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Guynemer - the Ace of Aces

Guynemer - the Ace of Aces
Jacques Mortane
146pp, 155×235mm, illus, softback.
Republished by Peter Chapman

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France's second highest scoring fighter pilot of WW1, George Guynemer was accepted for training as an air mechanic in 1914, but he was eventually accepted for pilot training, joining Escadrille MS.3 on 8th June 1915. With this unit he scored his first victory on 19th July.

Guynemer scored his fifth victory in February 1916, and was promoted to lieutenant in March. By year's end, his score had risen to 25. His most successful month was May 1917, when he downed seven German aircraft. At the end of July, he became the first French ace to attain 50 victories and was lionised by the French press, becoming a national hero. Having scored a total of 53 victories, Guynemer failed to return from a combat mission on 11th September 1917. He was only 22 at the time of his death.

Neither he nor the wrecked aircraft of his aeroplane were ever found by the Allies, but the Germans announced that he had been shot down by Ltn Kurt Wissemann of Jasta 3. Guynemer's death was a profound shock to France; nevertheless, he remained a popular icon for the duration of the war.

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