Lafayette Escadrille (läˌfēĕtˈ, lăfˌēĕtˈ ĕskədrĭlˈ) [key], small group of American volunteer aviators in World War I, created (Apr., 1916) as Escadrille Américaine in the French air service. It was renamed the Lafayette Escadrille in December of the same year in honor of the French hero's service in the American Revolution, and the outfit saw much frontline action and suffered heavy casualties. In Jan., 1918, the Lafayette Escadrille was reorganized in the U.S. army as the 103d Pursuit Squadron.
See E. C. Parson's The Great Adventure (1937, repr. 1972 under the title I Flew with the Lafayette Escadrille); study by H. M. Mason (1964).
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