timewatch air aces

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by seafarer1939, Mar 22, 2009.

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  1. How special were those two WW1 aces?just looking at the stringbag planes that they went up in frightened the crap out of me,how did they do it even with their nerves cracked up so much.
    Shame they perished just before the war ended but what made me furious was the lack of respect from the top brass to them as they came up thru the ranks.
    Richtoffen had an funeral filled with guards of honour,not McCudden nor was any effort made to find Mannock's grave.
    For any outside the UK let me add out of 14000 pilots killed in WW1 8000 were killed in training accidents!
    It was a riveting programme and I'm filled with admiration with any who flew knowing the life expectency was 11 days.
  2. They did have some balls. The only thing that confused me was they were in the Army Flying Corp however on their war graves it stated they were RAF (I'm sure the RAF wasn't formed during that war??)
  3. The RAF was formed on 1 April 1918 (hence the 90th anniversary celebrations last year), so it was formed during the First World War, albeit in the last six months of it. The Royal Flying Corps (Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to form the new service.

    Jokes about the fact they were formed on the 1 April always welcome. :wink:
  4. The newly founded RAF spent the first years of it's creating busily wiping out the facts and rewriting history in it's own image.
  5. The RAF formed in the last year of the year and took command of the RFC and naval air squadrons. That is why they have RAF on their headstones. I too found the documentary incredibly good and recalled to when I was 15 or so and fascinated by the origins of the RAF and up to the end of WWII. I'd read these stories before but found it odd that a Raymond Collishaw wasn't mentioned. In addition to Mannock and McCuddon he was an ace but who served with the Royal Navy Air Squadron and was equally highly decorated: Order of the Bath, DSO (& Bar), OBE, DSC, croix de guerre and one of the first to get a distinguished flying cross.

    I found it strange that he wasn't mentioned in the programme as was a fighter ace who not only survived WWI but went on to be an air vice marshall of the RAF during WWII. Amongst Collishaws other achievements he was the first commonwealth pilot (he was in fact Canadian) to shoot down 6 german planes in a day and speculated that he shot down the german ace Karl Allmenroder. He also shot down over 60 planes (Mannock 73, McCuddon 67).

    I read his book - Air Command: A Fighter Pilot’s Story

    Another French WWI ace was René Paul Fonck with 75 victories who also survived the war.

    Incredible men.
  6. It was an excellent programme, and what about poor McCudden not being allowed to take command of an elite squadron because he did not go to a public school, despite the fact that he had a VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar, and MM.

    It was followed by the excellent Gosford Park, which went on to show class division in all its glory.
  7. I, too, thoroughly enjoyed this programme. The way that McCudden was treated was typical of the social status in UK, then and now. I wonder if there is any chance of the CWG/MOD doing a dna check on, what is supposed to be Mannock's grave, to acertain whether it is him interred, in order to give it a VC headstone.
  8. Thanks for the info guys learn something new everyday :D
  9. Excellent programme - a real change from all the rubbish which seems to be on these days. There was a pretty good short series about VC winners on UK TV History at Christmas as well.

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