In Memory of Col. Raynal C. Bolling

In Memory of Col. Raynal C. Bolling (HM17EP)

Location: Washington, DC 20032
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 50.453', W 77° 0.741'

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[Panel No. 1]:
"Whatever happens to me will be the result of action, not inaction or drift."
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Bolling

[Panel No. 2]:
On April 7, 1917, the day after President Wilson's war message to Congress, Major Raynal Cawthorne Bolling of the Air Service Reserve requested continuous active duty and reported to Mineola Field, Long Island to await orders.

As a citizen-soldier in the New York National Guard, he had helped organize the 1st Aero Company at Mineola. His first duties after America entered the war were preparing legislation on which the Air Service program was to be founded.

Within the year, he was posted to Europe as head of a mission of aeronautical experts studying aircraft and equipment the United States would manufacture for the Allies.

Promoted to Colonel, Bolling remained in France as Assistant Chief of Air Service, Lines of Communications. His work entailed practically creating the entire air combat arm of the American Expeditionary Force.

[Panel No. 3]:
During the winter of 1918, Colonel Bolling learned he would assume tactical command of American air units planned for the British front. To gain experience and study British air operations, he moved forward to observe air squadrons under combat conditions.

In mid-March 1918, the Germans launched an enormous drive along the Somme. On March 26, driving toward the front lines, Colonel Bolling and his chauffeur, Private Paul L. Holder, encountered German machine-gun fire from both sides of the road. A German officer shot at Holder; Colonel Bolling shot the German with his side arm and was killed by return fire of a second officer. Holder was captured and later released after the Armistice.

[Panel 4]:
In May 1918, construction of a new Air Service Field began on the Anacostia flats. Work was nearing completion by midsummer. On July 1, 1918, the nations's newest military aerodrome was designated Bolling Field.

Colonel Bolling's memory had already been honored. General John J. Pershing, Commader in Chief of the American Expeditionary Force posthumously awarded him the Distinguished Service Medal, acknowledging his comprehensive grasp of aviation matters, his insight into the means of establishing an effective Air Service, his brilliant capacity for arrangements with foreign governments, and his boldness and vigor in carrying outdetermined policies. France had given him the Croix de Guerre, and the British had pronounced Bolling "our best."

But his fellow men of the Air Service gave him a lasting tribute that remains today - Bolling Air Force Base.
HM NumberHM17EP
Series This marker is part of the More Than Words series
Placed ByU.S. Air Force
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 1:31am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 325349 N 4301043
Decimal Degrees38.84088333, -77.01235000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 50.453', W 77° 0.741'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 50' 27.18" N, 77° 0' 44.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3815 Mc Chord St, Washington DC 20032, US
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