Major NOYES Stephen Henley

Major NOYES Stephen Henley[1, 2]

Male 1881 - 1932  (50 years)

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  • Name NOYES Stephen Henley 
    Prefix Major 
    Birth 26 Nov 1881  Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3, 4
    • (Noyes Desc. incorrectly says Waterville, ME.)
    Gender Male 
    Census 4 Jun 1900  Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • (age 18; at school; living with mother in the home of her parents, Stephen B. & Eliza H. Luce.)
    _UID 2EA00D38EB9ED5118A06444553540000423A 
    Death 21 Jan 1932  Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 6
    Chestnut Hill Hospital 
    • (aged 50 years 1 month 26 days; died of heart attack.)
    Stephen Henley Noyes death certificate
    Stephen Henley Noyes death certificate
    Burial 26 Jan 1932  Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 6
    Saint Marys Episcopal Churchyard 
    Major Stephen Henley Noyes gravestone
    Major Stephen Henley Noyes gravestone

    MAJOR, U.S.A. A.S. 1917-1919
    D.S.C. C. DE G.
    SON OF
    AND OF
    NOVEMBER 26, 1881
    JANUARY 21, 1932

    • He was educated at St. Mark's School, Southboro, Mass. and at Harvard College, A.B. 1903, Scientific School, B.S. 1905. He played quarterback on the Varsity team in 1905; prior to the war he was a member of Battery A, M.V.M.

      Previous to enlistment he took a preparatory course in a private flying school at Essington, PA, reporting for duty at Newport News on Feb. 5, 1917. From then until April 14 he trained at the Curtis Flying School. While awaiting overseas orders he was attached to the 1st Aero Squadron, stationed at Columbus, N.M. He was commissioned 1st Lieut. May 10, 1917, and sailed overseas Aug. 12, 1917. He trained in France at Avord and at Cazaux; was attached to the 1st Aero Squadron, from Sept. 1, 1917 to June 30, 1918, acting as Flight Commander. He first flew over the lines on April 5, 1918.

      From July 1 to October 25 he commanded the 12th Aero Squadron. He was commissioned Capt. on Aug. 1, 1918. His squadron served in every engagement in which our troops participated - Seicheprey, Château-Thierry, Fismes, St. Mihiel, and the Argonne. He won the Croix de Guerrenear Châtel Chéhéry, July 16, 1918, and the Distinguished Service Cross in the Argonne, Oct. 6, 1918.

      From Oct. 26 to Dec. 1, 1918, he commanded the 5th Corps Observation Group, and from Dec. 1 to April 16, 1919, he commanded the Corps Observation Group, 1st Army. He was appointed Major, J.M.A., Apr. 23, 1919.

      Croix de Guerre (translation)

      Pilot of the first rank, cool and brave, model of duty for his Squadron. On July 6, 1918, attacked first by an enemy patrol, he dispersed them by his brave maneuvers, and permitted his observer to take the desired photographs. Attacked a second time, he destroyed one of his adversaries in a severe combat; ended his flight by a reconnaissance at the height of 500 meters over the German lines.

      Distinguished Service Cross

      The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Air Service) Stephen H. Noyes, United States Army Air Service, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 12th Aero Squadron, U.S. Army Air Service, A.E.F., near Chatel-Chehery, France, 15 October 1918. Captain Noyes volunteered under the most adverse weather conditions to stake the advance lines of the 82d Division. Disregarding the fact that darkness would set in before he and his observer could complete their mission, and at the extremely low altitude of 150 feet, he proceeded amid heavy anti-aircraft and ground machine-gun fire until the necessary information was secured. On the return, due to darkness, he was forced to land on a shell-torn field and proceeded on foot to headquarters with valuable information. War Department, General Orders No. 143 (1918).


      Captain Stephen Henley Noyes (1881-1932) was a Rhode Island native, Harvard graduate, and grandson of Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce. From Harvard, he received a degree in civil engineering and, by 1910, had found a job with the Pennsylvania Steel Company in Steelton, Pennsylvania. A few years later, he moved to Philadelphia to work as a bridge designer for the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1916, Noyes attended the Philadelphia School of Aviation in Essington, Pennsylvania, and applied to be an aviator in the Officer Reserve Corps, Aviation Section. He was transferred to Curtiss Aviation School in Newport News, Virginia, before being commissioned as a first lieutenant in 1917. Noyes went onto serve with both the 1st and 3rd Aero Squadrons and then joined the 12th Aero Squadron in July 1918. He was the commanding officer of his unit until October, when he was promoted to captain and reassigned to the 5th Corps Observation Group.

      During World War I, as a member of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, Noyes served as a pilot and flew reconnaissance missions over enemy lines. On these missions he photographed landmarks, railroads, highways, and rivers in surrounding areas. Noyes received the Croix de Guerre for his mission on July 6, 1918, when he attacked enemy forces, which allowed his observer to take the necessary photographs. He then attacked a second time and was forced to land behind enemy lines. On October 16 of the same year Noyes completed a dangerous mission to stake out advanced lines. In spite of approaching darkness and bad weather that forced him to fly at a low altitude, he obtained the necessary information while exposed to heavy enemy fire. After landing on a shell-torn field, Noyes walked to headquarters. For this action he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. He was discharged from the Army in 1919. [Collection - Stephen H. Noyes papers]
    Person ID I18053  Noyes Family Genealogy
    Last Modified 2 Jan 2019 

    Father Lieut. NOYES Boutelle, U.S.N.,   b. 10 Jan 1848, Waterville, Kennebec, Maine, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 29 Aug 1883, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 35 years) 
    Mother LUCE Charlotte Bleecker,   b. 16 Jun 1859, Washington, District of Columbia Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 28 Oct 1946, North Kingston, Washington, Rhode Island, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 87 years) 
    Marriage 25 Jun 1879  Waterville, Kennebec, Maine, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 7
    • The Noyes Descendants, Vol. II has no date.
    Family ID F6932  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    1LT Stephen H. Noyes
    1LT Stephen H. Noyes
    Veteran & Patriot of World War I

  • Sources 
    1. [S4603] Book-New England Aviators 1914-1918, pp.182-183.

    2. [S7517] Collection-Stephen H. Noyes papers, Notes.

    3. [S103] Book-Noyes-The Noyes Descendants, Vol. II, p.107.

    4. [S6900], Death Certificates, 1906-1963, Certificate Number: 1462.

    5. [S4602] Census-1900-RI-Newport-Newport, Roll T623_1505; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 220.

    6. [S3808] Internet-Find A Grave, Find A Grave Memorial #18708133 [Jen Snoots] 4-1-2007.

    7. [S381] Book-Centennial History of Waterville, ME, p.219.