ACE-26 Spad XIII, S15202, 27th Aero Squadron, September 1918
Spad XIII, S15202
The SPAD S.XIII was a French biplane fighter aircraft of World War I, developed by Société Pour L’Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD).
The Bleriot-built SPAD XIII was one of several aircraft known to have been flown by Frank Luke during his remarkable two week balloon busting spree, during which at least five fighters were written off by him due to combat damage between 12-16th September 1918.
By September, when he was shot down and killed while flying an Adolphe Bernard-built SPAD XIII S7984, Frank Luke had four enemy aeroplanes and 14 balloons to his credit. This astounding feat saw him posthumously awarded the first Medal of Honour to be bestowed upon a pilot serving with the US Army Air Service.
Frank Luke Jr. (May 19, 1897 – September 29, 1918) was an American fighter ace, ranking second among U.S. Army Air Service pilots after Captain Eddie Rickenbacker in number of aerial victories during World War I (Rickenbacker was credited with 26 victories, while Luke’s official score was 18). Frank Luke was the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor. Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, a U.S. Air Force pilot training installation since World War II, is named in his honor.