The Sopwith Camel was a British single–seat biplane, introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It was a superlative fighter, credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter. It also served as a ground–attack aircraft, especially near the end of the conflict, when it was outclassed in the air–to–air role by newer fighters. It was equipped with two forward–firing synchronized machine guns mounted just ahead of the pilot’s cockpit under a raised fairing, which is said to have inspired the name Camel.
With 54 victories, Maclaren was the highest scoring ace to fly the Sopwith Camel, deserving many awards and honors. After the war, he helped to found the Royal Canadian Air Force.