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The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became the country's first fighter pilots.
Reed Cassidy: Some day it'll just end. Everyone will go home, get on with their lives. Tall grass will cover the battlefields. And all the pilots we've lost won't mean a damn thing.
Captain Thenault: We don't want you bringing bullets home; we have millions. Leave the bullets up there. Let the Germans take them home.
Eugene Skinner: So how many planes do you have to shoot down to get back in father's good books? Briggs Lowry: Just mine.
Grant: [walking away from plane crash] Let me guess, you're here because you thought it'd be fun to fly airplanes. Go home while you still can. William Jensen: Guy sure knows how to make friends. Captain Thenault: All his friends are dead.
Blaine Rawlings: [to Briggs' innuendo] Man, you're scratching fleas on a stuffed dog.
Blaine Rawlings: You, uh, slip there, killer?
Captain Thenault: Any questions? Eddie Beagle: [raises hand] Yes, sir. Will we be back by lunch. [boys snicker] Captain Thenault: I mean any intelligent questions. Eddie Beagle: Sorry. Just trying to loosen things up. Captain Thenault: Don't.
Captain Thenault: Reports can be filed. But you want "justice"? *You're* the man in the air. *You're* the man with the *gun*!
Eugene Skinner: You still wanna rub my head for luck, Rawlings?
[first lines] Title Card: By the start of 1916, World War I had wreaked havoc across Europe. Over nine million people would eventually die. Title Card: Although the airplane had only recently been invented, it was quickly adapted into a war machine. Title Card: The young men who flew them became the first fighter pilots and a new kind of hero was born.
Captain Thenault: Watch the fuel. If you run out of gas, you will sleep with the Germans.
Eugene Skinner: This country [referring to France] Eugene Skinner: has been good to me. Better than my own. I owe them something.
Reed Cassidy: *None* of us knows how much time we have left, and we can't waste *any* of it grieving over things we can't *change*.
Blaine Rawlings: [wondering why Cassidy is offering a pistol] What's this for? Reed Cassidy: Plane catches fire you got three choices: You can burn with it all the way to the ground; You can jump several thousand feet; or you can take the quick and painless way out. [Handing gun to Beagle] Reed Cassidy: Good luck, gentlemen.
Captain Thenault: [presents Pilot Rawlings with a medal for heroism] Congratulations, Rawlings... and don't *ever* do that *again*!
Eddie Beagle: [after shooting down a German plane with his hook hand] Beware the hook!