‘Lafayette Escadrille’ film premieres Nov. 9 at AF museum

(Contributed graphic)
(Contributed graphic)

The Air Force Museum Foundation Living History Series will present the world premiere of the film “The Lafayette Escadrille” at 7 p.m., with a conversation with the filmmakers to follow, on Nov. 9, in the Air Force Museum Theatre at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

A limited number of tickets are available for a VIP reception at 6 p.m. that evening.

A live symposium featuring current and retired members of the military, historians and descendants of the Lafayette Escadrille pilots will be held starting at 2 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Carney Auditorium, also inside the museum.

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“The Lafayette Escadrille” is the first comprehensive documentary film made about the American volunteers who flew for France before the United States entered World War I. They have been called “the Founding Fathers of American combat aviation.” The production was filmed at more than 40 locations in France, drawing on more than 20 interviews and thousands of original artifacts, letters, memoirs, photographs and films.

“The Lafayette Escadrille” follows the path of the young Americans who came to the aid of America’s oldest ally – standing up for the values of freedom and liberty shared by the sister republics. It is the only American story that covers the entire duration of the war, from one end of the Western Front to the other.

“The story of the Lafayette Escadrille is well-known, and since it embodies the spirit of devotion and sacrifice, it is dear to the hearts of aviators everywhere,” said Darroch Greer, co-producer/director of the film. “This film is our tribute to America’s first combat aviation squadron, and we are honored to hold its premiere at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.”

Raoul Lufbery III, great grand-nephew of Maj. Raoul Lufbery, the Escadrille’s leading ace, said, “The filmmakers have done a wonderful job telling this amazing story of remarkable Americans fighting for righteous causes for all mankind.”

Tickets for the Saturday film premiere in the Air Force Museum Theatre are $12, $10 for foundation members and military. Tickets for the VIP reception are $50 and include a ticket for the film. For tickets, call 937-656-9631 or visit www.afmuseum.com/livinghistory.

The Sunday symposium in the Carney Auditorium is free. The first hour will feature a panel of experts discussing the historical legacy of the Escadrille. The second hour will feature personal stories by Escadrille descendants.

Scheduled symposium attendees include:


• Gen. Yvon Goutx, Armée de L’air [French Air Force] (Retired)

• Steve Ruffin - author of “The Lafayette Escadrille – A Photo History”

• David Hanna - author of “Rendezvous with Death – The Americans Who Joined the Foreign Legion to Fight for France and for Civilization”

• Dr. Doug Lantry – curator & historian, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force


• Raoul Lufbery III - great grand-nephew of Maj. Raoul Lufbery

• Nick Rutgers - fighter pilot and great grandson of James Norman Hall

• Alexandra Truitt - great grand-niece of James McConnell

• George Thenault III - grandson of George Thenault

• Geoff Chapman - grand-nephew of Victor Chapman

The goal of the Living History Series is to “educate, honor and inspire.” The Air Force Museum Foundation Inc., raises funds and awareness in support of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. is a Section 501 (c)(3) private, non¬profit organization. It is not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components, and it has no government status.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, is the world's largest military aviation museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.