Lafayette Flying Corps
The Lafayette Flying Corps is a name used to describe the American volunteer pilots who flew for the French during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. It includes the pilots who flew with the bona fide Lafayette Escadrille
Lafayette Escadrille
The Lafayette Escadrille , was an escadrille of the French Air Service, the Aéronautique militaire, during World War I composed largely of American volunteer pilots flying fighters.-History:Dr. Edmund L...

 squadron. The estimations of number of pilots range from 180 to over 300. The generally accepted number of pilots who successfully completed French flight training is 209. Of these, 180 served in combat.

Casualties and honors

Sixty-three Corps members died during the war, 51 of them in action against the enemy. The Corps is credited with 159 enemy kills. It amassed 31 Croix de guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

, and its pilots were awarded seven Médailles militaires
Médaille militaire
The Médaille militaire is a decoration of the French Republic which was first instituted in 1852.-History:The creator of the médaille was the emperor Napoléon III, who may have taken his inspiration in a medal issued by his father, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland...

and four Légions d'honneur
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

. Eleven of its members were deemed flying aces, claiming five air kills or more. The core squadron suffered nine losses and was credited with 41 victories.


There is often confusion between the Lafayette Escadrille and the Lafayette Flying Corps, exacerbated by the inaccuracies in the movie Flyboys.

Member list

  • Wainwright Abbott
  • John Russell Adams
  • Sidney Thayer Allen
  • Walter K. Appleton, Jr.
  • Alan Newton Ash (died in service)
  • Arthur Mills Aten
  • Jules James Bach
  • Paul Frank Baer
    Paul Frank Baer
    First Lieutenant Paul Frank Baer was an American World War flying ace credited with nine confirmed and seven unconfirmed aerial victories. He scored the first aerial victory ever for American military aviation.-Early life and characteristics:...

  • Benjamin Hester Baird
  • Horace Clyde Balsley (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Leif Norman Barclay (died in service)
  • Charles Chester Bassett, Jr.
  • Henry Augustus Batchelor
  • James Henry Baugham (died in service)
  • Frank Leaman Baylies
    Frank Baylies
    Lieutenant Frank Leaman Baylies was a World War I flying ace credited with twelve aerial victories.-Early life and ground service:Baylies was the son of Lydia Terry Paige and Charles S. Baylies. He volunteered for the Ambulance Corps in May 1916 and originally saw service on the Western Front and...

     (died in service)
  • James Alexander Bayne (died in service)
  • Philip Phillips Benny (died in service)
  • Leo E. Benoît (alias Ernest L. Benway)
  • Charles John Biddle
    Charles J. Biddle (aviator)
    Major Charles John Biddle was an American aviator, attorney, and author. He was a flying ace during World War I. Postwar, he launched a career in law and wrote his memoirs.-Family and early life:...

  • Julian Cornell Biddle (died in service)
  • Stephen Sohier Bigelow (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Charles Raymond Blake
  • Arthur Bluethenthal
    Arthur Bluethenthal
    Arthur Bluethenthal, nicknamed "Bluey" , was an All American football player for Princeton University, who died in combat fighting for France in World War I.-Early life:...

     (died in service)
  • Pierre de Lagarde Boal
    Pierre de Lagarde Boal
    Pierre de Lagarde Boal was an American diplomat and aviator. Boal served as the United States Ambassador to Nicaragua from 1941 to 1942 and the United States Ambassador to Bolivia from May 1942 to February 5, 1944....

  • Ellison Converse Bogos
  • William Vernon Booth, Jr. (died in service)
  • Clarence Marsh Bosworth
  • Edgar Jean Bouligny
  • Algernon Boyesen
  • Lester Strayer Brady
  • Ray Claflin Bridgman (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Jasper Cornish Brown
  • Stafford Leighton Brown (died in service)
  • Everett Timothy Buckley
  • Thomas Bradley Buffum
  • Eugene Jacques Bullard
    Eugene Bullard
    Eugene Jacques Bullard was the first black military pilot and the only black pilot in World War I along with Ahmet Ali .-Early life:...

    , the world's first black military pilot (93 Spad Squadron)
  • Richard Nixon Bullen
  • William Graham Bullen
  • Philip Nelson Bush
  • Louis Leslie Byers
  • Andrew Courtney Campbell, Jr. (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Hugh Gordon Campbell
  • Joseph Maxwell Carrere, Jr.
  • Thomas Gantz Cassady
    Thomas Cassady
    Captain Thomas Gantz Cassady was a patriot who served his nation in two World Wars, and was successful in business during peacetime.-World War I:...

  • Oliver Moulton Chadwick (died in service)
  • Cyrus Foss Chamberlain (died in service)
  • Charles Wesley Chapman (died in service)
  • Victor Chapman
    Victor Chapman
    Victor S. Chapman was a French-American pilot remembered for his exploits during World War I.-Growing up:...

     (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Louis Charton
  • Herman Lincoln Chatkoff
  • Roger Harvey Clapp (died in service)
  • Caleb James Coatsworth
  • Edward M. Collier
  • Phelps Collins (died in service)
  • James Connelly
    James Connelly (aviator)
    Adjutant James Alexander Connelly, Jr. was a World War I flying ace credited with seven aerial victories.-Reference:...

  • Alan Augustus Cook
  • Linn Palmer Cookson (died in service)
  • Russell Bracken Corey
  • Edward Charles Corsi
  • John Rowell Cotton
  • Isadore Court
  • Elliot Christoprer Cowdin (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Austen Ballard Crehore
  • Arthur Lawrence Cunningham
  • Frazier Curtis
  • Alvan Alexander Cushman
  • Philip Washburn Davis (died in service)
  • George Dock, Jr.
  • Charles Heave Dolan (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Robert Louis Donze
  • James Ralph Doolittle (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Dennis Dowd (died in service)
  • Meredith Loveland Dowd (died in service)
  • Sidney Rankin Drew, Jr. (died in service)
  • John Armstrong Drexel
    John Armstrong Drexel
    John Armstrong Drexel was an American aviation pioneer. With William McArtle, he founded the New Forest Flying School at East Boldre, the second school for pilots in Great Britain and the fifth in the world. On August 12, 1910, he set the world altitude record of 6,750 feet in a Blériot monoplane...

     (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Nathaniel Edmund Duffy
  • William Edward Dugan, Jr. (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Lowell Richards Dulon
  • Sherburne Eaton
  • Stuart Emmet Edgar (died in service)
  • Donald Herbert Eldredge
  • Chester Arthur Elliott
  • Dinsmore Ely (died in service)
  • John Endicott
  • Roberi Grimshaw Eoff
  • Edwin Bradley Fairchild
  • Clarence Henry Faith
  • Cedric Erroll Fauntleroy
  • Ian Fearchar Ferguson
  • Joseph Flynn
  • Christopher William Ford (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Tod Ford
  • Henry Forster
  • Eric Anderson Fowler (died in service)
  • William Frey
  • Edmond Charles Clinton Genet
    Edmond Genet
    Edmond Genet from Ossining, New York, was the first American flier to die in the First World War after the United States declared war against Germany, shot down by anti-aircraft artillery on April 17, 1917...

     (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • William Wallace Gibson
  • Joseph Francis Gill
  • William Smith Gilmore
  • Clarence Merritt Glover
  • Reginald G. Gourard
  • Charles Gossage Grey
    Charles Gossage Grey
    Captain Charles Gossage Grey was a World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories.Charles Gossage Grey was the son of Walter C. Grey....

  • Henry Norman Grieb (died in service)
  • James Murray Grier
  • David Porter Guest
  • Andre Gundelach (died in service)
  • David Wade Guy
  • James Norman Hall
    James Norman Hall
    James Norman Hall was an American author best known for the novel Mutiny on the Bounty with co-author Charles Nordhoff.-Biography:Hall was born in Colfax, Iowa, where he attended the local schools...

     (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Weston Bircu Hall
    Bert Hall
    Bert Hall was a film director, actor, writer and military aviator. Hall was one of America's first combat aviators, who flew with the famed Lafayette Escadrille in France, before the U.S. entered World War I. He has been given the honorable title "Soldier of Fortune" due to his distinguished career...

     (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Edgar Guerard Hamilton
  • Robert Marshall Hanford (died in service)
  • John B. Harrison, Jr.
  • Willis Bradley Haviland
    Willis Bradley Haviland
    Commander Willis Bradley Haviland, was a pioneer military pilot in World War I and a Naval Air Station Commanding Officer in World War II...

     (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • John Raynolds Heilbuth
  • Thomas Moses Hewitt, Jr. (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Leslie Matheson Hickson
  • Dudley Lawrence Hill (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Edward Foote Hinkle (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Tommy Hitchcock, Jr. (1900–1944), star professional polo player, later assistant air attaché to the US Embassy in Great Britain during World War II
  • Warren Tucker Hobbs (died in service)
  • Robert Bentley Hoeber
  • Milton Whitely Holden
  • Charles Dabney Horton
  • Ronald Wood Hoskier (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Edwin A. Hough
  • John William Huffer
  • Daniel Elliott Huger
  • Earl Wayland Hughes
  • Mark Leslie Hull
  • Sereno Thorp Jacob
  • Charles Chouteau Johnson (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Harry Firmstune Johnson (died in service)
  • Archibald Burtt Johnston
  • Charles Maury Jones
  • Henry Sweet Jones (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Edward David Judd
  • Hugo Alden Kenyon
  • Charles Wayne Kerwood
  • Charles Mcilvaine Kinsolvino
  • William Francis Kirkwood
  • John Robert Kowall
  • Theodore De Kruijff
  • George Marion Kyle
  • Gorman De Freest Larner
    DeFreest Larner
    Captain Gorman DeFreest Larner was a World War I flying ace credited with seven aerial victories.-World War I:Larner was too young to join U. S. aviation, so he dropped out of Columbia University and began pilot's training at the private Curtiss Flying School in Buffalo, New York. He joined the...

  • Henry S. Lee
  • Schuyler Lee (died in service)
  • Manderson Lehr (died in service)
  • David Wilbur Lewis
  • Kenneth Procter Littauer
  • Ralph Lane Loomis
  • William Fitch Loomis
  • Edward Loughran (died in service)
  • Walter Lovell
    Walter Lovell
    Walter Lovell was an American World War I serviceman.In February 1915, Lovell joined the American Ambulance Field Service in France, being promoted to second in command of section 3. His work in the Alsace earned Lovell the Croix de Guerre...

     (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • W. Leslie Ludlam
  • Raoul Gervais Lufbery
    Raoul Lufbery
    Gervais Raoul Lufbery was aFrench-American fighter pilot and flying ace in World War I. Because he served in both French aviation, and later the United States Army Air Service in World War I, he is sometimes listed as a French ace and sometimes as an American ace, though all but one of his 17...

     (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Gordon B. Macke
  • Dougles Macmonagle (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Guy Bertram Magley
  • Charles Thomas Malone
  • Harold L. Manierre
  • Kenneth Archibald Marr (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Pierre Didier Masson
    Didier Masson
    Didier Masson was a pioneering French aviator. He was born in Asnières, France. He died and was buried in Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico. Among his adventures was his life as a pioneering barnstormer, being the second flier in history to bomb a surface warship, as well as combat service in the Lafayette...

     (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • George Archibald McCall
  • James Rogers McConnell
    James Rogers McConnell
    James Rogers McConnell flew as an aviator during World War I in the Lafayette Escadrille and authored Flying for France. He was the first of sixty-four sons of the University of Virginia to die in battle during that War....

     (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • James B. McCreary, Jr.
  • William McGinn
  • 'Lucky' Herschel McKee (1897–1964), McKee made 12 kills to become the youngest Ace
  • William John McKerness (died in service)
  • James Haitt McMillen
  • William Henry Meeker (died in service)
  • Gordon R. Miles
  • Alvin Ford Miller
  • George Miller
  • Walter Bernard Miller (died in service)
  • Bennet Arthur Molter
  • Robert Louis Moore
  • George Clark Moseley
    George Moseley
    George Clark Moseley was an American football player. He played at the end position for Yale University and was chosen as a first-team All-American in 1916 by Collier's Weekly, as selected by Walter Camp. During World War I, Moseley served with the Lafayette Flying Corps, a group of American...

  • Oscar Mouvet
  • Curtis B. Munson
  • Alan Hammond Nichols (died in service)
  • Charles Bernard Nordhoff
  • Nathan Prince Oakes, Jr.
  • Carter Landram Ovington (died in service)
  • David Paden
  • Henry Brewster Palmer (died in service)
  • Austen Gilette Parker
  • Edwin Charles Parsons
    Edwin C. Parsons
    Edwin Charles Parsons aka Ted Parsons, was a Rear Admiral of the United States Navy, and former French Foreign Legionnaire, flying ace, Hollywood aviation technical advisor, FBI Special Agent, and author.-Early life:...

     (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Paul Pavelka (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Alfred Digby Pelton (died in service)
  • David M. Peterson
    David M. Peterson
    Major David McKelvey Peterson was a 1915 Lehigh University graduate who was a World War I flying ace with 6 victories earned in the Lafayette Escadrille and the United States Army Air Service. Born in Honesdale, PA on July 2, 1895, he was killed in an aviation accident following the war in Daytona...

    , (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Granville Alexander Pollock
  • William Ponder
    William Ponder
    Lieutenant William Thomas Ponder was a World War I flying ace credited with six aerial victories.-World War I:Ponder joined the French air service in the fall of 1917. He was originally assigned to Escadrille 67, then Escadrille 163...

  • Thomas Windeatt Potter
  • Frederick Henry Prince, Jr. (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Norman Prince (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • David Endicott Putnam
    David Putnam
    1LT David Endicott Putnam was an American flying Ace of World War I.A descendant of General Israel Putnam he was born at Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts and attended Harvard University before joining the Lafayette Flying Corps of the French Air Service in 1917. In June of the following year he...

     (died in service)
  • John Francis Randall
  • Rufus Randall Rand
  • Robert Emery Read
  • Leonard Minor Reno
  • Walter Davis Rheno (died in service)
  • Hugh Owen Ridlon
  • George J. Rockwell, Jr.
  • Kiffin Yates Rockwell
    Kiffin Rockwell
    Kiffin Yates Rockwell was an early aviator whose major claim to fame is as the first American to shoot down an enemy aircraft in World War I....

     (Lafayette Escadrille, died in service)
  • Robert Lockerbie Rockwell (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Marjus Romain Rocle
  • William Blackstock Rodgers, Jr.
  • John F. Rolf, Jr.
  • Clifford De Roode
  • Raymond Thomas Ross
  • Kenneth Rotharmel
  • Leland Lasell Rounds
  • Laurence Dana Rumsey, Jr. (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Joseph Roe Saul
  • Harold Young Saxon
  • Lawrence Scanlan
  • Edwin Booth Schreiber (died in service)
  • Horace Seaver
  • Walter John Shaffer
  • Walter B. Shipley
  • Clarence Bernard Shoninger
  • Reginald Sinclaire
  • Glenn Nelson Sitterly
  • Samuel Wiggins Skinner (died in service)
  • Robert Soubiran (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Wallace Speers
  • Dumaresq Spencer (died in service)
  • Alfred Holt Stanley
  • Frank Elmer Starret, Jr. (died in service)
  • Russell Falconer Stearns
  • Joseph Charles Stehlin
  • Henry Elmer Stickney
  • Donald Edward Stone (died in service)
  • Gerald Starr Stone
  • Van Upton Supple Sulli
  • Leslie Ray Taber
  • William Hallet Tailer (died in service)
  • Elmer Bowden Taylor (died in service)
  • Hugh Terres (died in service)
  • William Thaw (aviator)
    William Thaw (aviator)
    Lieutenant Colonel William Thaw II was a World War I flying ace credited with five confirmed aerial victories and two unconfirmed ones. He is believed to be the first American to engage in aerial combat in the war. He was the first to fly up the East River under all four bridges.-Early life:He...

     (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Clifton Badlam Thompson
  • Charles Trinkard (died in service)
  • Dudley Gilman Tucker (died in service)
  • George Evans Turnure, Jr.
  • Stephen Mitchell Tyson (died in service)
  • Fleet William Carey Van, Jr.
  • Charles Herbert Veil
  • Neal Wainwright
  • Benjamin Stuart Walcott (died in service)
  • William Ethelbert Van Wass
  • William A. "Wild Bill" Wellman
    William A. Wellman
    William Augustus Wellman was an American film director. Although Wellman began his film career as an actor, he worked on over 80 films, as director, producer and consultant but most often as a director, notable for his work in crime, adventure and action genre films, often focusing on aviation...

     (1896–1975), Director of "Wings" (the first motion picture to win the Academy Award)
  • Frank Willard Wells
  • Herman Kotzchmer Whitmore
  • John Joyce Whitmore
  • Charles Herbert Wilcox
  • Marcellus Edward Wild
  • George Gale Willard
  • Harold Buckley Willis (Lafayette Escadrille)
  • Westel Robinson Willoughby
  • Joseph Volney Wilson (died in service)
  • Pierre Marie Wilson
  • Alan Francis Winslow
  • Carroll Dana Winslow
  • Charles Wallace Winter, Jr. (died in service)
  • Henry Houston Woodward (died in service)
  • Warwick Worthington
  • Harold Everett Wright
  • Walter Raymond York (died in service)
  • Frederick Wilhelm Zinn
    Fred Zinn
    Friedrich Wilhelm "Fred" Zinn was a volunteer American aviator who flew with French Armée de l'Air forces in World War I and an early pioneer of aerial photography for wartime reconnaissance and Military intelligence....

The following pilots are not listed as part of the Flying Corps by the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation.
  • Gill Robb Wilson
    Gill Robb Wilson
    Gill Robb Wilson was an American pilot, Presbyterian minister, and military advocate.-Early life:Wilson was born in Clarion County, Pennsylvania to the Rev. Gill Irwin Wilson and Amanda E...

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