Memorial Held to Commemorate Norman Prince and the Lafayette Escadrille
at the National Cathedral in Washington DC
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
A memorial service to honor World War I aviation hero, Norman Prince, and to honor the Lafayette Escadrille that he helped to create, was held on Friday, October 14th. The ceremony was held on the centennial of Norman Prince’s tragic death.
Norman Prince, a trained pilot and a graduate of Harvard University, was one of seven founding members of the Lafayette Escadrille, and he flew dozens of air combat missions in support of the Allied Forces. During a combat mission on October 12th, 1916, Norman’s aircraft was involved in a crash, and Prince died as a result of his injuries on October 15th 1916.
Upon his death he was promoted to sous-lieutenant, and he was awarded the Legion of Honor. Prince was also awarded the Medaille Militaire and the Croix de Guerre for his service. His body is buried in his personal tomb at the National Cathedral. His body is now interred at the National Cathedral, in a chapel that was donated by his family.
After the memorial ceremony, a small reception was held in the Perry Auditorium within the Cathedral.
Several high profile people attended the event including two WW1CC Commissioners, representatives from the Embassy of France, descendants of Norman Prince, a descendant of Alvin York, descendants of other members of the Escadrille, and senior military officials from the U.S. Air Force, U.S Navy, and U.S. Air National Guard.