Although WW1 air combat was just as deadly as that found in the trenches below, British Naval Air Service pilot William Sambrook’s diary describes the civility and honor that existed between foes in the skies over Europe.
Early pilot recruiting pooled from “sporting men” such as race car drivers and horseback riders. In the early 20th century, only men participated in these activities, typically noble men, from well to do backgrounds. These gentlemen brought their kind behavior into the skies with them, and ultimately into combat.
William Sherbrook’s diary describes instances of German pilots air dropping condolence packages including letters, photographs, and the personal effects of British airmen they had shot down. Airmen from both nations were known to have air dropped wreaths on their enemies aerodromes to honor the death of a particular enemy. Canadian ace Billy Bishop wrote of bringing recently shot down and captured German pilots to dinner and celebrating with them!
There’s been a lightning storm on the horizon for some time now.
I have no complaints.