Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P00117.028
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Place made France: Paris
Date made c 1914-1918


Portrait of Captain Georges Guynemer, the French aviator who was shot down after achieving 53 'kills' in air battles during the First World War. Guynemer disappeared during a mission on 11 September 1917. He reputedly he attacked a German observation plane and was killed in the ensuing combat. Neither the wreckage of his airplane, his body, nor personal effects were ever found but the Germans claimed that he had been shot down by Lt. Kurt Wissemann of Jasta 3. It is not clear if he was killed in the crash or if he survived only to be shot in No-Man's-Land on the ground. His aircraft may have been destroyed by artillery shells in battle. The French schoolchildren of the time were taught that he had flown so high he could not come back down. At the time of his death Guynemer he had been shot down seven times.