History of War

WILLIAM BARKER

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“NOTWITHSTANDING THAT HE WAS NOW SEVERELY WOUNDED IN BOTH LEGS AND HIS LEFT ARM SHATTERED, [BARKER] DIVED ON THE NEAREST MACHINE AND SHOT IT DOWN IN FLAMES” William Barker’s VC citation

The Royal Air Force was formed on 1 April 1918 as an amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). It was a direct response to the rapid development of aircraft during World War I as a new, effective weapon in warfare. Pilots of the RFC and RNAS had become, through very hard lessons, extremely effective fighters in the sky against formidable enemy opposition. One of these airmen who epitomised the new fighting spirit of the RAF was William George ‘Billy’ Barker VC. He would become the most decorated serviceman in Canadian history.

Barker was awarded the Victoria Cross towards the

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