The 94th Aero Squadron was activated at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas on August 20, 1917. Commanded by Major Raoul Lufberry, the 94th was the first American squadron at the front. Known, for of its distinctive squadron insignia as the "Hat in the Ring" squadron, the 94th's most famous member was Lieutenant (later Major) Edward V. "Eddie" Rickenbacker, America's top-scoring ace during World War I. The 94th was redesignated the 94th Pursuit Squadron in 1923. On March 12, 1941, it was redesignated the 94th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter). Equipped with Lockheed P-38 Lightnings (and later with North American P-51 Mustangs), the 94th deployed to Great Britain in the summer of 1942, and, in November 1942, entered combat in North Africa as part of Operation Torch. Later based in Italy, Corsica and France, the 94th Fighter Squadron was awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations and fourteen campaign honors; squadron pilots recorded 124 aerial victories over Axis aircraft. Born in 1925 in Garden City, Kansas, Albert James "Jim" Bertoglio was raised in Los Angeles and was studying photography under Ansel Adams at the Art Center School when he was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Services in 1943. After training at Fort Leavenworth, Lincoln Air Force Base, and at the Command Photo School at Lowry Field, California, Bertoglio, promoted to sergeant, joined the 94th Fighter Squadron in Foggia, Italy. Conditions were primitive - Bertoglio commandeered a captured German field kitchen to serve as a darkroom, and swapped whiskey with an RAF unit for an enlarger. Bertoglio documented the personnel and the activities of the 94th through its campaigns, including air support during the August 1944 invasion of southern France, Operation Dragoon. Following the war, Bertoglio attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and worked as a photographer at a guest ranch in Estes Park. In 1949, he joined his family's General Motors dealership in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Bertoglio's photographs of the 94th Fighter Squadron were exhibited at the Litwin Gallery, Wichita, Kansas in 1993, and at the Deaf Smith County Historical Society, Hereford, Texas, in 2004. The Kansas Memory project of the Kansas Historical Society conducted a video interview with Bertoglio (http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/211299) in 2006. James Bertoglio died on October 26, 2012, in Pratt, Kansas.
Chris Bertoglio, Gift, 2014
0.3 Cubic feet ((1 box))
No restrictions on access.
The 94th Fighter Squadron Collection includes photographs taken by James Bertoglio, including twenty-five 8x10 inch black and white prints; twenty-one 4x5 inch black and white contact prints; fifty-three 4x5 inch black and white negatives, some of which are copy negatives; six black and white negatives in various sizes, and six color copy negatives. Subjects include the aircraft and personnel of the 94th Fighter Squadron, preparations for missions, and recreation. There are several photographs of the ruins of Monte Cassino following its bombing in 1944. There are several photographs of Lockheed YP-80A Shooting Star jet fighters, part of Project Extraversion - the first U.S. jet fighters in operational service. Portraits of notables include Generals Carl Spaatz, Nathan Twining, Ira Eaker, and Pope Pius XII. Also included in the collection are a unit history of the 94th, "Hello Spacebar This is Springcap" by John D. Mullins; a poster, booklet, announcement and reviews of the exhibit of Bertoglio's photographs by the Litwin Gallery, 1993; and a small group of letters including a letter to Bertoglio from Irving Berlin, dated 1986.
World War, 1939-1945
94th Fighter Squadron Collection [Bertoglio], Accession 2014-0034, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives