Dear current and future readers,
I wanted to discuss the Lafayette Escadrille that is referenced on page two, in the first paragraph of Chapter one. This was a unit of American volunteer fighter pilots which our main character Duke Thomas joined in January 1917. He left all that was important to him, including his wife, to follow his duty and fight for the French. This unit included many Ivy league college graduates and students who wanted to serve against the tyranny of Imperial Germany.
The Lafayette Escadrille was America’s first aviation volunteer organization that operated in support of the “war to end all wars”. Unfortunately, about a third of its force was either killed, missing in action, or taken as prisoners of war. This outstanding group of volunteer aviators wound up with 11 flying aces. It was absorbed into the US Army Air Service 103rd Aero Squadron on 18 February 1918.
Duke gained valuable experience in combat and was lucky enough to survive longer than many of the other 224 Americans that served in this distinguished unit.
Next week we will talk about the symbol placed on the Escadrille’s aircraft – SITTING BULL!
Enjoy the adventure!