René Fonck

Boastful and arrogant were words used to describe Fonck but no one could dispute his abilities as an aviator and deadly marksman. The only problem was that most of what he claimed was true or soon became so. He once shot down 3 German planes with one 10 second burst and on two occasions he brought down six planes in a single day. When he first became an ace in 1917, he claimed the event to be "my new-found glory." By his seventh victory he considered himself to be a "virtuoso". His 75 confirmed kills (Fonck claimed 120) place him second only to von Richthofen in WWI victories though he could never claim to be the tactician von Richthofen was and he never claimed the hearts of his French countrymen the way Georges Guynemer did.

Fonck survived the war and went on to become a celebrated exhibition pilot.

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