Frank Luke Jr. was born in Phoenix, Arizona Territory back in 1897. While growing up he excelled in sports, working in copper mines and participating in bare-knuckle boxing matches. When the United States entered into World War I he enlisted in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps on September 25, 1917.
He received pilot training in Texas and California. After graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1918. He was deployed to France and in July of 1918 was assigned to the 27th, Aero Squadron. He was arrogance and had tendencies to fly alone, disobeying orders. However, the standing orders was to destroy German observation balloons. He continually volunteered to attack those important targets. Between September 2 and 29th he was credited with shooting down 14 German balloons and four airplanes in 10 sorties in eight days, a feat unsurpassed by any pilot in World War I. He was killed in action on September 19th from a single gunshot wound. He is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.
What you may not know about Frank is that he is the second ranking United States Army Air Service pilot after Captain Eddie Rickenbacker to receive 19 aerial victories during World War I and the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor. Luke Air Force Base in Arizona is named in his honor.
NW Arkansas, come for a visit, stay for a lifetime.
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