Best fighter pilot of the War?

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Enkpitt
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Best fighter pilot of the War?

Post by Enkpitt » 01 Aug 2004 10:47

Who was the best pilot of WWII?
Last edited by Enkpitt on 03 Aug 2004 17:03, edited 1 time in total.

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_The_General_
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Post by _The_General_ » 01 Aug 2004 11:14

I would say Erich Hartmann, 352 confirmed victory's and never lost a wingman ;)

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 01 Aug 2004 11:18

If we must have yet another "what's the best this or that" thread, at the very least those responding (as well as the thread starter) should put a bit of effort into explaining their choices.

/Marcus

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Post by Englander » 01 Aug 2004 12:10

_The_General_ wrote:I would say Erich Hartmann, 352 confirmed victory's and never lost a wingman ;)


This pilot, Wing Commander Adrian Warburton, DSO and Bar, DFC and Two Bars, DFC (USA), didn't need a wingman! :wink:
He was described as 'the most valuable pilot in the RAF'. So good in fact, the Americans wanted to keep him. Photo reconnaissance pilots are the forgotten mob, less glamorous then their fighter brethren, but in my opinion, just as valuable in the contribution at winning the war!
I bet you General, you haven't heard or read about this guy.

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Post by _The_General_ » 01 Aug 2004 13:04

In fact i have, I remember reading that his body was found somewhere around 2003 (?)

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Post by Topspeed » 01 Aug 2004 16:24

I have to say Flightmaster Eino Ilmari Juutilainen.

6 kills in one battle and 91 altogether in Winter War ( 90 days ) and Continuation War ( 3 years 2 months ).
Never had a scratch in his aircraft by enemy fire, never bailed out.
His inspiration was the book of "Red Baron", which he read as a young boy.

regards,

Juke T

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 01 Aug 2004 17:14

Although both WO I. Juutilainen (94 kills) and Capt. H. Wind (75 kills) were excellent fighter pilots most Finnish pilots self considered Capt. Olli Puhakka (41.5 kills: 1.5x with Fokker D.XXI, 13x with FIAT G.50 and 25x with Messerschmitt Bf 109G) to the most skillfulled fighter pilot in Finland during WW II.

For example during Winter War on 29.1.1940 2Lt O. Puhakka was testing FR-76 armed with additional two 20 mm cannons in wing pods in State Aircraft Factory (VL) at Tampere when he noticed a missed Soviet DB-3 bomber from 45. BAP flying over the field. Puhakka couldn't reach closer than about 700 meters away from the fast bomber but tried to hit the plane with guns. Although only one cannon worked he could estimate the trajectory of bullets and destroy the bomber with three short bursts using only 18 shots. Additionally three of his kills were claimed without shooting a single bullet.
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Post by Topspeed » 01 Aug 2004 18:35

Well if you want to know who was the most efficient and fearless it would undoubtably be Captain Hans Wind. In 15 days at the start of the massoffensive ( parallel with D-Day invasion ) to the day he was wounded in battle he shot 31 enemy fighters, that is more than 2 per day.

I have no idea how many enemies he scored without a use of a gun, but it was a large number too.

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Post by Harri » 01 Aug 2004 20:26

Well, Top, try to make up your mind... :)

Topspeed wrote:I have no idea how many enemies he scored without a use of a gun, but it was a large number too.


I would say none but certainly less than Capt. Puhakka because such scores were relatively rare during the war. He flew a total of 401 combat missions during the war (Juutilainen 437 and Wind only 302). Like I said he was the favourite of other Finnish fighter pilots (according to Col. "Joppe" Karhunen). That is not my personal opinion.

Besides Puhakka made "a second career" in service of Finnish airlines Aero (later Finnair) being eventually the Chief Pilot of Finnair in the 1960's and 1970's. He for example flew the first Caravelle jet from France to Finland. Capt. Wind (after wounding seriously in June 1944) never flew self. After the war WO Juutilainen had his own "taxi aircraft" in Lapland and he mainly carried gold seekers and transported goods there. Wind was the best Finnish Brewster pilot (39 kills) and Juutilainen the best Messerschmitt Bf 109G pilot (58 kills).

----

Other Finnish pilots who had similar amazing career to Puhakka were Lt. Lauri Pekuri (originally Ohukainen) (18.5 kills in 314 combat missions) and Lt. Kyösti Karhila (32 kills in 304 combat missions: 13x with Curtiss Hawk 75A and 19x with Messerschmitt Bf 109G).

During the war Pekuri forced landed on Soviet side but could walk back to Finland. On 16.6.1944 he was shot down over Karelian Isthmus and was cought by Soviets. In 1945 he returned from USSR. After the war his career continued in Finnish Air Force until 1960's. Col. Pekuri was the first Finnish pilot to fly with MiG-21 jet fighter. He also led the group of Finnish pilots who were trained in USSR. Additionally Pekuri had a chance to fly for example with French Mirage III jet fighter.

Karhila had a similar post-war career to Puhakka. He was the Chief Pilot of a small private Finnish airlines Spearair *. Puhakka or Karhila or both were usually seen in charge when Finnish or foreign VIP were on board. They have enormous number of flying hours (they spend several years of their life in the air) and are among the most experienced pilots in the world ever. Kyösti Karhila is alive but I don't know if he is still flying?

* Correct aviation company name changed. Thanks to I. T. for reminding me.
Last edited by Harri on 18 Aug 2004 19:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Hanski » 01 Aug 2004 20:40


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Post by Topspeed » 01 Aug 2004 21:05

Harri wrote:Well, Top, try to make up your mind... :)

Topspeed wrote:I have no idea how many enemies he scored without a use of a gun, but it was a large number too.


I would say none but certainly less than Capt. Puhakka because such scores were relatively rare during the war. He flew a total of 401 combat missions during the war (Juutilainen 437 and Wind only 302). Like I said he was the favourite of other Finnish fighter pilots (according to Col. "Joppe" Karhunen). That is not my personal opinion.

Wind was the best Finnish Brewster pilot (39 kills) and Juutilainen the best Messerschmitt Bf 109G pilot (58 kills).

----

Other Finnish pilots who had similar amazing career to Puhakka were Lt. Lauri Pekuri (originally Ohukainen) (18.5 kills in 314 combat missions) and Lt. Kyösti Karhila (32 kills in 304 combat missions: 13x with Curtiss Hawk 75A and 19x with Messerschmitt Bf 109G).



Others in comparison ( 15 days period in june-july 1944 ):

Nipa Katajainen was a wingman and still scored 18 and Urho Lehtovaara 14. Ltn. Puro scored 17.5 in two weeks. Ltn. Vesa 14 and Sergeants Alakoski and Halonen 11 both...and Halonen was a rookie back then in summer of 1944 ! I say he could have been the best ever pilot in FAF.

Tell me a continuous 15 day result of Puhakka from that summer ?

I can and will not make a judgement between WO. Juutilainen and Capt. Wind, because I knew them both ( though Illu scored "only" 26 enemies in 15 days ).

Pekuri was the first supersonic finn flying a Folland Gnat.


cheers,

Juke T
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Christoph Awender
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Post by Christoph Awender » 01 Aug 2004 21:08

Wouldn´t the best pilots be teachers in the various schools? Just a thought.

\Christoph

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Post by Topspeed » 01 Aug 2004 21:18

Ok,

Capt Wind was a flying intructor and tactics teacher at Kauhava AF school.

He and his wingman scored 49 aeroplanes in 2 weeks, where as Illu Juutilainen and his wingman under 30 planes.

I'd say for the effort in summer of 1944 Captain Hans Wind and Master Sergeant Nils Katajainen were the most outstanding fighting couple ever existed. Give me a two week period ( 15 days to be correct ) of any pilot and his wingman who scored 49 aeroplanes in 15 days.


just my .02 €:s !

Juke T

PS: Had they kept this pace throughout the war the time Finland was at war they'd scored 4057 aeroplanes....well target rich environment really provided them something to be occupied with.
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Christoph Awender
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Post by Christoph Awender » 01 Aug 2004 21:24

Topspeed wrote:Ok,

Capt Wind was a flying intructor and tactics teacher at Kauhava AF school.

He and his wingman scored 49 aeroplanes in 2 weeks, where as Illu Juutilainen and his wingman under 30 planes.

I'd say for the effort in summer of 1944 Captain Hans Wind and Master Sergeant Nils Katajainen were the most outstanding fighting couple ever existed. Give me a two week period ( 15 days to be correct ) of any pilot and his wingman who scored 49 aeroplanes in 15 days.

just my .02 €:s !


Juke T


Don´t you think this also depended on the type of aircraft shot down and the circumstances? If for example a pilot chatches and unescorted flight of Ju-87 and shoots down 5 of them is not as difficult as shooting down 5 P-51.
So again... a endless discussion with no real factual value. Just pure guesswork as nobody knows all pilots of all countries during WW2.

\Christoph

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Post by Topspeed » 01 Aug 2004 21:34

Of course it does. This is just like I said a situation were trained good pilots can make difference, when enemy is overhelming. I'd still be interested if someone can come up with for instance the same figure of Erich Hartmann's the best two week period with his wingman !

best regards,

Juka T :?

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