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Virtual Museum of Canada

William Avery Bishop VC

Name: William Avery "Billy/Bish" Bishop
Born: February 8, 1894
Died: September 11, 1956
Hometown: Owen Sound, Ontario
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, Honorary Air Marshal
Served: 1914-1918, 1938-1945
Service Number:
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Flying Corps
Division: No. 60 Squadron
Awards: Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order (and Bar), Military Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Companion of the Order of the Bath

Air Marshal William Avery Bishop was born in Owen Sound, Ontario. The eldest of William A. and Margaret Bishop's three children, he became this country's second most decorated airman, and was one of the supreme aerial duellists of the First World War. Gifted with extraordinary eyesight, he was a crack shot who constantly practised his marksmanship.

When the Germans placed a price on his head, he had the spinner of his Nieuport 17 aircraft painted a bright blue to make him easier to spot. In twelve days of flying as the Commanding Officer of the Flying Foxes, he shot down twenty-five planes, a record never equaled and one for which he received the DFC. At the end of the war, "Billy" Bishop had scored 72 official victories.

William Bishop in uniform re-creation of Bishop's dog tags Bishop with a Nieuport 17