Pioneering black aviator Eugene Bullard, descended from slaves, became the world’s first black fighter pilot, though he was barred from serving the United States because of the color of his skin. Growing up in Georgia, Bullard faced discrimination and the threat of lynching. He ran away from home at twelve and eventually made his way to France, where he joined the French Foreign Legion and later the Lafayette Flying Corps. He saw fierce combat during World War I and was wounded multiple times. He returned to the United States with a chest full of medals, but once again faced discrimination. Bullard was all but ignored in the United States, even as, at age sixty-four in 1959, he was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. Eugene Bullard’s is a remarkable story of accomplishment despite racial prejudice. Author Larry Greenly’s biography includes numerous historical photographs of Bullard throughout his travels.
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