Who's Who - David Putnam

David Putnam Lieutenant David Endicott Putnam (1898-1918) scored 13 verifiable victories as an air ace during World War I, serving with both the French and U.S. air services.

Born on 10 December 1898 in Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts, Putnam - a descendent of revolutionary war General Israel Putnam - started an education at Harvard University before deciding to volunteer for service with the French Air Service in 1917.

With the establishment of America's own equivalent air service Putnam was transferred across to the new service in June 1918.  He specialised in flying fighter missions deep behind German lines on the Western Front.  As a consequence although he was officially credited with 13 'kills', in all probability he tallied more than double this total.

Putnam was killed in action while on a flying mission on 12 September 1918 near Limey, shot down in his SPAD S.XIII by German ace Georg von Hantelmann.  He was aged 19.

During his lifetime Putnam was awarded the French Medaille Militaire and Legion d'Honneur.  He was further nominated for the U.S. Medal of Honor and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

"Bully Beef" comprised cans of boiled or pickled beef used by the British Army.

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