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Biddle, Major Charles J., THE WAY OF THE EAGLE: A MEMOIR OF ESCADRILLE N.73, 103rd AERO SQUADRON (ESCADRILLE LAFAYETTE), 13th AERO SQUADRON & 4th PURSUIT GROUP IN FRANCE. (Nashville: The Battery Press, 1990). NEW copy. Reprint of the scarce 1919 edition. Stamped decorative covers without dust jacket, as issued. Photographs. Contents: In the Schools; Escadrille N.73; Escadrille Lafayette; 13th Aero Squadron A.E.F.; 4th Pursuit Group, A.E.F. 297 pages.


Chapman, Victor, VICTOR CHAPMAN'S LETTERS FROM FRANCE [Memorial Edition].

VG. First Edition. Memorial Edition with a bookplate reading: "The Gift of John Jay Chapman. Memorial Edition". JJC was Victor's father and the editor of this book. Bound in glossy dark blue boards with heraldry device on front cover. A nice, firm copy with virtually no wear. Lettering on spine darkened, but spine & covers are uniformly dark & glossy. Neatly-written signature of owner at top of front flyleaf, opposite Chapman's bookplate. Title page slightly adhered to frontispiece photo just at seam where an old separation was mended. Page still opens OK and is not loose. Inconspicuous bit of scuffing to front board. (NY: Macmillan, May 1917). Photographs, 196 pp. 5 pp of ads at end of book.

Chapman was a recent graduate of Harvard University (A.B.'13) who was studying architecture in Paris when war broke out. He immediately enlisted as a private in the French Foreign Legion and transferred to the Aviation Service a year later. He was breveted a pilot in January of 1916 and was assigned to the legendary Escadrille Lafayette that April. Two months later he was dead, shot down northeast of Douaumont on June 23. Awarded both the Medaille Militaire and the Croix de Guerre.


Chapman, Victor, VICTOR CHAPMAN'S LETTERS FROM FRANCE. VG. First Edition. Cloth spine, paper-covered boards, with paper labels on cover & spine. No DJ, though original owner has neatly pasted flap of DJ with biography of Chapman to front endpaper. Original owner's signature on front flyleaf, dated 1917. Book very clean with virtually no wear, except spine label which is slightly scuffed & soiled but still clearly legible. A very nice copy. (NY: Macmillan, May 1917). Photographs, 196 pp. 5 pp of ads at end of book.


click to enlarge Gordon, Dennis, THE LAFAYETTE FLYING CORPS: The American Volunteers in the French Air Service in World War I. NEW copy, hardcover. 8.5x11. (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing). Over 320 b&w photographs, 504 pages.

Includes detailed biographies of the 269 volunteer American airmen and gunners of France's Service Aeronautique who flew in sity-six pursuit and twenty-seven bomber/observation squadrons over the Western Front-also included are the thirty-eight pilots of the Escadrille Lafayette. It is an accurate and absorbing account of the lives and combat experiences of the men who later formed the nucleus of the American Expeditionary Force squadrons. Contains comprehensive research, including details of war casualties and survivors, and many unpublished photographs.


click to enlarge McConnell, James. RECOLLECTIONS OF THE GREAT WAR IN THE AIR. NEW copy, trade paperback. (Pen & Sword, 2013). 6x9, 40 b&w images, 96 pages.

~~~ In 1915, James Roger McConnell enlisted as a US volunteer in the French Flying Corps. He was part of a remarkable band of American volunteers, which were formed into the famous American ‘Lafayette’ Escadrille. ‘Flying for France’ was his personal account of the war in the air as seen through the eyes a front-line pilot of the American Escadrille, which was then based at Verdun. His memoirs produce an amazing insight into the early aerial battles and trace the evolution of aerial warfare as the rickety aircraft of 1915 rapidly evolved into the purpose built fighters of 1917.

Casualties among the American Escadrille were very high and McConnell’s own luck finally ran out when he was ambushed by two German fighters and was killed in action in March 1917. His gripping and detailed memoir of the war is his lasting memorial; only ‘Sagittarius Rising’ matches his honest account of the everyday life of a pilot in the Great War. However his dramatic description of the battlefield of Verdun viewed from above is one of the classic descriptions of any wartime memoir and is unmatched by any other Great War writer.

McConnell’s memoir is made all the more moving by the fact that the reader is aware that the writer’s life will soon be cut tragically short. Essential reading for anyone interested in military history or aviation.


Parsons, Edwin C., I FLEW WITH THE LAFAYETTE ESCADRILLE. VG/VG. Some soiling and slight creasing on jacket along edges (doesn't show in picture). Original $8.50 price still intact on flap. Book is bright, though head & heel of spine slightly bumped with minor tears. Interior tight & clean. (Indianapolis: E.C. Seale & Co, 1963. Reprint of the scarce 1937 edition, originally titled: The Great Adventure. Numerous sepia-tinted photographs dispersed throughout; text in brown ink. 335 pages.

Parsons first flew in 1912 with Glenn Curtis, spent a year training pilots for Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution, drove ambulances on the Western Front and joined the Lafayette Escadrille in 1917. Later, he was the only American pilot who did not transfer to the American Air Service when the U.S. entered the war, but flew instead with the most famous of French squadrons, the "Storks". He was decorated with the Legion of Honor, the Medaille Militaire, the French Croix de Guerre with eight palms, and the Belgian Croix de Guerre and Order of Leopold. After the war Parsons served with the FBI, and later worked in Hollywood as a technical advisor on the films Wings and Hell's Angels." He served with the U.S. Navy in WWII, winning the Bronze Star. He retired as a Rear Admiral in 1955.


Thenault, Captain Georges, THE STORY OF THE LAFAYETTE ESCADRILLE. NEW copy. (Nashville: Battery Press., 1990). Reprint of the scarce 1921 edition. Stamped decorative covers without dust jacket, as issued. Photographs, roster, 172 pages. With an introduction by Andre Tardieu, High Commissioner of Franco-American Affairs. Translated by Walter Duranty. Capt Thenault was the Escadrille's commander.

This famous air unit was formed from Americans who had volunteered for duty with the French Foreign Legion at the outbreak of the war. It was composed of many of the most famous airmen and included Chapman, Rockwell, Prince, Campbell & Lufberry. Written the by unit's French commander, it is one of the better accounts.


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