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American youth and flying ace flys for France in World War I; meets & loves a French girl & prostitute.
Did You Know?
Director William A. Wellman
based the film on his experiences as a combat pilot during World War I. While stationed in France, Wellman joined the French Foreign Legion's Lafayette Flying Corps, N.87, les Chats Noir (Black Cat Group). The plane he flew was Nieuport 24 fighter, which he named "Celia" after his mother. He was credited with three recorded "kills" of enemy aircraft, plus five probable kills. Wellman was shot down in combat and survived the crash, but walked with a limp for the rest of his life. He received the Croix du Guerre for his service. After the war, Wellman returned home and joined the U.S. Army Air Corps for two years, where he taught combat tactics to new pilots at Rockwell Field in San Diego. The main character, Thad Walker (played by Tab Hunter
), is based on a fellow pilot who flew with Wellman in the Lafayette Escadrille. See more
Aviators in World War I generally didn't wear the high-collar tunics like the one worn by Thad. This is because they needed to be able to turn their heads while flying. Rather, they wore a uniform coat that required a shirt and tie. See more
[to the American flyers
Oh, say can you see, by dawns early light!
Version of Flyboys