Fighter Jets That Took Down The Chinese Balloon Have A Special Name

( The Chinese balloon, which had been drifting across the country for days and had caused a diplomatic and political uproar,  was brought down by a Sidewinder missile on Saturday after 2:40 p.m. off Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The F-22 warplanes sent out to take down the Chinese surveillance balloon on Saturday carried history in their wake.

The two F-22s surrounding the balloon were designated with the call signs FRANK01 and FRANK02 in honor of Frank Luke Jr., one of the most well-known American aviators to prey on observation balloons during World War I.

During his brief stint in battle in 1918, Luke earned the nickname “Arizona Balloon Buster” after destroying 14 German balloons and four airplanes.

According to Air and Space Forces magazine, Luke landed in France in September 1918 and served for less than three weeks. He was the finest fighter pilot and the most daring aviator of the war. He went on a rampage in eight days and destroyed 14 enemy aircraft, including ten balloons.

Air Force Col., Elizabeth Mathias of U.S. Northern Command, said, “I can confirm the call sign was a tribute to Frank Luke,” on Saturday.

Only 11 days before he was killed in battle at the age of 21, Luke downed five targets in one day on September 18. In a letter to Frank Luke’s sister, he said, “I will make myself known or travel where most of them do,” according to the magazine article.

Captain Edward Rickenbacker, the top American ace of World War I, said that Luke’s short career was superior to German aviator Manfred “The Red Baron” von Richthofen.

According to the Air Force website, Rickenbacker said no other Ace, not even the infamous Richthofen, had ever gotten close to it.

According to Air and Space Forces, due to the state of communication in 1918, no one discovered what had happened to him until January 1919.

Luke’s commander, Maj. H.E. Hartney reportedly said of him. “no one had the pure disdainful bravery the lad had.” “He was the Western Front’s most proficient flyer and most likely greatest flying marksman.”