Friday 7 December 2007 by Peter Burness. 1 comment
Aircraft 1914 - 1918, The War Theatres

The bold exploits of the fighter pilots caught the attention of the public. Aerial duels fought by young men in the clear skies satisfied the heroic notion of warfare; something that the bloody trench fighting could no longer do. Each nation had its air heroes, although many of them had only short lives. Those who destroyed five enemy aircraft were referred to as ‘aces’. The greatest of these, of any side, was the German, Manfred von Richthofen, who shot down 80 opponents. The top British ‘ace’ was Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock.

A04803 Portrait of Baron Manfred von Richthofen, Jastas 2, 11 and JGI.

P04167.002 Captain Rene Paul Fonck, Spa 103, Fench Air Service standing beside a Spad XIII aircraft.

France’s was Rene Fonck, but he never achieved the popularity of their more flamboyant Georges Guynemer.

P00117.028 Portriat of Captain Georges Guynemer, Escadrille MS.3 and N.3, Spa 3, French Air Service.

Australia had Robert Little who flew with Britain's Royal Naval Air Service and achieved at least 47 victories.

A05200 Portrait of Captain R. A. Little, DSO*, DSC*, MID, French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star of Nos. 8 and 3 Naval Squadron and No. 203 Squadron RAF.

The highest scoring pilot of the Australian Flying Corps was Harry Cobby who had 29.

A03697 Portrait of Captain (Capt) Arthur Henry Cobby DSO DFC, MID, of No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps.

By 1918, Richthofen, Mannock, Guynemer and Little had all been killed.

For more on the death of Manfred von Richthofen please see the post Who Killed the Red Baron?



Roy Brown from Canada killed Manfred von Richthofen.