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Remembered Today:

Bob Scanlon, black American legionnaire, shot down a plane with a cannon?


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meanderingbartender

Bob Scanlon was a black american who joined the French Legion at the start of the war. He transferred to the 170th with Eugene Bullard. He was a good friend of Bullard as they were sparing partners before the war. He was also friends with Norman Price, who was a legionnaire who founded the Lafayette Escadrille. Bullard would go on to join the squadron

 

There's only two articles that mentioned Scanlon shooting down a plane. One is printed below. Article 1. Article 2. A lot of sources about the squadron don't mention Scanlon. Then again, they don't mention Bullard either, and other black Americans who served

 

Has anyone else come across information relating to this event or have better sources? Thank you kindly. 

bob scanlon shoots down a plane.jpg

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Here are a couple of things, Sir.

 

The blogger at this first link does not know much about Great War aeroplanes or operations, but does give a  date for the engagement, (January 10, 1915), which is probably off by a year, and some details about Mr. Scanlon.

 

http://overlord-wot.blogspot.com/2019_10_06_archive.html

 

This site is sounder, and has a picture of the two men, and gives the unit they were in (Escadrille VB113 or perhaps VC113, probably known as V113 at the start of 1915).

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20170201205005/https://www.neam.org/lafayette-escadrille/americansinfas.html

 

Mr. Albin Denis' entry for VB113 has no details of unit victories, but does confirm Mr. Prince was on the roster:

 

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://albindenis.free.fr/Site_escadrille/escadrille113.htm&prev=search&pto=aue

 

This gives some better account of Mr. Prince operating Voisins, but does not refere nce any aerial victory.

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=sNQDxdEbqW4C&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=norman+prince+voisin&source=bl&ots=mIaAdXGZOf&sig=ACfU3U11PUkG8gWpkUDzOV96rq1D2IOjMg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwity_7Lq_fqAhU5AZ0JHcaDDtQ4ChDoATAIegQIChAB#v=onepage&q=norman prince voisin&f=false

Edited by Old Man
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meanderingbartender

Thank you @Old Man

 

As you suggested, the year is probably off. Jan 1916 could be correct. I've seen a few sources that state that Norman Prince scored 4 confirmed victories and a few probable before he died in Oct 1916. I haven't quite figured if tail gunners were also given victories. 

 

Based on what I've research so far, it's entirely probable that Scanlon was on leave to recover from a wound, visited his friend Prince, and then the two found a way to get Scanlon up in the air. 

 

I just want to see if there's any historical records of Scanlon's shooting down an aircraft. 

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