During early 1919 the pilots of the 94th Aero Sqd decided to paint their SPAD XIIIs. In an attempt to outdo one another they came up with what were termed the "Showbirds".
Click on the top and starboard views for full size images.
SPAD XIII 'Rising Sun' Lt John Jeffers 94th Aero Sqn USAS Cologne Spring 1919
A most intriguing design is seen on the aircraft of John Jeffers. The 'rising sun' motif radiates out from the star on the fuselage and the roundel on the upperwing. The design repeats on the bottom of the lower wing, however the bottom of the upper wing is left in the light yellow of the French five-colour camouflage originally carried.
SPAD XIII 'Lightning Bolt' Lt Weir Cook 94th Aero Sqn USAS Cologne Spring 1919
Overall black, with white lightning flashes, adorn this SPAD. Note that the two sides are not the same. The lower wings and the starboard rudder are conjectural as not all aspects are visible
SPAD XIII S.16546 ' Flag Bus' Captain Reed Chambers 94th Aero Sqn USAS Spring 1919
Captain Chambers SPAD carried a representation of the American flag. I am still waiting on information as to whether the leading edge of each wing was in blue. I would tend to think so.
SPAD XIII 'Barber Pole' Lt Dudley 'Red' Outcault 94th Aero Sqn USAS Cologne Spring 1919
SPAD XIII 'Eastah Aigg' Lt Samuel Kaye 94th Aero Sqn USAS Spring 1919
SPAD XIII 'Zig-Zag' Lt Ben Jones 94th Aero Sqn USAS Spring 1919
SPAD XIII 'Shamrock' Lt Leo Dawson 94th Aero Sqn USAS Cologne Spring 1919
Lt Robert Donaldson 94th Aero Sqn USAS Spring 1919
The opposite side was in the mirror image except for the three large panels below the nose, these were the reverse to those shown here.
SPAD XIII "Diamond Dick" Lt William Palmer 94th Aero Sqn USAS Cologne Spring 1919
When the 94th was returned to the United States, their aircraft went to the 138th Aero Sqn still wearing their fancy colours. However the squadron insignia was removed by the pilots of the 94th, and this was replaced with that of the 138th.
Many of these aircraft then had a further lease on life when they were transferred to the new Polish Air Service
SPAD XIII S.16546 Major Kirby 138th Aero Sqn USAS April 1919