WWI flying ace Raoul Lufbery to be honored in CT next month
By Matthew Zabierek
via the Record-Journal newspaper myrecordjournal.com web siteMaj. Raoul Lufbery, World War I American flying ace
WALLINGFORD — The town will host a ceremony next month to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of former town resident Maj. Raoul Lufbery, World War I flying ace.
A special military parade and plaque dedication ceremony will be held May 5 to honor Lufbery.
“He was a legend, he was a hero,” said Bob Stickle, whose late wife was Lufbery’s great niece.
In 1916, Lufbery joined a group of American volunteers – the Lafayette Escadrille – that fought with French forces for nearly two years before America entered the war. Within three months, Lufbery recorded five official kills and went onto to record 17, becoming America’s first ace pilot in the war, according to the National Aviation Hall of Fame. He is the namesake of Lufbery Park and Lufbery Avenue.
Lufbery was killed on May 19, 1918 while attacking a heavily armed Albatross bomber, according to the aviation hall of fame.
The event honoring the anniversary of Lufbery’s passing will start at 11 a.m. with a short military procession starting at Town Hall, 45 S. Main St., and ending at the Wallingford Historical Society building, 180 S. Main St. The Governor's First Company and the Second Company of the Connecticut National Guard will the lead the procession.
The procession will be followed by ceremony to dedicate a 2x3 foot bronze plaque.
Several officials are expected to speak, including Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr., local legislators and a Lufbery family descendant, according to a press release.
Dickinson called Lufbury a “trailblazer.”
“You can look at him as one of the forerunners of the U.S. Air Force,” Dickinson said Wednesday. “He was one of the first to show the promise and effectiveness and the need for really having a readiness for air combat...His legacy lives on...”
The event was organized by the Wallingford 350th Jubilee Committee, a group organizing events to celebrate the town’s 350th anniversary in 2020.
Read more: WWI flying ace Raoul Lufbery to be honored in CT next month
Remembrance and the Great War
By Douglas Feiden
via the Our Town newspaper (New York, NY) web site
It is the ultimate Upper East Side trivia question. But first, a warning: Most lifetime neighborhood residents get it wrong.
How did York Avenue get its name? Did it come from A) The Duke of York? B) New York City itself? C) Yorkville, the community it traverses? D) The Continental Army’s triumph at the Battle of Yorktown? Or E) None of the above?
If you answered “E,” give yourself a free, 1.6-mile victory promenade up York from East 59th Street to East 92nd Street.
Retired Col. Gerald York, the grandson of World War I hero Sgt. Alvin C. York, at the April 11 ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of the renaming of York Avenue, formerly Avenue A, for his grandfather. He is flanked by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (at left), state Senator Liz Krueger and state Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. Photo: Courtney Ferrissey / Assembly Member Rebecca SeawrightThe 33-block swath between the Queensboro Bridge and Asphalt Green is actually named for Sgt. Alvin C. York, the citizen‐soldier-hero of the U.S. Expeditionary Forces in World War I whose exploits 100 years ago, under withering German machine gun fire, won him a Medal of Honor.
In the last great push of what was then known as the Great War, in the Forest of Argonne in France, on October 8, 1918, York’s company was trapped behind enemy lines, and with most of his fellow soldiers killed or injured, he advanced, all-but alone, toward a machine-gun nest.
By the time the smoke cleared, he had killed at least 25 German gunners, silenced 35 machine guns and captured 132 soldiers, who he then marched backed toward American lines, according to 1919 Army citations and contemporaneous press accounts.
Hailed as the “greatest civilian solider of the war” by General of the Armies John J. Pershing, York’s deeds were called the “greatest act by any private soldier of all the armies of Europe” by Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the French commander of Allied forces in World War I.
New Yorkers took notice of his derring-do: He got a ticker tape parade in 1919, the New York Stock Exchange halted trading as brokers hoisted him on their shoulders and carried him around the floor, and on April 11, 1928, after a vote by the old Board of Aldermen, forerunner of today’s City Council, the uptown portion of Avenue A was named in his honor.
Flash forward exactly 90 years: On Wednesday, April 11, outside the Webster Library branch, at 1465 York Avenue near 78th Street, a group called the East Side World War I Centennial Commemoration marked the anniversary of the street renaming and recalled York Avenue’s colorful history as part of the celebrations to mark the end of the war.
Read more: Remembrance and the Great War