September 12, 1918

Army Lt. Frank Luke shoots down his first enemy observation balloon. By the time he is killed 17 days later, he has shot down nearly 16 balloons and airplanes. In his last mission, near Murvaux, France, he shoots down three observation balloons but comes under attack by eight German pilots and from ground batteries. Severely wounded, he makes a strafing pass on some enemy ground troops before making a forced landing. Surrounded, he defends himself with his automatic pistol until he is killed by enemy troops. He is posthumously awarded (Sept. 29, 1918) the Medal of Honor for his actions.