The Lafayette Escadrille: A Photo History of the First American Fighter Squadron endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission

Casemate is proud to announce   Steven A. Ruffin’s just published that The Lafayette Escadrille: A Photo History of the First American Fighter Squadron has been endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission.

 

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Above: July 4, 1917, 48 leave to celebrate American Independence Day in Paris. Photos courtesy of  Washington and Lee University Archives.

The Commission was established by the U.S. Congress under the World War I Centennial Commission Act, Pub. L. No. 112-272.  The role of the Commission is, among other things, to develop programs to commemorate the centennial of World War I, and to encourage and facilitate the activities of private and State and local organizations commemorating the centennial.

 

The Lafayette Escadrille was an all-volunteer squadron of Americans who flew for France during World War I. One hundred years later, it is still arguably the best-known fighter squadron ever to take to the skies. In the book The Lafayette Escadrille: A Photo History of the First American Fighter Squadron the entire history of these gallant volunteers―who named themselves after the Marquis Lafayette, who came to America’s aid during its Revolution―is laid out in both text and pictorial form. In time for the centennial celebration, this work not only tells the fascinating story of the Lafayette Escadrille, it shows it.

 

The Commission believes that The Lafayette Escadrille: A Photo History of the First American Fighter Squadron will further the Commission’s goals of educating the American people about the causes, courses and consequences of World War I, commemorating U.S. involvement in that war, and honoring the service and sacrifice of American servicemen and women in the war.

 

 

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The Lafayette Escadrille: A Photo History of the First American Fighter Squadron is available at www.casematepublishers.com and everywhere fine books are sold

 

What People Are Saying About The Lafayette Escadrille: A Photo History of the First American Fighter Squadron: 

“Former Over the Front managing editor Steve Ruffin is well qualified to produce perhaps the most appealing treatment of the familiar subject: the Lafayette Escadrille of 1916-1918. The detailed, workmanlike text details “the life and times of the Lafayette.” From formation of N.124 in April 1916, through disestablishment as SPA.124 nearly two years later, the author traces the fortunes of all 38 Americans and their French squadron mates. Ruffin earns high marks for objectivity. Not all the Lafayette brothers were valiant, and he addresses the heels as well as the heroes. The postwar fortunes of the survivors include reason for both admiration and gloom. Rare among Lafayette histories, Ruffin places the escadrille in context, acknowledging that it had an average record. Certainly its greatest contribution was in the propaganda realm, as intended. With more than 220 photos (nearly 40 in color) Ruffin’s volume contains rare images not only of people and aircraft, but uniforms, artifacts, documents, and memorials. Six aircraft profiles by Tomasz Gronczewski and Alan Toelle provide detailed examinations of Nieuport 11s, 17s, and SPAD 7s. Appendices include bases, a full pilot roster, and a lengthy bibliography. Ruffin’s book obviously is a labor of love that will be appreciated by Great War aerophiles for years to come.”

Barrett Tillman, The Aerdrome
“…undoubtedly the finest photographic collection of the Lafayette Escadrille to appear in print. Along with the expert text revealing air-combat experiences as well as life at the front during the Great War, it is a never-before-seen visual history that both World War I aviation aficionados and those with a passing interest in history will appreciate. When its all said and done I can highly recommend this book to any and all enthusiasts of the WWI aviation genre.’
WWI in Plastic

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