Three young men from the American South, Elliott White Springs, John MacGavock Grider and Larry Callahan, join the Royal Flying Corps in World War I and become known as the Three Musketeers. Their escapades in London and adventures in France are described in the best selling book War Birds: Diary of an Unknown Aviator in 1926. War Birds shocks patriotic Americans with its frank sexuality and antiwar tone, inspiring a host of World War I aviator films including Dawn Patrol and Hell's Angels. Passed off initially as the unfinished diary of Grider, the one musketeer who was shot down and killed, the book was in fact a novel combining the dead man's innocence with the anguished grief and ironic tone of his comrade Elliott Springs.

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