Friedrich Wilhelm "Fred" Zinn was a volunteer American aviator who flew with French Armée de l'Air forces in World War I and an early pioneer of aerial photography for wartime reconnaissance and Military intelligence. The French Air Force ( French: Armée de l'Air (ALA literally Air Army) is the Air force of the French Armed Forces. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All Aerial photography is the taking of Photographs of the ground from an elevated position Reconnaissance (also scouting) is a military and medical term denoting exploration conducted to gain information Military intelligence (abbreviated MI int Commonwealth, or intel
Fred Zinn lived in Battle Creek, Michigan. While visiting France in August 1914, he joined the French Foreign Legion shortly after the outbreak of World War I. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. He was one of the group who signed the American Volunteer Corps flag in Paris on October 17, 1914 before departing for Rouen. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Events 539 BC - King Cyrus The Great of Persia marches into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost Year 1914 ( MCMXIV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Rouen (ʁwɑ̃ in French) is the historical capital city of Normandy, in northwestern France on the River Seine, and currently the capital
He served on the Western Front until February 1, 1916, when he was wounded for the second time during a German artillery attack. See Western Front (disambiguation for other meanings Western Front was a term used during the First and Second World Events 1327 - Teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Year 1916 ( MCMXVI) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year
Zinn transferred to the French Aéronautique Militaire on February 14, 1916. Events 842 - Charles the Bald and Louis the German swear the Oaths of Strasbourg in the French and German Year 1916 ( MCMXVI) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year He served as gunner and bombardier with Escadrille F-14 from December 12, 1916, until October 21, 1917, often augmenting his bombing duties by taking reconnaissance photographs of enemy lines before returning to base. Events 627 - Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II 's Persian Year 1916 ( MCMXVI) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year Events 1512 - Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg. Year 1917 ( MCMXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year
Zinn was one of the first aviators to attempt to photograph enemy troop positions from the air to assist commanders on the ground. This had previously been done from manned balloons, but they were vulnerable to enemy fire and had to be kept behind the lines. By flying directly over enemy positions and taking photographs, Zinn provided French commanders with a far better view of the battlefield, and the techniques he and others developed soon became standard practice for both sides in the trench warfare style conflict. Trench warfare is a form of warfare where both combatants have fortified positions and fighting lines are static
He was decorated twice by the French government for bravery for flying low over enemy lines on these reconnaissance missions.
Although not formally assigned to the American Lafayette Escadrille, Zinn was recorded as an observer for the Escadrille, presumably while taking aerial photographs. The Lafayette Escadrille (from the French Escadrille de Lafayette) was a squadron of the French Air Service the Aéronautique militaire
After the United States entered the war in 1917, Zinn entered the U.S. Army Air Service as a captain and was attached to American GHQ at Chaumont until the Armistice on November 11, 1918. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The United States Army Air Service was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. The armistice treaty between the Allies and Germany was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on November 11, 1918 Events 308 - The Congress of Carnuntum: Attempting to keep peace within the Roman Empire, the leaders of the Tetrarchy declare Year 1918 ( MCMXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common He was one of a small number of Legionnaires who entered the war in August of 1914 to survive over four years of active service and over three full years in combat units. Some French Foreign Legion units had close to 100% casualties in the intense trench warfare.
Zinn returned to the United States after the war and continued flying, including a trip to San Francisco where his biplane was required to fly only over the waters of San Francisco Bay due to a perceived danger to citizens if it traveled over land. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city San Francisco Bay is a shallow productive Estuary through which water draining from approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento