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RAC_Pips
05-26-2004, 03:47 PM
In the course of the war, Navy and Marine pilots destroyed over 15,000 enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground, sank 174 Japanese warships, including 13 submarines, totaling 746,000 tons, sank 447 Japanese merchant ships totaling 1,600,000 tons and, in the Atlantic, destroyed 63 German U-boats. (In combination with other agents, Navy and Marine air helped sink another 157,000 tons of war and 200,000 tons of merchant ships and another six Japanese and 20 German submarines.) It was a creditable record, but the Navy's air arm did not play an entirely independent role. It operated as it had developed, as an integral part of naval forces, contributing its full share to the power of the fleet and to the achievement of its mission in controlling the sea.

F6F Hellcat 5,156 victories
F4U Corsair 2,140
P-38 Lightning 1,694
F4/FM Wildcat 1,006
P-40 series 706
P-47 Thunderbolt 697
P-51 Mustang 296
P-39 Airacobra 243
P-61 Black Widow 84

NB Above figures are claims for the CBI/Pacific Theatre.

RAC_Pips
05-26-2004, 03:47 PM
In the course of the war, Navy and Marine pilots destroyed over 15,000 enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground, sank 174 Japanese warships, including 13 submarines, totaling 746,000 tons, sank 447 Japanese merchant ships totaling 1,600,000 tons and, in the Atlantic, destroyed 63 German U-boats. (In combination with other agents, Navy and Marine air helped sink another 157,000 tons of war and 200,000 tons of merchant ships and another six Japanese and 20 German submarines.) It was a creditable record, but the Navy's air arm did not play an entirely independent role. It operated as it had developed, as an integral part of naval forces, contributing its full share to the power of the fleet and to the achievement of its mission in controlling the sea.

F6F Hellcat 5,156 victories
F4U Corsair 2,140
P-38 Lightning 1,694
F4/FM Wildcat 1,006
P-40 series 706
P-47 Thunderbolt 697
P-51 Mustang 296
P-39 Airacobra 243
P-61 Black Widow 84

NB Above figures are claims for the CBI/Pacific Theatre.

SkyChimp
05-26-2004, 07:46 PM
Here isa very detailed report:

http://www.history.navy.mil/download/nasc.pdf

Regards,
http://members.cox.net/us.fighters/hellsig.jpg

huggy87
05-26-2004, 08:26 PM
Interesting...

I can't tell you how many books I have read that claimed the P-38 shot down more Japanese aircraft than any other aircraft. Never have statistics been provided to back that (I presume) erroneous claim.

This was the thread I authored on the subject a month ago:

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?q=Y&a=tpc&s=400102&f=26310365&m=934105443&p=1

Rebel_Yell_21
05-26-2004, 11:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by huggy87:
Interesting...

I can't tell you how many books I have read that claimed the P-38 shot down more Japanese aircraft than any other aircraft. Never have statistics been provided to back that (I presume) erroneous claim.

This was the thread I authored on the subject a month ago:

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?q=Y&a=tpc&s=400102&f=26310365&m=934105443&p=1<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Every reference I have ever seen says P-38 has the most Air Force kills of Japanese aircraft. Which is true. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

http://www.303rdbga.com/art-ferris-fortress-S.jpg

huggy87
05-26-2004, 11:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rebel_Yell_21:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by huggy87:
Interesting...

I can't tell you how many books I have read that claimed the P-38 shot down more Japanese aircraft than any other aircraft. Never have statistics been provided to back that (I presume) erroneous claim.

This was the thread I authored on the subject a month ago:

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?q=Y&a=tpc&s=400102&f=26310365&m=934105443&p=1<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Every reference I have ever seen says P-38 has the most _Air Force_ kills of Japanese aircraft. Which is true. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

http://www.303rdbga.com/art-ferris-fortress-S.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not the books I have read. They do not specify air force. Tomorrow I will get off of my lazy *** and dig up the references.

RAC_Pips
05-26-2004, 11:39 PM
I know what you mean huggy. I too have seen many references to that same fact, in both print and on the Net.

But it is incorrect. The rider - most kills of all USAAF aircraft - should have been added.

I put it down to a case of one sloppy writer and/or editor not including the qualification, and then it being picked up by equally sloppy authors too lazy to do their own research.

huggy87
05-28-2004, 03:09 PM
Are these aerial victories only?

Do you have good numbers for the ETO?

RAC_Pips
05-28-2004, 07:21 PM
The Pacific theatre claims attributed to the P-38 are for aerial victories huggy. The 5th Air Force did not keep Group stats on ground claims, unlike the *th in Europe.

As regards the P-38 claims in Europe a total of 2,050 are recorded. As I understand it this figure also includes the Mediteranean Theatre. It is also unclaer whether this includes ground claims.

huggy87
05-28-2004, 07:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RAC_Pips:
The Pacific theatre claims attributed to the P-38 are for aerial victories huggy. The 5th Air Force did not keep Group stats on ground claims, unlike the *th in Europe.

As regards the P-38 claims in Europe a total of 2,050 are recorded. As I understand it this figure also includes the Mediteranean Theatre. It is also unclaer whether this includes ground claims.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks. But I was hoping you had a good source on all aircraft, not just P-38s. Huggy

RAC_Pips
05-29-2004, 12:38 AM
Sorry old boy, didn't realise that you also wanted claims by fighter aircraft in the ETO. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Here you are.

P-51
Air claims: 4,950
Ground Claims: 4,131

P-47
Air Claims: 3,752
Ground Claims: 3,315

P-38
Air Claims: 2,050
NB Above also includes MTO claims and possibly ETO ground claims.

Spitfire
Air Claims: 2,470

Hurricane
Air Claims: 1,120

Typhoon
Air Claims: 246

Tempest
Air Claims: 239


NB British didn't have the same obsessiveness to count individual graound claims as did the 8th AF.

IJG27_Steini
05-29-2004, 05:27 AM
I know i will be killed for this:

You forgot to mention the amount of planes used by USAAF and NAF in comparison to the JAF or Luftwaffe. 10 : 1 ? 20 : 1 ? It was higher.

The most remarkable record got the german air force. Eg Erich Hartmann with 352 kills. And this over the Russia against La7, Yak3 and so on.

I am sorry but i must laugh when i see statistics like this one.

k5054
05-29-2004, 10:48 AM
Pips, your Spit and Hurri claims are suspect, maybe they have some qualification you don't quote. The RAF had about 10,000 fighter claims total, and those two a/c had most of them. The Typhoon and Tempest are correct. I'd also expect scores in the 100s for Mosquito and Beaufighter.
The P-38 in the ETO/MTO scored:
MTO: 1419
9th AF 214
8th AF 280 (247 losses)

Steini, if you think the LW was outnumbered 20-1 all the time, you need to check up some real figures. They were losing long before the Allies had the massive numbers.
Elsewhere on this very board some luftwhiner is boasting about the massive german aircraft production which the bombing couldn't stop. The big three USAAF fighters numbered around 40,000. There were 33000 109s and 20000 190s . Where is the 20-1?

huggy87
05-29-2004, 11:56 AM
Thanks Pips and k5054,

I too am surprised at how low the british claims were.

@steini, you are right in one sense that the allied total of fighters facing the german total of fighters was much higher. However, the Germans had the defenders advantage of being able to locally swarm an area with every available fighter. There were many times, even in 44', where allied fighters found themselves outnumbered.

05-29-2004, 04:28 PM
Yes well, it really does high light, that with out the industrial capability of the United States, and the man power of the Soviet Union, there would be no Allied Victory.
Japan only had 3% , and Germany only had about 13% of Americas industrial capability.
Combined the Axis still did not even have 20% of Americas industrial capability alone.

The Tide of the War turned with Americas involvment, Churchill was jumping for Joy, in his memoirs he wrote down America is in it with us to the death!
We have Won already! Hitlers fate is sealed Mussolinis Fate is sealed and the Japanese will be ground into powder!

Admiral Yamamoto who toured America extensivly before the War, knew the Japanese had to Win quickly in the Pacific, before America could organise their Industry for War.
However the Battle of Midway ended any chance of a quick Victory in the Pacific.

From that point in time onwards the Axis pact countries would be over whelmed with sheer weight of mass produced numbers!

By the time the war ended Americas economy had only just started to warm up!
They where the Boom years for the United states, the War dragged their economy out of the depression of the 1930s, and in turn helped to rebuild the destroyed economies of the Axis Nations.

S!

IJG27_Steini
05-29-2004, 04:42 PM
33.000 were build over the whole war, thats right, but as you know at USAF destroyed nearly all fuel rafferie's and despots. Planes were tracked to the airfield by horses and bulls. At the western front only 2 Squadron were used until 1944. That are 240 fighter. And even at the end of war the quality of the planes and fuel was so bad that most planes were not able to fly.

And dont forget allies pilots came from all over the world germany pilots fought against huge VVS, RAF, USAF and so on. Most pilots flew up to 6 sorties a day.

There you have your 20:1.
Just take a look at the last bombing raids against german cities. 2000 B17/24 with over 500 fighter against sometimes only a handfull of german fighter.
At the D-Day only 4 fighter were able to try to attack intruders. Plz gyu's take something more into account before presenting your impressive statistics. USAF had an huge amount of high qualitative planes and pilots thats the truth, but nothing more. Only by using good tactics, the advantage of attack and huges numbers of planes they were able to win. I ever would prefer other planes than the american ones.

Steini

Bewolf
05-29-2004, 08:01 PM
Not to forget that most german fighters engaged the bombers, not allied fighters, which gave the allied fighters a tremendous advantage.

Bewolf

Never discuss with stupid people.
They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

FA_Maddog
05-29-2004, 08:41 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by IJG27_Steini:
Plz gyu's take something more into account before presenting your impressive statistics. USAF had an huge amount of high qualitative planes and pilots thats the truth, but nothing more. Only by using good tactics, the advantage of attack and huges numbers of planes they were able to win.

What else is there to add, other than our allieds were doing the same. You just listed everything needed for victory.

Bull_dog_
05-29-2004, 10:41 PM
In 1943 and early 1944, the Luftwaffe was not outnumbered 20 to 1 and they did have many good pilots and plenty of fuel....it was this time frame that the allies went on the offensive and took the skies away from the luftwaffe.

I think that part of the issue with being outnumbered had more to do with tactics...Goehring had fighter wings scattered all about and made defending bases difficult. As the bomber offensive increased and invasion drums were beating, the Luftwaffe also moved many eastern front units to the West...somewhere I believe I read that German pilots were more afraid of flying on the western front than the eastern front... I know I read that, I just can't remember where and how representative it was of the majority of Luftwaffe pilots.

Anyways, I get tired of hearing the "the Germans ran out of gas and out of fuel"... they did, but that was after the air war was lost. The offensive the allies went on prior to D-Day is what stripped the Luftwaffe of their pilots, planes and fuel. P-47's, P-38's, and especially P-51's ... along with the RAF took the skies over Europe away from the Luftwaffe in Early spring 1944

k5054
05-30-2004, 03:42 AM
Bull dog is right. In fact you can't inflict huge losses on an out-numbered enemy. There's not enough opposition to shoot. The out-numbered LW is a fairy story. Fighters were pulled back from the fronts east and west to defend the Reich, and at least 1000 were avaiable at all times. Escort for the US raids had to cover the whole bomber stream, they weren't all everywhere either.
Maybe the fact that the LW did not improve the quality of its fighters in any useful way from 1942 (190A-4) to mid '44 (AS engines in 109) made a difference. They got beat, by P-47s and P-51s, on their own turf. Live with it.

And specious comments about 'well, if it wasn't for US industry and USSR manpower Germany would have won', such BS. Did Hitler not know about this when he declared war on the USSR and the USA within six months ? Japan lost the war on Dec 7th 1941, and Germany a couple of days later, when Hitler quite needlessly declared war on the US, without any planning in place for a long war, and without Russia being beaten. And which of his generals warned him not to?

The allies may have taken more time and more losses than they needed to, beating Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Rumania etc, but they never really took a gamble, the end was decided when Germany couldn't beat Russia and the US came in.

05-30-2004, 04:46 AM
The Luftwaffe was already heavily out numbered in Italy, when JG77 was recalled for defense of the Riech Duties, in Germany.
The allies where wearing Germany down with sheer weight of numbers on every front.
The Allies took terrible losses as well, however they could replace them almost immediatly, Germany could not.
Germany had no where near the Industrial power of the United States, and Germanys industry was also under attack.
As an example, Operation Bodenplatte the Luftwaffe attack on allied air fields in the Battle of the Bulge, destroyed nearly 500 Allied planes on the ground.
The Allies replaced them in 2 weeks (probably the time it took to ship them)
The Luftwaffe lost planes too, but they where never able to replace them, or the pilots that died in them.
The whole reason for the strategic bombing offensive was to destroy German industry to build fuel and supply planes, and kill the trained experienced German pilots who flew the fighters trying to intercept.

The plan worked well, they just threw sheer weight of numbers at the Germans, and the Allied commanders would not be swayed by their early heavy losses.
There where early opponents to the strategic bombing campaign because of the losses the allies where taking, however those who had the final say where not swayed,
they knew they could wear the Germans down with sheer weight of Mass produced numbers.

And it worked.

dragonhart38
05-31-2004, 02:52 PM
As a Canadian all I can say GOD BLESS AMERICA!


[QUOTE]Originally posted by JG77_GK:
Yes well, it really does high light, that with out the industrial capability of the United States, and the man power of the Soviet Union, there would be no Allied Victory.
Japan only had 3% , and Germany only had about 13% of Americas industrial capability.
Combined the Axis still did not even have 20% of Americas industrial capability alone.

The Tide of the War turned with Americas involvment, Churchill was jumping for Joy, in his memoirs he wrote down America is in it with us to the death!
We have Won already! Hitlers fate is sealed Mussolinis Fate is sealed and the Japanese will be ground into powder!

Admiral Yamamoto who toured America extensivly before the War, knew the Japanese had to Win quickly in the Pacific, before America could organise their Industry for War.
However the Battle of Midway ended any chance of a quick Victory in the Pacific.

From that point in time onwards the Axis pact countries would be over whelmed with sheer weight of mass produced numbers!

By the time the war ended Americas economy had only just started to warm up!
They where the Boom years for the United states, the War dragged their economy out of the depression of the 1930s, and in turn helped to rebuild the destroyed economies of the Axis Nations.

http://www.elleemmeshop.com/model1/Hann_a/eduard/EDK4827.jpg
The best of the best

hop2002
05-31-2004, 03:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Spitfire
Air Claims: 2,470

Hurricane
Air Claims: 1,120
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Hurricane figure is lower than the number of Hurricane kill claims during the BoB alone.

The RAF claimed around 2,500 German aircraft during the BoB, the Hurricane about two-thirds of them, which makes Hurricane claims about 1600 during the BoB, iirc there were hundreds of claims made during the battle of France, Norway, Dunkirk etc. Hurricane claims would be well over 2000 by the end of 1940.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>and, in the Atlantic, destroyed 63 German U-boats.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I believe the figure is 83

RAC_Pips
05-31-2004, 05:01 PM
Hop,

As I mentioned I obtained these figures from the Imperial War Museum. I am quite happy to see other figures. If you can quote sources I would very appreciative. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Gunner_361st
05-31-2004, 08:17 PM
Thanks for posting these interesting statistics Pips.

As for some of the responses to it... Well, it is what can normally be expected. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Remember kids... the only way the Allies ever won anything is by just throwing massive quantities of men and machines into the Axis meat-grinder. All of their commanders... Eisenhower, Montgomery, Patton, Halsey, MacArthur. Nevermind them. They weren't important and really didn't make much of a difference. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/59.gif

Major Gunner of the 361st vFG

http://home.comcast.net/~smconlon/wsb/media/245357/site1087.jpg

huggy87
05-31-2004, 08:21 PM
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/34.gif Troll.....!!!!!
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gunner_361st:

Remember kids... the only way the Allies ever won anything is by just throwing massive quantities of men and machines into the Axis meat-grinder. All of their commanders... Eisenhower, Montgomery, Patton, Halsey, MacArthur. Nevermind them. They weren't important and really didn't make much of a difference. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/59.gif

Major Gunner of the 361st vFG
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gunner_361st
05-31-2004, 08:46 PM
Name-calling, Huggy? So much for a little humor. But I guess some don't mind the usual lectures. Sorry if I caused offense, but I figured more people than myself had grown tired of the usual historical preaching.

Major Gunner of the 361st vFG

http://home.comcast.net/~smconlon/wsb/media/245357/site1087.jpg

huggy87
05-31-2004, 10:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gunner_361st:
Name-calling, Huggy? So much for a little humor. But I guess some don't mind the usual lectures. Sorry if I caused offense, but I figured more people than myself had grown tired of the usual historical preaching.

Major Gunner of the 361st vFG

http://home.comcast.net/~smconlon/wsb/media/245357/site1087.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, I know. I'm just busting your balls.

06-01-2004, 03:09 AM
Historical facts cannot be changed, they speak for themselves.
It is all history, things that happened, and the reasons why.
We must also be carefull to bear in mind that we also have the benefit of hindsight.

For Example, nobody knew weather the concept of a thousdand Bomber raid could be managed until they tried it.
They ended up with a Bomber stream where 1000 Allied Bombers would pass over the same target area at night.
Awesome results indeed. Entire Industrial areas wiped out and thousands of German civilians killed
Even in their hey day the Luftwaffe could never mount such an air offensive!

It is true that Nazi Germany was powerfull indeed, 97% of Americas War production went to the Germany first policy.
President Rootsvelt made that policy not me.
Nazi Germany had to be bludgeoned to death with sheer weight of numbers from all sides, never to rise again.

S!

Gunner_361st
06-01-2004, 02:18 PM
Huggy87 - Please be careful, they are soft and fragile. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

JG77_GK - You are right. The US, USSR, and Great Britain did throw a lot of men and material into crushing Nazi Germany, and it did so out of a position of amazing strength. The only thing that I ever recogonized as admirable about Nazi Germany is the fact it lasted that long against highly competent Allied leaders and their massive armies, navies, and airforces.

But anyway... Here is an interesting link I was given recently... http://www.1000pictures.com/aircraft/aces.htm Not sure that all of this information is 100% correct of course, but its something alright.

Major Gunner of the 361st vFG

http://home.comcast.net/~smconlon/wsb/media/245357/site1087.jpg

BigKahuna_GS
06-02-2004, 08:25 AM
S!

It was a myth that the Luftwaffe was always out numbered. They enjoyed local air superiority because of massed numbers of fighters they could put up in one specific area to attack the bomber stream.

To many attackers for the defenders to cover, like flooding a zone defense in baketball or football.

From USAAF Pilot Bud Anderson on being out numbered during escort duty:

http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/anderson/anderson.htm

Subject: Outnumbered P51s during Bomber Escort Duty


The Germans liked to roar through the bombers head-on, firing long bursts, and then roll and go down. They would circle around to get ahead of the bomber stream, groping for altitude, avoiding the escorts if possible, then reassemble and come through head-on again. When their fuel or ammunition was exhausted, they would land and refuel and take off again, flying mission after mission, for as long as there were bombers to shoot at. They seldom came after us. Normally, they would skirmish the escorts only out of necessity. We were an inconvenience, best avoided. It was the bombers they wanted, and the German pilots threw themselves at them smartly and bravely. It was our job to stop them.

***It seemed we were always outnumbered. We had more fighters than they did, but what mattered was how many they could put up in one area. They would concentrate in huge numbers, by the hundreds at times. They would assemble way up ahead, pick a section of the bomber formation, and then come in head-on, their guns blazing, sometimes biting the bombers below us before we knew what was happening.****

In the distance, a red and black smear marked the spot where a B-17 and its 10 men had been. Planes still bearing their bomb loads erupted and fell, trailing flame, streaking the sky, leaving gaps in the bomber formation that were quickly closed up.

"Bud" Anderson on wing of his "Old Crow" - the signed photo from collection of Martin Welsh (thanks!).

Through our headsets we could hear the war, working its way back toward us, coming straight at us at hundreds of miles per hour. The adrenaline began gushing, and I scanned the sky frantically, trying to pick out the fly-speck against the horizon that might have been somebody coming to kill us, trying to see him before be saw me, looking, squinting, breathless . . .

Over the radio: "Here they come!"

They'd worked over the bombers up ahead and now it was our turn.

Things happen quickly. We get rid of our drop tanks, slam the power up, and make a sweeping left turn to engage. My flight of four Mustangs is on the outside of the turn, a wingman close behind to my left, my element leader and his wingman behind to my right, all in finger formation. Open your right hand, tuck the thumb under, put the fingers together, and check the fingernails. That's how we flew, and fought. Two shooters, and two men to cover their tails. The Luftwaffe flew that way, too. German ace Werner Molders is generally credited with inventing the tactic during the Spanish Civil War.

Being on the outside of the turn, we are vulnerable to attack from the rear. I look over my right shoulder and, sure enough, I see four dots above us, way back, no threat at the moment, but coming hard down the chute. I start to call out, but . . .

"Four bogeys, five o'clock high!" My element leader, Eddie Simpson, has already seen them. Bogeys are unknowns and bandits are hostile. Quickly, the dots close and take shape. They're hostile, all right. They're Messerschmitts.

We turn hard to the right, pulling up into a tight string formation, spoiling their angle, and we try to come around and go at them head on. The Me 109s change course, charge past, and continue on down, and we wheel and give chase. There are four of them, single-seat fighters, and they pull up, turn hard, and we begin turning with them. We are circling now, tighter and tighter, chasing each other's tails, and I'm sitting there wondering what the hell's happening. These guys want to hang around. Curious. I'm wondering why they aren't after the bombers, why they're messing with us, whether they're simply creating some kind of a diversion or what. I would fly 116 combat missions, engage the enemy perhaps 40 times, shoot down 16 fighters, share in the destruction of a bomber, destroy another fighter on the ground, have a couple of aerial probables, and over that span it would be us bouncing them far more often than not. This was a switch.

We're flying tighter circles, gaining a little each turn, our throttles wide open, 30,000 feet up. The Mustang is a wonderful airplane, 37 feet wingtip to wingtip, just a little faster than the smaller German fighters, and also just a little more nimble. Suddenly the 109s, sensing things are not going well, roll out and run, turning east, flying level. Then one lifts up his nose and climbs away from the rest.

We roll out and go after them. They're flying full power, the black smoke pouring out their exhaust stacks. I'm looking at the one who is climbing, wondering what he is up to, and I'm thinking that if we stay with the other three, this guy will wind up above us. I send Simpson up after him. He and his wingman break off. My wingman, John Skara, and I chase the other three fighters, throttles all the way forward, and I can see that we're gaining.

I close to within 250 yards of the nearest Messerschmitt--dead astern, 6 o'clock, no maneuvering, no nothing--and squeeze the trigger on the control stick between my knees gently. Bambambambambam! The sound is loud in the cockpit in spite of the wind shriek and engine roar. And the vibration of the Mustang's four. 50-caliber machine guns, two in each wing, weighing 60-odd pounds apiece, is pronounced. In fact, you had to be careful in dogfights when you were turning hard, flying on the brink of a stall, because the buck of the guns was enough to peel off a few critical miles per hour and make the Mustang simply stop flying. That could prove downright embarrassing.

But I'm going like hell now, and I can see the bullets tearing at the Messerschmitt's wing root and fuselage. The armor-piercing ammunition we used was also incendiary, and hits were easily visible, making a bright flash and puff. Now the 109's trailing smoke thickens, and it's something more than exhaust smoke. He slows, and then suddenly rolls over. But the plane doesn't fall. It continues on, upside down, straight and level! What the hell . . . ?

The pilot can't be dead. It takes considerable effort to fly one of these fighter planes upside down. You have to push hard on the controls. Flying upside down isn't easy. It isn't something that happens all by itself, or that you do accidentally. So what in the world is be doing?

Well. It's an academic question, because I haven't the time to wait and find out. I pour another burst into him, pieces start flying off, I see flame, and the 109 plummets and falls into a spin, belching smoke. My sixth kill.

The other two Messerschmitt pilots have pulled away now, and they're nervous. Their airplanes are twitching, the fliers obviously straining to look over their shoulders and see what is happening. As we take up the chase again, two against two now, the trailing 109 peels away and dives for home, and the leader pulls up into a sharp climbing turn to the left. This one can fly, and he obviously has no thought of running. I'm thinking this one could be trouble.

We turn inside him, my wingman and I, still at long range, and he pulls around harder, passing in front of us right-to-left at an impossible angle. I want to swing in behind him, but I'm going too fast, and figure I would only go skidding on past. A Mustang at speed simply can't make a square corner. And in a dogfight you don't want to surrender your airspeed. I decide to overshoot him and climb.

He reverses his turn, trying to fall in behind us. My wingman is vulnerable now. I tell Skara, "Break off!" and be peels away. The German goes after him, and I go after the German, closing on his tail before he can close on my wingman. He sees me coming and dives away with me after him, then makes a climbing left turn. I go screaming by, pull up, and he's reversing his turn--man, be can fly!--and be comes crawling right up behind me, close enough that I can see him distinctly. He's bringing his nose up for a shot, and I haul back on the stick and climb even harder. I keep going up, because I'm out of alternatives.

This is what I see all these years later. If I were the sort to be troubled with nightmares, this is what would shock me awake. I am in this steep climb, pulling the stick into my navel, making it steeper, steeper . . . and I am looking back down, over my shoulder, at this classic gray Me 109 with black crosses that is pulling up, too, steeper, steeper, the pilot trying to get his nose up just a little bit more and bring me into his sights.

There is nothing distinctive about the aircraft, no fancy markings, nothing to identify it as the plane of an ace, as one of the "dreaded yellow-noses" like you see in the movies. Some of them did that, I know, but I never saw one. And in any event, all of their aces weren't flamboyant types who splashed paint on their airplanes to show who they were. I suppose I could go look it up in the archives. There's the chance I could find him in some gruppe's log book, having flown on this particular day, in this particular place, a few miles northwest of the French town of Strasbourg that sits on the Rhine. There are fellows who've done that, gone back and looked up their opponents. I never have. I never saw any point.

He was someone who was trying to kill me, is all.

So I'm looking back, almost straight down now, and I can see this 20-millimeter cannon sticking through the middle of the fighter's propeller hub. In the theater of my memory, it is enormous. An elephant gun. And that isn't far wrong. It is a gun designed to bring down a bomber, one that fires shells as long as your hand, shells that explode and tear big holes in metal. It is the single most frightening thing I have seen in my life, then and now.

But I'm too busy to be frightened. Later on, you might sit back and perspire about it, maybe 40-50 years later, say, sitting on your porch 7,000 miles away, but while it is happening you are just too damn busy. And I am extremely busy up here, hanging by my propeller, going almost straight up, full emergency power, which a Mustang could do for only so long before losing speed, shuddering, stalling, and falling back down; and I am thinking that if the Mustang stalls before the Messerschmitt stalls, I have had it.

I look back, and I can see that he's shuddering, on the verge of a stall. He hasn't been able to get his nose up enough, hasn't been able to bring that big gun to bear. Almost, but not quite. I'm a fallen-down-dead man almost, but not quite. His nose begins dropping just as my airplane, too, begins shuddering. He stalls a second or two before I stall, drops away before I do.

Good old Mustang.

He is falling away now, and I flop the nose over and go after him hard. We are very high by this time, six miles and then some, and falling very, very fast. The Messerschmitt had a head start, plummeting out of my range, but I'm closing up quickly. Then he flattens out and comes around hard to the left and starts climbing again, as if he wants to come at me head on. Suddenly we're right back where we started.

A lot of this is just instinct now. Things are happening too fast to think everything out. You steer with your right hand and feet. The right hand also triggers the guns. With your left, you work the throttle, and keep the airplane in trim, which is easier to do than describe.

Any airplane with a single propeller produces torque. The more horsepower you have, the more the prop will pull you off to one side. The Mustangs I flew used a 12-cylinder Packard Merlin engine that displaced 1,649 cubic inches. That is 10 times the size of the engine that powers an Indy car. It developed power enough that you never applied full power sitting still on the ground because it would pull the plane's tail up off the runway and the propeller would chew up the concrete. With so much power, you were continually making minor adjustments on the controls to keep the Mustang and its wing-mounted guns pointed straight.

There were three little palm-sized wheels you had to keep fiddling with. They trimmed you up for hands-off level flight. One was for the little trim tab on the tail's rudder, the vertical slab which moves the plane left or right. Another adjusted the tab on the tail's horizontal elevators that raise or lower the nose and help reduce the force you had to apply for hard turning. The third was for aileron trim, to keep your wings level, although you didn't have to fuss much with that one. Your left hand was down there a lot if you were changing speeds, as in combat . . . while at the same time you were making minor adjustments with your feet on the rudder pedals and your hand on the stick. At first it was awkward. But, with experience, it was something you did without thinking, like driving a car and twirling the radio dial.

It's a little unnerving to think about how many things you have to deal with all at once to fly combat.

So the Messerschmitt is coming around again, climbing hard to his left, and I've had about enough of this. My angle is a little bit better this time. So I roll the dice. Instead of cobbing it like before and sailing on by him, I decide to turn hard left inside him, knowing that if I lose speed and don't make it I probably won't get home. I pull back on the throttle slightly, put down 10 degrees of flaps, and haul back on the stick just as hard as I can. And the nose begins coming up and around, slowly, slowly. . .

Hot damn! I'm going to make it! I'm inside him, pulling my sights up to him. And the German pilot can see this. This time, it's the Messerschmitt that breaks away and goes zooming straight up, engine at maximum power, without much alternative. I come in with full power and follow him up, and the gap narrows swiftly. He is hanging by his prop, not quite vertically, and I am right there behind him, and it is terribly clear, having tested the theory less than a minute ago, that he is going to stall and fall away before I do.

I have him. He must know that I have him.

I bring my nose up, he comes into my sights, and from less than 300 yards I trigger a long, merciless burst from my Brownings. Every fifth bullet or so is a tracer, leaving a thin trail of smoke, marking the path of the bullet stream. The tracers race upward and find him. The bullets chew at the wing root, the cockpit, the engine, making bright little flashes. I hose the Messerschmitt down the way you'd hose down a campfire, methodically, from one end to the other, not wanting to make a mistake here. The 109 shakes like a retriever coming out of the water, throwing off pieces. He slows, almost stops, as if parked in the sky, his propeller just windmilling, and he begins smoking heavily.

My momentum carries me to him. I throttle back to ease my plane alongside, just off his right wing. Have I killed him? I do not particularly want to fight this man again. I am coming up even with the cockpit, and although I figure the less I know about him the better, I find myself looking in spite of myself. There is smoke in the cockpit. I can see that, nothing more. Another few feet. . . .

And then he falls away suddenly, left wing down, right wing rising up, obscuring my view. I am looking at the 109's sky blue belly, the wheel wells, twin radiators, grease marks, streaks from the guns, the black crosses. I am close enough to make out the rivets. The Messerschmitt is right there and then it is gone, just like that, rolling away and dropping its nose and falling (flying?) almost straight down, leaking coolant and trailing flame and smoke so black and thick that it has to be oil smoke. It simply plunges, heading straight for the deck. No spin, not even a wobble, no parachute, and now I am wondering. His ship seems a death ship--but is it?

Undecided, I peel off and begin chasing him down. Did I squander a chance here? Have I let him escape? He is diving hard enough to be shedding his wings, harder than anyone designed those airplanes to dive, 500 miles an hour and more, and if 109s will stall sooner than Mustangs going straight up, now I am worrying that maybe their wings stay on longer. At 25,000 feet I begin to grow nervous. I pull back on the throttle, ease out of the dive, and watch him go down. I have no more stomach for this kind of thing, not right now, not with this guy. Enough. Let him go and to hell with him.

Straight down be plunges, from as high as 35,000 feet, through this beautiful, crystal clear May morning toward the green-on-green checkerboard fields, leaving a wake of black smoke. From four miles straight up I watch as the Messerschmitt and the shadow it makes on the ground rush toward one another . . .

. . . and then, finally, silently, merge.

Eddie Simpson joins up with me. Both wingmen, too. Simpson, my old wingman and friend, had gotten the one who'd climbed out. We'd bagged three of the four. We were very excited. It had been a good day.

I had lived and my opponent had died. But it was a near thing. It could have been the other way around just as easily, and what probably made the difference was the airplane I flew. Made in America. I would live to see the day when people would try to tell me the United States can't make cars like some other folks do. What a laugh. ..."

Note: The above article is excerpted from the book To Fly and Fight: Memoirs of a Triple Ace by Col C. E. "Bud" Anderson with Joseph P. Hamelin.

For more details about "Bud" Anderson and his book, check here: http://www.cebudanderson.com/


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Bud" Anderson explains mystery of P-51 personal name - 'Old Crow': "I tell my Baptist friends that it is named after the smartest bird that flies in the sky, the Crow, but my drinking buddies all know that it was named after that good old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey of the same name. Now, my wife Ellie, of 54 plus years likes to kid around at times and will say 'Most guys name their plane after their wife or sweet heart, what must people thinks is going on here?'"

CCJ: What do you define as the most important things a fighter pilot must know to be successful, relating to air combat maneuvering?

Robert S. Johnson :
It's pretty simple, really. Know the absolute limits of your plane's capabilities.
Know its strengths and weaknesses. Know the strengths and weaknesses of you enemy's fighters. Never fight the way your enemy fights best. Always fight the way you fight best. Never be predictable.

In "Fighter Aces," aviation historians Raymond Tolliver
and Trevor Constable compared Johnson's record with that of two German aces.
Werner Molders was the first ace to score 100 aerial victories and Erich Hartmann is the top scoring ace of all time with 352.

The authors noted that
Johnson "emerges impressively from this comparison." He downed 28 planes in 91 sorties, while Molders took 142 sorties to do the same, and Hartmann, 194.
________



http://www.warplaneswarehouse.com/planes_lg/MS1AOO_LG.jpg

"Angels of Okinawa"

hop2002
06-02-2004, 11:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Hop,

As I mentioned I obtained these figures from the Imperial War Museum. I am quite happy to see other figures. If you can quote sources I would very appreciative.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>.

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/calendar.html

has a daily claims total for the BoB, total equals something over 2500.

Stephen Bungay in The Most Dangerous Enemy quotes 2741 RAF claims during the BoB, 1560 by Hurricanes.

Note that the Germans actually lost around 1,800 aircraft on operations, so total Hurricane claims of just over 1100 for the entire war, or even just for 1940, would be far too low.

huggy87
06-02-2004, 05:37 PM
Great post Kahuna. I'll have to get that book.

Giganoni
06-03-2004, 02:36 AM
I really don't why we are talking about LW in the PF forum, oh well I'll join in too! Hehe..local air superiority can be attained very easily as you all realise, even the Japanese in the last months of the war would have Local air superiorty in some cases. Often when they were facing the unescorted B -29s..there were more fighters locally than B-29s as they concentrated on one combat box at a time of course.

The American bombing campaign had a devastating effect on the Japanese industry once they went to night attacks (its daylight raids were a joke) though some have questioned the means, as for Germany the historians still debate how effective the Allied bombing was, especially the RAF bomber command. Whether the bombing itself was effective (because thanks to Speers fixing the German Production in 43 he still managed to increase aircraft production by about 3 times, armor 9 times and artillery 5 times.) It did manage to occupy around 70% of the LWs fighters, around 1 million soldiers on AA and around 1.5 mil soldiers and volunteers repairing and doing damage control. So that could be seen as effective.

All it boils down to is that the US and Russia excelled at attrition warfare..Japan and Germany did not. They were more surgical, the Blitzkrieg being the supreme doctrine to avoid the one type of war Hitler knew Germany couldn't survive, an Attrition war. Somewhere along the way he lost sight of that, although it seems with Pearl Harbor and Midway Japan was trying to win decisive battles and avoid the same thing. (They had plenty of attrition in China)

http://img74.photobucket.com/albums/v225/giganoni/IL2/giganoni2.jpg

ImpStarDuece
06-03-2004, 07:21 AM
JG_77GK i'm really gonna have to strongly disagree with you over a couple of points here.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Historical facts cannot be changed, they speak for themselves. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

All historical facts are passed through the filter labelled 'bias'. All historical facts are open to interpretation. Particular schools of history have wildly differing views about even the smallest slices of history. Accounts whether personal, professional, anecdotal or written down always differ because of the lense of bias that the observer views the events through. Look at Marxian history: "All history is the history of class struggle". Nothing is absolute.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It is true that Nazi Germany was powerfull indeed, 97% of Americas War production went to the Germany first policy. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And 89% of posters on this forum randomly make up statistics on the spot to support their postion http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/52.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Nazi Germany had to be bludgeoned to death with sheer weight of numbers from all sides, never to rise again. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes during WW2 Germany, Italy, Japan, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Austria were outweighted in both industrial and population terms by the nations that they attacked. However, these were nations, particularly the totalitarian ones, that used millitary expenditure as both an economic tool (Keynesian style 'Pump priming' fiscal policy) and as a source of national identity and pride. Unlike the domocracies of the West they considered the army a fundamental part of the state, and considered warfare a legitimate political tool.
The reason de etire of democracy is to use all other means before turning to war.

Lenin stated that in warfare "Quantity has its own quality" and this is true in the allied cause. However, weight of numbers is simply insufficient to explain both the speed and strength of Allied advances once the initial momentum of attack had been blunted.

As in WW1 Germany died the death of 1000 cuts. IT was not bludgeoned. German forces fought defensive battles in usually favourable conditions allowing them to succesfully 'bloody' the allies without ever stopping them.

Flying Bullet Magnet... Catching Lead Since 2002

"There's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks!"

06-03-2004, 07:56 AM
Ok seeing as only 3% of Americas War production went on Japan, where did the other 97% go?

As far as the rest of it goes you can Nit pick the English language all yer like, it works out the same in the end.
The initial advances where halted the same way the Germans where beaten back, Sheer Weight of numbers.
As an example Rommel was always screaming for more tanks (they where going to Russia)
That did not change, Germany did not have the resources to match the Allies on every front.
Too many fronts to fight on its simple mathematics of numbers.
In the East many German defensive positions just ran out of ammo killing the advancing Russians, and where over run.
German Army group Centre collapsed altogether in the end, the only thing holding up the Russian Juggernaut was its ability to supply its own front line.
The Battle of the Bulge used up the last reserves of the German army, after that it was virtualy over, except for fortifying cities like Berlin as best they could, till they over ran them with numbers again.

[This message was edited by JG77_GK on Thu June 03 2004 at 07:09 AM.]

k5054
06-03-2004, 09:51 AM
"
Ok seeing as only 3% of Americas War production went on Japan, where did the other 97% go?"

I'd like to see the breakdown of that. 25% of the USAAF forces were against Japan, and pretty much all of the USN and USMC air arms. Almost all the big carriers and many many destroyers, cruisers, cargo ships, whereas the bulk of naval power against Germany was RN and RCN forces. US war production also went to support Australian, NZ, British and Indian forces against Japan.
All the B-29s went to fight Japan. I'd be surprised if that was 3%. It certainly was not 3% of the airpower.

BfHeFwMe
06-03-2004, 04:42 PM
Wonder if he even knows there was a 100 plus carrier navy with all their associated support fleets that ended up being produced with that 3%. That doesn't even begin to include the aircraft on them. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/88.gif