Lafayette Escadrille: Topics in Chronicling America
The Lafayette Escadrille consist of American aviators who volunteered to fight for France during World War One. This guide provides access to materials related to “Lafayette Escadrille” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
"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 in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
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.
American aviator James Norman Hall publishes an account of his experiences in the Lafayette Escadrille entitled “High Adventure.”
American aviator William Wellman publishes an account of his experiences entitled “Go Get ‘Em.”