Gervais Raoul Lufbery
Leigh Gray and|
Newnan High School
Newnan, Georgia USA
Teacher: Stephen Quesinberry
Adv. World History, 10th grade
- Born in France in 1886 of an American father and a French mother, who died when he was one year old.
- At 19 he waited tables on ships and traveled around the world.
- He enlisted in the U.S. army as a means of becoming a U.S. citizen.
- Met Marc Poupes, a famous exhibition pilot and became his personal mechanic, following him into the French Air Service.
- After many failures, Lufbery became a fighter pilot during World War I with the Lafayette Escadrille.
- He was the first of the flyers in the Escadrille to become an ace, and had 17 victories to his credit at the time of his death.
- Taught many Americans how to fly after the United States joined the war, including Douglas Campbell, Reed Chambers and Eddie Rickenbacker.
- Died when he jumped from his burning Nieuport and landed on a picket fence, May 19, 1918.
- "There won't be any after-the-war for a fighter pilot."
- "Theres a hell of a lot of difference in going out alone, no matter
what the odds are against you, and in going out as a member or a
leader of a group of pilots who may or may not be as good as you
are. It is a great responsibility to shepard these pilots out and
get back home safe. I prefer to fight alone, on my own."
- Lufbery to Rickenbacker, in a discussion on tactics.
- "The crass stupidity of certain American brass hats failed to
recognize his value as a fine fighter."
- Edwin C. Parsons, commenting on his relegation to a
desk as the Lafayette Escadrille was absorbed into the U.S. Air
- "We silently faced the realization that America's greatest aviator
and ace of aces had been laid away to rest."
- Rickenbacker, after Lufbery's death.