Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Here's the World War I Flying Ace: 5 facts on Snoopy's iconic fantasy

When I wanted to dress Lulu up as Snoopy, only one costume came to mind.

Snoopy is one of the most famous dogs in the world. But while PetSmart does sell Peanuts Halloween toys, no one seems to sell costumes for pets. Lulu is actually wearing the hat from my Build-A-Bear Workshop Snoopy doll and a red scarf I found at Macy's!

I even went so far as to suggest a "World War I flying ace" costume to one of the big costume makers at Global Pet Expo earlier this year. Hopefully they will come up with something.

But I digress. The World War I Flying Ace in my opinion, is Snoopy's best fantasy (and way better than silly Joe Cool). Here's a little about the World War I Flying Ace.

What is a flying ace?
The term flying ace did begin in World War I.  In the beginning the French and Americans considered a pilot an ace if they got five victories in the air. The number has varied over the years.

Who is the most successful World War I flying ace?
Sadly, not Snoopy, but his nemesis: Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron.

Courtesy National World War I Museum.

How did Snoopy become a World War I flying ace?
According to "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic," by Lee Mendelson, Snoopy's status as a World War I flying ace was inspired by Charles Schulz's son Monte. Monte was a World War I enthusiast and a model plane builder. According to the book, he suggested his father make Snoopy a fighter pilot.

According to the Intrepid Museum in New York City, Schulz said this: "Like Snoopy, most people turn to fantasy for fun and refuge. I have always believed that his flights of fancy are what help him survive, and we must admit that a dog’s life is not an easy life."

Snoopy's first appearance as the World War I flying ace was in a comic strip.
His first appearance was in Oct. 10, 1965.


Snoopy's World War I flying ace fantasy has made it into museums all over the country.

There was a special exihibit at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. You can still see pictures of the exhibit online.

Snoopy has also been featured at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. In 2009 Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace featured prints. But even cooler, the Intrepid showcased some of the Snoopy artwork that crew members would draw on the walls of the Intrepid, called "sailor art."

Snoopy is also immortalized in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. You can find, for instance, an album of the Snoopy vs. the Red Baron song by The Royal Guardsman. At the Air and Space Museum there is an exhibit on World War I air combat, called Legend, Memory and the Great War in the Air. They talk about the Red Baron there.

Want more about Snoopy? Check out my 5 ways to tell Snoopy is a beagle article from last year.


  1. Love this! So cute!!! That pic is too adorable! I'm assuming Chuck was being sarcastic when he said "a dog's life is not an easy life." I would love to have my dog's life. Lay around, go for a walk, eat, sleep. Repeat. I wanna do that! :)

    1. Maybe he means the part about waiting for their master all day...


Feel free to leave me feedbark!