Dogfighting Aces WW2

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
Dresden
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Re: Dogfighting Aces WW2

Postby Dresden » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:18 pm

Back to topic...

On Sept 13, 1942, Lidya Litviak (11 or 12 kills, plus several shared) is credited with shooting down Erwin Maier (11 kills) over or near Stalingrad.

In turn she was shot down August 1, 1943 by either Hans-Joerg Merkle (30 kills) or Hans Schleef (99 kills).



Helmut Wick (56 kills) was shot down by John Dundas (13-1/3 kills) during the Battle of Britain.

Gerhard Schoepfel (45 kills) shot down both Donald McKay (20 kills) and Kenneth Lee (7 kills) in one battle on August 18, 1940.

Werner Moelders is credited with: E.J. Kain (19 kills, March 2, 1940), A.D.J. Lovell (18.5 kills, July 28, 1940), E. Scott (5 kills, Sept. 27, 1940), A.R.D. McDonnell (12.5 kills, March 13, 1941).



and there's more - check out http://www.luftwaffe.cz/index.html for just the Luftwaffe.

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aurora
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Re: Dogfighting Aces WW2

Postby aurora » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:01 pm

The highest scoring ace of all time was the great German Luftwaffe experte Erich Hartmann with 352 aerial kills. Flying Bf 109s (Me-109s) against the overmatched Soviet MiGs and Yaks for almost three years, he accumulated his unrivalled score. Hartmann claimed, that of all his accomplishments, he was proudest of the fact that he never lost a wingman.
He is also reputed to have said. "Get close .. when he fills the entire windscreen ... then you can't possibly miss."

Hartmann was born 19 April 1922, in Weissach, Wurttemberg. At age 19 (1941), he joined the Luftwaffe and was posted to Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52) on the Eastern Front in October, 1942. He scored his first kill in November, and only achieved his second three months later. In the first half of 1943, he worked out some of the tactics which would prove so successful later on. If he was attacked from behind, he would send his wingman down low and out in front. Then he would get behind the enemy and fire a short, quick accurate burst, waiting "until the enemy aircraft filled the windscreen." He would normally content himself with one victory; he was willing to wait for another day. His natural talents began to tell: excellent eyesight, lightning reflexes, an aggressive spirit, and an ability to stay cool while in combat.
He was awarded the Third Reich's highest regularly awarded military decoration: The Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. With apologies to any German readers of this page, I must say that only the Germans could come up with a name like that: "Das Ritterkreuz zum Eisernen Kreuz mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillianten".
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

Byron Angel
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Re: Dogfighting Aces WW2

Postby Byron Angel » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:44 pm

While it is true that early Ilyushin and Lagg models proved inadequate in the first years of the Eastern Front campaign, by 1943 the VVF had put some very high performance Yaks and Lavochkins in the air.

B

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aurora
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Re: Dogfighting Aces WW2

Postby aurora » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:02 pm

AVM Johnnie Johnson CB CBE DSO** DFC* US Air Medal &Legion of Merit. RAF

Johnnie, the son of a policeman, was turned down by the auxiliary air force on the grounds of his humble social origins. Undeterred he joined the Auxillary Volunteer Reserve, and subsequently flew Spitfires with 616 Squadron. Due to an old ruby injury, however, Johnnie missed the Battle of Britain, not scoring the first of his 38½ kills until the following year. During the summer of 1941, 616 Squadron was a part of Wing Commander Douglas Bader’s famous Tangmere Wing, and it was there, inspired by Bader, that Johnnie began to shine. His first command, 610 Squadron, came soon afterwards, and by 1943 he was Wing Leader at Kenley – by which time he had achieved the ‘double’ of both the DFC and DSO. Johnnie’s association with the Canadians was a long one, as before the war’s end he commanded several such wings. Indeed, his Canadians were the first to land in Normandy after D-Day, and Johnnie held these fine pilots in the highest regard. A superb shot and truly inspirational leader, by 1945 Johnnie was officially recorded as the RAF’s top-scoring fighter pilot – with two DFCs and three DSOs to his credit,He was also involved in the Korean War with the American Air Force.

aurora
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aurora
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Re: Dogfighting Aces WW2

Postby aurora » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:50 pm

2:05AM GMT 25 Mar 2006
Pierre Clostermann, who died aged 85, was one of the leading French fighter aces flying with the RAF during the Second World War.
He flew 432 combat sorties and destroyed at least 18 aircraft in the air and on the ground. A charismatic and sometimes controversial figure, he wrote a classic account of his wartime experiences which is considered by many to be the finest aviation book to come out of the war.
Pierre Henri Clostermann, the son of a French diplomat, was born on February 28 1921 at Curitibia, in Brazil. When he was nine he was sent to be educated in Paris. After rejoining his parents in Brazil he obtained his private pilot's licence in November 1937.
When war broke out he wanted to enlist in the French Air Force, but was refused permission; so instead he left for the United States, where he studied aeronautical engineering at the Ryan Flying College in Los Angeles. His father opted to support Charles de Gaulle, and in April 1942 Pierre joined the Free French Air Force and travelled to England.
After completing his pilot training in early 1943, Clostermann joined No 341 "Alsace" Squadron at Biggin Hill, commanded by the French ace René Mouchotte. Flying the Spitfire Mk IX, he achieved his first success when he shot down two Focke Wulf 190s over northern France, soon following this with a third. On the day Mouchotte was shot down and killed, Clostermann was flying as wingman to him, and attracted some criticism from his wing commander for losing contact with his leader.
Clostermann was then posted to No 602 Squadron, and over the next 10 months he flew constantly on fighter sweeps, bomber escorts and dive-bombing and strafing attacks against the V-1 launch sites on the French coast. He achieved more successes in the air, almost all against fighters, but also against targets on the ground. On D-Day, June 6 1944, Clostermann flew two fighter sweeps over the Normandy beachhead, finding himself "astonished at the absence of the Luftwaffe".
Five days after the invasion he landed on a temporary airstrip in Normandy; he was one of the first French pilots to touch down on French soil, four years to the day after de Gaulle's famous radio address calling the French to resistance. Clostermann and two French colleagues had put on their best uniforms, but immediately regretted it when clouds of fine dust billowed up as their Spitfires landed; within seconds they resembled workers in a flour factory. Sixty years later, on June 6 2004, he was present when a road at Longues-sur-Mer, near the airstrip where he had landed, was named after him.
Once in Normandy Clostermann flew sweeps deeper into northern France, shooting down four fighters and probably destroying others. On July 2 1944, No 602 was engaged in a fierce fight with Focke Wulf 190s over Caen, and Clostermann claimed two German fighters and damaged three others. A few days later he was awarded a DFC. Having flown far more than the accepted number of operations before taking a compulsory rest, he was mentally and physically exhausted, and was sent to the staff at the Headquarters of the Free French Air Force.
In December Clostermann returned to operations, flying the RAF's most powerful fighter, the Tempest. He joined No 122 Wing in Holland, flying fighter sweeps and attacking motor transport and rail traffic over northern Germany. He also engaged enemy fighters whenever the opportunity arose, adding a further four to his total.
On March 24 1945 he was wounded in the leg by the intense German anti-aircraft fire that was a major feature of all the ground attack operations; he had to crash- land his badly damaged Tempest, but was back in action a week later as the flight commander of No 3 Squadron.
As the armies advanced, the Tempests roamed deeper into northern Germany, attacking any trains they found and shooting up aircraft on the ground. On May 3 Clostermann led a series of attacks against airfields and seaplane bases in the Kiel area. Flying his Tempest "Le Grand Charles", he strafed airfields and moorings, destroying several transport aircraft and flying boats. Shortly afterwards he was awarded a Bar to his DFC together with the American Silver Star, and French and Belgian decorations.
On May 12 Clostermann was leading a victory flypast over Bremerhaven when his aircraft collided with another. He baled out at very low level and his parachute opened seconds before he hit the ground. Clostermann was released from the service in August 1945 and returned to France.
After the war, he continued his career in aeronautical engineering, initially with the Societé Aubry et Cie in Paris. He later helped to found the Reims Aviation Company, acting as a representative for the American Cessna aircraft company, of which he later became a vice-president. He served on the boards of Air France and Renault.
In parallel to his business interests, Clostermann pursued a successful political career as a Gaullist, serving eight terms as a deputy in the French National Assembly before finally retiring in 1969. He also briefly re-enlisted in the French Air Force in 1956-57 to fly ground attack missions in Algeria. He retired as a colonel in the reserves.
Clostermann was no stranger to controversy. His final claims for the number of aircraft he destroyed has often been the subject of debate, but it is recognised that he achieved remarkable success. During the Falklands War in 1982 he praised Argentinian pilots for their actions and courage, and his perceived "betrayal" of the RAF attracted some antipathy in Britain. He also generated controversy in France for his vehement anti-war stance in the run-up to the Gulf War of 1991.
Clostermann's great passion was deep-sea fishing, an activity he indulged in throughout the world. He was a founding member and first president of the Big Game Fishing Club of France, and a representative of the International Game Fish Association from 1966 - he joined the association's board of trustees in 1977. He was a dedicated and effective spokesman for sportsmanlike angling and conservation policies.
Clostermann's wartime autobiography, Le Grand Cirque (The Big Show), which came out in 1948, was an immediate success. Marshal of the RAF Sir John Slessor described
it as "a magnificent story, making one proud, not only of those French boys who fought so gallantly, but of the RAF in which they served". The book was subsequently translated into 50 languages and sold three million copies worldwide; it was reprinted in 2004.
Clostermann's book Feu du Ciel (Flames in the Sky), published in 1957, was also widely acclaimed; and he wrote extensively on fishing.
In addition to his British awards, Clostermann was awarded the Grand-Croix of the Légion d'honneur and appointed a Compagnon de la libération, France's highest awards for gallantry and service. He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre with no fewer than 19 palmes.
Pierre Clostermann died at his home in the Pyrenees on March 22. He is survived by his wife and three sons.
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

Steve Crandell
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Re: Dogfighting Aces WW2

Postby Steve Crandell » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:47 am

If you expect people to read your posts I believe you need to use paragraphs. I just couldn't handle it.

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aurora
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Re: Dogfighting Aces WW2

Postby aurora » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:23 am

Thank you for the nudge Steve-of course you are correct-will take your comment on board :oops: :oops:
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Jim

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aurora
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Re: Dogfighting Aces WW2

Postby aurora » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:33 am

In July 1944, the fighter pilot Frank "Gabby" Gabreski, who has died aged 83, became the top American air ace of the second world war, having shot down 28 German aircraft over Europe. Later, during the Korean war, he downed a further six enemy jets.

Transferred to England in 1942, Gabreski first flew Spitfires IXs from Kent airfields on bomber escort duty over France with 315 squadron, a Polish RAF unit. He returned to the US Army Air Force 56th fighter group in 1943, flew long-range P-47 Thunderbolt fighters and became a squadron leader. A fortnight after downing his 28th enemy, in the summer of 1944, he crashlanded in a German wheatfield and was captured five days later.

Gabreski was born to Polish immigrants in Oil City, Pennsylvania, 10 years after they arrived in the United States. He shortened the family name of Gabryszewski, and studied medicine at Notre Dame University. But he had fallen in love with flying at the age of 13, after watching an air race won by his lifelong hero, Jimmy Doolittle, a future US air commander and leader of the 1942 bombing raid on Japan after Pearl Harbor. Gabreski left college to join the Army Air Corps.

From 1951, he flew F-86 Sabre jets in Korea, commanding the 51st fighter-interceptor wing. He shot down six Soviet-made MIG-15s, sharing a seventh with another pilot. He was the eighth pilot to become a jet ace - having made five or more kills. This made a total of 37 kills - including three aircraft destroyed on the ground - in 266 combat missions in two wars, a record he held until his retirement in 1967. Three Americans bettered his second world war total, but they were all in the Pacific. Altogether, he flew 100 missions in Korea, ending the war as a colonel.

Subsequently, Gabreski worked in New York for 20 years as an executive with Grumman Aerospace, a career interrupted only by an ill-fated attempt to rescue the failing Long Island Rail Road company. The operation "stank", he later observed.

He was decorated by the US, Britain, France, Poland and Belgium. After demobilisation in 1945, he married Catherine "Kay" Cochran in a ceremony twice postponed, once because of Pearl Harbor and later because of his capture. Kay died in 1993, and Gabreski is survived by their six daughters and three sons.

Francis Stanley Gabreski, fighter pilot, born January 28 1919; died January 31 2002
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim


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