American Aces in British Service

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Sopwith Camel and SE5a Pilots

    They have received far less attention than their countrymen in the French air service, but the Americans who flew with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) shot down many more German planes. Of the 28 American aces in WWI who shot down ten or more aircraft, 22 flew with the British. Some, like Fred Libby, volunteered as early as 1916, to fly with the RFC or the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). But most joined in the final year of the war.

    Mostly they flew the Sopwith Camel, the Royal Aircraft Factory (R.A.F.) SE5a, or the two-seater Bristol Fighter "Brisfit," although a few flew the uncommon Sopwith Dolphin, including Fred W. Gillet, the most successful American to fly with the RFC.

    In July 1918, two all-American squadrons, 17 and 148 Squadrons, began operating under control of the British Royal Air Force. These two squadrons produced thirteen aces, including Elliott Springs and Field Kindley.

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