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René Paul Fonck

Rene Fonk

Country: France
Born: 27 March 1894
Place of Birth: Saulcy-sur-Meurthe
Deceased: June 1953
Rank: Capitaine
Service: French Air Service
Units: C47; Spa103
Victories: 75
Fonck was the highest scoring ace for France and the Allies. As a boy growing up in the foothills of the Vosges, he was fascinated by stories of men and their flying machines. Yet when he was conscripted in August 1914, he refused to serve in the French Air Service, choosing instead to go to the trenches. By early 1915, he had changed his mind and began his flight training in a Penguin at Saint-Cyr. Displaying an inherent talent for flying, he was soon serving with Escadrille C47, flying an unarmed Caudron on reconnaissance missions over the lines. In April 1917, after more than 500 hours of flight time, Fonck was assigned to Spa103. Flying the SPAD S.VII, he developed a reputation for studying the tactics of his opponents and conserving ammunition during a dogfight. On two separate occasions, he shot down six enemy aircraft in one day. As his fame grew, so did his ego and Fonck never achieved the admiration and popularity of Georges Guynemer. Even French ace Claude Haegelen, one of Fonck's few friends, felt he boasted too much and too often; but no one could deny that Fonck was an excellent pilot and superb marksman.
  The Great War Flying Museum
c/o Brampton Flying Club · P.O. Box 27, Stn. Cheltenham · Caledon, Ontario · Canada L7C 3L7
Tel: (905) 838-4936 • E-mail: