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2000 Closed threads from 2000 (read only)

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Old 28 April 2000, 12:13 PM   #1
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I am a descendant of Raoul Lufbery and can someone tell me where i might be able to veiw footage of his Funeral. Also, can someone tell me if he truly was America's first flying ace. I have heard that he was and that he wasn't. He was a member of the famous Laffeyette escadrille.
Old 29 April 2000, 01:22 AM   #2
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Oddly enough, I was up at 6am Friday morning and The History Channel was showing (I think) "Century of Warfare" with the episode on the air war 1914-1918. It included perhaps 20 seconds of footage of Luf's funeral. Or what was purported to be his funeral--the episode had the usual number of mistakes where the narration and what was actually shown on film didn't match. Sorry I can't be of more help.
Old 30 April 2000, 08:09 AM   #3
Lee Edw. Branch
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Hi Ken: There was a query similar to yours late late in '99 from Priscilla Sparks who was interested in her "grand-uncle" RGL. Are you in touch with her? You will find a short bio of RGL on this site if you go to the "Aces" category. You'll note that by Dec. of '16 that RGL had 6 official victories as a pilot in the French Air Servic. His 5th came during a famed raid on the Mauser works at Obendorf. "What is an American Ace?" is a issue of semantics: RGL was French-born, (though I have seen it stated he was U.S. born). His citizenship was either gained by his service in the U.S. Army in the Phillipines- or by the fact of his nativity of the U.S.? All his victories were while in French uniform. He was certainly the first U.S. citizen to attain "ace" status: Most would probably agree that the term "First U.S. ace" should be reserved for a member of the U.S.A.S. (Campbell) who first had the required number of victories to claim this distinction. A comprehensive bio on this most interesting man would be a worthy task. As I mentioned to Priscilla Sparks, it's a shame we didn't have the Intenet 20 years ago when contemporaries of RGL were still alive and could have provided information on his Phillipine service and his pre-war touring with the pioneering French aviator Marc Pourpe etc. His buning fall- seen clearly by many novice U.S. airmen- must have been a most unsettling experience as they contemplateded their coming test in battle. You'll find several good books on the Laf. Esc. cf. Herbert M. Masons book by that name and "In The Vivid Air" by Phillip Flammer. Note: this last title had been previously used by Alex Revell in his work on the noted air fighters the Maxwell brothers-beware any confusion here if you order the book. Check for "LE" in the search capabilities of the net and you'll find some interesting material including the absorbing "Letters of James McConnell", who wrote Flying for France a book which did much to let the American public know about the Am. volunteers flying with "The Lafayette". How ironic that the Escadrille with the "Shouting Sioux" on their a/c would fight against U.S. airmen during our assault on the French Vichy forces in North Africa in '42! Best regards. LEB
Old 1 May 2000, 09:08 AM   #4
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Do you know Raoul Lufbery III? RLIII would probably have all the answers to your questions and then some. If you don't know him, you could probably get in touch with him through the "Over the Front" journal at or through the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, OH, in which RL was enshrined in July 1998 with Lufbery family members attending the ceremony. NAHF Web site is The latter Web site also has a biography page on RL.

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Old 8 May 2000, 12:24 PM   #5
Kirk Goolsby
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Dear Ken,
I have known two WWI vets who served in the 26th Division, the same division that put on the funeral ceremonies. Both of them claimed to have been part of the honor guard at the funeral. One tells in detail how a man from from each company was selected to serve and that they were taken into a feild to drill the day before so that they would be good the next day.
One claimed to have seen a photo of the event where he was visible.
I spoke with one of them about 1 month ago, the other I haven't spoken to in months. AS with all 101 year old people I cannot say now if both survive. Anyway I thought this might be of interest.

Yours truly,

Kirk Goolsby

p.s. if you ever come upon such a photo I would appreciate knowing your source so I could verify the vets stories.


raoul lufbery

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