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  #61  
Old 17 Sep 17, 04:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
The two best fighters of WW2 were the Wildcat in the PTO and the Fw 190 in the West.
Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
At this rate, guys, we night need another WW2 Fighters Campaign before too long!
As is the nature of the beast, the best combat "anything" (not just fighter aircraft) are those that are developed approaching the end of any conflict due to the "pressure cooker" imperative of the conflict itself.

"Time and tide waits for no man."

It might be "entertaining" to discuss such matters, but there is little to be gained by doing so.

Accordingly, it would not be unreasonable to make a claim that the Ta152, from the Focke Wulf stable and with design influences from the '190, could be among those aircraft vying for WW2's "best" piston single engined fighter - as long as a "first flown by (insert cutoff date)" was to be established rather than "in serial production and introduced into combat by (insert cutoff date)".


Of course, the undisputed "best" fighter was the Me262, which is purely natural and not surprising as it was one of the latest aircraft to reach production/combat status, and in a different league to contemporary piston fighters.

Of course, once again, the contemporary Gloster Meteor likewise cannot be compared here with the Me 262.

Well, only unfavourably so.

And, likewise, the Lockheed P80A Shooting Star, fine aircraft that it would develop into later does not make the cut as of VE day.

Only 4 YP80A's( these were not of the definitive series production "P80A" variants), made it to ETO before VE day.

None saw air to air combat and the exercise was largely a "flag waving" "morale boosting" attempt by the USAAF to demonstrate to very worried B17/24 bomber crews that "it's OK.....we have jets too."

Quote:
In spite of the loss of the third YP-80A, four YP-80As were deployed to Europe in order to demonstrate their capabilities to combat crews and to help in the development of tactics to be used against Luftwaffe jet fighters. YP-80As 44-83026 and 44-83027 were shipped to England in mid-December 1944, but 44-83026 crashed on its second flight at Burtonwood, England, killing its pilot, Major Frederick Borsodi. 44-83027 was modified by Rolls-Royce to flight test the B-41, the prototype of the Nene turbojet. On November 14, 1945, it was destroyed in a crash landing after an engine failure. 44-83028 and 44-83029 were shipped to the Mediterranean. They actually flew some operational sorties, but they never encountered any enemy aircraft. Both of them fortunately managed to survive their tour of duty in Europe, but one of them crashed on August 2, 1945 after returning to the USA. The other one ended its useful life as a pilotless drone.
The first production standard P80's reached service in February 1945, but did not, at the time, leave CONUS before VE(or VJ) day.

http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/p80_3.html

Of course, an Me262 would be unable to operate from an aircraft carrier, for example, so another aircraft type would be considered "best" of carrier based fighters.

Or if, as another example, a very long distance escort mission was called for, the highly developed and capable Republic P47 "N" was the "go to " aircraft.

Were the missions requiring a night fighter?

If so, later variants of Mosquito might fit the bill.

Etcetera, etcetera.

But, overall, the "best" is the "latest", all other things being equal.
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Last edited by At ease; 17 Sep 17 at 04:58..
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  #62  
Old 17 Sep 17, 05:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At ease View Post
I have demolished your contentions about the Wildcat, most recently in the later parts of this thread from 12 months ago:...
.
<snip>
.
.
You did nothing of the sort, except fueling your own belief. As for the Corsair, while an excellent plane and contender for best piston fighter at wars end, it had negligible impact on the outcome of the air war in the PTO, as the Wild Cat had already won air supremacy.
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  #63  
Old 17 Sep 17, 05:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
You did nothing of the sort, except fueling your own belief. As for the Corsair, while an excellent plane and contender for best piston fighter at wars end, it had negligible impact on the outcome of the air war in the PTO, as the Wild Cat had already won air supremacy.
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink".

Your posts on this matter are now firmly in "trolling" territory.
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  #64  
Old 17 Sep 17, 05:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
You did nothing of the sort, except fueling your own belief. As for the Corsair, while an excellent plane and contender for best piston fighter at wars end, it had negligible impact on the outcome of the air war in the PTO, as the Wild Cat had already won air supremacy.
(My bold in your quote)
From my admittedly somewhat limited knowledge of the air war in the PTO:
I thought that the Wildcat pilots, by the use of improved tactics, had managed to deny and/or to some extent, reverse the relatively brief near-total air superiority enjoyed by the Japanese?
However, this isn't quite the same as winning overall or near complete air superiority per se for the Allies which (again, according to my understanding) occurred rather later?
I had the impression that as far as US Navy aircraft are concerned, the F6F Hellcat made a very substantial contribution to the latter (much more so than the F4U Corsair, at least)?

In other words, denying full air superiority to the Japanese wasn't the same as totally reversing the overall situation, which took quite a lot longer.
However, it is possible that my understanding could be incorrect.
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Old 17 Sep 17, 09:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At ease View Post
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink".

Your posts on this matter are now firmly in "trolling" territory.


Someone who disagrees with you is not automatically a troll. Really, and I've given more than ample reasons before why the Wildcat was a far more important PTO fighter than the Corsair.
Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
(My bold in your quote)
From my admittedly somewhat limited knowledge of the air war in the PTO:
I thought that the Wildcat pilots, by the use of improved tactics, had managed to deny and/or to some extent, reverse the relatively brief near-total air superiority enjoyed by the Japanese?
However, this isn't quite the same as winning overall or near complete air superiority per se for the Allies which (again, according to my understanding) occurred rather later?
I had the impression that as far as US Navy aircraft are concerned, the F6F Hellcat made a very substantial contribution to the latter (much more so than the F4U Corsair, at least)?

In other words, denying full air superiority to the Japanese wasn't the same as totally reversing the overall situation, which took quite a lot longer.
However, it is possible that my understanding could be incorrect.
Air supremacy is exaggerated, but the Wildcat did wrest the skies from the Japanese once it was employed correctly. It should also be remembered that it did so when many of their opponents were veterans. The Corsair could not have been said to have achieved as much simply because the job was already done.
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  #66  
Old 17 Sep 17, 09:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
<snip>
Air supremacy is exaggerated, but the Wildcat did wrest the skies from the Japanese once it was employed correctly. It should also be remembered that it did so when many of their opponents were veterans. The Corsair could not have been said to have achieved as much simply because the job was already done.
OK, no worries.
I agree that there was a very significant turn-around in fortunes for Wildcat pilots, who were indeed greener than most of their Japanese opponents,
when the Americans adopted new tactics.
Bottom line:
As far as possible, play by rules that take advantage of your own aircraft's strengths (or offset its weaknesses),
while avoiding, as far as possible, actions that allow the enemy to exploit their aircraft's greatest strengths.

No argument on the F4U.
AFAIK, the F6F started full-scale ops earlier and was used in larger numbers;
IMHO being a greater contributor to American air superiority.
However, the Hellcat has always been a favourite of mine so I could be just a tad biased here.
(Corsair WAS a magnificent warplane, though. )
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  #67  
Old 17 Sep 17, 09:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post


Someone who disagrees with you is not automatically a troll. Really, and I've given more than ample reasons before why the Wildcat was a far more important PTO fighter than the Corsair.


Air supremacy is exaggerated, but the Wildcat did wrest the skies from the Japanese once it was employed correctly. It should also be remembered that it did so when many of their opponents were veterans. The Corsair could not have been said to have achieved as much simply because the job was already done.
For the moment, I will comment on this aspect of your "beliefs".

Originally Posted by RLeonard

Quote:
I(RLeonard), for one, would not ascribe too much to the theory that the IJN pilots were so much combat seasoned or so much better trained.

The theory on this vast combat experience for the IJN pilots revolves around combat in China. Okay, but what about all this much touted China combat experience? Bombing raids blasting, relatively, by later wartime standards, undefended villages, towns, cities and the odd USN gunboat. Fighter plane wise, this meant flying strike escort for these practically unchallenged air raids, shooting up columns of troops, and, on rare occasions, cornering a bunch of Russian built and Chinese flown I-15 biplanes or a rarer I-16 monoplane ... ooooh, I bet that was tough.
[.....]
The USN/USMC F4F pilots, while not combat experienced, were, in most cases, well trained, well led, and possessed of sound tactical doctrine. Their squadron commanders and exec’s were experienced aviators who had received their wings by the early 1930's, the division and section leaders, for the most part, had anywhere from three years to slightly more than a year in type. What do we suppose the USN/USMC pilots were doing while the Japanese were cavorting around over China ... sitting around on their hands at the Kaneohe or Norfolk NAS O Clubs? No, they were flying and training, flying and training, flying and training, ad nauseum. They had a good idea who they were going to have to fight, and some, Lt. Comdr.’s James Flatley and John Thach being the prime examples, had a pretty good idea about how they were going to go about it.
[.....]
I have a copy of the 30 April 1942 BuAer required a monthly reporting of flight hours, just days prior to the battle. The experience level reported for VF-42 ranged from a high of 3019.3 hours (Lt. Comdr. Flatley) down to 274.4 hours (Ens. Gibbs). The average pilot hours were 989.4. Not exactly what one might call bereft of experience.

Lieut. Comdr. C R Fenton, Commanding, 3002.2 hours
Lieut. Comdr. J H Flatley, Jr, Executive Officer, 3019.3 hours
Lieut. V F McCormack, Flight & Oxygen Officer, 908.4 hours
Lieut. (jg) W N Leonard, Materiel Officer, 635.3 hours
Lieut. (jg) R G Crommelin, Personnel Officer, 570.1 hours
Lieut. (jg) R M Plott, Gunnery Officer, 1402.8 hours
Lieut. (jg) A J Brassfield, Engineering Officer, 1457.3 hours
Lieut. (jg) E D Mattson, Asst Engineering Officer, 371 hours
Lieut. (jg) B T Macomber, Communications & Welfare Officer, 1122.4 hours
Lieut. (jg) E S McCuskey, Asst Engineering Officer, 1114.9 hours
Lieut. (jg) W S Woollen, Asst Personnel and Education Officer, 1097.4 hours
Ens. L L B Knox, Navigator, 811.6 hours
Ens. W W Barnes, Jr, Asst Engineering Officer, 663.4 hours
Ens. W A Haas, Asst Materiel Officer, 651.3 hours
Ens. E R Bassett, Asst Communications Officer & Asst Navigator, 494.3 hours
Ens. R L Wright, Asst Flight Officer, 465.7 hours
Ens. J P Adams, Asst Gunnery Officer, 396 hours
Ens. J D Baker, Asst Personnel and Asst Education Officer, 340.3 hours
Ens. H B Gibbs, Asst Materiel Officer & Parachute Officer, 274 hours
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&postcount=256

Do you have any documentary evidence of a similar nature that you can post that counters(even just a teeny weeny little bit) the information posted above?

I look forward to seeing it.
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  #68  
Old 17 Sep 17, 10:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post


Someone who disagrees with you is not automatically a troll. Really, and I've given more than ample reasons before why the Wildcat was a far more important PTO fighter than the Corsair.


Air supremacy is exaggerated, but the Wildcat did wrest the skies from the Japanese once it was employed correctly. It should also be remembered that it did so when many of their opponents were veterans. The Corsair could not have been said to have achieved as much simply because the job was already done.
The following information sums it all up neatly.

You have based your claims that the Wildcat achieved air superiority over the IJN air arm based on flawed data - namely the US "Barber" report compiled in 1945/46 which suggests an overall 6:1 kill ratio in favour of the Wildcat.

Unfortunately for you, intensive post war research disproves such material.

Accordingly, your contention is based on flawed information.

It is flawed not just by a little bit, but by a very wide margin.

I have recently obtained a copy(via my favourite free ebook web site) of Barret Tillman's book:

U.S. Marine Corps Fighter Squadrons of World War 2.

Osprey

2014

https://ospreypublishing.com/us-mari...f-world-war-ii

It seems to be one of his most recent works.

He makes it quite clear that post war investigation has resulted in a need to reassess wartime claims, or credits, or victories, or kills, or whatever label is chosen in respect to the Grumman Wildcat.

From the paragraph "Cactus" Summary

page 39:

Quote:
In the preceding six months US Marine Corps fighter pilots claimed 510 aerial victories, with by far the greatest share of this total being the 161 credited to them in October 1942. Throughout most of the Guadalcanal campaign, US Marine Corps fighter squadrons consistently over claimed by a factor of three. The detailed analysis in John B. Lundstrom's encyclopedic The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign shows that from August through November the leathernecks were credited with 373 aerial victories(386.5 in Olnyk) and likely downed 137 - a 36 percent accuracy rate. In comparison, US Navy F4F squadrons probably got 107 of 193 claims for 55 percent verified.

No explanation for this disparity is evident, as both services operated on the same principle - internal review and assessment of combat results. Neither the US Navynor US Marine Corps had anything comparable to the USAAF's victory credit boards during most of the war. Consequently, in most units the intelligence officers operated on the honour system. If a pilot claimed a kill it was generally accepted at face value, although a confirming witness might be cited. Most of the error is due to the routine confusion of fast, dynamic combat in three dimensions, coupled with the natural optimism of youthful "type A" personalities.
[.....]
The language used is unambiguous.

Figures based on the investigations by three different researchers, Lundstrom, Olnyk, and Tillman suggest that the wartime "claims"(or credits, or victories, or kills or whatever) need to be viewed in a different light and that consequently the wartime based "Barber" report is not an accurate reflection of the measure of "superiority" claimed for the Grumman Wildcat against Japanese aircraft in 1942.

All of a sudden, if the aircraft claimed to have been shot down were not actually shot down, it makes it rather difficult to maintain the facade intact.

Lots of light will start shining through the increasingly large gaps.

The second attachment provides some figures by Lundstrom which are of similar vein to Tillman's

@Nick the Noodle

Do you have any books dealing with this sort of subject matter as does Barrett Tillman on your hard drive or on your bookshelf?

I would really welcome seeing what you have available to put forward in support of your arguments.

However, I suspect that you have approaching nothing in the way of documentary evidence.

You certainly have not brought anything to the table so far, hence my suggestion that you are trolling.

You have nothing of substance to offer, but you repeatedly offer up "thought bubbles" based on whatever conveniently suits you.

There is not much(no) effort there.

That is not what historical research is about.

You can disagree with me all you want.

All you have to do to justify such a stance is provide evidence.

Shame on you.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MarineFighterSqd..jpg (21.4 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg ConclusionLundstrom564727.jpg (86.6 KB, 4 views)
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Last edited by At ease; 17 Sep 17 at 11:29..
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Old 17 Sep 17, 11:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At ease View Post
For the moment, I will comment on this aspect of your "beliefs".

Originally Posted by RLeonard



http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&postcount=256

Do you have any documentary evidence of a similar nature that you can post that counters(even just a teeny weeny little bit) the information posted above?

I look forward to seeing it.
Quote:
In 1941, a Japanese pilot trainee 700 hours of flight time to qualify as a full fledged pilot in the Imperial Navy, while his American counterpart needed only 305 hours. About half of the active duty pilots in the U.S. Navy in late 1941 had between 300 and 600 hours flying experience, a quarter between 600 and 1000 hours, and the balance more than 1000 hours. Most of these flight hours had been acquired in the last few years. But at the beginning of the war nearly 75 percent of the U.S. Navy's pilots had fewer flying hours than did the least qualified of the Japanese Navy's pilots.
Bold is mine.
https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/ht.../20070831.aspx

The average Japanese fighter pilot had far more training and more combat experience than their US counterparts in 1941-2.
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Old 17 Sep 17, 11:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Bold is mine.
https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/ht.../20070831.aspx

The average Japanese fighter pilot had far more training and more combat experience than their US counterparts in 1941-2.
Who wrote that "opinion piece"?

Was it a noted academic, military historian or otherwise respected author?

I don't think so.

Where did they get their material from?

Is there a bibliography or list of notes?

Once again, I don't think so.

I see that it is all over the net.

One place is a forum inhabited by pimply nosed teenagers sitting in their parents basements playing computer games:

http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...-in-WW2-Forums

But nowhere is there attribution to a specific author or publisher.

How about some sources with some level of academic credibility?

In post #67 above RLeonard said this:

Quote:
The average pilot hours were 989.4.
His figure is based on verifiable data.

It does not agree with what your source has postulated, which is not verifiable.

I would contend that his data is more reliable(believable) than yours.

(Admittedly April 1942 for US Navy pilots rather than 1941 for Japanese pilots)

The average, or mean, should reflect a figure representing "about half"

Your source:

Quote:
About half of the active duty pilots in the U.S. Navy in late 1941 had between 300 and 600 hours flying experience
989.4 is obviously somewhat greater hours than "between 300 and 600 hours".

Therefore, the "average" US Navy(or Marine) pilot around about the time of Pearl Harbour +/- a few months had a much higher level of experience than you have hitherto given him credit for.

I'm not suggesting that the US pilots had more experience than their Japanese opposition(on average), just that the gap between the two opposing sides was narrower than you have hitherto understood it to be.

It tends to balance things out a bit, don't you agree?
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Last edited by At ease; 17 Sep 17 at 13:47..
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  #71  
Old 17 Sep 17, 16:09
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Past a certain point the law of diminishing returns takes over in any case. I doubt that a pilot, solely on hours, with say 900 flight hours is really that much better than one with 450. Sure, those with under 100 are usually pretty much novices and those under about 50 are targets, but that would be expected on an inverse exponential curve.

What really makes a difference in combat pilots is combat experience. Usually pilots that survive their first few times in combat go on to have relatively long and successful careers as combat pilots. Those that don't are statistics.

So, in the opening months of the Pacific War, USN and IJN pilots were about even on skills with the Japanese having a slight edge in combat experience, as China wasn't completely relevant experience for the IJN.

What changed to the IJN's disadvantage was the USN pilots learned and adapted to the situation far faster than the IJN pilots did. The Thach Weave (today it's called scissoring) is one example of how the USN switched tactics to improve their survival and take on the strengths of Japanese fighters using the strengths of their own.

USN pilots also had the advantage of ever increasing coordination between themselves and a fighter control center that assisted in making intercepts.

Another preferred USN tactic was intercepting a formation head on rather than in a traditional tail chase and using deflection shooting and the "high side pass" on the target (usually an attack aircraft or bomber). This also allowed going head to head with enemy fighters where the US pilot knew his plane could take what the enemy dished out while his own .50 guns would tear the enemy plane to pieces.
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Old 17 Sep 17, 17:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At ease View Post
Who wrote that "opinion piece"?

Was it a noted academic, military historian or otherwise respected author?

I don't think so.

Where did they get their material from?

Is there a bibliography or list of notes?

Once again, I don't think so.

I see that it is all over the net.

One place is a forum inhabited by pimply nosed teenagers sitting in their parents basements playing computer games:

http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...-in-WW2-Forums

But nowhere is there attribution to a specific author or publisher.

How about some sources with some level of academic credibility?

In post #67 above RLeonard said this:



His figure is based on verifiable data.

It does not agree with what your source has postulated, which is not verifiable.

I would contend that his data is more reliable(believable) than yours.

(Admittedly April 1942 for US Navy pilots rather than 1941 for Japanese pilots)

The average, or mean, should reflect a figure representing "about half"

Your source:



989.4 is obviously somewhat greater hours than "between 300 and 600 hours".

Therefore, the "average" US Navy(or Marine) pilot around about the time of Pearl Harbour +/- a few months had a much higher level of experience than you have hitherto given him credit for.

I'm not suggesting that the US pilots had more experience than their Japanese opposition(on average), just that the gap between the two opposing sides was narrower than you have hitherto understood it to be.

It tends to balance things out a bit, don't you agree?
Unable to cope with the fact you are completely wrong .

Quote:
The Japanese Navy before the War had perhaps the best pilot training programs in the world. The Yokaren Naval Preparatory Flight Training Program was begun in 1930. It was a rigorous, intensive training program. This is a training session which began with gliders. Japan thus began the Pacific War with the finest, most superbly trained naval aviators in the world
http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/cou...fai-train.html

Quote:
The Japanese Navy began the war with superbly trained pilots. None of the Japanese pilots involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor had logged less than 600 hours of flying time, and many flight leaders had over 1500 hours’ experience
http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/F/i/Fighter_Pilots.htm

Check the references on The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia, or simply read up on Yokaren Naval Preparatory Flight Training Program .

The point remains is that you are wrong yet again, and the average IJN pilot had greater training and combat experience than his usual US equivalent.
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Old 17 Sep 17, 18:25
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I'd say the first article didn't deal with the full picture. The second was better. But, it pretty much says reading between the lines the Japanese really didn't have a big advantage over the US in pilot skill, and where they did they didn't have it long enough to really make an impact beyond the opening days of the Pacific war.

Japanese training was intense but very rigid and relied heavily on physical discipline. Beatings weren't uncommon, particularly with the IJA program, while almost any but the most minor mistake got you washed out and sent to enlisted aviation mechanic's ground school instead.
The program was as much about proper military discipline and protocol as it was about flying.

While the USN system was shorter, it produced pilots that were adequately trained for carrier flying. It also included a number of novel (at the time) things like serious training in deflection shooting, something even the USAAC wasn't teaching pilots... neither were the Japanese...
Most USN pilots were career navy men who gained more hours flying in operational squadrons following training.

Both systems gave pilots by the end of training about the same number of flying hours... around 100. Japanese pilots then went to a squadron in training to amass more time, followed by going to an operational squadron for more flying time before entering combat.

In the end, by the beginning of 1942 there wasn't much to choose between USN / USMC (they went through the USN course) and IJN pilots in terms of training and hours flying. The big difference was between USAAC pilots and IJN / IJA ones. There were a few, usually squadron commanders, XO's and the like that had a good number of hours flying while the rest of the squadron was a few months out of flight training with little experience on their operational plane, and no combat experience.

The only significant difference is the Japanese pilots often had combat experience from China.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 17 Sep 17 at 18:46..
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  #74  
Old 18 Sep 17, 00:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Unable to cope with the fact you are completely wrong .


http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/cou...fai-train.html

Here is a portion of text from the first source of your above post:

Quote:
The Americans did, although its aircraft were still lrgely obsolete at the outbreak of the Pacific War(Sevember 1941). The Japanese given their early successes, mafe no effort to substantially expAnd pilot training, not only for the incrasing needs of the Pacific War or to replace the inevitanle losses. This strategic lapse caught up with the Japanese at Midway (June 1942). On one single day Japan lost a substantil numbr of its superbly trained and eperiebced aviators.
Just look at the spelling errors!

NEWS FLASH:

The Pacific war started in Sevember 1941:

Quote:
The Americans did, although its aircraft were still lrgely obsolete at the outbreak of the Pacific War(Sevember 1941).
I would not dare insult school children by suggesting that they were responsible for preparing this.

You have the hide to offer up this as a source?

On a forum that has as it's title:

>> The Best Forums in History

Seriously?
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Last edited by At ease; 18 Sep 17 at 01:35..
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Old 18 Sep 17, 01:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Unable to cope with the fact you are completely wrong .



The point remains is that you are wrong yet again, and the average IJN pilot had greater training and combat experience than his usual US equivalent.
You may have missed this, just a few posts ago but I have actually agreed with you about this portion in bold.

I stated in the last part of post #70:

Quote:
I'm not suggesting that the US pilots had more experience than their Japanese opposition(on average), just that the gap between the two opposing sides was narrower than you have hitherto understood it to be.
It is a bit strange to be criticising someone when they agree with you about something, but you have managed it.

Hence my suggestion that you are trolling, just to get a reaction from me.
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Last edited by At ease; 18 Sep 17 at 01:55..
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