Bullard, Pilot in Lafayette Escadrille

A Bleriot Pengiun trainer, with its clipped wings making it incapable of flight, was used for developing skills on the ground.

From the start of World War I, hundreds of young American men and women driven by idealism or a sense of adventure or both joined the Allied cause.

The vision of aviators, the knights of the air, attracted many to the French and British air services. Then as the reputation and the glamour of the Lafayette Escadrille grew, many of these aspiring airmen wanted to join the famous squadron. However, by early 1916, the Escadrille, officially N.124, had its full complement of pilots, all American volunteers. The Lafayette Escadrille was the only unit in French service made up solely of American pilots.

Eugene Bullard flew with the Escadrille as a Corporal and completed many valiant missions over Verdun in the summer of 1916.

Learn more about this amazing group of pilots at http://neam.org/lafayette-escadrille/index.html

Future Lafayette Escadrille members are Victor Chapman, center back row; Edmond Genet, seated center; William Dugan, Genet’s left; Eugene Bullard, Chapman’s left. Bullard was the first African-American pilot.

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