FRENCHY (middle figure of three shown above) depicts a spirit of a pilot already killed in action. He wears the clothes and equipment he wore when he was killed… parachute, gloves, helmet, goggles and oxygen mask. Like the countless young men he represents, we cannot see any part of him. We will never know him. He is lost to us forever. Yet through his death, the still living pilots learn lessons that help them survive combat. As General Doolittle wrote to Maj. Arnold regarding men such as these, they were “learning the job, on the job”. And often an extremely high price was paid for those lessons.
His hands on their shoulders, FRENCHY comforts his comrades Lucky Strike and Eager Beaver… a bond that is not even broken by death.
The photos below show the original FRENCHY as it was completed in clay. The next step in the process required taking a mold from the clay. That process was done immediately following these photos, destroying the original clay. Now the sculpture exists as part of the completed monument in bronze.