World War, 1914-1918; Armed Forces; Aviation; Aerial operations, American
St. Louis, MO, USA
Photograph album; Collection
P0161 Broz, Joseph G. Album Guide to the Joseph G. Broz Album. P0161 EAD by Lauren Sallwasser using ArchivesSpace Missouri Historical Society, Photographs and Prints Department 2018 Library and Research Center 225 South Skinker Boulevard St. Louis, MO 63105 email@example.com URL: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2019-02-20 06:25:06 -0600 . English Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Missouri Historical Society, Photographs and Prints Department
Joseph G. Broz Album: U. S. Air Force, 1917-1919, World War I
Broz, Joseph G., 1898-1982
.3 Cubic Feet
Processed by Lauren Sallwasser, 2018.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Joseph Broz in 1980.
Biographical / Historical
Joseph G. Broz was born in St. Louis on November 30, 1898 to Charles Broz and Frances Suchey, Czechoslovakian immigrants. On April 29, 1917, Broz was inducted into the Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis. He was a founding member of the 27th Aero Squadron when it was organized at Kelly Field, Texas in June 1917. In February 1918, the 27th Squadron sailed for France, and they became part of the First Pursuit Group in June 1918. Also in June, the 27th Squadron transitioned from the Aviation Section to the newly organized United States Air Force. Broz handled “incidental engineering” for the squadron, and when the commanding officer of the 27th, Major Harold E. Hartney, was promoted to commanding officer of the First Pursuit Group, Broz accompanied him as an engineering aide. Broz continued to serve in France until the First Pursuit Group was disbanded in January 1919, but he was hospitalized for two months with actue influenza and thrombophlebitis before he could be sent home. He returned to the United States in April 1919, and he was honorably discharged on May 10, 1919. In May 1924, Broz married Mary Josephine DeGuire. He worked as a sales manager for most of his life and moved to Milwaukee during the 1950s. Broz and his wife later returned to St. Louis, where he passed away on December 13, 1982. Broz is buried in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Fredericktown, Missouri.
Scope and Contents
The Joseph G. Broz album documents Broz’s experience serving with the 27th Aero Squadron and First Pursuit Group during World War I. The album, assembled by Broz in 1979, includes an extensive first-hand narrative describing the everyday life of a soldier in the unit, illustrated by a variety of photographs. Many of the photographs were taken by Broz himself, although at least two were taken by the squadron’s unofficial photographer, Eugene “Tex” Branshaw. Broz begins the narrative with his enlistment at Jefferson Barracks on April 29, 1917. He describes training at several airfields in Texas and Canada, including instruction received from pilots in the British Royal Flying Corps. Once in France, Broz and the 27th Aero Squadron were involved in action at Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Asine, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Chateau-Thierry, and the Defensive Sector. The narrative and the accompanying photographs depict the daily life of a soldier at the front, including military duties, sanitary conditions, makeshift barracks, and soldiers’ off-duty escapades. Broz includes many photographs of the Sopwith Camel and Nieuport planes used by his squadron. Photographs also show battlefields and war damage to the surrounding towns and countryside. Broz champions the advancements in aerial warfare made by the 27th Squadron and the First Pursuit Group under the direction of Major Hartney, and he describes in detail the heroic military actions of the pilots, most of whom did not survive the war. These pilots included American Aces such as Eddie Rickenbacker, Frank Luke, and Joseph F. Wehner. The narrative follows Broz and his fellow soldiers through celebrations at the news of the armistice to the gradual disbanding of the First Pursuit Group. While waiting in camp to return home, Broz was stricken with acute influenza, and he describes his hospitalization and subsequent convalescence. The narrative ends with Broz’s return to the United States and his honorable discharge on May 10, 1919.
The album contains a chronological narrative with accompanying photographs.
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Joseph G. Broz Album, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis
United States -- Armed Forces
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1914-1918 -- Aerial operations, American
United States. Army Air Forces. Fighter Squadron, 27th
United States. Army Air Forces. Pursuit Group, 1st