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The Camel, designed by Thomas Sopwith, was the highest scoring fighter of World War One credited with destroying 1,294 enemy aircraft . This single-seat fighter took its name from the hump over the breeches of the two front machine guns; the nickname given it by one of the squadrons was rapidly adopted as the types' name. It was the first British fighter armed with two synchronised machine guns.The Sopwith Camel was held in the same high regard by those who fought in World War One as the Spitfire was for those involved in World War Two. With a superb fighting record it is hardly surprising it was nicknamed "The King of the Air Fighters"An agile, highly manoeuvrable biplane, the Sopwith F.1 Camel was noted for its tendency to kill inexperienced flyers. In the hands of a skilled pilot of it was an extreme dog-fighter that could out manoeuvre any contemporary airplane with the possible exception of the Fokker Dr.I Triplane
The King of the Air Fighters - Sopwith Camel
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The aircraft in this painting was flown by Lt. G A Vaughn of 17th Aero Squadron. He claimed two victories with it on 22nd September 1918. Another pilot, Ltn. Fritz Noltenius of Jasta 27 who at that time was an ace with 12 victories. Noltenius survived the encounter and the war finishing with a total of 21 victories. He died in 1936 following a flying accident. The other pilot was Karl Bauerbfeind of Jasta 34 who was killed. Vaughn was then himself shot down by a pilot of Jasta 27. The Camel was written off but he was unhurt. Vaughn went on to finish the war with 13 victories. His biography was published in 1980 "War flying in France". He died in New york 1989.