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Patrouille de France perform at Air Force Academy

April 20, 2017 GMT
The Patrouille de France, the French equivalent of the Thunderbirds, flew over the noon formation at the United State Air Force Academy on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. The Patrouille de France have been on a tour across the country over the past few weeks commemorating that involvement and the special relationship between French and American pilots. (Jerilee Bennett /The Gazette via AP)
The Patrouille de France, the French equivalent of the Thunderbirds, flew over the noon formation at the United State Air Force Academy on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. The Patrouille de France have been on a tour across the country over the past few weeks commemorating that involvement and the special relationship between French and American pilots. (Jerilee Bennett /The Gazette via AP)

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — French military planes flew over the U.S. Air Force Academy Wednesday as part of a tour thanking the United States for its help during World War I.

Pilots from Patrouille (PAT’-roll-yah) de France, or Patrol of France, the French equivalent of the Air Force Thunderbirds, performed a brief air show over the academy on Wednesday. The jet contrails were red, white and blue.

The group is on a seven-week tour of the United States to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the nation’s entry into World War I, its first visit to North America in more than 30 years. They flew over New York Harbor last month.

The Gazette of Colorado Springs reports that the relationship built between pilots during the war continues to be celebrated at the academy. There is a French officer on the faculty as well as French exchange students.