Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Cemetery
The Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Cemetery commemorates the birthplace of American combat aviation, and serves as a symbol of the Franco-American comradeship during World War I.
This site honors the American volunteer pilots who flew with French squadrons during the Great War, and is the final resting place for some of America’s first combat aviators and their French Officers.
Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Cemetery is in a secluded wooded park just west of Paris.
On the far side of a clearing a huge ornate arch, much like the Arc de Triomphe, rises majestically before a wide reflecting pond.
It commemorates Americans who flew for France during World War I – members of the famous Lafayette Escadrille and Lafayette Flying Corps.
Stairs under the arch lead to a crypt.
This is the final resting place for 48 American aviators, one Canadian aviator, and two of their French commanding officers.
These aviators were Americans who volunteered to fight for France – even before the United States entered the war.
They fought in such monumental battles as Verdun and the Somme Offensive, establishing a reputation for daring and skill.
Alongside the crypts, bright stained-glass windows depict the role of the airplane in major battles of the War.
A visitors' center tells the remarkable story of the origins of American aviation in World War I.
The monument visually compares the fighting spirit of the American volunteers with the indomitable Warrior Tradition of Native American nations.
The unit insignia chosen by the Lafayette Escadrille honors a stylized Plains Indian chief in war dress.
In 2017, ABMC officially assumed responsibility for the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Cemetery.
This memorial serves as a symbol of the long comradeship between France and the United States and pays tribute to the pilots who were America's first combat aviators.