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Britain's Ace Had Blind Eye
Britain's Ace Had Blind Eye
Published by Scott
10 December 2007
Britain's Ace Had Blind Eye

BRITAIN'S ACE HAD BLIND EYE

Facts Recently Made Known Concerning Maj. Mannock, Killed in Action.

LONDON, May 6, (Correspondence of the Associated Press)—The late Major [Edward Mannock] was the leading "ace" of the British aviation corps but it was not until months after the armistice that the fact was known and he never will be officially credited by the air ministry with being England's premier flyer. It was the policy of the ministry during the war not to proclaim individual exploits and it has not been changed since fighting ceased.
The record of Mannock's 18 months service is most unusual. He started by outwitting examining physicians in concealing the fact that he was blind in one eye. At 28 years of age he was older than most of the pilots in training but he seemed to lack nothing required of a successful air fighter and soon qualified and went to France.
Immediately he adopted tactics peculiar to himself and it finally was a deviation from those tactics that brought him down. He always flew very high and enticed his adversary into a high fight but, in bringing down his 73d German, he chased his falling foe too near the ground and a bullet from an anti-aircraft gun ended his career.
Officers of the Royal Air Force have acclaimed him the greatest air tactician in the service. He had none of the eccentricities prevalent among successful French aviators but he was scientific, persistent and dogged. One of his brother officers recently said that he had seen Mannock stalk a Hun for an hour or more, attempting to gradually draw him higher and then, when the slightest opportunity for advantage presented itself, he was on the foe like a cat.
Although Mannock was presented with the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross it was not until the thousands of records of pilots were checked in the air ministry here that it was known that he had more Germans to his credit than any other British aviator. This fact was allowed to become known at the ministry but not officially.


Fitchburg Daily Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) - Saturday, June 07, 1919



 

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