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  #106  
Old 24 Sep 17, 07:45
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As this thread is about WW2's Best Fighter, I agree with most that the Mustang and Spitfire are on the top of the list.

I'm not sure the Me 262 should be there...A very fast and heavy armed interceptor, it could could hurt bombers and escape escorting fighter, but how effective was it against enemy fighters?

Shouldn't the P-38 be near the top of the list? 3 of the top ten American fighter aces (Bong,McGuire and McDonald) flew the aircraft.

Other top 10 aces, Gabreski, Johnson and, even for a while, Preddy flew the P-47 on the Western front. Which goes in supporting the P-47 as one of the best fighters in WW2.

Just my two cents.
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  #107  
Old 24 Sep 17, 16:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie3rar View Post
Early cannon-armed Spitfire struggled to get beyond 60rd drum per cannon, the wing flexed and the belt feed failed. The Butcher Bird hit the ground with reliable 4x20mm and a huge amount of belted 20mm ammo. Nazi elec primed ammo meant the inboard 20mm didnt lose any firing rate. A nightmare
It didn't matter though did it, because in a matter of months the Spitfire would show it the door.

The Spitfire was flying and fighting from the start of the war, the FW 190 from August 1941, so it was superior for just 14 of the 56 months of war in Europe, which has the Spitfire left with 42 months the superior.

As for the Wildcat, I watched one strutting its stuff over Duxford yesterday and I loved it. It was done up with invasion stripes and FAA markings, a dumpy little plane with lovely character. I also watched a total of 17 Spitfires, 7 Hurricanes, 1 Blenheim, 1 Lancaster, 1 B17, 2 C47's, A Sea Fury, Bearcat, Corsair, Seafire, P51 (Should have been 2 but one had a backfire whilst taxiing so retired) 2 Vampires, 1 Mig15, a Catalina, 2 Mig 3's, 1 nice P40, and a Buchon. There were other WWI and interwar Hawker aircraft flying too and all-in-all, a fantastic Battle of Britain day.

Paul
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Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 24 Sep 17 at 17:16..
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  #108  
Old 24 Sep 17, 20:28
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What we have here is a failure to communicate... we could have been stood next to each other!

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  #109  
Old 24 Sep 17, 23:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Richter View Post
What we have here is a failure to communicate... we could have been stood next to each other!


If you saw an old, bebearded bugger (though I do only look 40 instead of my 58 years) with a blond woman and two other blokes, one an asian chap with a chavvie sitting opposite the fairground area (and about 100 yards from the giant screen and US memorial hangar) spouting bollocks, and mistaking an LF XIV for an LF V, (didn't have me glasses) then that was me! Oh! and of all the times that I have seen it fly, that Bearcat never fails in giving me the urge to go and nobble the pilot....

Paul
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The Pixie is a little shite.

Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 24 Sep 17 at 23:45..
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  #110  
Old 24 Sep 17, 23:18
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What gets me going on is the planes that could've been.

Tigercat
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  #111  
Old 24 Sep 17, 23:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt AFB View Post
As this thread is about WW2's Best Fighter, I agree with most that the Mustang and Spitfire are on the top of the list.

I'm not sure the Me 262 should be there...A very fast and heavy armed interceptor, it could could hurt bombers and escape escorting fighter, but how effective was it against enemy fighters?

Shouldn't the P-38 be near the top of the list? 3 of the top ten American fighter aces (Bong,McGuire and McDonald) flew the aircraft.

Other top 10 aces, Gabreski, Johnson and, even for a while, Preddy flew the P-47 on the Western front. Which goes in supporting the P-47 as one of the best fighters in WW2.

Just my two cents.
The P-38 was an Army fighter with a huge range of action compared to the P-39 and P-40. It could climb like a scalded cat up a tree. It was so fast in a dive it encountered the first compression problems. The Navy and USMC flew Wildcats, Hellcats and Corsairs in the Pacific. If a P-38 could get altitude on a target and dive on them, they did very well. The problem was when any P-38 pilot tried to dogfight with any Japanese fighters. The P-38 was not really at its best until the L model, which allowed it to defeat compression. As the L models came through the P-47 and P-51 were replacing the P-38.

The P-38 could be used for several other missions like recon and some even fitted a bombadier in the nose. Keep in mind the P-38 aces were fighting better trained Japanese pilots in the Pacific. The later models still faced older Fighters until 1944. A Hellcat and Corsair should have done better against older Japanese fighters with less trained pilots.

An Me-262 could decline combat with any Allied fighter. Their main problem was landing and taking off. They had a very long take off and landing roll. It is hard to land a Me-262 when you have P-47's and P-51's flying over your airfield waiting for you to slow down and try to land!

Pruitt
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Last edited by Pruitt; 25 Sep 17 at 04:33..
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  #112  
Old 24 Sep 17, 23:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwaha View Post
What gets me going on is the planes that could've been.

Tigercat
Yeah but even then, the Hornet was there to keep it in its place.

Paul
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The Pixie is a little shite.
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  #113  
Old 25 Sep 17, 04:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post

If you saw an old, bebearded bugger (though I do only look 40 instead of my 58 years) with a blond woman and two other blokes, one an asian chap with a chavvie sitting opposite the fairground area (and about 100 yards from the giant screen and US memorial hangar) spouting bollocks, and mistaking an LF XIV for an LF V, (didn't have me glasses) then that was me! Oh! and of all the times that I have seen it fly, that Bearcat never fails in giving me the urge to go and nobble the pilot....

Paul
Dibs, a mate of mine just posted this about the Mustang incident at the show...

"It seems that the P-51D incident wasn't a bird strike, as was originally reported. The two Mustangs actually collided just after take-off and both landed damaged : the Scandinavian 'shark-mouth' with a bent prop and 'Miss Helen' with a chunk torn out of the horizontal rear stabilizer.

Happening at about 400ft ( there's video footage on Key Forums ) it looks like a very 'hairy moment. Certainly, 'Miss Helens' landing was the fastest I've ever seen from a prop-driven Warbird. Happening right in front of us, my Dad and I both looked at each other with a 'What the * was that about ?' expression......"


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Last edited by Von Richter; 25 Sep 17 at 04:33..
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  #114  
Old 25 Sep 17, 15:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Richter View Post
Dibs, a mate of mine just posted this about the Mustang incident at the show...

"It seems that the P-51D incident wasn't a bird strike, as was originally reported. The two Mustangs actually collided just after take-off and both landed damaged : the Scandinavian 'shark-mouth' with a bent prop and 'Miss Helen' with a chunk torn out of the horizontal rear stabilizer.

Happening at about 400ft ( there's video footage on Key Forums ) it looks like a very 'hairy moment. Certainly, 'Miss Helens' landing was the fastest I've ever seen from a prop-driven Warbird. Happening right in front of us, my Dad and I both looked at each other with a 'What the * was that about ?' expression......"


well I was directly opporsite the Mustangs and the Sharkmouth certainly sounded rough and backfired whilst turning off the grass and onto the taxiway. Perhaps the sharkmouth shouldn't have taken part anyway. Also another thing! One of the Hurricanes on take-off almost overcooked his climb incident, in fact he did and had to adjust it very quickly. Again, this happened opporsite where I was and it made my heart skip a beat.

But not as dramatic as the 2011 incident




Paul
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Or with a bauble or medal
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The Pixie is a little shite.

Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 25 Sep 17 at 16:15..
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  #115  
Old 25 Sep 17, 20:26
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We were at that one too, my daughter's a six foot blonde bimbo, with deep insightfulness...

"Bloody 'ell Dad, that was good, do they do it every year?"

"Yes they do Lauren, it's a quick way of getting shut of two million quid's worth of Warbirds!"

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  #116  
Old 25 Sep 17, 20:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Richter View Post
We were at that one too, my daughter's a six foot blonde bimbo, with deep insightfulness...

"Bloody 'ell Dad, that was good, do they do it every year?"

"Yes they do Lauren, it's a quick way of getting shut of two million quid's worth of Warbirds!"

My-oh-my it must be a trait...My daughter was the Blond woman I mentioned above and she's 5ft 11ins and also askes questions that gets a look from me of one that looks as if he has been smacked in the mouth with a wet kipper

Paul
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Or with a bauble or medal
Can win mans heart for you;
And many a blessing know to stew
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Give honour to the dainty Corse,
The Pixie is a little shite.

Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 25 Sep 17 at 21:01..
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  #117  
Old 29 Sep 17, 05:35
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Good thread here very useful information from all. I have been reading a lot of books on the PTO the last 6 months and I ordered this book yesterday.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/15...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Based on the reviews it seems a pretty good book and as far as the main fighter planes seems to focus on the two getting the most attention on this thread that being the F-4-F and the A6M. However the events in this book take place after the Allies secured Henderson Field on Guadalcanal and the allied planes then had a "land carrier" right in the heart of the battle zones. According to one of the reviews, the book also addresses the over claiming of kills by both sides. Here is one review that touches on the two main fighters being used by the opposing forces (also mentioned are the kill claims).
Quote:
The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign - Naval Fighter Combat form August to November 1942 by John Lundstrom.

"Our few against their precious few."

This is a continuation of The First Team part I. The first book chronicled the Pacific Naval air combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway (see my review on Goodreads). As the title suggests, the second book covers the carrier wars through the Guadalcanal campaign. This includes the carrier battle of the Eastern Solomons early in the campaign, fighting alongside the CACTUS Air force on Guadalcanal, and the carrier battle of Santa Cruz late in the campaign. If you want a good comprehensive book about the air, land, and sea campaign I would first read Richard Frank’s Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. If you are interested in the entire naval campaign – both surface and the carrier battles – read John D. Hornfischer’s Neptune’s Inferno. But, if you want to read a gripping blow-by-blow account of the Navy and Marine fighter and bomber pilots that fought to secure the airstrip on Henderson Field to make the first allied offensive in the Pacific War a success than this book is for you.

The First Team Part II is different than Part I because many of the Naval Aviators leave the carriers and relocate to Guadalcanal. This first happened after the carrier USS Hornet was sunk in the battle of the Eastern Solomons early in the campaign and continued through the battle of Santa Cruz and the showdown for Henderson Field shortly after Santa Cruz. What an advantage that strategic air strip was! American carrier pilots could make their bomb runs or fly their escort sorties and head for the static Henderson Field rather than try to find the dynamic carriers.

Rear Admiral McCain considered Henderson field a carrier that can’t be sunk. McCain also called Guadalcanal a “sink” for Japanese Airpower. The Japanese diverted resources from all points of the empire to fight the air war over Guadalcanal. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor with pilots that had thousands upon thousands of hours of combat experience flying over China and Korea. Guadalcanal really whittled down Japan’s experienced fighter pilots and bomber crews. Many Japanese pilots had to fly 500 miles one way from Rabaul to engage in combat over Guadalcanal. Japanese pilots shot down over Guadalcanal or who ditched shortly thereafter were much less likely to return to their units to fly again. Comparatively, many Marines and Naval aviators in shot-up F-4-Fs could dead-stick into Henderson field and fly again the same day.

As mentioned above, the Guadalcanal campaign was especially hard on the Japanese naval air force. Meanwhile, the Navy and Marine pilots were gaining more and more experience. After each campaign, the United States Navy would rotate in entirely new fresh fighter, bomber, and torpedo squadrons (and rest the experienced crews) while their Japanese counterparts never had a break. The Nipon pilots flew until they were dead, maimed too badly to fly again, or marooned on some place akin to Gilligan’s Island. Also, the Grumman F4F-4 was a dog compared to the Mitsubishi A6M. I think the difference was the simple tactics devised by the Marines and Navy such as the Thatch weave combined with features of the Wildcat such as the self-sealing gas tanks and the armor and 50 Caliber machine guns. The A6M zero required a highly skilled pilot to take advantage of the superior maneuverability and agility. These pilots were being attritted every day. Less skilled pilots were taking their place. At first the Naval aviators were being told to avoid dog fights with the zeros (Marines and Navy pilots are considered Naval Aviators). Halfway through the campaign the pilots at Henderson field were told to actively seek and engage the Zero in a dog fight. Because of the superior armor of the F-4-F the naval aviators also realized that safest place for the Zero pilot to be was right on the Wildcat’s tail. It was a battle of our few verses their precious few and our few won.

I was struck by how poorly communications were for both sides. Communications were poor for the US but they were atrocious for the Japanese. The Japanese Zero pilots removed their radios because their range was only 50 miles and they thought that this limited range was not worth the 18 KG that the radio and antenna weighed. The Zero pilots removed them and communicated by hand signals only. Also, the Japanese Navy and Army communicated with each other very poorly. An example of this is included on page 202. Halfway through the campaign the Naval air base in Rabaul had heard a rumor that Henderson Field was recaptured by the Japanese Army. Instead of communicating with the Imperial Army to confirm the Navy sent a reconnaissance in force to investigate. They were chewed to pieces by allied anti-aircraft. The Imperial Navy sent another force the next day and several more planes were shot down before they finally confirmed that Henderson Field was still in enemy hands!

On a side note, the author is also very supportive of some of the decisions made by Admiral Fletcher early in the Guadalcanal campaign. These actions led to Fletcher’s dismissal. Lundstrom indicates that Fletcher was left out of the planning stage for the campaign in the first place and communications were extremely poor during the campaign. The author believes that this led to some bad decisions. Fletcher was severely criticized when he removed the carriers prior to the Marines off-loading all their supply Armada on Guadalcanal. However, the author argues that Fletcher was informed by Admiral Kelly Turner that he was pulling up stakes of the supply armada anyway. Turner changed his mind and didn’t communicate with Fletcher. Lundstrom seems to be a big fan of Fletcher. He wrote a biography of Jack Fletcher called Black Shoe Carrier. We also have to remember that Fletcher did do very well at Coral Sea and Midway.

Lastly, I was amazed at how inaccurate and over inflated the battle reports were. Both sides over-reported aircraft combat victories and ships hit or sunk by at least 50%. What is great about this book is that Lundstrom compares the record reported by the pilots to the actual casualties in the official record of each adversary. Many times the Japanese would report shooting down more Grumman F-4-Fs than were engaged in the battle in the first place! The actual score of the venerable old Wildcat would be closer to zero (no pun intended). The Grumman Wildcat was a dog but it was a dog that could take a beating.

This story requires some dedication and I do not consider it light reading. This is because there is so much detail in the day-to-day accounts and the battle lasted over 3 months. Some of the chapters in the middle of the campaign while flying from Henderson Field could feel a little monotonous but the devout reader will be rewarded with a comprehensive understanding of the air campaign.

If you are a history buff interested in more detail about the war in the Pacific or if you are an aviation fanatic this book is for you. Enjoy.
The author has another book, preceding this one, that focuses on the carrier battles which I also plan to obtain.

https://www.amazon.com/First-Team-Pa...=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Regards,Kurt
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Old 29 Sep 17, 06:13
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Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
Good thread here very useful information from all. I have been reading a lot of books on the PTO the last 6 months and I ordered this book yesterday.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/15...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Based on the reviews it seems a pretty good book and as far as the main fighter planes seems to focus on the two getting the most attention on this thread that being the F-4-F and the A6M. However the events in this book take place after the Allies secured Henderson Field on Guadalcanal and the allied planes then had a "land carrier" right in the heart of the battle zones. According to one of the reviews, the book also addresses the over claiming of kills by both sides. Here is one review that touches on the two main fighters being used by the opposing forces (also mentioned are the kill claims).


The author has another book, preceding this one, that focuses on the carrier battles which I also plan to obtain.

https://www.amazon.com/First-Team-Pa...=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Regards,Kurt
Considering the amount of times Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal would have been mentioned on this forum over the years, I am certainly surprised to note that the first time the author, John Lundstrom was mentioned @ACG was just over 12 months ago.

In that first post, Lundstrom makes, inter alia, the following comment:

Quote:
Tactical Lesson of Midway: The Thach Weave
[.....]
“It is indeed surprising,” Jimmy Thach wrote on the evening of 4 June 1942, “that any of our pilots returned alive. Any success our fighter pilots may have against the Japanese Zero fighter is not [Thach’s italics] due to the performance of the airplane we fly [the Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat] but is the result of the comparatively poor marksmanship of the Japanese, stupid mistakes made by a few of their pilots and superior marksmanship and team work of some of our pilots. The only way we can ever bring our guns to bear on the Zero fighter is to trick them into recovering in front of an F4F or shoot them when they are preoccupied in firing at one of our own planes.” Thach warned that unless the Wildcat’s performance was improved, the F4F pilots could not carry out their mission, which would have a “definite and alarming effect on the morale of most of our carrier based VF [fighter] pilots. If we expect to keep our carriers afloat,” he concluded, “we must provide a VF airplane superior to the Japanese Zero in at least climb and speed, if not maneuverability.”
[.....]
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...5&postcount=36

I believe he deserves more attention here.

& +1 for Kurt.
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Old 07 Oct 17, 23:00
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If you saw an old, bebearded bugger (though I do only look 40 instead of my 58 years) with a blond woman and two other blokes, one an asian chap with a chavvie sitting opposite the fairground area (and about 100 yards from the giant screen and US memorial hangar) spouting bollocks, and mistaking an LF XIV for an LF V, (didn't have me glasses) then that was me! Oh! and of all the times that I have seen it fly, that Bearcat never fails in giving me the urge to go and nobble the pilot....

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Old 08 Oct 17, 21:43
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You are always good for a laugh Dib, Ken.
Cheers Ken!

I do hope you are keeping well? Talking about being good for a laugh....I had my family and friends 'rocking in the isles Saturday night at a fantastic Chinese restaurant....I knocked em bandy.....

Paul
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