SOPWITH F-1 CAMEL aircraft
The English Sopwith Camel F-1 shot down more enemy aircraft than any other World War I fighter. It was highly maneuverable and terribly tough to defeat in a dogfight. Due to its hard handling traits more men were killed while learning to fly it than died while using it in combat. The Camel first went into action in June 1917 with seventy Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, and 4 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service. Two U.S. Armed forces Air Service squadrons, the 17th and 148th, flew the Camel in combat while allotted to Brit forces in the summer and fall of 1918. Such famous U.S. Pilots as George Vaughn (America’s second-ranking Air Service ace to survive the war), Elliot White Springs, Errol Zistel and Larry Callahan were members of the 17th and 148th. A 3rd U.S. Unit, the 185th Aero Squadron, exploited the Camel as a night fighter on the North American Front in the last month of the war.
Though 5,490 Camels were produced, only a few remain in existence today. USAF staff built the Camel on show from the first WWI factory drawings, completing it in 1974. The airplane is painted and marked as the Camel flown by Lt. George A. Vaughn Jr, 17th Aero Squadron.