The Lafayette Flying Corps was the name given to a group of American pilots who flew with the French Air Service during World War 1. More than 200 Americans became expatriates, for a time at least, in order to try to qualify to fly the latest French fighter planes against the Germans. By war's end the 180 who succeeded were serving in 93 French squadrons. Although most later transferred to the U.S. Air Service, it was their days in the Lafayette Flying Corps and its most elite squadron, the Lafayette Escadrille which recalled the fondest memories among survivors. Of the 180 Americans who flew with the Lafayette, 30 had lived all or part of their lives in New England. An examination of their careers will show that, although they did share certain attributes like courage, self-confidence and love of adventure, they were indeed a mixed crew, difficult to classify and largely indifferent to the glamour of knighthood.

Note on the Author

William F. Hanna received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southeastern Massachusetts University, a Master of Arts degree from Bridgewater State College. He is presently a U.S. History teacher at Taunton High School and has also served as a visiting lecturer in History at Bridgewater State College.