This Day in History
Bristol F2B

On a day like this in 1917…

Captain Andrew E. McKeever, a Canadian, was probably the best known of the Bristol Fighter pilots, if not of all two-seater pilots. Most of his thirty victories were gained in the redoubtable two-seater which he flew like a single-seater. This did not deny his observer, Lt. L. F. Powell, his crack at the enemy since he too became an ace in his own right, one of the few non-pilots to make it. Together they were an invincible team.

McKeever was first assigned to the Brisfit when he was posted to No. 11 Squadron RFC in May 1917. He took to it “like a duck takes to water.” As an infantryman, before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps he had gained a reputation as an expert marksman. He carried over this skill to his handling of the single synchronized Vickers machine gun mounted in front of his cockpit.

Neither single-seaters nor two-seaters proved a match for McKeever. Mort Künstler’s painting shows McKeever in his Bristol Fighter bringing down what appears to be an Albatros single-seater.

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.