The first American pilot credited with five victories in a single engagement, Walter Carl Simon joined the Royal Flying Corps in March 1918. Posted to 139 Squadron under William Barker, he was flying the Bristol Fighter on the Italian Front when he and his observer, William Watson Smith, shot down five enemy aircraft on the morning of 30 July 1918. Though both men were wounded and flying a badly shot-up aircraft, Simon successfully returned to his aerodrome at Villaverla. Post-war, Simon left London for Lima, Peru where he was appointed sub-director of Peru's first Naval Aviation Flying School on 9 August 1920. He was responsible for training pilots to fly surplus Bristol Fighters and played an instrumental role in the formation of the Peruvian Air Force for president Augusto B. Leguia's controversial government. During World War II, Simon held the rank of Major in the United States Army Air Force and was discharged from service with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He remained on flying status as a civilian, flying army trainers on weekends until the age of 65.
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Louisiana, Sunday, 13 October 1918, page 34
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Louisiana, Sunday, 22 December 1918, page 1
New Orleans States, New Orleans, Louisiana, Wednesday, 1 January 1919, page 10
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. Walter Carl Simon.
This officer has carried out sixteen successful reconnaissances, many at long distances, and frequently strongly opposed by hostile aircraft. In this service Lieutenant Simon has shown great ability and determination, rendering excellent reports and obtaining much valuable information. In the encounters with hostile aircraft he has proved himself a gallant and skilful fighter.