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trajan

Corporal Eugene Jacques Bullard: First Black American Pilot

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trajan

Just spotted this on the BBC News online - 'Scotland's role in moulding America's first black combat pilot'. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-18251426

Trajan

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spconnolly007

Great stuff Trajan, cheers Sean

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trajan

Thanks Sean! Of course I cannot vouch for accuracy but I thought it was worth bringing to the attention of GWF members.

Trajan

PS: Have you or anyone else noted how sometimes when you do a reply the font is automatically placed in BOLD as above and here or sometimes in Italics... Or is it just my ageing laptop?

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spconnolly007

Trajan, ageing laptop or ageing user :whistle: Regards Sean

P.S. no problems here with BOLD lettering, are you trying to type with those pointy things again!!

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centurion

There is at least one error/omission in the BBC report. Bullard went back into the infantry in early 1918. He had been involved in a fight (it has been suggested that he was 'set up' as he was proving to be an embarrassment to the US with his applications for transfer).

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trajan

Sean, :thumbsup: maybe both of the first two!? Pointy things at home... :blink:

Trajan

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CROONAERT

There is at least one error/omission in the BBC report. Bullard went back into the infantry in early 1918.

He was sent back to the 170 RI (though he never really left them - he was only ever 'attached' to the aviation service) in November 1917.

He had served with the Hirondelles de la Mort since November 1915 after transferring from the 2RM/1LE (enlisted Paris, October 19th 1914) following his recovery from wounds sustained at Souain in September 1915. He was wounded for a second time - this time with the 170th - at Vaux in June 1916 which preceded his application for attachment to the aviation service in October 1916.

Dave

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trajan

Cheers Dave for filling out the story! What a fascinating tale!

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James A Pratt III

There are postings about him on the site aerodrome.com. I don't think he shot down any german aircraft. There is also an artical about him in OTF magazine. i think he had a hair trigger temper and punched out an officer. In France in 1940 i believe he tryed and failed to join his old regiment. After this he fled to the US.

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centurion

There are postings about him on the site aerodrome.com. I don't think he shot down any german aircraft. There is also an artical about him in OTF magazine. i think he had a hair trigger temper and punched out an officer. In France in 1940 i believe he tryed and failed to join his old regiment. After this he fled to the US.

Which explains why he was decorated post WW2 for work with the resistance!

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CROONAERT

Which explains why he was decorated post WW2 for work with the resistance!

Plus the fact that it'd be pretty difficult to 'flee' with the spinal injury he recieved whilst fighting in Orleans on 17th June 1940. He was evacuated (a much better term than 'fled') to Spain following his wounding and then on back to the USA.

Practically losing everything in the fall of France, he had a varied career post-war (lift attendant, security guard, perfume salesman, etc) but had one more brush with fame when he was caught on camera (getting a kicking!) at Peekshill in 1949. The French appreciated him more than the Americans... he was invited to rekindle the perpetual flame at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Arc de Triumphe in 1954 and was awarded the Legion d'Honneur in 1959. He died of stomach cancer in New York - penniless and practically forgotten (his only possessions being his medals and a bunch of photographs) in October 1961. Buried in the French war veterans section at Flushing in a shared grave.

His outside career is almost as interesting as his war service (and one of the boxers he trained is well worthy of a book/film himself... a rather sad story really that certainly doesn't have a happy ending either, but heavily involves WW2 so isn't really for this forum)

Dave

(PS... some of the other 'famous' names who he served with for at least some of his (ground based - 2RM/1RE and 170 RI) service during WW1 include: Kenneth Weeks (writer), Henry Farnsworth (newspaper correspondant and writer), Kiffin Yates Rockwell (1st American aviator to down a German plane in combat - Bullard served with him between January and May 1915. Rockwell - also of the Lafayette - was dead by the time Bullard transferred to aviation), Edmond Genet (Gt.Gt.Grandson of 'Citizen Genet' and first American aviator to be killed in action after the US declaration of war... Bullard served with him both on the ground and in the air), David Wheeler (a doctor who served in the armies of three nations during WW1), John Ford Elkington (ex-Lt.Col of the Warwicks - cashiered after the affair at St.Quentin of August 1914), Bob Scanlon (boxer), Blaise Cendrars (poet/writer - Bullard was in the same unit for approx. 6 weeks leading up to both of their woundings in the same action)

post-357-0-90426200-1339075612_thumb.jpg

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ph0ebus

Do you know which cemetery in Flushing he is buried in? I am in Queens regularly and might want to pay a visit.

Daniel

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CROONAERT

The only detail I have is:

Federation of French War Veterans Cemetery

Flushing

Queens

New York

In my research notes (Bullard was part of a subject covered in a talk that I sometimes give which is why I have quite a lot of detail on him), I've jotted down the following address too - 16306, 46th Ave, Flushing, NY.... whether this is more accurate or not, i don't know!

Dave

post-357-0-60075100-1339075477_thumb.jpg

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ph0ebus

That is easy enough to check out next time I am in Flushing...I have family buried there so I'll see if I can find him next time I'm in the neighborhood.

Daniel

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Martin Feledziak

Bullard is currently circulating on Facebook so I did a search on the Forum and found this thread.

He is worth a viewing.

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Rum Ration

 

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Loader

As a small child in the late 1950's I saw him interviewed on a tv program that focused on people with interesting life stories. He was in his elevator operator's uniform & wearing his medals. I was just developing an interest in WW1 flying & model airplanes so it was a good thing I saw it. Same program had a man who was a crewman on the USS MAINE when she blew up in Havana Harbor in 1898 & he told how he escaped because he slept topside as too hot to stay in his bunk below decks. Wonder where those programs are today? Probably not saved or age destroyed them.

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Martin Feledziak
On 07/06/2012 at 14:20, CROONAERT said:

detail on him

 

So now I see where your avatar fits into the scheme of things.

 

170 regiment of infantry

the black swallows

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CROONAERT
14 hours ago, Martin Feledziak said:

 

So now I see where your avatar fits into the scheme of things.

 

170 regiment of infantry

the black swallows

 

That's correct :thumbsup:...

 

I obtained Eugene's actual (post-war) badge that he proudly wore on formal occasions via a contact with his daughter a good few years ago ...

pola2018-11-24_12-02-58.jpg

Bullard old.jpg

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CROONAERT
On ‎05‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 19:11, Loader said:

As a small child in the late 1950's I saw him interviewed on a tv program that focused on people with interesting life stories. He was in his elevator operator's uniform & wearing his medals. 

 

1959 ...

Bullard 1959.jpg

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Loader

That's it!!! Thanks for posting it. I thought he wore his medals but after all these yrs I'm still glad I was mostly right.

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Martin Feledziak
10 hours ago, CROONAERT said:

actual (post-war) badge

 

 

Wow.

 

That is an epic item. Do you have it up on the wall in a display frame?

 

what a great slice of history.

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