What is the story behind the Chinese lucky cat that waves at you when you order your Chicken Noodle Soup?
Had Werner Voss survived the legendary dogfight on September 23, 1917 he could have gone on to rival his friend and colleague Richthofen as the greatest of all German World War One combat aces. As it was, this son of a dyer from Krefeld would claim 48 aerial victories in his short but glorious combat career.
The title of best of the Allied pilots in World War One rests on the shoulders of Frenchman Colonel Rene Paul Fonck, who succeeded in destroying 75 enemy aircraft during the conflict. In the confusion of war, however, his tally could actually be much higher with some commentators estimating that at least 100 aircraft were victims of his gunnery and piloting skills. The hero of WW1 however fell from grace when he allegedly colluded with the Vichy Government that came to power as France fell to the Nazis in World War Two.
Military aviation in the First World War was in its infancy and the history of the conflict is filled with accounts of men who should have achieved greatness but for that moment of pure bad luck, one such example is the career of flying ace Philip Fletcher Fullard of the Royal Flying Corps.
Many American aerial aces started their careers during the Second World War and ended them in the heat and conversely the harsh cold of the Korean peninsula, one such pilot was Joseph Christopher McConnell Junior. Born in Dover, New Hampshire on January 30, 1922 McConnell would go down in history as the top American flying ace in the Korean War claiming to have downed no fewer than sixteen MiG-15’s, but his military service and aerial career started in October 1940 when he enlisted in the United States Army in the Medical Corps.