As the Canadian Corps made its final preparations for the attack on Vimy Ridge, a Canadian pilot, Captain Billy Bishop of the Royal Flying Corps Number 60 Squadron, wreaked havoc in the skies overhead.
On 8 April 1917, after taking on three German fighters and shooting down one of them, he downed a German observation balloon. Minutes later, he found himself in the midst of a formation of five German fighters. He shot down two in flames, and the other three wisely fled.
When he returned to base, the other members of Number 60 Squadron reported Bishop's daring heroics, and he was awarded the Military Cross. Because of this action, Captain Bishop was able to convince his superior officers to let him fly solo missions. They recognized that Billy Bishop was at his best when given total freedom of action.