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Topics in Chronicling America - Lafayette Escadrille: American Aviators in World War I

"Yankee Fliers Fool Enemy!," reads the July 25, 1916 issue of the New York Tribune. During the Great War, adroit and courageous American aviators who volunteered to join the French army were known as the Lafayette Escadrille flying squadron. Their brave and gallant efforts in battle (along with their "Yankee trick" of sneaking behind enemy lines), were often heralded in American newspapers. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • April 20, 1916. The Escadrille Americaine (n.124) is established in the French Service Aeronautique.
  • May 13, 1916. The Escadrille Americaine conducts its first patrol.
  • April-December, 1917. Deliberations are held to determine how American aviators in the Lafayette Escadrille will be transferred into the US military after the US enters the war on April 6, 1917.
  • June, 1917. American aviator James Norman Hall publishes an account of his experiences in the Lafayette Escadrille entitled “High Adventure.”
  • October, 1918. American aviator William Wellman publishes an account of his experiences entitled “Go Get ‘Em.”

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Lafayette Escadrille, Lafayette Squadron, American aviator, Volunteer
  • Limit the search by time period: the Lafayette Escadrille (N. 124) was officially active during 1916 and 1917; the names Lafayette Squadron and Lafayette Flying Corps were also used to refer to American flyers throughout the “Great War”; World War I began in August, 1914 and ended in November, 1918
  • The names of specific aviators in the Escadrille can locate articles about those individuals (eg., Kiffin Rockwell, Norman Prince, William Thaw, William Wellman, Ronald Hoskier, James Norman Hall, etc.)

Sample Articles from Chronicling America: .

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  March 18, 2013
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