Flyboys - Summary

In the summer of 1914, slightly more than a decade after the Wright Brothers had invented powered flight, Europe erupted in a “war to end all wars.” Although the United States remained neutral until the spring of 1917, many Americans supported France, a longstanding U.S. ally.

 Needing more pilots, French military officials welcomed the young Americans. Not content with mere idealism, they wanted to fly combat missions. With their Nieuport 17 C-1 fighters, members of the Escadrille Americaine flew their first official patrol on the 13th of May, 1916.

About a month later, the American pilots were sent to join other aviators in the Verdun sector. While civilians fled, or sought shelter, German planes dropped incendiary bombs on the crippled town and countryside. Contemporary photographs reveal the misery of the battlefield and its trenches, the courage of soldiers and reporters, and the extraordinary loss of life at Verdun.

As American pilots scored victories against Germany, that country lodged a complaint with the U.S. government. Wasn’t America neutral in this war? So why was a squadron of American pilots killing German pilots? With the Marquis de Lafayette in mind, the French government changed the name of the American squadron (in December, 1916) to the Lafayette Escadrille.

In this story behind the movie, meet Raoul Lufbery (“Luf”) the inspiration for “Reed Cassidy” in the film and the first ace of the Lafayette Escadrille. See pictures of World War I pilots and the planes they flew.

Step back in time to virtually visit France during World War I. View trenches of the Western Front. Observe film clips and examine contemporary photos of the battle of Verdun. Watch videos as survivors tell their stories. Meet Manfred von Richthofen (the “Red Baron”), and discover how the greatest ace of the war was killed.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2008

Updated Last Revision: Nov 04, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Flyboys" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2008. Nov 13, 2019.
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