Americans In Italy–1918

Event Details

When: September 3, 2023

Starts At: 12:00 pm

Join Italian author Luigino Caliaro for a photographic exploration of American Airmen serving in Italy during World War I. The talk will focus on the training some of them received in the operation of Caproni Ca.3 bombers and their leadership under future Mayor of New York City, Fiorello La Guardia. Caliaro will also discuss US Navy pilots who flew in the Adriatic, including Ensign Charles H. Hammann (USNRF) and the actions which earned him the Medal of Honor. For context, the presentation will also provide an overview of US Navy and Army forces active in Italy during the same time period.

The Charles H Hammann Medal of Honor Action:

Ensign Hammann received the Medal of Honor for rescuing his squadron mate, Ensign George M. Ludlow, during aerial operations off the coast of Pola, Croatia on August 21, 1918. Shot down, Ludlow had force-landed his stricken Macchi M.5 seaplane fighter on the Adriatic Sea. Undaunted, and under constant threat of attack, Hammann landed his own M.5 beside Ludlow and hauled him aboard. With the aircraft being a single-seater, Ludlow had to cling to the engine struts for the return journey to Porto Corsini, Italy. Ensign Hammann was the first US naval aviator awarded the nation’s highest military decoration. Sadly, he lost his life while serving on active duty from Langley Field, Virginia on June 14, 1919. The WWII destroyers, USS Hammann (DD 412) and USS Hammann (DE 131), were named in his honor.

This Program is Included with Museum Admission (Free to Members), Attendees are welcome to Bring a Lunch.