Hoosier Aviator Paul Baer

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Indiana native Paul Baer was an American pilot of many firsts. Born into a modest midwestern family in the late 1800s, Baer grew up short and shy in Fort Wayne.

Not short on ambition, he volunteered to join a new breed of a combatant: the fighter pilot. Dogfighting in the skies over France during World War I, Baer earned a giant reputation as the first-ever American to shoot down an enemy plane and the first to earn the title of "combat ace" for earning five victories—before being shot down himself.

Author Tony Garel-Frantzen celebrates the 100th anniversary of Baer's aerial heroics with rarely seen images, a previously unpublished POW letter from Baer himself, and a look at the restless raptor's life of roaming.