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British Bristol Fighter F2B and German Albatros D.III in combat

Caption: British Bristol Fighter F2B and German Albatros D.III in combat

Many Canadians won distinction in the Royal Flying Corps during the Great War. The details of this contemporary painting are none too accurate, but it was this sort of image that caught the public imagination. The legend of the heroic fighter pilot - a 'knight of the air' - retains its power to this day. Despite the myths, however, the humble reconnaissance squadrons, who took photographs and directed artillery bombardments, probably had a greater impact on the war. (Private collection)