Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Roads Classic: Who Was the First Ace?

Pégoud Receiving the Croix de Guerre

A Jaunty-Looking Pégoud
The term "ace" was first used in World War I when French newspapers described Adolphe Pégoud (1889–1915) as l'as (French for "ace") after he shot down five German aircraft. After serving in the French Army he pursued a career in aviation and received his private pilot's license in March 1913.

While he was a test pilot for Blériot, he was credited with being the first aviator to fly a loop, although it was discovered much later that a Russian pilot had preceded him by 13 days and, also to be the first pilot to jump with a parachute from his aircraft. Joining the French Air Service he was assigned to fly a Maurice Farman over the Argonne sector, where he achieved his five victories.

After gaining a sixth victory, Pégoud was shot down and killed 31 August 1915 by one of his prewar students, Walter Kandulski. Pégoud's tomb is at Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris.

Click Image to Enlarge
Immortalized in Comics

Sources:  Tony Langley Collection, Wikipedia, and

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