3rd Aviation Instruction Center Monument
Phil Billard
Phil Billard

Courtesy of Gerald V. Arseneault, 10-1-07
Superintendent of Brittany American Cemetery

  BILLARD, Philip Louis Lt. AAS b.27 Apr 1891, Topeka, KS Son of Mayor Julius B. and Hermance P. (LAURENT) BILLARD, Topeka, KS DIA 25 July 1918 in air accident at the Issoudun advanced flying school airfield in France. With the 3rd Aviation Inst Center. Remains cremated and scattered at Issoudun Flying School, France

3rd Aviation Instruction Center Monument
     A stone obelisk commemorating those Americans of the Third Instruction Center who were killed while training with the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center during WWI. The text on this monument, plus the 4 bronze plaques, are as follows : 1917 – 1918 – 1919 ; Third Aviation Instruction Center. Below this text, a French Blue, White, and Red "Cockard" carrying the words "Souvenir Francais" has been fixed to the monument. Still further below,
the front bronze plaque carries the following names:
      Pvt. Ernest L. Simpson, PVT. George Astialine, 1st Lt Joseph H. Mason A. S., 1st Lt. Phil Billard A. S., Sgt. Robert W. Holt Jr., 2nd Lt. Cecil S. Huntington A. S., Pvt. Walter D. Sobiske, Pvt. Joshua D. Slonaker, 1st. Lt Mark F. Hamilton A. S., Pvt. 1st. Cl. Thomas A. Addis, 2nd Lt. Wedwin B. Schreiber A. S., 1st Lt. Lenwood N. Ott A. S., 2nd. Lt. William C Carmack, A. S., 2nd Lt. Donald M. Sage A. S., 2nd Lt. Samuel A. Greenwood A. S., 1st Lt. Robert M. Wood Jr., A. S., 1st. Lt Leroy G. Woodward A. S., 1st Lt. Edward J. Smyth A. S., 1st. Lt. Clinton I. Sutton A. S., 2nd. Lt. Lewis M. Smith A. S., 1st Lt. John Hubbard A. S., 2nd. Lt. Arthur J. Stahler A. S., 1st Lt. Stephen T. Webster A. S., 2nd Lt. Greayer Clover A.S., Cpt Roger W. Jannus A.S., Pvt. Ruby Barnes, 2nd Lt. Hugo L. Stock A. S., Pvt Lonnie C. Hall, Pvt. Virgil Kiper, Pvt. Carmic Price, Pvt. William E. Krausz, Pvt Earl Mills, Pvt. Grover Dummitt, 2nd Lt. Horace B. Forman A.S., Pvt. Arthur L. Zollman, 2nd Lt. Cecil M. Anderson A. S., Sgt. Gustave L. Soniat, 1st. Lt. William F. Nerrick A. S., 1st. Lt. Sylvester B. Moore A.S., 1st Lt. Kimsy L. Stewart A. S., Pvt. Clark W. Flack, CPL. Harold F. Owens, Pvt. Robert N. Feldner.
List of names carried on R.N. Bronze plaque :
      Pvt. Edward S. Stilley, Pvt. Louis Lafasse, Pvt. Jesse B. Jones, 2nd. Lt. George S. Reisz A. S., Pvt. Robert C. Castteel, Sgt Wilbur E. Moore, Pvt. Daniel W. Fox, Pvt. Bernard F. Romacosa, Cpl. Lester F. Robie, Cpl. John W. Wainwright A. S., Cpl Raymond W. Thornton, Pvt. Ernest Gautier, 2nd Lt. Walter W. Goddard Jr. A. S., 2nd. Lt James R. Crowe A.S., 2nd. Lt Lawrence E. Vilas A. S., Sgt. Otto T. Dreher, Sgt. 1st. Cl. Harry D. Magness, Pvt. Mitchell L. McClurg, 2nd. Lt. Paul S. Whitehead A.S., 2nd. Lt Benjamin Wohl A. S., Sgt Fred M. Woods, Sgt Edward M. Moriarty, 2nd. Lt. Albert F. Gilmore A. S., 2nd. Lt. Walter L. Harrison A. S., Cpl. Leon Brannon, 2nd. Lt. Edward R. Richte A. S., Sgt. Ingle S. Smith, Pvt. Edward J. Daly, Cpl. Paul K. Willson, Sgt. Verne I. Mounts, Pvt. 1st. Cl. Danforth E. Buck, Cdt. Paul W. Lindsley A. S., Sec Joseph Franklin Hardy, Y.M.C.A., Pvt. Clarence R. Shaw, Pvt. James Stinziano, Cpl. William J. Clarke, Pvt. Charles J. Corsiglia, Pvt. Joseph T. Gee, Pvt. 1st. Cl. Lawrence B. Barnes, Sgt. 1st. Cl. Walter H. Wills, 1st Lt Vincent J. Dushek A. S., 2nd. Lt. Charles F. Backus A. S., 1st Lt. Arthur M. Roberts A. S., Pvt. Carl F. Anderson, Capt Edward C. Gwynne A. S.
Text on rear of monument:
      En mémoire de ceux qui ont donné leur vie pour la liberté – 1917 -1919 – 3e Ecole d'Aviation – Forces Expeditionnaires Américaines. List of names carried on rear bronze plaque : Sgt. 1st Cl. Ralph L. Cock, 1st Lt. W. C. Woodward A. S., 1st Lt. James F. Greer A.S., 1st Lt. John R. Schley A.S., CPL. Joseph H. Liskie, 1st Lt. A. F. Bell, A.S., 1st Lt. Wm. B. Coleman A.S., 2nd Lt. F.J. McMahon A.S., 2nd Lt. Wm. V. Capen A. S., 2nd Lt. Clinton R. Madison A. S., 2nd Lt. Fred C. Austrom A.S. , 2nd Lt. "Carl A. Grimes A.S., 1st Lt. Cryus E. Graham A. S., 2nd Lt. Clair W. Welty A.S., 2nd Lt Preston E. Tupper A.S., 2nd Lt. Reginald J. Calkens A. S., Pvt. Vincent V Manzo, Sgt. Clyde C. Webb, 2nd Lt Altin H. Kimball A. S., 2nd Lt. William M. Falk A. S., 2nd Lt. Roger C. Coree A. S., 2nd Lt. Thomas L. Spence A. S., Pvt. John W. Hofelt, 2nd Lt. Henry C. Smith A. S., 2nd Lt. Elwood H. Hooper A. S., Pvt. Steven McReely, 1st Lt. Colber C. Clive A. S., Wagoner Charlie Riley, Pvt. Carroll P. Whittington, Pvt Willard Pipe, CPL. Ernest E. Comstock, Sgt Thurman M. Gregory, Cpl. Clarence S. Humphries.
List of names carried on L. M. Bronze plaque:
      Pvt. Raymond H Runner, Pvt Erwin H. Shaw, 1st Lt. James D. Paull A. S., Pvt. Ernest E. Marsh, Pvt. Garland E. McCoy, Sgt. 1st Cl. Welby N. Crang, M. S. E. Franklin E. Perry, CPL Frank M. May, Pvt. Walter L. Fitzgerald, Pvt. Elllis E. Hunt, Sgt. Alvin Roberts, Cdt. Ernest H. Leach, 1st Lt. Jack M. Wright A. S., 1st Lt. Frank B. Turner A. S., Cdt. Charles A. Hopkins, Cdt Arthur H. Wilson, Cdt. George Cl. Phillipoteaux, 1st Lt. Arthur J. Perrault A. S., Cdt Edward E. Butler, 2nd Lt. Charles B. Seward A. S., 1st Lt. James C. Marquardy A. S., 1st Lt Clayton C. Ingersoll, A.S. , Cdt. Kenneth M. Copley, 1st Lt. John K. Grisard A. S., Cdt. Steward Freeman, 1st Lt. Harry C. Colborn A. S., Cdt. Joseph Bettenhausen, Sgt. Thurston R. Chamberlain, 1st Lt. Eugene P. Wubben A. S., 1st Lt. William N. Newitt A. S., Cdt. Rexford Shilliday, 1st Lt Richard Anderson A. S., 2nd Lt. Lester L. Meyer A. S., 1st Lt. Earl H. Neville A. S., Sgt. 1st Cl. James F. O'Flaherty, 2nd Lt. William F. Chamberlain A. S., Army Nurse Marion L. Watkins A. S., Pvt. Wilfred J. Breckenridge, 1st Lt Remson Bishop A. S., Cook Merritt Winsell, 1st Lt. Loyd B. Vorhies A. S., 1st Lt. Richard E. Lloyd A. S.
     The monument is located at the site of the old Volvaut Airfield in the town of Paudy (Indre) on the north side of the route D960, 12kms North of Issoudin. As you leave Vatan (exit from the A-20) on the 960 towards Issoudun, you pass a water tower in the town of Voeu. Take the next possible left turn on a small road and park. Walk 100 meters more down the 960 to a small clearing, where the monument is located.

3rd Aviation Instruction Center
vie email from Gerald V. Arseneault, 4-26-05
     The 3rd Aviation Instruction Center is one of many WWI Monuments that have been erected to honor the sacrifices of Americans who gave their lives for the Liberation of France. The monument located southeast of Tours, France was erected by a World War I Aviator Association to honor those aviators and soldiers who were killed at the 3rd Aviations Instruction Center, which was the largest WWI airfield in France. General Spaatz the founder of today’s modern United States Air Force and Senator Bigham were both Commanders of the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center. Every WWI Aviator went through the airfield at Issoudun at one time or other, to include Mitchell, Luke, and Rickenbacker who designed the Airfield.
Gerald V. Arseneault
American Battle Monuments Commission
     It was through the courtesy of Mr. Gerald V. Arseneault, Superintendent of the Brittany American Cemetery, that we have been privileged to become acquainted with the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center Monument. If time permits, and if you are not already familiar with the American Battle Monuments Commission website, which includes a very nice coverage of the Brittany American Cemetery, I heartily recommend that you visit the website by clicking on the title above.
     If you wish to go directly to the Brittany American Cemetery display, just click on the "Cemeteries" button which you find on the left side of the page. I am sure you will be impressed and well rewarded by your visit.

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