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Hawker VC - The First RFC Ace (Hardback)

The Life of Major Lanoe Hawker VC DSO 1890 - 1916

Aviation > WWI Military > Victoria Crosses WWI > By Year > 1914 WWI > By Year > 1915 WWI > By Year > 1916

By Tyrrel M Hawker MC
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 250
ISBN: 9781781593455
Published: 14th August 2013



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By the age of 25 Lanoe Hawker of the Royal Flying Corps had won the VC and DSO. He was the first pilot to record five 'kills' before being shot down and killed by Baron von Richthofen (The Red Baron).

Lanoe's biography was written by his brother Tyrrel as a tribute. The Hawkers came from a distinguished sporting family with strong military and naval records and Lanoe from the outset set his sights on flying for the RFC. After attending the Central Flying School, he crossed to France in October 1914 with 6 Squadron equipped with BE2s and Henri Farmans.

As the war in the air progressed, Hawker shone as both a combat pilot and commander. He was rapidly promoted and given command of 24 Squadron. He, like other pilots, flew numerous early fighter aircraft such as the Bristol Scout, BE2c, FE2b and the famous DH2. Casualty/death rates were appalling but this special band of brothers flew on regardless until their turn came.

This book contains many combat reports by pilots of their actions in the air which make the most graphic reading. Of particular interest is von Richthofen's account of their fatal encounter. The relative merits, qualities and characteristics of the aircraft, both British, French and German, are discussed with pilots' opinions.

As an insight into Great War combat air operations Hawker VC – RFC Ace is unlikely to be surpassed.

A book that I strongly recommend to those who want to know what was really flying and challenging each other in the skies of the Great War.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

A highly recommended must-read.

Over the Front

The book is an attractive hardback with many photographs and extracts from contemporary documents.

Hill and Valley Magazine

Hawker drew on both family material and official documentation to produce this detailed history of his brother's short life, from his childhood, through to his initial service in the Navy, then with the Army in Ireland before his transfer to the RFC and rise to fame. Impeccably written and illustrated with photographs from the original edition.

Cross & Cockade

Pen and Sword Books have just released a book that will attract a lot of interest locally - especially in Longparish and the RAF community. This fascinating book was written by Lanoe's brother as a tribute. This book contains many combat reports by pilots of their missions and these make the most graphic reading. For a better insight into combat air operations Hawker CV - The First RFC Ace is unlikely to be surpassed, thanks to the extensive use of first-hand accounts. This book, with its grainy photos of the war in the air and the machines and men who dared to go skywards, is a fascinating insight into that time.

Andover Advertiser

About Tyrrel M Hawker MC

Tyrrel Hawker was Lanoe’s brother and a distinguished soldier in his own right. His son Peter is now in his 90s and living in Weymouth.

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