The SPADs are coming!
Actually, the shirts are already here, but it may take a few days to get them listed. This design celebrates James Norman Hall of the Lafayette Escadrille, who along with fellow American pilot Charles Nordhoff co-wrote many books. More about him and the most famous book, Mutiny on the Bounty, later.
So what's a SPAD? Eddie Rickenbacker explains:
I hurried to the field. There they were, three beauties. [The Spads.] They were more impressive by far than any other airplane, any other automobile, any other piece of equipment I had ever seen. This new Spad would mean the difference between life and death. With it, a little luck and continuing aid from above, perhaps I could attain fame in the skies and join the great aces of the war – Lufbery, Rene Fonck; Billy Bishop, the Canadian, even the great Red Baron himself, Manfred von Richthofen. Well, at least I could dream.
The Spad was the ultimate aircraft of the war in which aviation was developed….
The British produced several excellent planes, among them the SE-5 and the Sopwith Camel, but I had no personal experience with them. The best ship I flew in was the Spad, built by the Societe pour Aviation et ses Derives, whence it took its name. The final Spad could do 130 miles an hour, climb to 22,000 feet and stay together no matter what maneuvers you put it through.
- Edward V. Rickenbacker, Rickenbacker: An Autobiography(Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1967), 137, 138