Royal Aero Club - Blog

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Albert Ball, VC (1896-1917)
Albert Ball, VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC was an English fighter pilot during the First World War. He was awarded his Aviator’s Certificate by the Royal Aero Club (RAeC) on 15 October 1915. The RAeC Trust’s collection of Aviators’ Certificates can be searched online at, available free at the RAF Museum and some public libraries. On 7 May 1917 – 100 years ago today – while flying with 56 Squadron RFC, Albert Ball crashed to his death in a field in France, sparking a wave of national mourning and posthumous recognition, which included the award of the Victoria Cross for his actions during his final tour of duty. The famous German flying ace, Manfred von Richthofen, remarked upon hearing of Ball's death that he was "by far the best English flying man".