Part 2 of Naval Aces looks at the many flying Naval heroes who flew alongside or against those of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). While the RNAS operated its own formidable arsenal of Nieuport and Sopwith scouts over the Flanders coast, the German navy countered with its own Land Feld Jagdstaffeln and Seefront Staffeln. In addition, German floatplane units, most notably at Zeebrugge, produced at least three aces of their own at the expense of British flying boats, airships and other patrol craft. Unique to World War 1 was the use of flying boats as fighters in combat, which figured at least partially in the scores of Russian aces Aleksandr de Seversky and Mikhail Safanov. Austrian ace Gottfried Banfield scored all nine of his victories in flying boats and Friedrich Lang claimed two of his total of five in one. The best flying boat fighter, however, was Italy's Macchi M 5, flown by three aces and also the mount of Charles H Hammann, the first American to earn the Medal of Honor in aerial combat. Also unique were the sole US Navy ace, David Ingalls, who scored his six victories while attached to No 213 Sqn RAF, and Greek ace Artitides Moraitinis, credited with nine victories over Salonika and the Dardanelles.
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Published May 22, 2012
by Osprey Publishing.