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The Lafayette Escadrille

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0184
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In 1914, American volunteers rushed to France’s defense at the start of the First World War, nearly three years before the United Sates officially entered the conflict. A small handful of these volunteers were visionaries who persisted in creating an all-American fighter squadron in the French Air Service. This became the legendary Lafayette Escadrille—the founding squadron of U.S. combat aviation, and now the subject of a new documentary by filmmakers Paul Glenshaw and Darroch Greer.

Join the filmmakers as they virtually take you on location across northern France to the sites where they filmed this epic adventure. Richly illustrated with rare archival images, gorgeous views of Paris and the French countryside, and intimate family stories, the film traces how the squadron came to be, the colorful characters in it, and their motivations—some noble, some opportunistic—to risk their lives for America’s oldest ally.

Glenshaw is a regular contributor to the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine, and co-writer and producer of the PBS documentary Barnstorming. Greer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, freelance writer, and historical researcher.

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.