This day in history (April 29, 1918): Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, the leading US ace of WWI, shot down his first airplane. Fast Eddie's first love was fast cars, and only made the switch from racing to aviation after repairing a car carrying Col Billy Mitchell. Rickenbacker downed 26 enemy aircraft in the European Theatre and was named Commander of the 94th "Hat in the Ring" Squadron. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover. Historical Aircraft, Aero Squadron, Aviators History, Eddie Rickenbacker, Spad Xiii, Ww1 Planes, Ww1 Aviators, Squadron Insignia, 94Th Aero
The first Victoria Cross awarded to an Australian flyer for valour in the presence of the enemy was won by Lieutenant Frank McNamara of Number 1 squadron on March 20th, 1917. Following a raid on a train line, despite being wounded himself, McNamara landed and rescued a downed pilot from the raid whilst under enemy fire behind Turkish lines. Interestingly despite heavy involvement in combat over enemy lines, he was the only AFC pilot to be awarded a VC in World War One.
Breguet 14 of the American 96th Aero Squadron. The squadron was assigned as a Day Bombardment Squadron, performing long-range bombing attacks on roads and railroads; destruction of materiel and massed troop formations behind enemy lines. It also performed strategic reconnaissance over enemy controlled territory, and tactical bombing attacks on enemy forces in support of Army offensive operations.