Acosta, Bertrand Blanchard, CPT

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Signal Corps
Last Primary MOS
AAF 1054-Pilot - Two-Engine
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1925-1927, AAF 1054, US Navy
Service Years
1917 - 1919

Signal Corps


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Acosta, Bertrand Blanchard, CPT.
Contact Info
Home Town
San Diego, California
Last Address
Denver, Colorado

Date of Passing
Sep 01, 1954
Location of Interment
Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park - North Hollywood, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Portal of the Folded Wings

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Aviation Pioneer. Known as the "Bad Boy of the Air," he taught himself how to fly in 1910, and built experimental planes until 1912, when he went to work for aircraft designer Glenn Curtiss. When World War I started he joined the Royal Flying Corps, and trained Royal Navy pilots in Canada. In 1917 he was sent to the United States, where he trained United States Army Signal Corps pilots at Long Island. Commissioned into the United States Navy, by 1925 he was a Lieutenant. In 1927, he and a fellow pilot set an endurance record of over 51 hours in the air. In May of 1927, with explorer Admiral Richard Byrd as co-pilot, he made a transatlantic flight from Long Island to France (a story has been told that during the flight Admiral Byrd had to strike him on the head with a fire extinguisher after Acosta became very intoxicated). In 1936 he and other American pilots joined the Republic forces in Spain to fight fascists forces during the Spanish-American War; Acosta and the Americans were dubbed the "Yankee Squadron". He delighted in flying under bridges and doing touch and goes on the roof tops of Manhattan skyscrapers. When a passenger once asked him for the time he replied, "I don't know, bit I'll find out," and he buzzed the clock tower of the Metropolitan Life building. In December of 1951 he collapsed in a New York City bar and was hospitalized with tuberculosis. He died at the Jewish Consumptive's Relief Society sanitarium in Colorado.
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
U.S. ArmyUS Navy
  1917-1919, 0210, Aviation Section US Signal Corps
  1925-1927, AAF 1054, US Navy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
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