BRITISH PILOTS SET NEW RECORD HIGH ABOVE THE WESTERN FRONT
London (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, April 24, 1917, the Associated Press reported that the British Flying Corps* shot down a record 40 German airplanes 15,000 miles above enemy territory along the Western Front. The air battles took place on April 23 and continued the following day.
One British pilot was able to take out a German observation balloon as it sat in its hangar on the ground.
A front-page story in The Chicago Daily Tribune read...
"British machines were everywhere along the battle front and far behind German lines."
The greatest fight of the day, however, was between a German pilot and a British pilot which lasted for a full hour. Neither was able to "bring his gun to bear on the other."
*British Flying Corps was the air arm of the British army during WWI. BFC merged with the Royal Navy Air Service in 1918 to form the Royal Air Force.
"British Smash 40 Air Planes on Western Front," The Chicago Daily Tribune, April 25, 1917, www.archives.chicagotribune.com/