Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Fitzmorris, John

Second Advisor

Allan, Millett

Third Advisor

Bischof, Gunter


George E. Dicks deployed to the Mexican Punitive Expedition and World War I with the Louisiana National Guard. He recorded his experience in writing and photography, which reside in the Jackson Barracks Military Museum in Chalmette, Louisiana. His memorabilia reflect an officer’s perspective on early military aviation and parallel to the United States military’s experimentation with aviation. Through experimentation, Dicks became an aerial observer in World War I.

This thesis explores George E. Dicks’ memorabilia and how it both represents the development of the American Air Service and the human cost of military aviation with photographic evidence. By representing aviation’s development, he illuminates the human nature of military experimentation. A comparison between Dicks and the emerging American aviator appears before an in-depth interpretation. Each photo album receives a content analysis to understand his changing perspective throughout his military career. His transition to aviation mirrors the United States’ strategy during World War I, emphasizing observational roles. Examining Dicks photo albums and journals present a unique perspective on the United States Army Air Service and the human cost of military experimentation.


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