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Lieut. Luke Missing, One of Paired Aces
Lieut. Luke Missing, One of Paired Aces
The Stars and Stripes - Friday, November 1, 1918
Published by Scott
16 July 2007
Lieut. Luke Missing, One of Paired Aces


Flyer Does Not Return After Dropping Three Boche Machines

Like a blazing meteor was the brief, brilliant career of Lieut. Frank Luke, Jr., as a fighting flyer in the American Air Service. He has been reported missing since he vanished over the German lines late on the afternoon of Sunday, September 29, the fourth day of the Argonne drive.
In his last 17 days at the front he had scored 18 victories, thereby tying the record of the American ace of aces, Lieut. Eddie Rickenbacker, and going one better than the great record of the late Major Raoul Lufbery.
His most celebrated exploit was staged in the sky behind St. Mihiel when he brought down two balloons and three airplanes in less that ten minutes.
Lieutenant Luke was a reckless and trouble-seeking pilot, fond of lone guerrilla warfare, and only too likely to land far from his own base, so that he could stock up again with ammunition and gasoline and be off again on his solitary offensive.
So it happened on September 29. Early that afternoon he had brought down a Boche plane, returned to a forward field for supplies, and gone out again, flying alone, far over the German lines, in broad daylight, all regulations to the contrary notwithstanding.
At 4:30 that afternoon a Spad dropped a message asking that some one keep on the lookout for burning balloons beyond Avocourt. The message was signed "Lieutenant Luke."
At 5:05 two Boche balloons were seen to fall in flames. Seven minutes later a third blazed and fell.
Lieutenant Luke did not return. He had always been death on balloons. There were 14 on his list of victories.
Lieutenant Luke, who was 21 and hailed from Phoenix, Ariz., belonged to a brilliant pursuit group—one boasting 14 aces, of whom five had been killed, one has returned home as instructor, and eight were, at last accounts, still flying.

The Stars and Stripes - Friday, November 1, 1918

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