Sopwith Camel

One of the most famous fighters of World War I, the British-made Camel got its nickname from the hump that housed the machine guns located forward of the cockpit.  Nineteen-year-old Lieutenant (junior grade) David Ingalls became the Navy’s first fighter ace, a status achieved by shooting down five or more enemy aircraft, while flying a Camel during World War I.  The airplane on display depicts one that operated from a makeshift wooden flight deck on board the battleship USS Texas (BB 35) in 1919 evaluating the operation of wheeled airplanes from ships.