As one of the very first aces in the very first air combat war, the daring exploits of pilot Albert Ball in the 1st World War caught the public imagination like no other. He became possibly the first ‘celebrity’ ace and almost every other pilot competed to equal or surpass his mounting score of ‘kills’.
Albert Ball acquired his wings in the Royal Flying Corps in January 1916 and was first posted to France in February of that year. He joined No 13 squadron and for a six-week period in March 1916 saw almost constant action flying the Squadron’s Bristol Scout.
Moving to No 11 Squadron in May 1916, Ball’s score quickly accumulated. He had acquired a reputation as a tenacious scout pilot, often flying alone in his Nieuport and invariably returning to base with a near empty fuel tank. In August he returned to No 11 Squadron and soon after became the highest scoring scout pilot of the time.
Waging his solitary aerial war, Ball became an inspiration to the RFC at a time when its squadrons were being badly mauled. Ultimately he accounted for 44 German aircraft and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
This book is a compelling and meticulously researched account of this tragic hero, who seemed almost destined to die young and so immortalise his own legend as one of the very first fighter aces.
‘Surely, the book on Albert Ball and, as such, highly recommended to all aviation enthusiasts.’
Cross & Cockade Society Journal
‘An outstanding biography and historical study of both man and his combat achievements.’
Military Book Society Review
‘A highly detailed and very readable biography’.
Eastern Daily Press
‘In Chaz Bowyer, an aviation writer of great experience and a stickler for accuracy, Albert Ball has at last found a biographer who does his subject justice.’
Christchurch Press, New Zealand
‘An exciting biography of the young ace, profusely illustrated,’
Doncaster Evening Post
‘This work is a definitive one, based on extensive research and co-operation from Ball’s family, and copiously illustrated.’