Emile John Lussier
|Emile John Lussier|
Emile John Lussier, 1918
|Born||10 October 1895
Chicago, Illinois, USA
|Died||11 December 1974
Westminster, Maryland, USA
|Service/branch||Royal Air Force (United Kingdom)|
Royal Air Force
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||British Distinguished Flying Cross|
|Other work||Served in Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II|
Emile John Lussier was the son of Joseph Emile and Louise Swalwell Lussier. The younger Lussier was born in Chicago on 10 October 1895, and reared there until age fifteen. In 1910, Joseph Lussier moved to Winnipeg to take up a job constructing railroad stations throughout western Canada, and his teenage son went with him and remained.
When World War I began, Emile John Lussier claimed Medicine Hat as his home. He enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in late 1917. Once trained, he was stationed with 73 Squadron as a Sopwith Camel pilot.
Lussier did not score his first wins until 25 July 1918, when he destroyed a Fokker D.VII and drove another down out of control. Five days later, he teamed with Norman Cooper and another pilot to destroy an LVG reconnaissance plane. On 8 August, he downed another German two-seater, sharing it with Gavin L. Graham and Robert Chandler. Then, beginning with the win that made him an ace on 19 August, he ran off a string of seven triumphs over Fokker D.VII fighters that took him to 11 October 1918. In total, he destroyed three Fokker D.VIIs and driven down six others out of control. There were also the two shared wins over reconnaissance planes.
Post World War I
Lussier moved back to the United States after the war, becoming a farmer in Westminster, Maryland and raising four daughters, including Betty Ann Lussier, who became an ATA pilot and early member of the OSS. As World War II was beginning, and the U.S. was still neutral, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a squadron leader involved with radio training. At war's end, he once again returned to his Maryland farm. He died there on 11 December 1974.
Honors and awards
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lt. Emile John Lussier.
During recent operations this officer has driven down out of control or destroyed seven enemy machines, and, with the aid of two other pilots, has accounted for a further two. Three of these he destroyed in one day. In these combats he has proved himself an officer of very high courage, eager to attack without regard to the enemy's superiority in numbers.
- American Aces of World War I. Norman Franks, Harry Dempsey. Osprey Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84176-375-6, ISBN 978-1-84176-375-0.