This month we will focus the column on our heroes in the air, from WW1 through Vietnam. We kick off with perhaps the greatest American Ace of WW1 – Lt. Frank Luke Jr. And don’t forget to listen to the G&P podcast for more details behind the story!
Make the most of your day!
Frank Luke Jr.
Rank and Organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 27th Aero Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, Air Service. Place and Date: Near Murvaux, France, 29 September 1918. Entered Service At: Phoenix, Ariz. Born: 19 May 1897, Phoenix, Ariz. G. O. No.: 59, W.D., 1919.
After having previously destroyed a number of enemy aircraft within 17 days he voluntarily started on a patrol after German observation balloons. Though pursued by 8 German planes which were protecting the enemy balloon line, he unhesitatingly attacked and shot down in flames 3 German balloons, being himself under heavy fire from ground batteries and the hostile planes. Severely wounded, he descended to within 50 meters of the ground, and flying at this low altitude near the town of Murvaux opened fire upon enemy troops, killing 6 and wounding as many more. Forced to make a landing and surrounded on all sides by the enemy, who called upon him to surrender, he drew his automatic pistol and defended himself gallantly until he fell dead from a wound in the chest.