Profile America — Thursday, April 14th. Lieutenant Douglas Campbell shot down his 5th German aircraft on this date in 1918, becoming America's first fighter plane ace. Flying for the famed 94th Aero Squadron in a Nieuport 28, Campbell downed one other enemy aircraft before being badly wounded, which kept him from further combat flying. One of his squadron mates, Eddie Rickenbacker, became America's leading ace of the war, amassing 26 victories. Campbell went on to become general manager of Pan American World Airways and died at the age of 94. When he joined Pan Am in 1939, there were 276 airliners carrying passengers between U.S. cities. Now, there are 8,000. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2011, p. 219
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 769
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2011, t. 1082
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