In April 1917, Suggsville, Alabama, native Charles d'Olive joined the United States Signal Enlisted Reserve Corps. After initial flight training in the US and France, d'Olive joined the 93rd Aero Squadron August 23, 1918. Less than one month later, on September 13, 1918, First Lieutenant d'Olive climbed into the cockpit of his French-built SPAD Xlll pursuit aircraft to search for German aircraft. While flying with his wingman, d'Olive engaged five German aircraft near the town of St. Benoit, France. Although outnumbered, d'Olive used his flying and gunnery skills to shoot down three German Fokker D.Vll pursuit aircraft. As a result of his impressive feat, the U.S. Army awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to d' Olive. The citation stated: '·For extraordinary heroism in action near St. Benoit, France, September 13, 1918. Lt. d' Olive, in conjunction with another American pilot, engaged and fought five enemy planes. Outnumbered and fighting against tremendous odds, Lt. d'Olive shot down three enemy planes and outfought the entire enemy formation."
By the end of World War I, d' Olive had scored five aerial victories. However, due to a clerical error, d'Olive did not receive official credit for his achievements until 1963--45 years after the end of the conflict. D' Olive, then in his 60s, received official recognition as the last World War I aviator to attain the coveted status of "ace." The 93rd Bomb Squadron traces its lineage to the 93rd Aero Squadron, which was organized on August 21, 1917, at Kelly Field, Texas. It is currently assigned to the 307th Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The 93rd Bomb Squadron flies the B-52 Stratofortress.