Fabric, Insignia, 103rd Aero Squadron, United States Army Air Service

The United States Army Air Service (USAAS) "Indian Head" insignia of the 103rd Aero Squadron was adopted from the French Air Service’s Escadrille Lafayette, whose pilots transferred into the 103rd Aero Squadron in February 1918.

The "Indian Head" faces to the right, indicating the fabric was removed from the starboard side of the aircraft's fuselage.

No two examples of Lafayette Escadrille insignia are exactly alike; it is therefore possible to use period photographs to try and identify from which aricraft a particular insignia was cut.

This insignia matches that of a Spad VII in the photograph album of mechanic Emil Forst from 103rd Aero Squadron, as reported by the historian Alan Toelle. The legend “PHOTO” stenciled on the side of the fuselage just below the cockpit, as seen in the photo, indicates this is a de Marçay-built version of the Spad VII produced in the spring of 1918. Mr. Toelle refered to the log of the 103 Aero Squadron and advised that this aircraft could be one of two de Marçay-built Spad VIIs received at Lefrinckoucke on 29 May 1918. Of those aircraft, S.7143 was assigned to Lt. Edgar Tobin and S.7180 was assigned to Lt. Drummond Cannon; both were in service until mid-August 1918.