As we all learn in our history class, World War 1 & 2 are among the most significant events that occurred during the 20th century. The effects of the two World Wars are devastating, which led to the death of millions worldwide, as well as canceling some of the world’s major events, including various Olympics. These horrific events made a huge impact on our world, leaving a mark on our history.
During the two World Wars, countless soldiers died on the battlefield in hopes of protecting and fight for their lands. Soldiers fought on various battlefields, including land, water, and air. Along with the diverse terrains, military groups developed various equipment and vehicles suitable for the job. One of the most common vehicles used in World War 1 was aircraft.
The significance of aircraft during World War 1 led to several aerial battles. Aircraft pilots showcased their dedication and expertise on the battlefield by flying the aircraft effectively. Their greatness is often recognized from the number of enemies they took down. As expected, there are numerous aircraft pilots that have made a name for themselves, gaining recognition and honor in their country. Some of them may have died on the battlefield, but their legacy is engraved on the hearts of many people.
In this article, we are going to look into the list of top celebrity aces during World War 1.
First on the list is the English fighter pilot who fought for the United Kingdom during World War 1. Ball was a young and talented soldier that gained recognition for his bravery. At a young age, he joined the military and served for a total of three years in his lifetime. His greatness in aerial combat earned him the title “flying ace,” wherein he accumulated forty-four victories, which was the most during the time. Because of this, Albert Ball received various awards, including the Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order & Two Bars, Military Cross, Legion d’honneur, and the Order of St. George. Because of his remarkable bravery, he was the first British flying ace to be recognized as a national hero.
William ‘Billy’ Bishop
Another great ace that once for the Canadian army was William Avery Bishop, also known as ‘Billy.’ Because of Bishop’s incredible wits and bravery in combat, he was considered a Canadian flying ace during World War 1. Just like Albert Ball, Bishop was known for his numerous victories that have a total of seventy-two. This outstanding record made him the top Canadian and British Empire flying ace during the war. His greatness on the battlefield earned him various awards, including the Victoria Cross. Interestingly, Bishop was able to survive the gruesome events in World War 1 and still managed to participate in the Second World War. During this time, he was known for contributing to setting up and promoting the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Germany is known for its significant participation during the two World Wars. Because of this, it is no doubt many brave and skillful soldiers once fought for the land; one of these was Max Immelmann. Immelmann was considered the first German flying ace during World War 1. He was credited for various achievements, wherein he was known as among the pioneers in fighter aviation. His name has earned a solid reputation in aviation, including the Immelmann turn – a flying tactic that is still used today. Immelmann’s journey as a fighter pilot made a significant impact in the war. He was recognized for his fifteen aerial victories, as well as winning the Pour le Merite, which was locally called ‘Blue Max’ in his honor.
Edward Corringham Mannock, commonly known as Mick Mannock, is considered one of the most popular fighter pilots not just in Britain but also around the globe. He was a flying ace that fought for Britain in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force. Mannock’s outstanding contribution in World War 1 gained him popularity as a fighter pilot, especially for being a pioneer in the field. However, Mannock died at the age of thirty-one; he had a record of sixty-one aerial victories, putting him on the list of leading scorers in the war.
Manfred von Richthofen
Last but not least is the German fighter pilot: Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, commonly known as the Red Baron. Richthofen is popular for his contributions during the first World War. Many people all around the globe recognize him both for his greatness and terror on the battlefield. Because of this, he earned the title aces-of-aces of war, wherein he outshines other countries’ flying aces. Unfortunately, Richthofen died at the age of twenty-five, amassing a total of eighty aerial victories.