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Abstract

During the First World War there were hundreds of Americans who enlisted in the air forces of both France and Great Britain. Through the use of primary documents from these pilots, this paper focuses on the unique experiences of the nearly six hundred men who flew under the command of America’s allies. This includes the discussion of the myths of air combat which envisioned it as a chivalrous battle in the clouds while the reality as experienced by pilots was extremely dangerous and anything but glamorous. The differences in each air force, French, British, as well as the United States, also played a major role in shaping the experiences of pilots.

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