PHOTO GALLERY: THE SHORT LIFE OF PILOTS

Germans surround burning aircraft.

 

Despite the high mortality rate of pilots, both sides displayed remarkable esprit de corps. Flying was an adventure few had dreamed of.

 

Members of 85 Squadron preparing to go on patrol, Elliott Springs at far left. "My feet are like lead," he would write.

 

French villagers with dead German pilot.

 

Pilots, like soldiers, were often buried where thy fell. John MacGavock Grider's grave was never found.

 

The Red Baron in a German Albatross with the pilots of his "Flying Circus." He would die after recording 80 enemy planes shot down.

 

"Mick" Mannock, who replaced Billy Bishop as commander of 85 Squadron, carried a pistol to shoot himself if his plane ever caught fire -- which it did.

 

The French garden where American ace Raoul Lufbery fell to his death after his plane caught fire and Lufbery fell, or jumped from his plane.

 

Northern France became littered with planes and bodies fallen from the sky.

 

Two British fliers killed on impact. "The Young Aviator Lay Dying" was a popular barroom song.

 

Elliott Springs saw many of his friends killed in action. "But to me they're not dead yet. They're just around the corner, I think, and I still expect to run itinto them, any time."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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