The Vivid Air
The Lafayette Escadrille

Philip M. Flammer


"A clear, fully documented study based on extensive research in Europe and the United States."
American Historical Review

"Impressively researched in primary sources, this is as thorough and complete an account of the famous squadron as we are ever likely to have."
Library Journal

"This immensely readable book is a welcome study that eschews glamorization for a clear and well-documented narrative."
Air Force Magazine

"It is the best by far of what has been written. Very accurate, very well researched. Flammer came here to visit me, even. He covered the waterfront."
—Edward F. "Pop" Hinkle, former pilot with the Lafayette Escadrille

"This is a book to be cherished not only by the dwindling number of World War I American airmen still living, but also by military aviators of any generation."
San Diego Union

"Flammer has done an excellent job of recreating the many exciting battles in which the squadron was involved. The Vivid Air is certainly a scholarly and absorbing account of this singular volunteer fighter unit."
Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal

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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 public imagination.

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.

Page count: 264 pp.


List price: $29.95

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Philip M. Flammer is professor of history at Brigham Young University and a former officer in the United States Air Force.