John A. Karch was a 27-year-old teacher from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, when the enlisted in the U.S. Army on 12 December 1917. He attended the U.S. School of Military Aeronautics at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, as a cadet pilot and graduated on 4 May 1918. He arrived at Rich Field, Waco, Texas, for flight training on 3 June 1918. He flew biplanes and the Curtis JN-4D Jenny. Shortly after the end of WWI on 11 November 1918, he was discharged from the Army Air Service.
This U.S. Army M1911 campaign hat is made of dark olive drab felt with five rows of stitching on the brim. It has the “Montana peak” of four indentations in the crown. There are several grommet holes for ventilation, a silk band, and braided cord with tassels.