Cedric Fauntleroy

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Cedric E. Fauntleroy in his Polish Air Service uniform. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cedric Errol Fauntleroy (1891–1973) was an American pilot who in 1919 volunteered to serve in the Polish Air Force during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921.

Born near Natchez, Mississippi, Fauntleroy served with Eddie Rickenbacker's 94th Fighter Squadron on the Western Front in World War I.[1]

Recruited by his fellow veteran Merian C. Cooper in 1919, he became one of the best pilots of the Polish 7th Air Escadrille, dubbed the Kościuszko Escadrille (the Kosciuszko Squadron, named for Polish and American national hero Tadeusz Kościuszko). He was promoted to colonel and he received Poland's highest military decoration: the Virtuti Militari,[year needed] besides being awarded the Cross of Valour four times.[2]


  1. ^ Olson and Cloud (2010) remark on his being named after Cedric Errol, Lord Fauntleroy, boy protagonist of the highly successful children's novel Little Lord Fauntleroy published in 1885/6. Lynne Olson, Stanley Cloud, For Your Freedom and Ours, Random House, 2010, 29f. "At a little sidewalk café in Paris, he [ Merian C. Cooper ] recruited his first volunteer, a tall, lean army major from Mississippi with the improbable name of Cedric Errol Fauntleroy. A friend of Cooper's, Fauntleroy had flown in France with Eddie Rickenbacker's famous "Hat in the Ring" squadron. He had grown up on a small plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, where his incorrigibly romantic mother had given him the first and middle names of the golden-haired protagonist of Little Lord Fauntleroy and read him poems by Byron and others celebrating the heroics of Tadeusz Kościuszko." His middle name is occasionally reported as Erald.
  2. ^ citation in: personnel records of the Polish army (Dziennik Personalny), Ministry of Military Affairs, published 30 April 1921 (appeared periodically as an appendix to Polska Zbrojna), Nr 21, item 844.

3. Documentary television movie in Poland from 2005. Story of Merian Cooper, and the Americans who flew in defense of Poland in 1919/20. The Magnificent Seventeen. http://www.filmydokumentalne.eu/siedemnastu-wspanialych/

  • Janusz Cisek, Kosciuszko, We Are Here!: American Pilots of the Kosciuszko Squadron in Defense of Poland, 1919-1921, McFarland, 2002.