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At the time of the Battle of Britain RAF fighter pilots were idolised by the public. These "Knights of the Air", or "the Few" as they came to be known, were regarded as heroes for the way they fought off the onslaught of the mighty Luftwaffe. The "hero" of "Agent of the Reich" has a somewhat less glamorous - though still important - job: he works for Balloon Command, the RAF department that organised the barrage balloon defences.

At the time of the Battle of Britain RAF fighter pilots were idolised by the public. These "Knights of the Air", or "the Few" as they came to be known, were regarded as heroes for the way they fought off the onslaught of the mighty Luftwaffe. The "hero" of "Agent of the Reich" has a somewhat less glamorous - though still important - job: he works for Balloon Command, the RAF department that organised the barrage balloon defences.

World War One German Aviator Oblt. Karl Bolle by San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives, via Flickr

World War One German Aviator Oblt. Karl Bolle by San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives, via Flickr

1st Lt. William J. Sloan, flying P-38 named "Snooks 4 1/2", P-38G-10 12 Aerial Victories, was the highest scoring Ace in the 82nd Fighter Group, 12th Air Force MTO.

1st Lt. William J. Sloan, flying P-38 named "Snooks 4 1/2", P-38G-10 12 Aerial Victories, was the highest scoring Ace in the 82nd Fighter Group, 12th Air Force MTO.

Adolf "Dolfo" Joseph Ferdinand Galland (19 Mar 1912 – 9 Feb 1996) was a German Luftwaffe general and flying ace redited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[3] He flew 705 combat missions, and fought on the Western and the Defense of the Reich fronts. On four occasions he survived being shot down, and he was credited with 104 aerial victories, all of them against the Western Allies.

Adolf "Dolfo" Joseph Ferdinand Galland (19 Mar 1912 – 9 Feb 1996) was a German Luftwaffe general and flying ace redited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[3] He flew 705 combat missions, and fought on the Western and the Defense of the Reich fronts. On four occasions he survived being shot down, and he was credited with 104 aerial victories, all of them against the Western Allies.

Hans Henrik "Hasse" Wind (1919-1995) was a Finnish fighter pilot and flying ace in World War II with 75 confirmed air combat victories. He is seen here with his plane in Suulajärvi (1943)

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Hans Henrik "Hasse" Wind (1919-1995) was a Finnish fighter pilot and flying ace in World War II with 75 confirmed air combat victories. He is seen here with his plane in Suulajärvi (1943)

navy ace Ryoji Ohara with his zero fighter model 52 (japan 1944) - Pin it by GUSTAVO BUESO-JACQUIER

navy ace Ryoji Ohara with his zero fighter model 52 (japan 1944) - Pin it by GUSTAVO BUESO-JACQUIER

Luftwaffe pilots during the Battle of Britain - 1940

Luftwaffe pilots during the Battle of Britain - 1940

✠Heinrich Bär, Bär flew more than one thousand combat missions, and fought in all major German theaters of the war, including the Western, Eastern and Mediterranean fronts. On 18 occasions he survived being shot down, and he was credited with 221 aerial victories,16 of which were in a Me-262 jet fighter.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_B%C3%A4r

✠Heinrich Bär, Bär flew more than one thousand combat missions, and fought in all major German theaters of the war, including the Western, Eastern and Mediterranean fronts. On 18 occasions he survived being shot down, and he was credited with 221 aerial victories,16 of which were in a Me-262 jet fighter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_B%C3%A4r

The is Pilot Officer Willie Lane. Lane died shortly after the photo was taken. Since Lane was shot down on 15 May 1943 (and was reported killed on 8 June 1943) we can assume the photo was taken during the second week of May 1943.The look of gentleness on the young pilot's face tells us how much comfort these dogs were capable of giving these stressed young men

The is Pilot Officer Willie Lane. Lane died shortly after the photo was taken. Since Lane was shot down on 15 May 1943 (and was reported killed on 8 June 1943) we can assume the photo was taken during the second week of May 1943.The look of gentleness on the young pilot's face tells us how much comfort these dogs were capable of giving these stressed young men

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