Okay, when I was younger and maybe a bit more impressionable I read (devoured!) books such as Alan Clarke's 'Aces High', Quentin Reynolds' "They Fought for the Sky" & Lou Cameron's "Iron Men with Wooden Wings".
From these books, then regarded as standard classics of the history and understanding of the Great War in the Air, I came away with, what I thought, with treasured knowledge of the exploits of the great Aces.
Since that time, with the depressing marching of time, many things that I took to be Gospel about that war have been either challenged or totally debunked outright.
# The Great American ace Frank Luke
, after crash-landing on his final sortie, did not lose his life in an heroic shoot-out with a batch of German infantry. It now seems the poor man was already mortally injured when his SPAD crashed and if he did fire his side-arm, it was to probably to attract the attention of anyone who could come to his aid.
# Werner Voss
did not single-handedly take on seven SE5s in his Fokker Tripe on his final tragic-glorious mission. It now appears he had at least 2 helpers, namely a pair of Pfalz (even if they weren't much help in the end).
So, I now am asking you, fellow Forum-members, most of whom have much more knowledge on this subject than I do, are any the following actually TRUE?:-
# Did French ace Rene Fonck
actually locate and shoot down Leutnant Wisseman who was credited with the bringing down of Georges Guynemer
in September 1917?
# Did RFC ace Albert Ball
perish because he became dis-orientated in dense cloud and fly upside-down into the ground, or did he meet his end when he flew too close past a church steeple which contained a German machine-gun nest? Is either true?
# Did RFC ace Mick Mannock
actually attack a German training aerodrome and shoot down 5 un-armed pupils in one sortie?
# Did RFC ace William Barker
actually single-handedly take on 50-60 enemy Fokkers in October 1918 and did he bring down 4 of them like he claimed?
# Did Canadian ace Billy Bishop
really achieve all the exploits that he wrote of in 'Winged Victor' ?
# Did Max Immelmann
perish when his Eindecker's Interruptor-Gear failed?
# Did early RFC ace Lanoe Hawker
achieve his first victories with precision shots from a rifle?
I welcome any comments. Cheers, Pete