Bill Lambert: World War I Flying Ace is a detailed scholarly biography of a World War I pilot who lived at the edge of greatness, but could never get there. From late March to mid-August 1918, William C. Lambert from Ironton, Ohio, flew as a fighter pilot for the R.A.F. in World War I. A surprising number of Americans went to Canada and joined the British flying services. Unfortunately, for the most part, their life stories have never been told. Several of them went on to have distinguished records. Unbekwnst to anyone, when Lambert left the war his twenty-two victories were the largest total among any American pilot in the war. By the Armistice, Lambert's total would be surpassed by Eddie Rickenbacker, the former race car driver from Columbus, Ohio, with twenty-six victories. Lambert survived the war and lived into his eighties; however, until late in life, he was unwilling to take advantage of his war record to achieve public acclaim. This book is an examination of the entire life of a distinct individual who took part in a war that destroyed individuality and served to define him for the rest of his life.
Samuel J. Wilson is a Professor of History at the University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Ohio, USA.