WW1 Balloon Buster and the Chinese Balloon

16 days ago

It’s September 12th, 1918 and at the controls of his SPAD S:XIII fighter is 2nd Lieutenant Frank Luke. He’s about to take down his first German observation balloon. The Germans have been spying on the enemy using these Hydrogen filled balloons as a way to get vital information on troop movements.
Frank pulls the trigger. Finally, one of his incendiary bullets detonates within the balloon. The small flame of the explosion grows rapidly, swelling and consuming the highly flammable hydrogen, exploding out of the balloon, and continuing to grow into the air as it chases the plume of leaking gas.
But this is just the start for the Arizona balloon buster. He went on to become an ace in a day, having 17 confirmed victories and receiving the medal of honor. A brave and daring pilot his legacy echoes through history even to today when in 2023 the callsigns for the F-22s that shot down the Chinese balloon were Frank01 and Frank02.

00:00 Frank Luke's first balloon
03:58 Friends discover a new way to take down balloons
04:58 Birth of the Arizona Balloon Buster
06:41 The loss of a friend
07:44 Frank's final mission
09:49 The Chinese balloon

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