Fly Boys: Lafayette Escadrille 1917
World War I began in Europe in 1914, however the United States had still not entered the war by 1917. Over nine million people would eventually die in World War 1. Young Americans went to France to fight and to learn to fly airplanes, they joined the Lafayette Escadrille squadron. They were fighting the Germans who had better planes, weapons, and everything necessary to win they had more experienced pilots as well. The expectancy for a pilot was three to six weeks. One of the main characters in the movie: Blaine Rawlings was forced to leave his home in Texas after the family ranch was foreclosed. Eugene Skinner an African American who was a professional boxer and had been living in France, decided to give back and join. Briggs Lowry couldn’t do anything right, so his father makes him join, when all the men are assigned to a room mate he refuses to stay in the same room as the African American. William Jensen’s family had a history of family members in the military, and Eddie Beagle was running away from a crime he had commited, with a toy gun. When their leader Cassidy dies Rawlings takes the leader position and tries to save an help his squadron. William Jensen continued to fly for the rest of the war (he mad a melt down and couln’t fly). Eugene Skinner (African American) joined the U.S. forces when they entered the war, but was not allowed to fly. However he became one of the first pilots in the U.S. Airmail service. Eddie Beagle married a French girl and started his own flying circus. As for Blaine Rawlings he went to Paris to try and reunite with Lucienne the girl he falls in love with while in France, but couln’t find her so he returned to Texas and built one of the largest ranches and he never flew again. This was based on a true story!
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