Grim Reapers: French Escadrille 94 in World War I
Published by Aeronaut Books on March 15, 2016
This is an exceptional squadron history. It is based on interviews with several pilots that were conducted as far back as the 1970s. Guttman provides insightful, well-written context on the pilots, their aircraft, markings, their adversaries, and daily squadron life.
Escadrille N.94 was created in May 1917, started by flying Nieuport 24s and later transitioned to Spad 7s and 13s as Spa.94. In early 1918, N.94 was split to form a new escadrille, N.156. The latter was one of the few units to fly the Morane-Saulnier AI, a beautiful but fatally flawed high-wing monoplane. The author’s discussion of the short combat history of this little-known fighter is one of many gems in this account.
A number of Americans flew in Escadrilles 94 and 156, including the ace David Putnam and the little-known Austen Crehore. Sergent Crehore was one of the few Americans to be inducted as a Chevalier of the French Légion d’Honneur. (His story is one that deserves to be remembered.) Very highly recommended.
Reviewed by Steve Suddaby, past president of WW1HA