American Nightfighter Aces of World War 2 by Warren Thompson, Andrew Thomas

By Warren Thompson, Andrew Thomas

The americans lagged at the back of their ecu contemporaries in army aviation within the past due Thirties, and it took the conflict of england to rouse an remoted the United States to the need of getting airplane that can shield goals opposed to night assault via bomber plane. With the aid of the RAF, the significance of constructing the sort of really good fighter strength was once given most sensible precedence. This ebook examines the various airplane varieties that have been utilized by the U.S. 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 aspect the strive against historical past of the more recent 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 by way of the military, Marine Corps and USAAF in 1944-45. eventually there are extra money owed from the yank pilots who hung out at the frontline on alternate 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 images, this can be an soaking up account of a regularly underestimated flying strength: the yank Nightfighters.

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American Nightfighter Aces of World War 2

The americans lagged in the back of their ecu 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 plane which may safeguard ambitions opposed to evening assault via bomber airplane. With the aid of the RAF, the significance of making this type of really expert fighter strength was once given most sensible precedence.

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He and his crew were flying a 'barrier patrol' between the Frontlines and the Rhine, hoping ro intercept LuFtwaFFe nigh t inrruders intent on attacki ng All ied road traFfic. By th is ti me the Germans were well aware of the Black Widow's presence, and its capability, but they were willing to risk encountering in an arrempt ro stem the Allied advance. Ernst recalled; 'We were patrolling at about 10,000 Ft (3000 m) when GCl came on the radio and rold us a bogey was approaching at 4000 Ft (i200m) From a distance oF20 miles (32 km).

These vicrories were scored over pilotless V I flying bombs inrercepted beFore they reached the English south coast, rather than manned aircraFt. During this period, with the P-61 crews still in training, the twO squadrons accounred For a combined rotal of nine V J s. With flying bombs routinely being encountered, training flighrs oFten proved ro be evenrFul. 2Lt Herman E Ernst, who was to become one of the 422nd's nightflghter aces with five aerial vicrories and one V I kill, recalls one such training mission flown over the channel while his unit was still accumulating experience with its new equipmenr; -4 m I closed on it.

It was the third confirmed manned kill for "BORROW/ED Tff\llE'; the P-61 also being credited with damagingaJu88. RIP l E FOR "00 U8 LETR0 U8 LE "-- Only four P-61 nightflghter pilots became aces during World War 2, but four others came close, each scori ng fou r con fI rmed kills. If they had been in the right place at the right time they would probably havc securcd Black Widow ace 1Lt Herman Ernst poses for the camera while seated at the controls of his P-61 at the 422nd NFS's A 78 Florennes base.

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