Frank Luke And Rickenbacker Contribution To The American War Effort

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The Most Valuable American Ace Balloon-busting aces of World War I, Frank Luke and Edward Rickenbacker both made valuable contributions to the American war effort through their respective acts of valor. Each aviator contributed to the war in a different way; having different flying techniques, forms of strategy, and levels of professionalism. Although Frank Luke and Edward Rickenbacker were both Medal of Honor recipients, Frank Luke made the most valuable contribution to the American war effort by his aggressive aerial combat skills, professionalism, and determination to win the war. Edward Rickenbacker volunteered to help the American war effort in 1917, after being a race car driver for several years. Rickenbacker dreamed of being a pilot, …show more content…

After Luke commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, he was sent to France and assigned to active duty with the 27th Aero Squadron. He made a specialty of attacking observation balloons, possibly the toughest target any pilot in WWI could face, as they were defended by anti-aircraft planes and machine guns, not to mention fighter squadrons nearby (Naylor 189-210). Countries went to extreme efforts to protect their costly, scarce balloons because they were vital to success on the ground. They allowed the artillery to take advantage of its increased range. Luke earned the name “Arizona Balloon Buster,” after shooting down fourteen German balloons and four aircraft in seventeen days (Pardoe 6). Frank Luke stood out among other aces, as an independent, solo flyer. By himself, Luke made savage solo attacks at the enemy, even against orders to the contrary. Luke did not do this out of disrespect on the level of professionalism, but due to a sense of patriotism. His personality was a combination of aggression and an honest dislike for discipline. Luke did not wait around for orders, he was there to act, and his ultimately goal was to take down every enemy balloon and enemy

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