The Lafayette Escadrille (Men at War Series)



This exciting book presents the full, authoritative story of that "brave band of brothers" who were the first Americans to fight in World War I. Patriots, adventurers, even soldiers of fortune, they came from all walks of life, burning with a kind of idealism which has now all but disappeared. They began their fight against the Hun in the trenches- as members of the Foreign Legion they kept their U.S. citizenship-but turned naturally and enthusiastically to the new war that was being waged high in the sky. They flew French planes and at first were scattered among various French squadrons. Then a special escadrille was formed for the Americans, and soon its reputation spread far beyond the front. While the United States was sending obsolete "Jenny" training planes against Pancho Villa in Mexico, the Lafayette Escadrille-and Americans like Norman Prince, Raoul Lufbery, Victor Chapman, Bill Thaw, Kiffin Rockwell and Jim McConnell-was meeting in deadly dogfights the best pilots Germany had to offer. The Lafayette Escadrille is based on years of research in Europe and in America, including interviews with sur¬vivors of the Escadrille. It is therefore not only the definitive story of the Escadrille but also a unique portrayal of the first war in the air. It reveals the full spectrum of their exis¬tence-in the air as well as on the ground. It tells of pet lion cubs (named Whiskey and Soda) as well as ambitious air raids; of dogfights as well as highjinks in Paris. More than any other book, this dramatic narrative tells honestly and in depth what it was like to be an American pursuit pilot in the Great War.

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