Guynemer Memorial
Library of Congress Collection, 9-29-07

Raoul Gervais Victor Lufbery
Extract from the book,
Allied Aviation of World War I
by Hugh W. Cowin
courtesy of Bob Davis, 9-8-05
     "Despite having been born in France of French parentage, Raoul Gervais Victor Lufbery has deservedly gone into the annals of aviation as one of the brave young men who helped in the forging of US military aviation during World War i. Lufbery was born on 14 March 1885, emigrating with his parents to the US at the start of the 1890s. At seventeen and footloose, Lufbery ran away from home, traveling to Europe, and the Middle East before returning to the US to join the Army as a rifleman. It was the US Army that furthered his knowledge of the world by sending him to the Phillipines, from where, on Army discharge , he proceded to explore South East Asia in 1910.
      Two years on and Lufbery's path crosses that of French pilot, Marc Pourpe, who hired Lufbery as the mechanic for his Bleriot. At the outbreak of the war both men were still together and by now, back in France. Pourpe volunteered and with his previous flying experience soon found himself with Escadrille N 23.
     Initially rejected as a foreigner by the French authorities, Lufbery was contemplating joining the French Foreign Legion when Pourpe, in need of a tried and trusted mechanic, intervened on his behalf. Sadly, shortly after rejoining Pourpe, his benefactor was killed.
     During the late spring of 1915, Lufbery was selected for pilot training, gaining his 'wings' on 29 July 1915. His introduction to combat came in October 1915 piloting two seater Voisins with Escadrille VB 106. Happily for Lufbery, he was selected for single seaters early in 1916 and following type conversion training joined the Nieuport II - equipped Escadrille Lafayette on 24 May 1916. French-led, this unit was manned by American volunteer pilots. Here, within the space of less than five months, Lufbery made his mark by becoming an ace, that is having amassed the necessary five 'kills,' on 12 October 1916.
      Commissioned in early 1917, Lufbery continued flying for the French with the Escadrille Lafayette until January 1918, when th eunit and its personnel were transferred to the American Expeditionary Forces's control. By now holding the US rank of major, Lufbery was given command of the 94th Aero, equipped with Nieuport 28s. The unit became operational on 19 March 1918 and two months later Raoul Lufbery was killed after falling from his blazing Nieuport 11 on 19 May 1918."

via email from Jeff Stone, 1-15-06
Hi Mr. Cooper,
     I noticed your contact name on this web page having to do with Raoul Lufbery: FYI, I live on Lufbery Street in Milton, Mass. It is off of Lafayette St. and close to Norman St. Prince St., and Quentin St. I think all these streets were laid out in the late 1940s. I do not who the developer was and why he had a penchant for names associated with the Escadrille. But I am happy, at least, to know what the name Lufbery represents. Unfortunately, so many people have misspelled it as Lufberry that computer databases - and even the US Post Office, I think - have changed it to Lufberry. In my town of Milton, we still keep it Lufbery!
Jeff Stone
15 Lufbery St.
Milton, MA 02186
Editor's Note: I thank Jeff for this bit of trivia. It is always rewarding to learn that there are others who seek to give some well deserved attention to these heroes. His observation that the spelling of "Lufbery" has been changed to "Lufberry" is very important to those of us who use the search engines for links to more information. I am reminded of the service of Quentin Roosevelt and Quentin Meyer.

via email from Jack McCleland, 7-18-06
     Just a quick note. I came across your site (I'm doing research on Raoul Lufbery for a screenplay I'm writing) and thought I'd add my two cents. I grew up in Wallingford, CT and Raoul Lufbery was kind of a town legend. I heard of him first from my mother and grandmother who grew up with his relatives in Wallingford. He apparently lived and worked for a while in our town and had strong family ties through his father. One of the most poignant moments for me growing up in Wallingford was going to the Historical Society and seeing a display of Raoul Lufbery memorabilia. Can't remember if it was indeed authentic but it nonetheless made an impression on me which may be why, these many years later, I am pursuing this project. I'm always looking for new information on this very interesting WWI ace.
-Jack McCleland

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