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3803 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY- THE GREAT WAR.

Of aviators in this period, the most celebrated were Baron von Richthofen, who has

already been mentioned; Captain Ball of the

British service; Captain Bishop, a Canadian;

Captain Lufberry, an American; and Captain

Georges Guynemer of the French service.

Captain Guynemer was officially credited

with destroying 53 German aeroplanes. He

was known as the "King of the Aces." He

was only 23 years old and was a son of a

manufacturer who was also a captain in the

French army. On account of his frail

health he was five times rejected when he

attempted to volunteer but was finally

permitted to enlist as a student aviator.

Within three weeks after he received his

pilot's license, in January, 1916, he became

an ace by bringing down his fifth enemy

aeroplane. Thereafter every few days saw

some new feat placed to his credit. One of

his finest exploits took place in September,

1916, when he rose in the air to aid a comrade

who had been attacked by five German

Fokkers. Having attained a height of more

than 10,000 feet, Captain Guynemer shot

down two of his antagonists within thirty

seconds. He pursued the other three and,

in two minutes, had shot down a third

machine. While following the other two,

an enemy shell burst under his aeroplane and

tore away one of the wings. "I felt myself

dropping," he said later. "It was 10,000

feet to the earth, and, like a flash, I saw my

funeral with my saddened comrades marching behind the gun carriage to the cemetery.

I pulled and pushed every lever I had, but

nothing would check my terrific descent.

Five thousand feet from the earth the

wrecked machine began to turn somersaults,

but I was strapped into the seat. I do not

know what it was, but something happened

and I felt the speed of the descent lessen.

Suddenly there was a tremendous crash, and,

when I recovered my senses, I had been

taken from the wreckage and was all right."

Guynemer was three times wounded, but

each time only slightly. On one day, he was

credited with shooting down four enemy