The French Foreign Legion: a complete history of the legendary fighting force. Copyright 2004-2020 by Georgia Humanities and the University of Georgia Press. [36] He is also the subject of the nonfiction young adult memoir Eugene Bullard: World's First Black Fighter Pilot by Larry Greenly.[37]. [39], In the 2012 movie Red Tails, the fictional Col. A.J. During his convalescence, Bullard was cited for acts of valor at the orders of the regiment on July 3, 1917, and was awarded the croix de guerre. Lloyd, Craig. He was the seventh of 10 children born to William (Octave) Bullard, a black man from Martinique, and Josephine ("Yokalee") Thomas, an Indigenous Creek woman.

Porch, Douglas.

"Eugene Bullard (1895-1961)." It started the year with 21,887 soldiers, NCOs, and officers, but ended with only 10,683.

[26][27] He took part in over twenty combat missions, and he is sometimes credited with shooting down one or two German aircraft (sources differ). American Flew for French in '18", "Corporal Eugene Jacques Bullard First Black American Fighter pilot", "Americans at War in Foreign Forces: A History, 1914–1945", "African Americans at War: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1", "Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the U.S. Military: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1", "Morale Among French Colonial Troops On The Western Front During World War I: 1914–1918", "Member Roster Volunteer American Pilots: The Lafayette Flying Corps", "Musée National de la Légion d'Honneur: How to research a decorated individual", "The first African-American fighter pilot now has a statue at an aviation museum in Georgia", "Eugene Bullard (TV Documentary) - ORTHEAL", 'The First Black Fighter Pilot', by Jack Doyle, Jan. 23, 2016, French people of African-American descent, Recipients of the Croix de Guerre 1914–1918 (France), Recipients of the Croix de Guerre 1939–1945 (France), Médaille engagé volontaire (Voluntary Enlistment Medal), Médaille commémorative de la bataille de Verdun (Battle of Verdun Medal), Médaille commémorative de la bataille de la Somme (Battle of the Somme Medal), Médaille commémorative des services volontaires de la France libre (Voluntary Service to Free France), Médaille des volontaires américains avec l'Armée Française (American Volunteer with French Army Medal). (He later said that he witnessed his father's narrow escape from lynching). New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2010, p. 380. Venzon, Anne Cipriano. He received a financial settlement from the French government and was able to buy an apartment in Harlem, New York City. Carnes, Mark C. American National Biography. Bullard died in New York City of stomach cancer on October 12, 1961, at the age of 66. On November 11, 1915, 3,316 survivors from the 1e and the 2e Etranger were merged into one unit – the Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion (Régiment de Marche de la Légion étrangère), which in 1920 became the 3rd Foreign Regiment of the French Foreign Legion. Edmund L. Gros, who facilitated the incorporation of American pilots in the French Air Service, listed in the October 1917 issue of Flying, an official publication of the Aero Club of America, Bullard's name is on the member roster of the Lafayette Flying Corps. At the beginning of World War I, Bullard joined the French army, serving in the Moroccan Division of the 170th Infantry Regiment. [13][19] After recovering, he volunteered on October 2, 1916, for the French Air Service (French: Aéronautique Militaire)[20] as an air gunner. He worked as a perfume salesman, a security guard, and as an interpreter for Louis Armstrong, but a back injury severely restricted him. Eugene Jacques Bullard (October 9, 1895 – October 12, 1961), born Eugene James Bullard, was the first African-American military pilot. [11][13] Like many other American aviators, Bullard hoped to join the famous squadron Escadrille Americaine N.124, the Lafayette Escadrille, but after enrolling 38 American pilots in the spring and summer of 1916, it stopped accepting applicants.

The movie will be promoted and distributed in the USA by french-american producer, Benoit Clair. French Air Service War Chronology, 1914–1918: Day-to-Day Claims and Losses by French Fighter, Bomber and Two-Seat Pilots on the Western Front. Bullard received 15 decorations from the government of France. In London, he boxed and performed slapstick in the Freedman Pickaninnies, an African-American troupe. His daughters had married, and he lived alone in his apartment, which was decorated with pictures of his famous friends and a framed case containing his 15 French war medals. [30][10] When World War II began in September 1939, Bullard, who also spoke German, agreed to a request from the French government to spy on the German citizens who still frequented his nightclub. [15] Towards the end of the war, the 1st Moroccan Division became one of the most decorated units in the French Army. None of the assailants was ever prosecuted.

Bullard arrived at Aberdeen, Scotland and first made his way to Glasgow. The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia. [17] As a result, the Foreign Legion units fighting on the Western front were put in reserve for reinforcement and reorganization. There is a sign in Columbus, Georgia, near the site of the house were he grew up, which describes his early life. The marriage ended in divorce in 1935, with Bullard gaining custody of their two surviving children, Jacqueline and Lolita. The first African American pilot, born in Columbus, Ga with only a second grade education was a stowaway on a ship to Europe. Moreover, he found the fame he enjoyed in France had not followed him to the United States. Bullard went through the medical examination, but he was not accepted, as only white pilots were chosen. The 2006 movie Flyboys loosely portrayed Bullard and his comrades in World War I.

[11] On August 27, he was assigned to Escadrille N.93 (French: Escadrille SPA 93), based at Beauzée-sur-Aire south of Verdun, where he stayed until September 13. Bullard wore his elevator operator uniform during the interview. Croix du combattant volontaire 1914–1918, Médaille commémorative de la guerre 1914–1918, Médaille commémorative de la guerre 1939–1945, 3rd Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment, 2nd Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment, 2nd Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment, World War I Victory Medal (United States), "Eugene Bullard, Ex-Pilot, Dead. On October 19, 1914, Bullard enlisted and was assigned to the 3rd Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion (R.M.L.E.

His friend Louis Armstrong is buried in the same cemetery. [14] He served beyond the Armistice, not being discharged until October 24, 1919.[13]. [29] As a popular jazz venue, "Le Grand Duc" gained him many famous friends, including Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, and French flying ace Charles Nungesser. The movie will be promoted and distributed in the USA by french-american producer, Benoit Clair. The 2nd Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment and the 2nd Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment were serving as part of the 1st Moroccan Division. His final job was as an elevator operator at the Rockefeller Center, where his fame as the "Black Swallow of Death" was unknown.

The biography of Eugene Bullard, the grandson of a slave, recounts his life as a boxer, pilot in WWI, jazz drummer, nightclub owner in Paris, and spy for the Resistance.

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