La Fayette Escadrille Memorial
The Parc and the La Fayette Escadrille monument are dedicated to the memory of the American pilots who volunteered to help the Allied army in 1914. The central platform is crowned with a triumphal arch and flanked with porticos leading to the underground crypt. The "art deco" style highlights the pilots' sacrifice and the Franco-American friendship.
There are statues of La Fayette and Washington facing one another and, on the ground, a mosaic of the famous Sioux warrior's head, the squadron's ensign. The crypt holds the ashes of 66 American pilots. It is decorated with 13 stained glass windows depicting the great aerial combats of the war. The monument was inaugurated on American Independence Day, 4th July 1928, with many famous people, such as Marshal Foch and Paul Doumer, in attendance.
Moving ceremonies are now held at the Memorial each year to observe Memorial Day and 11th November, with French and American military personnel and civilians. The Memorial is listed as a Historic Monument.
How to Get There
The Memorial may be reached by train from the Gare St-Lazare to the station of Garches / Marnes-la-Coquette (20 minutes from Paris). A walk of 500 yards brings the visitor to the entrance of the Parc de Villeneuve-l'Etang, just beyond the institut Pasteur. By car, the road takes you across the Seine, using the St-Cloud bridge, and then heads directly to Garches and the Memorial. Most visitors prefer to use the motorway A 13, turning off at the first exit after the tunnel. The Park is open every day morning and afternoon.
Mémorial de l'Escadrille La Fayette
5 boulevard Raymond Poincaré
Tel. : +33(0)1 47 95 34 76