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"And death seemed always imminent. 'The duration of life at the front in the French aviation service is about sixty actual flying hours, and English statistics figure as low as forty hours,' Henry Brewster Palmer of the Lafayette Escadrille wrote his brother. 'It is great sport, and all that I ask is that I be given a chance to take a few Boches with me when I go.' But Palmer died in a hospital, of pneumonia...While thus living on such close terms with sudden death, the aviators became fatalistic, and determinedly left talk of flying behind them when they were in their quarters. 'Barracks flying,' remarked Lieutenant William M. Russel, 'is absolutely tabooed.' When he sat with his fellow aviators around a poor coal fire during bad weather: 'If anyone should make the grave mistake of talking flying, a stick or poker is placed in his hands and the chorus sings, 'Show us how you would do it, Mr. Bones''...[Russel] was killed in combat near the Vesle River."

- Frank Freidel, Over There: The Story of America's First Great Overseas Crusade.


Plane crashed into the roof of a bakery

Training accident: Allied plane crashes into the roof of a bakery.

Photo courtesy of the Photos of the Great War Web site.
Used with permission.

(image 14 of 45)

United States
ca. 1917
Charles Livingston Bull
69 x 51 cm