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Raoul Lufbery


One of the most widely known and most popular of the American World War I flyers was Raoul Lufbery, a native Frenchman who had become an American citizen. He was one of several Americans serving with the French Air Service who later joined the all-American Lafayette Escadrille. Lufbery scored 17 victories during the war. He also advised his pilots to stay with their planes, even if they began to burn - one of the most dangerous possibilities in those days of fabric-covered aircraft. On May 19, 1918, however, he ignored his own advice and paid the full price. Lufbery's machine was hit by enemy bullets and began to burn. Two hundred feet above the ground, he jumped, apparently aiming at a nearby stream. Instead, he landed on a picket fence and was killed.

From Aerospace: The Challenge by H. Bacon, M. Schrier, P. McGill, and G. Hellinga, Civil Air Patrol, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, Third Edition 1989.

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