This four page article by Johns is about Air “Aces”.  “France started the “ace” system as a means of stimulating individual effort”.  “The view taken by the Air Board – after careful consideration – was this.  War was an impersonal business, and to lionise certain airmen was an unfair gesture to the Navy, the Infantry, and other ground troops, who were doing all that was asked of them, but could never become aces.  It was perceived – correctly, as it turned out – that the official recognition of aces might even cause dissatisfaction in the R.F.C., for only scout pilots could hope to achieve the coveted distinction.  Bomber pilots, artillery spotters, and reconnaissance pilots all took the same risks, yet they could never become aces.  All did their duty – why make distinctions?”  Johns points out other problems.  With the German system, “the other German pilots called these men “prima-donnas,” and hated them – which was bad for the service as a whole”.  Aces such as Baron Manfred von Richthofen were always in the papers.  “But the Kaiser became worried.  Aces were dropping out of the sky, and he wondered what the results would be when Richthofen’s turn came.  He tried to keep Richthofen out of the air”.  “When he met the inevitable fate of the ace pilot, Germany was stunned.  His death plunged the whole country into gloom.  The loss of an army would not have caused such unquiet.  German morale slumped.  That’s the trouble with aces”.


(This article was followed by the tasteful nude drawing below)