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Barker On The Prowl
William George Barker V.C. and co, 28 squadron Italian front 1918.With 50 confirmed victories the Canadian ace was one of the highest scoring Pilots of the RFC/RAF. His personal Sopwith Camel (serial no. B6313) was the most successful fighter in the history of the RAF, Barker having used it to account for 46 aircraft and balloons.It was dismantled in October 1918, Barker keeping the clock as a memento - although he was asked to return it the following day. Barker made a series of modifications to B6313, in order to improve its combat performance. The Clerget rotary engine's cooling system
William George Barker V.C. - Sopwith Camel
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was poor in the hotter Italian climate, so several supplementary cooling slots were cut into the cowling. The poor upward visibility of the Camel resulted in Barker cutting away progressively larger portions of the centre-section fabric. He also had a rifle-type, notch and bead gun-sight arrangement replace the standard gun sight fitting.Barker returned to Canada in May 1919 as the most decorated Canadian of the war, with the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Military Cross and two Bars, the French Croix de guerre and two Italian Silver Medals for Valour.He died on 12th March, 1930 near Ottawa when he lost control of his Fairchild KR-21 biplane trainer during a demonstration flight for the RCAF, at Air Station Rockcliffe, near Ottawa, Ontario, he was 35 years of age.