WW1 Aces were pilots credited with striking down at least five enemy planes in combat. The French press were the first to use the term when they nicknamed fighter pilot Adolphe Pegoud l’as (which translates as the “the ace”) after he was responsible for bringing down five enemy aircraft.
Obviously the nature of air combat in the First World War meant that it was very difficult to accurately record the scores of the flying aces.
German figures are considered more reliable than those of the allies as aerial combat usually took place over their occupied territory, meaning it was easier to record the efforts of the flying aces on the ground.
Adolphe Pegoud – The First Flying Ace
Top German Ace: Manfred von Richthofen ‘The Red Baron’ – 80 Victories (The Highest Overall)
Top French Ace: Rene Fonck – 75 Victories (The Highest Allied Score)
Top British Ace: Edward Mannock – 61 Victories
Top Canadian Ace: Billy Bishop – 72 Victories