A Pair of Aces and a Trey

William P. Erwin, Arthur E. Easterbrook and Byrne V. Baucom, America's Top Scoring WWI Observation Pilot and Observers

Alan Roesler

The joint biography of three pioneering observation World War I airmen.
Publication date:
November 2022
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Illustration :
Black and white images and colour profiles
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781636241876

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm


• The first book to fully chronicle the careers and lives of these remarkable World War I aviation aces, who were pioneers of dogfighting and strafing
• Aces and Treys refers to the number of kills recorded by a fighter pilot
• This new research shows how the work of pioneering aviators was integrated into the total war effort
• Traces the lives of these three men and the paths they took after World War I

Trained as a pursuit pilot but assigned to an observation squadron, the indefatigable Bill Erwin flew twice as many hours over the front lines as any other pilot in the 1st Aero Squadron. His two primary observers, Byrne Baucom and Arthur Easterbrook, were both previously Army infantry officers and deadly marksmen. It was their dedication, bravery, and courage under fire that kept them alive throughout the Château-Thierry, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. Easterbrook scored four of his five victories while flying with Erwin, including two in one day, while Baucom scored all three of his victories with Erwin. Even after returning in shredded Salmsons, being forced down, and shot down on multiple occasions, all three remained relatively unscathed throughout the war.

Erwin's dramatic life culminated in his disappearance during the 1927 Dole Air Race, while Easterbrook became a revered figure in Washington. Revered in his home state of Texas, Baucom became a pilot in the 1920s and rose to become an instructor at an advanced flying school. He died in an aircraft crash in 1928. While Erwin became Dallas' ‘favorite son' in life, 3,000 people paid tributes to Baucom at his funeral, showing his immense popularity. Easterbrook was the only one of the three to survive to reach his military career potential, retiring as a brigadier general after World War II. Alan Roesler retraces the lives and careers of the three men in this new joint biography.