Before the United States entered World War I, young Americans went to France to be fighter pilots, joining the Lafayette Escadrille. This fictional version follows a laconic Texas rancher, an eager Nebraska kid, a Black boxer already in France, and a New York swell, as they arrive green for training, get their baptism by fire when German planes ambush them on their first mission, and graduate to heroics. Rawlings, the Texan, falls in love with a young woman he meets at a bordello. Keeping their eyes on them are Captain Thenault and Cassidy, the resident ace, who keeps a pet lion. Can the boys measure up?