By Warren Thompson, Andrew Thomas
The american citizens lagged in the back of their ecu contemporaries in army aviation within the overdue Nineteen Thirties, and it took the conflict of england to evoke an remoted the US to the need of getting plane that can guard ambitions opposed to evening assault by means of bomber airplane. With the aid of the RAF, the significance of making this type of really good fighter strength used to be given best precedence. This publication examines the varied airplane kinds that have been utilized by the united states during this position, 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 jap) in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. It was once those plane that registered lots of the kills made via the military, Marine Corps and USAAF in 1944-45. ultimately there are extra money owed from the yankee pilots who frolicked at the frontline on alternate excursions with the RAF within the ETO/MTO, studying the intricacies of flying radar-equipped opponents just like the Mosquito and Beaufighter at evening, sooner than the USAAF taking receipt of the much-delayed P-61. With complete colour profiles and infrequent photos, this can be an soaking up account of a frequently underestimated flying strength: the yank Nightfighters.
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Extra info for American Nightfighter Aces of World War 2
Some unlikely rypes were pressed Inro service as makeshifr nighrflghrers, including rhe PV-l Venrura operared by rhe Marine Corps. VM F(N)-531 began flying combar missions in Seprember 1943 from Banika Island, which enabled rhem ro cover rhe Russell Island area. Bur somerhing more effecrive was already on rhe way. While rhe USAAF was opring for a bulky aircrafr wirh a mulri-man crew, rhe US Navy decided rhar ir could manage wirh somerhing rarher smaller. By lare 1943, when rhe service had received rhe flrsr of irs F4U-2 Corsairs and F6F-3N Hellcars modified as nighrflghrers, ir had a well-esrablished shipboard radar derecrion and direcrion sysrem rhar could be appl ied ro nocru rnal combat.
Ir pur rhe bogcy prerry close ro our posirion, and ir only rook a fcw minurcs ro close and make a confirmed visual. 'We werc almosr ar poinr-blank range wirh an He I I I righr above rhe (I·ce-rops. I pulled in behind and jusr slightly below ir. Thar pur us in a dangerous posirion so close ro rhc ground. Ir was a no-miss shor wirh one long bursr rhar ripped inro rhe rarget. Somc of rhe rounds hir rhe wing roor Fuel rank and ir was immcdiarcly engulfed in a fireball. Thc stricken aircraFr banked sharply downwards.
We'd never been rhere before, bur we found ir rhrough my radar Inrerprerarion and help from GCI. When we arrived overhead, our fuel was almost gone and rhe ceiling was belween 100 fr and 200 fr (30 m and 60 m). Needless ro say, we had rhe parry ro end all parries wirh rhe RAF crews rhar nighr. The nexr morning rhey showed us high-level obsracles rhar we had flown rhrough - smoke sracks, high buildings, warer rowers erc. We were cerrainly lucky ro have made ir rhrough, as we hadn'r seen any of rhem.
American Nightfighter Aces of World War 2 by Warren Thompson, Andrew Thomas