WW2 air aces

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omega_chile
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WW2 air aces

Post by omega_chile » 23 Apr 2007 23:27

intresting stats regarding Air Aces of the second world war... below is the list taken from wikipedia, first 100 or so air aces were German... i'm sure this has been noted but i just found it rather intresting.

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Name Country Service Victories
Erich "Bubi" Hartmann Germany Luftwaffe 352
Gerhard Barkhorn Germany Luftwaffe 301
Günther Rall Germany Luftwaffe 275
Otto Kittel Germany Luftwaffe 267
Walter Nowotny Germany Luftwaffe 258
Wilhelm Batz Germany Luftwaffe 237
Erich Rudorffer Germany Luftwaffe 222 (12 Me-262)
Heinz Bär Germany Luftwaffe 220 (16 Me-262)
Hermann Graf Germany Luftwaffe 212
Heinrich Ehrler Germany Luftwaffe 208 (8 Me-262)
Theodor Weissenberger Germany Luftwaffe 208 (8 Me-262)
Hans Philipp Germany Luftwaffe 206
Walter Schuck Germany Luftwaffe 206
Anton Hafner Germany Luftwaffe 204
Helmut Lipfert Germany Luftwaffe 203
Walter Krupinski Germany Luftwaffe 197
Anton Hackl Germany Luftwaffe 192
Joachim Brendel Germany Luftwaffe 189
Max Stotz Germany Luftwaffe 189
Joachim Kirschner Germany Luftwaffe 188
Kurt Brändle Germany Luftwaffe 180
Günther Josten Germany Luftwaffe 178
Johannes Steinhoff Germany Luftwaffe 178
Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert Germany Luftwaffe 174
Günther Schack Germany Luftwaffe 174
Emil Lang Germany Luftwaffe 173
Heinz Schmidt Germany Luftwaffe 173
Horst Ademeit Germany Luftwaffe 166
Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke Germany Luftwaffe 162
Hans-Joachim Marseille Germany Luftwaffe 158
Heinrich Sturm Germany Luftwaffe 158
Gerhard Thyben Germany Luftwaffe 157
Hans Beisswenger Germany Luftwaffe 152
Peter Düttmann Germany Luftwaffe 152
Gordon M. Gollob Germany Luftwaffe 150
Fritz Tegtmeier Germany Luftwaffe 146
Albin Wolf Germany Luftwaffe 144
Kurt Tanzer Germany Luftwaffe 143
Friedrich-Karl "Tutti" Müller Germany Luftwaffe 140
Karl Gratz Germany Luftwaffe 138
Heinrich Setz Germany Luftwaffe 138
Rudolf Trenkel Germany Luftwaffe 138
Walter Wolfrum Germany Luftwaffe 137
Horst-Günther von Fassong Germany Luftwaffe 136
Otto Fönnekold Germany Luftwaffe 136
Karl-Heinz Weber Germany Luftwaffe 136
Joachim Müncheberg Germany Luftwaffe 135
Hans Waldmann Germany Luftwaffe 134
Alfred Grislawski Germany Luftwaffe 133
Franz Schall Germany Luftwaffe 133
Johannes Wiese Germany Luftwaffe 133
Adolf Borchers Germany Luftwaffe 132
Adolf Dickfeld Germany Luftwaffe 132
Erwin Clausen Germany Luftwaffe 132
Wilhelm Lemke Germany Luftwaffe 131
Gerhard Hoffmann Germany Luftwaffe 130
Franz Eisenach Germany Luftwaffe 129
Walther Dahl Germany Luftwaffe 129
Heinrich Sterr Germany Luftwaffe 129
Franz Dörr Germany Luftwaffe 128
Rudolf Rademacher Germany Luftwaffe 126
Josef Zwernemann Germany Luftwaffe 126
Dietrich Hrabak Germany Luftwaffe 125
Wolf Ettel Germany Luftwaffe 124
Herbert Ihlefeld Germany Luftwaffe 123 (+7 in Spain)
Wolfgang Tonne Germany Luftwaffe 122
Heinz Marquardt Germany Luftwaffe 121
Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer Germany Luftwaffe 121
Robert Weiss Germany Luftwaffe 121
Erich Leie Germany Luftwaffe 121
Friedrich Obleser Germany Luftwaffe 120
Franz-Josef Beerenbrock Germany Luftwaffe 117
Hans-Joachim Birkner Germany Luftwaffe 117
Jakob Norz Germany Luftwaffe 117
Walter Oesau Germany Luftwaffe 117
Heinz Wernicke Germany Luftwaffe 117
August Lambert Germany Luftwaffe 116
Werner Mölders Germany Luftwaffe 115 (incl. 14 in Spain)
Wilhelm Crinius Germany Luftwaffe 114
Werner Schroer Germany Luftwaffe 114
Hans Dammers Germany Luftwaffe 113
Berthold Korts Germany Luftwaffe 113
Helmut Lent Germany Luftwaffe 113
Kurt Bühlingen Germany Luftwaffe 112
Kurt Ubben Germany Luftwaffe 110
Franz Woidich Germany Luftwaffe 110
Reinhard Seiler Germany Luftwaffe 109
Emil Bitsch Germany Luftwaffe 108
Hans Hahn (pilot) Germany Luftwaffe 108
Bernhard Vechtel Germany Luftwaffe 108
Viktor Bauer Germany Luftwaffe 106
Werner Lucas Germany Luftwaffe 106
Günther Lützow Germany Luftwaffe 105
Adolf Galland Germany Luftwaffe 104
Eberhard von Boremski Germany Luftwaffe 104
Heinz Sachsenberg Germany Luftwaffe 104
Hartmann Grasser Germany Luftwaffe 103
Siegfried Freytag Germany Luftwaffe 102
Friedrich Geisshardt Germany Luftwaffe 102
Egon Mayer Germany Luftwaffe 102
Max-Hellmuth Ostermann Germany Luftwaffe 102
Josef Wurmheller Germany Luftwaffe 102
Rudolf Miethig Germany Luftwaffe 101
Josef Priller Germany Luftwaffe 101
Ulrich Wernitz Germany Luftwaffe 101
Rudolf Müller Germany Luftwaffe 101
Ilmari Juutilainen Finland Finnish Air Force 94
Hiroyoshi Nishizawa Japan Imperial Japanese Navy 87 (some sources indicate kills over 120)
Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein Germany Luftwaffe 83
Tetsuzo Iwamoto Japan Imperial Japanese Navy 80
Hans Wind Finland Finnish Air Force 75
Erbo Graf von Kageneck Germany Luftwaffe 67
Heinz Roekker Germany Luftwaffe 64
Saburo Sakai Japan Imperial Japanese Navy 64+
Ivan Kozhedub Soviet Union VVS 62
Aleksandr Ivanovich Pokryshkin Soviet Union VVS 59
Grigoriy Rechkalov Soviet Union VVS 58
Nikolay Gulayev Soviet Union VVS 57
Eino Luukkanen Finland Finnish Air Force 56
Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland Germany Luftwaffe 55
Kirill Yevstigneyev Soviet Union VVS 53
Martin Drewes Germany Luftwaffe 52
Marmaduke 'Pat' Pattle South African Royal Air Force 51+
Hans-Joachim Jabs Germany Luftwaffe 50
Dmitriy Glinka Soviet Union VVS 50
Arseniy Vorozheikin Soviet Union VVS 46 (+6 in Manchuria)
Alexandr Koldunov Soviet Union VVS 46
Nikolay Skomorohov Soviet Union VVS 46
Urho Lehtovaara Finland Finnish Air Force 44½
Oiva Tuominen Finland Finnish Air Force 44
Alexandru Şerbănescu Romania Romanian Air Force 44
Walther Wever Germany Luftwaffe 44
Constantine Cantacuzino Romania Romanian Air Force 43
Olli Puhakka Finland Finnish Air Force 42
Richard I. Bong USA Army Air Forces 40
James Edgar "Johnnie" Johnson UK Royal Air Force 38
Thomas B. McGuire USA Army Air Forces 38

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KHeitmann
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Post by KHeitmann » 26 Apr 2007 05:44

I have a list of more names of mostly Messerschmitt Bf-109 pilots and their kill scores available on my Luftwaffe Aces page of my website.

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Deutsch Boy
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Post by Deutsch Boy » 26 Apr 2007 21:46

This is mainly because of the way the Germans fought; while the other countries' pilots were rotated around so old timers could teach new pilots, the Germans returned to the cockpit over and over until the war ended or they were awarded the Diamonds and banned from combat, or, killed. As Gunther Rall put it, "It was either the Iron Cross or the Wooden Cross." Pilots (German) on the Eastern Front also flew as many as 4-5 missions a day. The conclusion is that the Germans were necessarily 10 times better than the allied pilots, but that they had 10 times as many oppertunities to score victories as the Allied aces. But I'm sure you can find many websites discussing this topic in great detail, and probably a few threads in this forum as well.

Cheers,
Theodor

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KHeitmann
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Post by KHeitmann » 26 Apr 2007 22:04

It also means that the Germans were 10 times more likely to get shot down on those fronts as well, if you want to look at that way. Yet they weren't. Greater opportunity also breeds greater risk.

By flying so many combat missions they had a vast range of experience over those of the pilots they often faced. So experience and skill did make quite a difference.

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Post by TRose » 28 Apr 2007 10:27

Should also bear in mind many of the German pilots where able to rack up the score during the early days of the war in the east when the Soviet Pilots where poorly trained, flying inferior aircraft, with bad doctrine and everything in total confusion. Think the highest number of kills by any pilot was by a German pilot who shot down 22 Soviet Aircraft in one day.

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Deutsch Boy
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Post by Deutsch Boy » 01 May 2007 23:16

TRose wrote:Should also bear in mind many of the German pilots where able to rack up the score during the early days of the war in the east when the Soviet Pilots where poorly trained, flying inferior aircraft, with bad doctrine and everything in total confusion. Think the highest number of kills by any pilot was by a German pilot who shot down 22 Soviet Aircraft in one day.

The record for the most kills in a single day was by Emil Lang, with 18 victories on 3 November 1943
And the most victories in a single sortie was by Erich Rudorffer, who knocked out 13 Yaks from the sky in 17 minutes on 6 November, 1943.
After 1943 though, the Russian pilots got much better, and it was much harder for the German pilots to score as fast as they did earlier, although some like Erich Hartmann still mananged to rack up pretty impressive tallies in 1944.

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Post by Stephan » 05 May 2007 10:46

One reason is also the excellent german medical organisation. The wounded pilots did get first rate help and aftercare. They werent sent up before they were healthy again either.
Thus, if not killed or made invalid in action - they could always return into fighting or at least into flight teaching.

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 16 May 2007 00:40

All the reason mentioned above I would have to agree with it why Germany produced so many Aces but we could also gave credit to them to the whole Luftwaffe organization, the training of the men to the building of the planes. they were clearly the best and this is why you have so many Luftwaffe enthusiast today.

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LWD
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Post by LWD » 16 May 2007 12:26

Benoit Douville wrote:... they were clearly the best ...

Depoends a lot on your defintion of "best"

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Alex Yeliseenko
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Post by Alex Yeliseenko » 26 Aug 2007 18:19

New Russian source:

Ivan Kozhedub Soviet Union VVS - 63 (Personally)
Aleksandr Ivanovich Pokryshkin Soviet Union VVS 43-46 (Personally)
Grigoriy Rechkalov Soviet Union VVS 61 (Personally)
Nikolay Gulayev Soviet Union VVS 57 (Personally)
Kirill Yevstigneyev Soviet Union VVS 52 (Personally)
Dmitriy Glinka Soviet Union VVS 50 (Personally)
Arseniy Vorozheikin Soviet Union VVS 45 (+6 in Manchuria) (Personally)
Alexandr Koldunov Soviet Union VVS 46 (Personally)
Nikolay Skomorohov Soviet Union VVS 46(Personally)

Aces of Great Patriotic War, Moscow, 2007

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 01 Sep 2007 03:57

During World War II, Ivan Kozhedub flew 326 combat missions, took part in 126 combats, and achieved 62 or is it 63 kills? (In them 22 FW 190 and 18 Ju 87).

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Alex Yeliseenko
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Post by Alex Yeliseenko » 07 Sep 2007 17:05

Benoit Douville wrote:During World War II, Ivan Kozhedub flew 326 combat missions, took part in 126 combats, and achieved 62 or is it 63 kills? (In them 22 FW 190 and 18 Ju 87).

Regards


Selon les sources plus récentes russes 63. Des vols de combat - 330. Aérien le combat - 120. FW-190 - 21, Ju 87 - 18.

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Re: WW2 air aces

Post by SVaaka » 03 Mar 2008 15:26

Well one should look these lists with certain doupts. In Finland the pilots had to confirm the victories by other pilot or by showing the grounded enamy. So I think finnish lists are quite accurate. But when we know the fact how sovjets confirmed their victories these claims make me wonder. In case we would take them seriously, for instance during The Winter War FAF would have lost several hundreds of such planes we didn´t even have. It quite impossible to loose more aircraft that one has. Or what do you think?

Also when compairing the victories and aces we should think under what kind of circumstances the victories were won, it is not so hard to down enamies flying with obsolete aircraft. And how many times was the ace shot down himself. I think these matters are quite important when thinking how good pilot one was.

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Re: WW2 air aces

Post by Mikko H. » 04 Mar 2008 10:19

I recommend you check the books by Keskinen & Stenman about the reliability of Finnish victory claims, especially Ilmavoitot - Aerial Victories vol. 1-2 and the ongoing Suomen Ilmavoimat - Finnish Air Force series (the fifth volume about the year 1943 is out this week). They have used Carl-Fredrik Geust's research in Russian archives to compare Finnish claims to actual Russian losses.

Long story short:

- During the Winter War of 1939-40 the Finnish claims were remarkably accurate.
- During the early part of the Continuation War (~1941) the accuracy was still quite good.
- Thereafter the accuracy rate fell noticeably.

One has to remember that Finnish claims were sorted into three categories: 'witnessed by outsiders' (T), 'confirmed by the HQ without witnesses' (E); later changed into 'credited to regiment without witnesses' (R), and 'damaged' (V). One fact that is almost always overlooked, is that the scores of the Finnish fighter pilots were counted by adding the E/R-claims to T-claims! This has to be taken into account if the Finnish claims are to be compared with the British-American 'confirmed-probable-damaged' system. For example, Illu Juutilainen's score of 94 aerial victories breaks down to 77 T + 17 E/R + 10 V according to Keskinen & Stenman (IIRC; I don't have the books with me now).

IMHO, after the Winter War the Finnish system was no more accurate than many of the other nations'. Even in 1942 or -43 one aviation regiment or squadron commander remarked on the fact how many victory claims were accepted based solely on the pilot's own account (I assume he was talking about the E/R-claims).

Edit: changed the claim categories after checking my books at home.
Last edited by Mikko H. on 04 Mar 2008 16:16, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: WW2 air aces

Post by Mikko H. » 04 Mar 2008 16:09

Some more info from Keskinen & Stenman's Ilmavoitot - Aerial Victories vol 1, p. 4:

The confirmation process of the Air Force headquarters was very strict during the Winter War. Only those claims that were witnessed by outsiders were confirmed. During the first six months of the Continuation War the situation remained much the same, although the headquarters began to confirm claims without neutral witnesses. It became a matter of some sort of trust. By autumn 1942 the air force commander [my note: Lieutenant-General Jarl Lundqvist] paid attention for the first time to the steeply ascending amount of unconfirmed victories. The confirmation process remained the same however. The problem was solved in summer 1943 so that all claims without witnesses were confirmed into the wing's account [my note: the change from E to R I mentioned in the previous post] and not into the pilot's personal score.


But, as I noted before, despite this decision the E and R claims were still counted when pilot's personal scores were calculated.

And some more info from Vapaudenristin ritarikunta. Isänmaan puolesta (For the Fatherland. Order of the Cross of Liberty), p. 165 (my translation):

Commander of Flying Regiment 3 Lieutenant-Colonel Gustaf Magnusson demanded in July 1943, also because of tactical reasons, that the Air Force HQ takes measures to make the process of confirming claims of shot-dowm aircraft more strict and stops the present custom of flying alone. "I can mention as an example, that there are no witnesses for 47% of the aircraft shot down by Flying Squadron 34."

Lieutenant-Colonel Magnusson's demand had especial value because the mentioned squadron was a part of his regiment.


Magnusson was himself credited with 5½ victories in 1939-41, all of them confirmed (T).

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