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Albert Ball
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    (August 14, 1896-May 7, 1917)
    Born in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
    Served in the British Army (1914-1915) and the Royal Flying Corps (1915-1917)
    Fought at the Western Front in World War I
    Known for his 'lone wolf' style of flying and attacking enemy aircraft
    Shot down 43 enemy planes and one balloon
    Promoted to Second Lieutenant (October 29, 1914), and then to Captain (August 14, 1916)
    Awarded Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order & Two Bars, Military Cross, Légion d'honneur, Order of St. George
    Known as the 'English Richthofen' by the Germans
    Crashed to his death in Annœullin, France
    He was a daredevil in his youth, strolling on top of a tall factory chimney without concern for the height.
    He displayed only average ability as a student.
    He was a pretty boy who caught the attention of local ladies.
    His engagement to Dorothy Elbourne was brief because he was still interested in Thelma Starr.
    He suffered from depression caused by war weariness.
    He was rather untidy, wearing his hair longer than allowed and preferred to fly without a helmet or goggles.
    He told his father to discourage his younger brother Arthur from joining the Royal Flying Corps.
    Alan Clark claimed that he had the 'ingredients of a perfect killer, where a smooth transition can be made between the motives that drive a boy to 'play hard' at school and then to 'fight hard' against the King's enemies'.
    He was the first ace to become a British national hero.
    His vast knowledge of engineering enabled him to be his own mechanic.
    Despite his reclusive behavior, he still enjoyed the occasional socializing and was liked by other members of his squadron.
    He enjoyed gardening, playing the violin, and tinkering in his spare time.
    He hated war and feeling like a killer because of it.
    He bore no ill will towards his opponents, writing to his parents that he fought out of duty to his country.
    He was even respected by the Germans, who buried him with full military honors.
    Upon hearing of his death, Baron Manfred von Richthofen said that he was 'by far the best English flying man'.

Credit: Big Lenny

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