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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.


"New York Aviator Fast Becoming an Ace." August 18, 1918. The Sun (New York, NY), Image 45. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

"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.
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.”