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Canadian ace Lloyd Samuel Breadner can surely claim to have flown one of the most distinctive Sopwith Camels on the Western Front. Featuring two large circles on the top wing, his aircraft also included King of Diamonds playing cards on the top of the lower wings, the badge of the Canadian Expeditionary Force carried behind the cockpit and a striking red and white ‘rising sun’ on the tail and elevators - there can be no doubting that Flight Lieutenant Breadner wanted his German opponents to see him coming.
Joining No.3 Squadron RNAS in 1917, Breadner initially flew the Sopwith Pup scout, in which he managed to score seven aerial victories, one of which was a mighty German Gotha bomber on 23rd April 1917, the first time a British fighter had brought down one of these behemoth’s over the Western Front.
When his unit converted to the new Sopwith Camel, he went on to score a further three victories during September 1917, all of which were against Luftstreitkrafte Albatros D.V fighters. Surviving the war, Breadner became Air Officer Commanding-in Chief RCAF Overseas during WWII and on his retirement, was promoted to Air Chief Marshal – the first Canadian to hold this rank.
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