The First Fighter Ace

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Milos Sijacki, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Milos Sijacki

    Milos Sijacki Member

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    Adolphe Célestin Pégoud (June 13, 1889 - August 31, 1915) was a well known French aviator who became the first fighter ace.

    Pegoud served in the French Army from 1907 to 1913. Immediately thereafter he began flying, earned his pilot's certificate, and in a few months, on September 21 1913, as a test pilot for Louis Bleriot, in a Bleriot model XI monoplane and in a series of test flights exploring the limits of airplane maneuvers, he flew a loop, believing it to be the world's first. But Pyotr Nesterov, a Russian army pilot, had flown the first on September 9 1913, just 12 days earlier, in a Nieuport IV monoplane at an army airfield near Kiev. Pegoud's feat was widely publicized and believed by many to be the first loop. Pegoud also made the first parachute jump from an airplane. He also became a popular instructor of French and other European fledglings.

    At the start of the First World War Pegoud volunteered for flying duty and was immediately accepted as an observation pilot. On 5 February 1915 he and his gunner were credited with shooting down two German aircraft and forcing another to land. Soon he was flying single-seat aircraft and claimed two more victories in April. His sixth success came in July.

    It is not known how many of Pegoud's victories involved destruction of enemy aircraft, as early air combat was rare enough to warrant credit for a forced landing. However, it is certain that Pegoud, rather than Roland Garros (three documented victories), was the first pilot to achieve acedom of any sort.


    On 31 August Pegoud was shot down while intercepting a German reconnaissance aircraft. He was 26 years old, ironically the victim of one of his prewar students. The same German crew later dropped a funeral wreath above French lines.
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  4. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    That's what I thought too!

    Those were the days when flying was really, really new and doing a loop was a record.

    In fact, was it one of the first vehicles in the world to do so? Except maybe a submarine perhaps, or a car crash. :(
     
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