The Scrapbooks of Willis B. Haviland
An Earlybird's Scrapbook
The Lafayette Escadrille
Book One, Page One, Right
While on Leave in Paris Bill Thaw read a classified ad for a lion cub for sale. Thaw, Dudley Hill, Norman Prince and Kiffin Rockwell pooled their funds and bought the cub. Thaw tried to take the cub to the airfield via a train claiming that it was an "African dog." Thaw and Whiskey were ordered off the train after the cub attempted a few ferocious roars and frightened some lady passengers. Whiskey made the trip to the airfield in a crate.
Since the Lafayette Escadrille (an all American squadron) started out as a public relations idea and the pilots were all volunteers, they enjoyed unusual liberties such as keeping lions for pets at the airfield. There was also no uniform specification for the Lafayette pilots. The men who transferred in from other branches of the service kept or modified their previous uniforms. Other pilots created their own uniforms that were custom tailored. The Lafayette Escadrille was truly a collection of "individuals."
Capt. Georges Thenault appears in the top image and "Bobby" in the lower image probably refers to Robert Soubiran, who joined the squadron at the same time as Haviland.
Top - "Capt. Thenault.
Bottom - "Bobby"
The aircraft in the background of both photos appear to be model VII C.1 Spads.
All materials on this site © 2005, 2006, Willis Lamm. All rights reserved. Materials may be copied and used for non-commercial purposes. Please credit the W.B. Haviland Scrapbooks. Please Email with questions, corrections, missing names or other comments.