The Death of Werner Voss

Werner Voss
                   Werner Voss

September 23 marks the anniversary of one of the most celebrated episodes of aerial combat.

It resulted in the death of German ace, Werner Voss, but not before he damaged all seven of the Royal Flying Corps aircraft trying to bring him down.

The rounds that finally sent his aircraft into the ground were fired by Arthur Rhys-Davids.

Voss’ skill earned him the complete respect of his foes that day in 1917.

Back at base, Rhys-Davids turned to his fellow ace, James McCudden, who also fought in the dogfight, and said: “Oh, if only I could have brought him down alive.”

Rhys-Davids was himself killed a month later. He, like Voss, was just 20 years old.

McCudden died the following year, aged 23.

Even the greatest airmen were unlikely to survive that first great air war of 1914-1918.

 

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