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Norman Prince

pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille

Norman Prince was a leading founder of France's Lafayette Escadrille with Bill Thaw, Elliott C. Cowdin, Frazier Curtis, and Greeley S. Curtis, Jr.

Norman was son of Frederick H. Prince and had graduated from Harvard Law School and was practicing law in Chicago when he joined a group to build and race a plane in the Gordon Bennett Cup Race. They hired Starling Burgess to build their plane in his boat yard in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1912. Norman's family owned an estate in Pau, France "Villa Ste. Helene, and Norman spoke fluent French.

Norman sailed to France in January 1915 and finally persuaded the French to allow the founding of the the American Escadrille in April 1916. As an aviator Norman Prince flew 122 aerial combats in which he brought down five hostile planes. On the evening of October 12, 1916, Prince was attempting to land at Corcieux airfield following a raid on a German weapons factory at Oberndorf. His Nieuport 11 struck an elevated telegraph wire, and he was fatally injured, dying in hospital three days later. Norman Prince of Beverly Farms, Sergeant Major in the Lafayette Escadrille on the French front, died in a French field hospital of injuries received , when both legs were broken in a fall with his aeroplane. Prince died on October 14, 1916. Prince was the third of the Franco-American Flying Corps. to meet death within a few months. He is buried within the Washington National Cathedral.

Initially interred at Luxeuil, his remains were later placed in the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial tomb at St. Cloud, near Paris. In 1937 his father had Norman Prince moved to what would be his final resting place, a tomb within the Washington National Cathedral. Norman Prince's father, Frederick Henry Prince of Prides Crossing, Mass., who was mentioned for U. S. Ambassador to France had made a "generous gift" toward the construction of a $200,000 chapel in the south choir aisle where his son rests. Three famed dead rest within the cathedral's gaunt unfinished walls: Woodrow Wilson, Admiral George Dewey, Melville Elijah Stone.