|Part of American Expeditionary Forces (AEF)|
|Located near: Souilly, France|
Oblique photo of Souilly Aerodrome, France, 1918
|Controlled by||Air Service, United States Army|
World War I
|Garrison||V Corps Observation Group
III Corps Observation Group
United States First Army Air Service
The airfield was built during the summer of 1918, primarily as an observation/reconnaissance field for the United States First Army Air Service, V Corps Observation Group. It was a main operating base with a mission of battlefield (tactical) reconnaissance to support operations of the V Corps along the front lines during the St. Mihiel Offensive. It supported three squadrons of the group, along with several photo sections to process the aerial photography and forward it and also written observations quickly to V Corps headquarters during the offensive.
On 20 September 1918, the III Corps Observation Group was established at Souilly with four squadrons of observation aircraft after the St. Mihiel Offensive and for the purpose of operations in the forthcoming Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The V Corps was moved to Foucaucourt Aerodrome.
During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the men at Souilly worked night and day directing the operations, coordinating the work, and suggesting and sending out missions carried out by the squadrons, which returned with valuable and complete information. The progress of the attack was followed the line taken at intervals during each day of the attack. Many of the planes were damaged during the attack due to enemy fire and the engines were constantly overworked.
After the Armistice in November 1918, headquarters was moved to the Rhineland as part of the Third Army Air Service, however the squadrons remained at Souilly awaiting demobilization orders. By the end of January, 1919, the Americans were gone and the airfield was turned over to the French Air Service.
Eventually, the airfield was returned to agricultural use. Today it is a series of cultivated fields located northeast of Souilly. The airfield was located to the east of the Départmental 159 (D159), with no indications of its wartime use.
Known units assigned
- Headquarters, V Corps Observation Group, 7–20 September 1918
- 88th Aero Squadron (Observation) 12–14 September 1918; 20 September-4 November 1918
- 99th Aero Squadron (Observation) 7–20 September 1918
- 104th Aero Squadron (Observation) 8–20 September 1918
- Headquarters, III Corps Observation Group, 20 September-29 October 1918
- 13th Aero Squadron (Pursuit) 23 September-16 December 1918
- 49th Aero Squadron (Pursuit) 7 November 1918 – 7 December 1919
- 22d Aero Squadron (Pursuit) 7 November 1918 – 29 January 1919
- Detachment of 24th Aero Squadron (Observation), 9–18 October 1918, 27 October-6 November 1918
- Series "D", Volume 2, Squadron histories,. Gorrell's History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917–1919, National Archives, Washington, D.C.