Top Flying Aces of World War I – 9

Indra Lal Roy

Indra Lal Roy has the distinction of being the sole Indian World War I ace, as well as the very first Indian fighter pilot.

When the war broke out, Roy was attending school in London. He was initially rejected by the Royal Flying Corps because of poor eyesight, but he paid for a second opinion from a leading eye specialist in order to get the rejection overturned.

Five months after turning 18, on 4 April 1917, he joined the RFC and was commissioned a second lieutenant in July. Two months after joining No. 56 Squadron in late October, he was injured when he crash-landed his S.E.5a fighter and spend months recovering. During that time, Roy made several sketches of aircraft, many of which survived to this day.

He returned to flight status in June 2018 and achieved 10 victories in 13 days. His final victory came on 19 July 2018; he was killed over Carvin, France on 22 July 1918 in a dogfight.

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