"The Vivid Air" recreates the story of the famed Lafayette
Escadrille, the American volunteer unit which fought with the
French during World War I. A unique and elite squadron since its
inception, the unit was destined for world renown even before it
flew its first mission. Their role as the "vanguard of American
volunteers" and the remarkably high caliber of the Lafayette
Escadrille pilots easily set them apart and ignited the admiration
of the world. The idealized glamour of aviation in the Great War, a
direct consequence of the grim, heroless contest on the ground,
highlighted combat flying and gave pilots a special place in the
Yet when the war came to its tragic end, widespread appreciation
for crusading idealism lay buried in the ruins, and with it the
true story of the Lafayette Escadrille. Philip Flammer's clear,
fully documented study is the first complete scholarly account of
this singular volunteer fighting unit, based on extensive research
in Europe and the United States.
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