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Bishop of the Eagle Eye (1930)


THE greatest living, fighting airman is Billy Bishop — Lieutenant Colonel William Avery Bishop, V.C., the Canadian ace — with his record of having bagged, officially, seventy-two German planes.

   I am not sure that I would not be justified in dubbing him ace of aces, the greatest war flyer of them all. After studying the birds of prey, he chose the methods of the hawk. He was a human hawk, cool, calculating, swift.

   He was lone like the hawk, a supreme solo fighter. He cruised alone. He killed alone. He led patrols, of course, but even then managed to detach himself. Most of the time he went up by himself and ranged free lance, his keen eyes seeking prey.

   Besides these methods, he possessed that subtle thing which makes champions in any game of combat-intuitive skill, which is a natural gift, flowering with experience.

   A friend of mine, observing one day in a two-seater near Lens, recognized Bishop's flight 3,000 feet above. At the same time, slightly south, he noticed a formation of Germans.

   "Now I'll see something!" he thought and his glance ranged the sky. He watched — but nothing happened. Bishop just kept cruising around.

   "'S funny!"

   He knew that if he could see the enemy it was a sure bet that Bishop's famed eyes had long since picked them out.

   Still nothing happened. He kept watching, wondering, for a fall fifteen minutes. Then, his heart jumped. For, like bass darting in a pool, Bishop and his flight wheeled and dived downwind.

   They caught the Germans as they lost speed on a turn.

   The timing was perfect.

   Biff! Bang! Two of the enemy planes pitched out of control. Bishop got one. A fellow pilot got the other.

   Just an ordinary incident of Bishop's career, but nothing could illustrate better the cool sureness of his thrust. To my mind the war produced no greater ace. It will be argued, of course, that as against his seventy-two planes Richthofen, the Red Knight of Germany, was credited with eighty. True, and I have no wish to try to hurt the glory of that great enemy pilot. But he was different from Bishop in his methods and his results.

   The baron seldom flew or fought except in formation. He was a hide hunter. He picked off lame ducks pulling from a fight. He specialized in swooping on slow-motion artillery planes. In the mornings he had the advantage of the sun, when it showed, behind him as he Jay in wait for enemies. The prevailing west wind was to his advantage in getting home from a scrap.

   It is significant that he knew the names of most of the pilots he brought down, because most of his fights were over home territory.

   His total was augmented by planes which he drove down without destroying.

   If Bishop had been similarly credited with machines driven down but not destroyed, his total would have been well over a hundred. But the British system allowed only claims for planes crashed or sent down in flames and these only when verified by other observers. Since ninety per cent of his fights were over enemy country Bishop could not follow and claim machines forced to land unhurt.

   Unlike Richthofen, Bishop knew the name of scarcely a man he downed. The pilots he killed were impersonal enemies.

   Strange that it should have been so, since he was, by instinct and reason, an individualist. He sought to fight on his own terms — and they were bold ones. His precise tactics, evolved by intelligent planning and a cold, almost mathematical fightcraft, were dependent on solo effort.

   An analysis of his fights, and he had more than 200, shows that seventy-five per cent of them were undertaken alone, and, in the main, against odds. He picked off slow planes, of course, since his job was to destroy the enemy and since he made no secret of the fact that he was out to pile up a score. But mostly he pitted his skill against the fastest scouts. He attacked them singly. He smashed into groups.

   Fast, terrible, his guns blazing, he crashed into formations of as many as nine and by sheer élan frequently sent down one or two.

   Bishop's last war day in France will illustrate. It was a day of individual glory such as few other airmen achieved.

   But I offer Bishop's bag that day as a record for a single flight. He got five in less than two hours, four of them new-type scouts. And he got them alone. When he set out that morning his score was sixty-seven. Before lunch it had risen to seventy-two. It was his grand finale.

   That was on a June day, 1918, back of Ypres. Ordered to report back to England for administrative duty, with every possible honour an airman could gain, he had gone out alone seeking one last thrill. He got it.

   The gods were good. He had scarcely crossed the lines, high in the clouds, when his keen eyes marked three Pfalz scouts, a new, fast German type. No odds here, but his regular meat.

   He dived on the nearest. His guns ripped out one of those short, close bursts which were his specialty and the enemy ship fell flaming in a spin.

   Hearing the rattle of his guns, the remaining pair swung over and at him. And two other scouts, out of a layer above, came diving down on him.

   But let Bishop's official report tell the rest of the story:

   The second and third of the enemy scouts circled around me, trying to get under my tail, and as I dived beneath them they collided and fell together, the first bursting into flames. The remaining two started to climb away, and I chased them, opening fire at two hundred yards. One of them went into an uncontrollable spin and crashed. The other zoomed into the clouds and escaped.

   Four out of five fast scouts wiped out by a lone Canadian in ten minutes!

   It is typical of Bishop that he was not satisfied. Whetted, he kept on cruising beyond the lines. His report continues:

   Near Neuve Église I met a two-seater which I attacked from behind and beneath. It burst into flames and crashed. Zooming down to see what happened I encountered a column of enemy troops on the march and scattered them. Then I climbed into the clouds and went home.

   That was his last act of active war. On this fourth trip to France, in May and June, 1918, he had destroyed twenty-five planes in twelve days, including the five just mentioned. For all this he was given the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1916 Bishop had spent four months at the front as an observer without tasting blood. When he returned to England to become a pilot he had not been under fire.

   Before he could start training he had to spend months in hospital with a knee hurt when a pilot crashed. It was his only wound. Thousands of tracers subsequently sought him. He came back to the base with as many as fifty bullets in his plane — with his engine shot up, holes in his tank, his wings riven. And once a bullet ripped his cap. But never once was he hit himself.

   Toward the end of '16, having qualified as a pilot, he served as a Zeppelin hunter in England, but never saw a dirigible. Thus, when he went to France to a fighting squadron in the early spring of '17, it was with a suppressed, almost virginal urge to prove his mettle. He proved it, with speed. In less than two months' fighting he won the Military Cross, the Distinguished Service Order and, Britain's supreme reward for valour, the Victoria Cross.

   Bishop's first fight was on March 25, 1917.

   In the next two weeks he had half a dozen scraps, just missed being taken prisoner, and got his first three Huns.

   Then on April 7 he won the Military Cross. The official statement of the award gave as reason:

   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He attacked a hostile balloon on the ground, dispersed the crew and destroyed the balloon, and also drove down a hostile machine which attacked him. He has on several occasions brought down hostile machines.

   This bleak statement does not say that he was again within a few feet of being taken prisoner. His solo escapade took place five miles within the enemy lines. Just as he set himself to dive on the balloon from 5,000 feet, he was attacked by a single-seater. Bullets cut through his wings. He immelmanned and raked the enemy as he shot past. As he fell, Bishop dived after him, to make sure.

   Then he swooped after the balloon until he was within fifty feet of the ground. His tracers tore through its sides, firing it. But as he machine-gunned the crew, his engine failed. He had picked out a tree on which to smash his plane when, unexpectedly, the motor started-and he hedge-hopped, through gunfire, home.

   Less than four weeks later, on May 2, he won the D.S.O. Again let me quote the official award:

   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While in a single-seater he attacked three hostile machines, two of which he brought down, although in the meantime he was himself attacked by other hostile machines. His courage and determination have set a fine example to others.

   Sounds simple as signing a check!

   Facts were, Bishop, flying alone, had come on three two-seaters, artillery observing. He dived. They scurried, zigzagging. Picking one, he swept to within twenty yards and slung a short drag. The pilot slumped. The plane crashed.

   Meantime its two fellows were climbing toward him; and out of the clouds above came four scouts, two firing as they came.

   He seemed sandwiched.

   But invariably, when crowded, Bishop played a bold hand. Swinging past the nearest two-seater, he spewed a burst into its side and shot it down. Then he turned his nose up to the four oncoming scouts. Straight as a dart he went at one, head on, firing. It was a bold move he had made again and again. The German gave way first. Bishop went into a spinning nose dive and fell hundreds of feet. Then he pulled out and flew home.

   On May 10 he went to England on two weeks' leave. He wanted to stay at the front and fight and fight. He never felt happier. But he went — and ten days after his return he won the Victoria Cross.

   At that time his record was twenty-two. He wanted to bring his bag up. So he conceived and planned an attack on an enemy airdrome, picking June 2 for the raid.

   That morning he had himself called at three o'clock. It was still night as he dressed and went out toward the hangars — without breakfast. No one knew of his plan but a couple of friends. And they thought him crazy.

   That did not worry him. He carried through, and before he returned for breakfast he had pulled off one of the most daring individual exploits of the war. From the official citation and other reports it is possible to reconstruct that cold-nerved thrust at dawn.

   Picture Bishop in a one-gun Nieuport single-seater setting off from the sleeping base near Vimy Ridge and climbing by the first faint light on his lonely adventure. There was a ground mist. The air was chill. The world seemed dead. Even the war seemed done. He shivered.

   But he swung out toward an airdrome he had marked.

   Picture him growing more tense as he drew near. Imagine, then, his disappointment. The drome was deserted. Not a plane was to be seen.

   Did he turn back, glad of the excuse? No, that would not have been Bishop. He set his mouth harder and went farther. And shortly he sighted the hangars and huts of another drome. Ah, this was better! Meat, on ice!

   He dropped to 500 feet, pulled up, circled. Seven machines. Six scouts and a two-seater, their engines running. Good. He ought to get four, at least.

   Men came rushing across the drome with machine guns. Pilots climbed into the planes.

   Above them Bishop poised, a boy with fair hair and a little blond mustache in a plane. Then, suddenly, he struck.

   Sticking his nose down, he dived and swept the ground with his gun. A man fell. He zoomed and watched again. One of the scouts left the ground. He turned, swept on its tail, and fired. It crashed. He swung up and around.

   A second scout took off. He did not wait now. He flew over it, firing. It crumpled against a tree.

   Two more machines were now off the ground. He climbed. One of them followed. He immelmanned, circled, dived from 1,000 feet. Into it he ripped the last bullets of his last drum and caught it with his last shot. It fell outside the drome.

   Three up! In ten minutes fighting! And an airdrome all torn up. Good again.

   Bishop had hoped for four, but there was no chance. He had no ammunition. He had to get out and away. His plane had holes in it. Machine guns still sprayed him from the ground. His head suddenly turned dizzy. His stomach, without food, felt empty and queer. Near by in the air was an enemy and about 1,000 feet above his keen eyes sighted four German scouts.

   So he wheeled out for home and made it. The enemy were content to hover over him, though he was defenseless, which they did not know.

   His exploit was confirmed, most particularly since a Victoria Cross was involved. Captured airmen told what he'd done. It had been the talk of the German flying forces.

   In August, 1917, Bishop returned, on orders, to England to be attached to the School of Aircraft Gunnery, but before he went he added a bar to his D.S.O., which was equivalent to a second award.

   He had been in France five months. In that time he had cleaned up Britain's roster of fighting decorations, except the Distinguished Flying Cross, which he won in 1918. He had destroyed forty-seven enemy machines officially and driven down twenty-three which he could not claim. He had been in 110 fights.

   This Canadian of twenty-three had scaled war's pinnacle. He had become almost a legend. His tactics, his machine gunnery, his dash, his lone hawk fights, his cool impassivity, his superb disdain, his apparent invincibility had made him a veritable demigod. Even the smothering methods of the British censor could not hide his flame.

   Already he was Bishop the nonpareil. His short month's return to France in 1918, when in twelve days he got twenty-five more planes, added to his score but merely gave an extra hill to his reputation. By now his dash was rated. His chest blazed with ribbons like a field marshal's.

   Like Richthofen, Bishop was originally a cavalry officer. As a lad from Orillia, Ontario, he had attended the Royal Military College at Kingston, Canada's West Point. Shortly after the war broke out he went overseas as a subaltern in the Mississauga Horse. He loved horses. But, training in England in the mud, as he relates it, his imagination was caught one day by the flashing ease of a plane. He entered the Royal Flying Corps.

   Bishop was not the only Canadian to win fame as a pilot, for thousands of his young countrymen flocked to the air like ducks to a pond, forming toward the end of the war almost half the personnel of the British flying services.

   Canada, produced four flyers whose aggregate score was not beaten, so far as I know: Billy Bishop, V.C., Bill Barker, V.C., Ray Collishaw, who was recommended for the V.C., and Don McLaren. Among them they won enough other decorations to load a wheelbarrow.

   These men destroyed by exact official count 230 enemy machines: Bishop, seventy-two; Collishaw, sixty; Barker, fifty; and McLaren, forty-eight. The war's Big Four!

   Every one of them returned from the front, although poor Barker, hero of a single-handed fight with sixty enemy machines in which he won the V.C. but lost an arm, was to die a few months ago in a peacetime flip near Ottawa.

   Britain had gallant stars like Ball, Mannock, McCadden, V.C. winners who were killed when their scores were around fifty, but no British four quite touched these Canadians total. Nor did any French four. Guynemer, top man, had fifty-three. The brilliant Fonck was below that. So was Nungesser.

   As for Germany's biggest four, Richthofen had eighty and Udet had sixty-two, but none of the others, so far as I can learn, had over forty. The highest possible score of Richthofen, Udet, and any two other German aces would be 222.

   By the way, it is worth recording that in March, 1928, Colonel Bishop was the guest in Berlin of a number of German aces and, proposed by Udet, was made a member of the German Ace Association; and that three months later, in London, he was in turn dinner host to eight leading German flyers.

   And now let us analyze the reasons for Bishop's supremacy. First of all, he had remarkable eyes, telescopic eyes, the eyes of a questing falcon. Men who flew with him on patrol say that he would signal enemy aircraft from three to five minutes before the other pilots could pick them out. The faintest speck, half hidden by a distant cloud, was not too small for his long-range eyes to register.

   This gave him an overwhelming advantage in this war of the air in which position and surprise were nine points toward victory.

   Because of his eyes he was off on a long, high climb into the sun or stealthily skirting the edge of the heavens toward a favourable point from which to strike long before the enemy were aware of him. Or he was working in behind to come up on their blind beam from below.

   Many a Heinie only learned of his presence when his guns spoke, and then, often, too late. For one out of, roughly, four German planes which faced him went down.

   In Winged Warfare, his own story of his 1917 campaign, he placed in the order of their value: first machine gunnery; second, tactics; and third, flying ability.

   I have already touched on his tactics. He was a master of sky ringcraft. He timed his punch like a champion boxer. Having won his position, or at the least sign of weak strategy, he tore into an opponent and finished him, as often as not, in the first round.

   That brings us to his gunnery.

   He scarcely ever fired at long range. His specialty was infighting. He seldom fired until the enemy was a mere length or two, twenty, thirty, at the most fifty yards away. He waited until he had a bead on his opponent's vitals. Then he snapped out a short, sharp drag.

   It is amazing the number of times he dropped an enemy with his first burst of a few rounds.

   His tracers blazed straight because he made himself a master of machine gunnery. His eyes helped here, too. He was, with the possible exception of Fonck, the air's greatest sharpshooter. To begin with, he never took his guns for granted, like many pilots. He got to know them like a gunnery sergeant. Several times when they jammed in a scrap he pulled out, flipped around, fixed them, and then darted in again to finish up an opponent.

   With his intimate mechanical knowledge went a shooting accuracy which few approached. He practiced with his guns until he won a skiff that was almost automatic.

   He spent hours at the base diving at a target, especially if he returned from a mishit flight.

   One of his greatest assets, in manœuvring and shooting, was his patience. He built up his self-control until it became an unassailable ally.

   One day, he relates in his book, he saw a solitary scout at a great height. Climbing carefully, he got between it and the sun and waited. He waited, cool as a poised hawk, until the enemy made a favourable turn. Then he dived, hard, and slipped under his tail without being seen. Withholding his fire, he crept up until he could see the markings of the unsuspecting Boche.

   His eyes ranged along his sights. His thumb lay on the button. Yet closer he crept until he was less than twenty yards behind and beneath. Then, precisely as a surgeon selecting a place to cut, he picked the exact spot to hit, right below the unseen pilot.

   Only then did he fire sharply — just twenty rounds.

   He saw them rip into the bottom of the fuselage.

   His enemy lurched, then plunged. Bishop had to sideslip off, so close was he to the path of the falling plane. A few feet down, and the enemy ship burst into flame.

   So you have the picture of him as a stalker and shot. He was dispassionate as an Indian on the trail. To him this was big-game hunting, and the fact that human lives were involved was submerged. "Great sport," he called it in a letter home. "I never enjoyed myself so much in my life." That was in the early days. The only change later was a greater coolness, a subtler finesse, a more serious application to achieve.

   It became then an ambition, rather than a sport. In Winged Warfare he once wrote, "I began to feel as if my list of victims was not climbing as steadily as I would have liked . . . . So I went over the lines from six to seven hours every day, praying for some easy victim to appear. I had had some pretty hard fighting. Now I wanted to shoot a 'rabbit' or two."

   To his glory, though, it may be said that the majority of those with whom he tilted were fast fighting scouts and he often gave them odds of four, five, and six to one.

   "To bring down a machine," he wrote in another place, "did not seem like killing a man. It was more as if one had just destroyed a mechanical target with no human being in it . . . very much as if one was shooting down clay pigeons."

   How great was his control, how sure were his tactics, how calm was his judgment, may be gauged from the fact that from the middle of May, 1917, until he left France in August he lost only one man killed out of his patrol. And that man was shot on a flight in which he did not participate.

   Bishop was controlled always. You could not imagine him whooping, as many pilots did through sheer strain, when they shot down a plane. Being a precisionist, he did not shout when he plugged an enemy machine, any more than Bobby Jones would sinking a putt.

   On the ground he was equally self-contained. Aces like Barker and Collishaw were idols. Their fellows felt kinship. But Bishop was austere, aloof, godlike.

   Even flying, he was not a stunter, not a grand-stander. He kept his feelings corked. Many men used to celebrate a kill by split-essing all over the home drome. He never did. He would slip in, turn his bus over to his mechanics, designate overhaul or repairs, and hike off to tennis.

   Yet he might have just come from a scrap that would have left an ordinary man twittering.

   For he had many narrow escapes. Indeed, his career might have ended on his very first fight, when he had to land with a dead engine. But fortunately he found he had glided within British lines with a hundred yards to spare.

   Not only did Bishop destroy seventy-two planes, but several balloons. But this was too much like potting tame ducks to satisfy his combat instincts. He only did it under orders, and then thoroughly. He did get a kick, however, out of raking enemy trenches and diving on masses of troops. That appealed to his sense of sport.

   A detailed account of his flights and fights during his aggregate of six months' service would crowd columns. He was seldom out of the air when flying was feasible. He flew as many as eight hours a day. During a single hour he once engaged, single-handed, eleven different planes. Like a flashing devil, he wheeled out of one scrap into another. During this particular hour, he crashed one, drove down another, forced half a dozen two-seaters to quit artillery observation, and kept five scouts from harassing British artillery observers.

   His speed of execution was terrific. His shifting was fast as lightning. And his guns spoke like a thunderbolt. It was not out of the way for him to get two planes out of four — Brrp! Brrp! One! Two! — with almost a continuous burst on the same dive.

   He seldom went out without finding adventure, although he did not always score. One day he exchanged shots three times with Richthofen's circus without result. That was on the morning of April 30, 1917, when he had nine separate fights over German territory in back of Lens and Monchy between nine forty-five and twelve fifteen. The first was on patrol, the others on his own.

   He was flying a Nieuport scout armed with a single Lewis gun. Included was an engagement with two three-seater Gothas. Later he crashed one of three artillery two-seaters. Then, three times he mixed it with the five red Halberstadt scouts, harassing them until he forced them to land.

   That same afternoon, accompanied by a second plane, he engaged four red scouts which he believed included Richthofen. It was a merry fracas. The six fast machines, flown by cracks, circled and dashed, dived and zoomed, immelmanned and flipped in a battle royal. Bishop fired two bursts of five rounds at the leader, presumably Richthofen, without result. He fired ten at another plane. There was no chance for accurate aim. This was pinch-hit scrapping. Bullets struck within an inch of his own head.

   It would have been epic if Bishop had got Richthofen, or vice versa, but four strange planes all of a sudden came butting in. Both sides paused; pulled out to look. They proved to be British naval triplanes. The Germans disappeared.

   A couple of days later Bishop had seven more individual tilts without a kill. And the day following, when he was cruising along, half asleep, a Boche came at him suddenly out of the sun. But his luck held. He flipped over on the first burst and dived.

   He had his off days, but fortune always rode with him, even when he missed.

   After winning the Victoria Cross, before leaving France in August, 1917, as a gloriously arisen ace, Bishop continued to fight with verve. He grew superb in his mastery of this game of sudden death. Each victory added to his assurance. When he could not shoot down enemies he bluffed them. One day, scrapping with three planes, he used up his ammunition and pulled out — just as the Huns, as if by common consent, did likewise. They came back. So did he, with empty drums, and went right at them. And they quit. It was during this period that he added the bar to his D.S.O.

   He has destroyed (said the official citation) no fewer than forty-five machines in the past five months, frequently attacking enemy formations single-handed, and on all occasions displaying a fighting spirit and determination to get to close quarters with his opponents, which have earned the admiration of all in contact with him.

   After his long interlude in England from August, 1917, to May, 1918, he returned to France with this spirit and determination on edge, and in little more than a month at the front soared to Olympian heights. It was during twelve flying days of this period that he got twenty-five planes, the last five on his final day. He was now indeed Bishop the unconquerable.

   On his very first day back, mixing it with a two-seater, he was attacked by ten enemy scouts. Climbing right through them, firing, he managed to escape in a cloud. He kept on climbing and at 17,000 feet tackled a two-seater, which he smashed over Passchendaele. His eye was in.

   The day following, near Thourout, he found himself above nine German scouts. Without counting the odds, he dived, clipped one with a thirty-round burst, and saw it fall flaming.

   His falcon thrust had scattered the flock.

   He kept on diving through them. Six hundred feet below his first kill, he twisted, spat out another burst, and dropped a second plane blazing.

   Five minutes of hell fire, then off and away! That was Bishop on his return to the front.

   Wet days intervened. Next time up, east of Hazebrouck, he knocked a two-seater to bits in the air. That afternoon he scrimmaged around the edge of a patrol of fourteen slow ones, convoyed by fast scouts. He darted in, flung a drag or two at the nearest machines, but failed to score. Having thrown the formation out, he scooted.

   An hour later he drove down an artillery machine which landed and did not count

   Another day, still solo, he sought change up on the coast by Nieuport and Ostend. Sighting eight Albatros scouts, he waited, poised in his well known way above and behind, biding the time to strike. It came. One straggled. He dived. It fell in flames into the North Sea.

   Zooming to a convenient cloud, he watched for a second chance as the disorganized Huns cut circles seeking him. It came, too. He swooped. And a second plane went down in flames. Then he popped back into the clouds and vanished. Elusive as a phantom.

   June had come before he flew again. Then one day he and his patrol mixed it with six scouts. They bagged four.

   Bishop got the leader. The others fell to his patrol. Thus he destroyed the enemy. I am only touching at random on a few high spots of those twelve days of inspired flying. Once, over Roulers, intent on weighing his chances if he went after some enemy scouts high up and miles away, he was attacked without warning by three two-seaters.

   He dropped for his life — so low that he was machine-gunned from the ground. But he zigzagged over the trenches, then all of a sudden zoomed — and caught the nearest Boche with a fifty-round burst. The enemy crashed, burning.

   The remaining pair came at him and he had the unusual experience of a tail-chasing merry-go-round. At last, though, he got one dead on his sights and fired. It fell out of control and crashed.

   The third made off. He followed, and chased it fifty miles without catching up. It escaped finally in a cloud.

   On his way home he fought two Albatros scouts. He drove one down out of control beside the German trenches, where it was pounded to bits by British guns. He sent the second down in a spin, but was "archied" too heavily to make sure it crashed, and therefore could not claim it.

   Three planes on one flight! Thus he brought up his bag.

   On another occasion near Armentières he had just crashed a two-seater at 8,000 feet when four Albatros scouts came down at him out of the sun. He was not aware of them until he heard the rrrp! of their guns. With him action was fast as thought. He fell spinning 4,000 feet, flattened, then climbed full speed into the sun. It was his turn now and he did not miss.

   He dived at the nearest, so straight indeed that a collision was averted only by his shooting. At seventy-five yards a burst sent his enemy slipping to a crash — and he slid past where he had been a moment before.

   Before he could fight further, a British patrol scared off the other three.

   Once in a gap in the clouds he came on four scouts lying in ambush. He barged into them and with his first drag hit an enemy's gas tank. There was an explosion and the plane fell in flames. Banking at an awkward angle, he got another on his, sights and fired, peculiarly enough causing another explosion. And a second machine fell flaming. The two left scurried off in the clouds.

   As a climax to all this came that last great day, of which I have already told, when he bumped off five planes as a man might smash clay pigeons at a shooting meet.

   All he got for this Homeric flying was the Distinguished Flying Cross. Britain had nothing else to give, short of a peerage.

   Thus ended Bishop's great adventure as a winged warrior. He was made a lieutenant colonel and brought back to England in June, 1918. Evidently the authorities wanted to preserve his flying genius to help train fighting pilots for the last intensive months of the war.

   There is little more to be told. After the war he came back for a time to Canada and with Colonel William Barker, V.C., his great Canadian rival for premier honours, launched a venture in commercial flying, which was no doubt born too soon. It died, and Bishop returned to England.

   But just as the war gave him fame, so as a sequel, it gave him fortune.

   He joined with a young engineer in a scheme which involved the reclaiming of material from the British military dumps in France. It is said the two young men made millions. Then he turned to banking and finance. He is said to have added to his fortune.

   He has stayed, in England. He lives in Regent's Park. He breeds chow dogs. He plays polo at Hurlingham. He rides to hounds with the Ducks. He belongs to the Bath Club. He is a solid British citizen of the better class.

   The hawk has clipped his wings.