Who's Who - Wilfred Beaver
Wilfred Beaver (1897-1986) served with the British Royal Flying Corps (RFC) during the First World War.
A successful air ace Beaver, who was born in Bristol, was in fact a U.S. citizen, his family having emigrated to the U.S. prior to the outbreak of war in 1914.
Beaver was nevertheless drawn to participate with the Allies against the Germans and returned to London to enlist with the RFC in 1917, rising to become a flight commander while flying the Bristol F.28 fighter. His final tally of some 19 air victories during the war made him the third highest-scoring American pilot of the conflict.
Beaver was also the recipient of the British Military Cross on 22 June 1918, earned after he had achieved 11 'kills'.
Beaver did not immediately return to the U.S. following the armistice, choosing instead to join the post-war Royal Air Force (RAF). He was however subsequently to return home where he eventually died at West Point, Mississippi in August 1986 aged 89.
"Wipers" was the British nickname for the Belgian town Ypres.
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