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Billy Bishop

            At the time of the First World War, Canada had no air force. Many Canadians were among the leading pilots of the Royal Flying Corps, Britain's separate military branch, and Britain's naval air service. William Avery Bishop, best known as "Billy" Bishop, was Canada's top ace who had a total of 72 victories. He started his career as a calvery officer and later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. He received his Victoria Cross for a pre-dawn one man raid on a German airfield for which he was credited with three victories. Although he is Canada's best-known war hero, he has not escaped controversy. Many people doubt that Billy Bishop had even made the attack and that the whole story he told was complete bogus. I think that Billy Bishop embellished a little to make his story seem more exciting, but I believe he did do what he said. Eye witnesses saw the events occur; back up was called upon the attack and there were missing details in German records. .
             I believe that Billy Bishop's story is true when he attacked the German airfield. Prisoners of War sent out reports that they did indeed see the events occur. Allied airmen who were also their support confirmation of the raid. This shows that both Prisoners of War and Allied airmen had witnessed the raid and told the truth. If these events did not occur at all, why would the Prisoners of War and the Allied airmen say that they had witnessed the raid for no apparent reason? This shows that this indeed happened. .
             With just a few hours before Billy Bishop took off to start the one man raid, he repeatedly called for backup. Those who are about to commit fraud do not normally invite accompaniment to witness a false event. In Billy Bishop's combat report he said "I fired on 7 machines and the aerodone, some of which had their engines running." (Baker, p.86) If Billy Bishop had planned everything and made up the whole story, he would not think once about having eyed witnesses that would not be involved in his plan come along to accompany him in battle.

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