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What a year!

Spitfires of the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
12th TRS Spitfire formation

This has been a very productive year for TwelfthRecon.

This year we’ve completed the first draft transcribing the Kennedy Letters from the Museum of Flight. This was no small feat considering the collection contains nearly 125 letters and 42,000 words. The next draft will focus on detecting transcription errors, formatting and adding clarifying notes for the reader. Lt. Kennedy is one of the few officers who deployed overseas with the 12th and remained with the 12th until it returned home after the war.

Our second transcription project, the Wistar Morris letters from the Army War College, is only just beginning. This collection contains about fifty letters from his training until he was killed in action. The quality of these copies can be poor at times and has slowed down the project considerably. Nevertheless, the project continues.

We also published the Boe Simpson Collection. Mr. Simpson generously provided 125 personal letters, over a dozen stories and many photos from his experiences serving in Korea with the 12thTactical Recon Squadron. A special thanks to Mr. Simpson for his time and effort in making this possible. It has been a pleasure working with him and am grateful to have found in him a new friend.

This summer, our editor visited the National Air and Space Museum Archives spending three days reviewing the Burdette S. Wright Diaries as part of his ongoing research into the 12th Aero Squadron’s WWI service. He walked away with 41 pages of typed notes critical to the success of the Centennial Blog series.

Speaking of the Centennial Series, this year we devoted 23 blog posts to following the 12th Aero Squadron’s exploits on the Western Front 100 years ago. This series was the fruit of nearly three years of research. It is our hope you found it as informative and inspirational as we did putting the it together.

You might believe the holidays slowed our research efforts here at TwelfthRecon. However, during Thanksgiving vacation we took the opportunity to visit the University of Texas Dallas aviation archives and boy did we hit paydirt. While reviewing the extensive George H. Williams Collection, we discovered and secured nearly four hours of audio recordings from four WWI veterans of the 12th Aero relating their wartime experiences. It was in interesting experience resurrecting 1960’s tube technology to play back audio from the reels. In the end, the library did a great job getting them digitized for us. We also obtained several photos not seen for some-time. You can expect to see these materials in the Member’s Only section very soon future.

As the year draws to a close we are so very grateful to our readers, contributors and collaborators. So many people have volunteered their time and energy to help us tell the story of the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron. Please accept our sincerest gratitude and may you all have a Merry Christmas.

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