Art tribute to the world's first black fighter pilot. America’s first black aviator did not fly for the country of his birth America, but instead he flew for his adopted country of France during WWI, for which he was severely wounded, became a local hero, and and was the recipient of many medals of valor.
August 1914 saw the onset of war in Europe which would cost France a half-million casualties by that year’s end. Anxious to fight for his adopted country, an 18 years old African American in Paris was too young to enlist, so he joined the French Foreign Legion on October 9th, the day of his 19th birthday. He was assigned to the Moroccan Division, Third Marching Regiment, which was said to contain some 54 different nationalities.
This was the start of Eugene (Gene) Jacques Bullard’s journey to becoming the first black fighter pilot in the world, who would claim two “kills,” by shooting down a German Fokker and a German Pfalze during the war.
Ealy Mays’ Black History Month art gallery featuring oil and acrylic paintings, canvas art, posters, and prints of 20th century African American expatriates’ literary and artistic history in Paris.