The U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps pilots in combat during World War I flew almost exclusively European-designed and -built aircraft. In his final war report, General John Pershing, commander of U.S. ground forces in Europe, wrote, “In aviation we were entirely dependent upon our Allies.”1
One of the most popular fighters of the later stages of the 1914−18 conflict was the French-built Nieuport 28. Designed by Gustave Delage, it was one of a highly successful line of fighters that continued a design philosophy of a lightweight and highly maneuverable aircraft. Beyond the French air service, the earlier Nieuport fighters were flown by Britain’s Royal Naval Air Service and Russian military aviation. Although not flown by the U.S. Navy during the war, it had a role in post-war naval aviation development.