Aviation Lecture Series to discuss Lafayette Escadrille

Dan Patterson, aviation photographer, author, designer, lecturer and film maker, will speak at the WACO Aviation Lecture Series Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.

Patterson will share a brief history of the Lafayette Escadrille, a 20-minute segment of the upcoming documentary film, and information about the current film project. Doors open to the public at 6:30 p.m.

Before the United States had even entered into World War I, 38 Americans volunteered to fly in order to aid the nation’s oldest ally, France. Their bravery helped spur this reluctant nation to join with France as an ally. The upcoming documentary is to tell of this squadron known as the Lafayette Escadrille.

According to film makers Dan Patterson, Paul Glenshaw, Darroch Greer and Mark Wilkins, “Our extensive research is ongoing, including our discoveries of previously unpublished manuscripts by Escadrille pilots, which shine new light on the story. Their bonds cut across class and wealth. The pilots’ own voices are the center of our film.”

The film allows the viewer to experience the flying of World War 1 like never before, including the chaos of the dogfights and combat aerobatics.

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“Our research has also revealed strong female characters central to the story. Their voices bring feminine insight and perspective rarely seen in war films,” said the team of filmmakers.

Patterson has authored more than 40 books on aviation and was honored in 2003 as the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s first winner of the Harry B. Combs Award for Excellence in the Preservation of Aviation History. He has been a lecturer for the Smithsonian Journeys Program. He is currently the artist in residence for the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

All WACO aviation lectures are free and open to the public and are held in the Willis Wing of the WACO Air Museum at 1865 S. County Road 25A in Troy. Programs are scheduled to last one hour with questions to follow.

For questions, call 937-335-9226 or visit

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