SPAD XIII "Smith IV"
The French SPAD XIII displayed here was built by the Kellner et SesFils Piano Works. On September 15, 1918, it was assigned to the 22nd Aero Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Service, which was taking part in the Saint-Mihiel offensive. The aircraft entered combat during this campaign, and by the end of the war six victories had been scored in it by various pilots.
American ace Arthur Raymond "Ray" Brooks of the 22nd Aero Pursuit Squadron, who first flew the SPAD in combat, named it Smith IV. The name referred to the college his fiance attended and the fact that it was the fourth SPAD he had flown.
The Smithsonian Institution acquired the SPAD XIII in 1919 and alternately displayed and stored it in its original condition for many years. Time, however, took its toll and eventually Smith IV, its fabric rotted and its tires missing, was finally left in storage. Smith IV eventually underwent a two-year restoration process, which was completed in 1986.
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