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Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > Archives > 2000

2000 Closed threads from 2000 (read only)

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Old 4 April 2000, 04:44 AM   #1
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(At request) the last living ace of France, which is accounted for and of which the date of death is known according to The Aerodrome, seems to be Jean Andre Pezon (10 kills). He died in 1980.

Furthermore, the FAQ states that all WWI aces are dead, which is plausible, but unverifiable statement, because a considerable amount are unaccounted for. It should state that there are no known living WW1 aces. I hope I didn't sound too 'conspirational.'
Old 4 April 2000, 01:53 PM   #2
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"The ace thing" really gets complex: deciding who was or wasn't an ace naturally has a direct bearing upon who was the last living, or as noted here, the KNOWN last living.

Generally, of course, "ace" means "fighter ace" which means fighter PILOT, but not always. Multi-seater fighter/observation/bomber aircraft have produced ace pilots & gunners. In most allied air arms it was possible for an ace with five victories never to have destroyed an enemy aircraft (Repeat after me, class: "A kill is always a victory but a victory isn't always a kill.")

Probably in future years we'll know retroactively who the last living aces were, by whatever definition. In the case of Americans in the Great War, we didn't learn of Mr. Pearson's passing until almost 2 years later, as I recall.

I won't even get into a "flying ace" definition which, thanks to a long-running comic strip, is far too generic but certainly gave us a lot of entertainment!
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Old 5 April 2000, 05:15 PM   #3
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In researching the William Barker biography, I had the pleasure and honor to interview Lt. Gerald A. Birks, MC and Bar, ex-66 Squadron, RAF, on April 2nd, 1991. According to Shores/Franks/Guest ATT, Birks had 12 victories. Gerry died in May 1991, aged 96, and very likely was the last Canadian ace of WWI. A Canadian ace in the top 10 British Empire aces, Donald MacLaren, DSO, MC and Bar, DFC, ex-46 Squadron, with 54 victories, lived almost as long as Birks, being born in 1893 and dying in July 1989.
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Old 6 April 2000, 04:23 PM   #4
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As I have found in my long search for living WWI pilots. there are likely none left.
The last British ACe I know of was the well known Cecil Lewis of Saggitari8us rising fame.(Read it if you haven't already)
The last German ace was ????? They have such poor public records on their veterans that it is anyones guess.
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Old 6 April 2000, 09:19 PM   #5
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the germans are fastidious about public records!
i guess the question is where to look in the Bundesarchiv! I wouldnt be surprised to find a lot of info somewhere


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