I posted this to my World War One collection yesterday. WWI British ace Captain Lanoe G. Hawker, was the first Victoria Cross recipient for aerial combat. As stated in the graphic caption, he shot down an opponent utilizing a single Lewis machine gun that was mounted on the side of the cockpit at an angle to clear his aircraft’s propeller. In the black and white photo you can better see the Lewis gun angled off to the port side. It was a remarkable achievement at the time for it required a very high degree of skilled marksmanship to hit a moving target with such an armament arrangement. Early in the war, a pilot couldn’t fire a machine gun through his aircraft’s propeller arc without bullets striking and damaging the propeller as an interrupter gear wasn’t developed yet. Hawker went on to later have an epic dogfight with the “Red Baron” Manfred von Richthofen, and became his eleventh victim.

Originally shared by Pete Panozzo