A total of twenty-nine Americans enlisted in the French Foreign Legion in the first month of WWI. Jimmy Bach was the first of them to transfer to the French Flying Service, but was followed by William Thaw, of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Bill Thaw helped form the Lafayette Flying Corps, and was the only one of its seven original members still on active duty when the war ended.
Thaw was a large man with black hair, black
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flying service enlistees, bunked beside a foreign-born flight student at flying school. He was the suspect's constant companion until his loyalty to France was proved beyond all doubt.
These men trying to help France had a very hard tine getting into the regular service. Foreigners had to enlist in a foreign legion under terrible conditions. France also put convicts there to fight. Most men could only hope to be transferred to the normal armed forces.