Raoul Lufbery
Raoul Lufbery
Gervais Raoul Lufbery
  • County: United States
  • Rank: Major
  • Services: French Air Service, United States Air Service
  • Units: VB106, N124 (FAS), 94th Aero (USAS)
  • Victories: 16
  • Date Of Birth: 14 March 1885
  • Place of Birth: Chamalieres, France
  • Date Of Death: 19 May 1918
  • Place of Death: Maron, north of Nancy
  • Buried: Lafayette Memorial du Parc de Garches Paris, France

Born in France, Lufbery emigrated to the United States with his family when he was six years old. When the war began, he was back in France where he enlisted in the French Air Service. Serving first as a mechanic and then as a reconnaissance pilot, he soon moved on to single-seat fighters. Lufbery spent almost four years in the French Air Service and the Lafayette Escadrille before joining the United States Air Service as an instructor. Idolized by his subordinates and revered by his peers, he was killed in action as he attempted to down a German Rumpler north of Nancy. Hit by enemy fire, his Nieuport 28 suddenly flipped over and Lufbery was seen to fall from the aircraft.

The following day, in an impressive funeral that was witnessed by hundreds and recorded on film, Lufbery was buried in the cemetery at the Sebastopol Hospital. In the village of Maron, near the Moselle River, a bronze tablet marks the place where he fell. Lufbery's remains were later moved to Lafayette Memorial du Parc de Garches in Paris. Raoul Lufbery was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1998. Raoul Lufbery IV is currently an active duty officer in the USAF.

Médaille Militaire

"A model of skill, sangfroid and courage. He has distinguished himself through the numerous long distance bombardments and by the daily combats which he has with enemy planes. On July 31, 1916, he never hesitated to attack at close range, a group of four enemy planes. He shot down one of them near our lines. He succeeded in downing another on August 4, 1916." Médaille Militaire citation Légion d'Honneur

"He enlisted under the French colors for the duration of the war. Has given proof as a pursuit pilot of remarkable audacity and has shot down up to December 27, 1916, six enemy aircraft. Already cited twice in orders and has the Médaille Militaire." Legion d'Honneur citation