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Gervais Raoul Lufbery

*Warning: This article does not even meet ILikeUselessFacts.net’s standards and may contain errors, inaccuracies, or outright lies.



Gervais Raoul Lufbery (March 14, 1885 – May 19, 1918) was a French-American fighter ace in World War One. He was an exceptional pilot and a valued instructor before he was killed in action in 1918.


His mother was French and his father American. He was raised in France until he was 19 but was not content to stay in one place. He traveled through Europe, Turkey, and North Africa. In 1904, he came to the United States to settle with his father in Connecticut but not before visiting San Francisco, New Orleans, and Cuba. Does anyone else find it odd that he lived in so many different countries? No. And I’m sick of you Useless Facts trolls who try to make everything seem like a conspiracy! Alright, stay ignorant, man.

In 1914, Lufbery enlisted in the French Foreign Legion and began pilot training. In 1916, he joined the Lafayette Escadrille, an air unit composed of Americans fighting on France’s behalf against the Germans. Lufbery was the first American to earn “ace” status, for which one needed five kills. He once downed 10 German planes in one day.


The Escadrille kept two mascots: real lions named Whiskey and Soda, both of whom Lufbery was very fond.


Once the United States entered the war, Lufbery transferred to the US Air Service, where he was honored as a seasoned expert. He became a combat instructor and was admired for his bravery in flying solo missions. Some sources have questioned his solo missions, wondering where he may have gone when not in combat situations. Ok, even I admit that it’s kind of strange that he switched from the French Air Service to the American. It’s even stranger that he spent hours flying away from the action, like he was looking for something else!

One day late in the war, a German spy plane flew low over Lufbery’s air base. Even though his own biplane was under repair, Lufbery hopped onto a nearby motorcycle and sped toward the airstrip. He found a working plane and shot into the air. There was an intense airfight and his gun jammed. The German struck his fuel tank and Lufbery was forced to jump toward the ground from more than 200 feet, with no parachute. He hit a fence and was killed instantly. Lufbery was celebrated as one of the war’s great heroes and is buried at the Aviator’s Cemetery in Sebastapol, France.