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Record by French "Ace of Aces" Never Equalled
Record by French "Ace of Aces" Never Equalled
The Lowell Sun - Friday, June 21, 1918
Published by Scott
18 July 2007
Record by French "Ace of Aces" Never Equalled

RECORD BY FRENCH "ACE OF ACES" NEVER EQUALLED
By Associated Press

PARIS. (By Mail). Lieut. Rene Fonck, the young French "ace of aces" fought three distinct battles in the air when, on May 8, he brought down six German airplanes in one day. His record never has been equalled in aviation.
All three engagements were fought within two hours. In all Fonck fired only 56 shots; an average of little more than 9 bullets for each enemy brought down; an extraordinary record in view of the fact that aviators often fire hundreds of rounds without crippling their opponent.
The first fight, in which Lieut. Fonck brought down three German machines, lasted only a minute and a half and the young Frenchman fired only 23 shots.
Although Lieut. Fonck is officially credited with bringing down 42 enemy airplanes in all, military aviators believe that he has sent down at least 60 machines. He is twenty-four years old, is cool in battle and handles both machine-gun and airplane with great skill.
Fonck was leading two other companions on a patrol in the Moreuil-Montdidier sector on May 8 when the French squadron met three German two-seater airplanes coming toward them in arrow formation. Signalling to his companions, Lieut. Fonck dived at the leading German plane and, with a few shots, sent it down in flames. Fonck turned to the left and the second Hun followed in an effort to attack him from behind, but the Frenchman made a quick turn above him and with five shots sent the second Hun down to death. Ten seconds had barely elapsed between the two victories.
The third Hun headed for home but, when Lieut. Fonck apparently gave up the chase and turned back towards the French lines, the German went after him and was flying parallel and a little below, when Fonck made a quick turn, drove straight at him and sent him down within a half a mile of the spot where his two comrades hit the earth.
This ended the first engagement.
Several German observation balloons had been brought down by French aviators. Lieutenant Fonck returned to his camp and waited three-quarters of an hour for the Germans to learn of that fact and send their chaser planes to the scene of action. Then he, with two companions, went out to meet them. Above Montdidier, he came upon a German plane which was regulating the enemy artillery fire, dived 2000 feet and sent the German plane to earth with a few shots. Taking refuge in a cloud Fonck lost his two companions. Emerging from the mist to start for his own lines, Lieut. Fonck saw before him four single-seater Pfalz airplanes protected, at 1500 hundred feet above, by five German Albatrosses making for the French trenches with the convoying planes leading. In a ten-second flight, Fonck overtook the rear Pfalz machine, fired and saw it fall.
At the sound of his gun, the two Pfalz machines in the center of the German group turned, one to the right, and the other to the left to attack the daring Frenchman but Fonck drove his airplane swiftly ahead, and overtook the fourth Pfalz machine. A few shots under its tail sent it down in flames and the victor flew off to safety, leaving the two other Pfalzs and five Albatrosses wondering what had struck the squadron.
The air fights were staged from 4500 to 6000 feet up. The first German fell at 4.05 p. m. and the last at 6.55 p. m.
Lieut. Fonck used an ordinary Spad machine equipped with two rapid fire guns. He has been a pilot since 1915, passing into a chaser squadron about a year ago. On the day following his six victories he was made an officer of the Legion of Honor and subsequently was promoted to first lieutenant.

The Lowell Sun - Friday, June 21, 1918



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