Air Aces of World War One


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Colonel Rene Paul Fonck – French and Allied Ace of Aces 1894 / 1953 Part 4


On the 18th of July 1918, he achieved another double to bring his total to 53 and a tie with Guynemer. The following day he shot down three more enemy aircraft and surpassed the score of the legendary Guynemer, who had remained the leading French ace even after his death on 11th of September 1917.

Fonck added for more victories in August bringing his total up to sixty, Then on the 26th of September he repeated his feat of downing six enemy aircraft in one day, only this time three of them were Fokker DVII fighter planes.

Another success two days later, and two on the 5th of October, bought his score up to 69 just short of the 72 claimed by William Avery Bishop, the leading Allied ace. on the 30th of October he scored three more victories, drawing level with Bishop, he downed two more the following day and one more the day after that, ending the war with a total of 75 victories.

To summarize he claimed 56 victories in 1918, attaining a total of 36 kills before May 1918. His 1918 list by itself would have made him France’s leading ace. He had accounted for all but 36 of Escadrille Spa 103’s 111 claimed victories. Unlike many of the leading aces, Fonck’s score only listed 3 aircraft shared. Also, unlike many aces he was never wounded, in fact it is stated that only one enemy bullet ever hit his aircraft, he had also forgone the most hazardous of air to air combat, he had shot down no balloons.

(C) Damian Grange 2018



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