By Warren Thompson, Andrew Thomas
The americans lagged in the back of their eu contemporaries in army aviation within the overdue Thirties, and it took the conflict of england to evoke an remoted the US to the need of getting airplane that can shield goals opposed to evening assault via bomber plane. With the aid of the RAF, the significance of constructing this type of really expert fighter strength used to be given best precedence. This booklet examines the various plane kinds that have been utilized by the U.S. during this function, starting with the early 'stop-gap' conversions just like the TBM Avenger, Lockheed Ventura and the A-20 Havoc (P-70). It is going directly to element the strive against background of the more moderen and radar built Hellcats, Corsairs and Black Widows that have been designed to find enemy plane (both German and eastern) in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. It used to be those plane that registered many of the kills made through the army, Marine Corps and USAAF in 1944-45. ultimately there are extra bills from the yankee pilots who hung out at the frontline on trade excursions with the RAF within the ETO/MTO, studying the intricacies of flying radar-equipped warring parties just like the Mosquito and Beaufighter at evening, ahead of the USAAF taking receipt of the much-delayed P-61. With complete colour profiles and infrequent pictures, this is often an soaking up account of a regularly underestimated flying strength: the yankee Nightfighters.
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Additional info for American Nightfighter Aces of World War 2
The squadron claimed five aerial victories between February and June 1944 (Tailhook Association) 76 'Betry' bombers near rhe GilberT Islands - the kills were acwally claimed by the lOrpedo-bomber. Tragically, a Few minutcs latcr rhc [Urrcr gun ncr in the Avenger accidentally shot down one of the Hellcats as well, rhe flghrer being flown by legendary ace and Medal of Honor winner Lt Cdr 'Butch' 0' are, who was rhe commander of Air Group 6. The first dedicared flghrer unit ro deploy ro sea was VF(N)-76, which splir its complemenr of radar-equipped F6F-3 s between Task Force 58 carr'iers USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) and USS Yorktown (CV-I 0) when the vessels deparTed Pearl Harbor in Januar'y 1944.
Having made one pass along rhe runway, he pulled up, made a sharp 360-degree rurn ro porr and landed - wirh rhe ceiling so low, rhis was a fear of airmanship rhar required a good deal of piloring skill. The nexr morning, rhe crews were able ro see in daylighr rhe obsracles rhey had missed as rhey groped rheir way rhough rhe darkness. As Leonard Mapes recalled, "S/-IOO-S/-IOO BABY" was nor ro fly again. A week larer Lufrwaffe aircrafr srrafed rhe airfield and inflicred faral damage on rhe P-61. Irs crew was assigned anorher aircrafr, and rhey saw more acrion a few weeks larer.
Finally, a star was momentarily blanked out and I real ised why - it was the bogey. ow, ro be sure it's the enemy. At this point, my mind wondered back to a similar situation we faced over Morotai when we were were easily confirmed by the people vectored on to a bogey. ' identify it, we were fired on by the tail gunner. \t had been a B-24, and, By now Smith (who had boosted thank God, I'd seen those double rudders in time. The aircraft had his tally ro exactly five kills, twO flying suffered batrle damage and the crew were trying to get back to their base.
American Nightfighter Aces of World War 2 by Warren Thompson, Andrew Thomas