aviation for more information.