American Spitfire Aces of World War 2 by Alfred Price, Chris Davey

By Alfred Price, Chris Davey

The 1st few American volunteers flew Spitfires with the RAF in the course of the conflict of england. Many extra joined their ranks, usually posing as «Canadians», ultimately forming 3 Eagle squadrons who earned a fierce combating attractiveness. whilst the us entered the warfare the Eagle fighter sections have been issued with Spitfires and at last transferred to the 8th Air strength. in exactly years of provider with the USAAF, 22 pilots claimed 5 or extra victories flying the Spitfire, while another dozen aces claimed a part of their overall flying them, a testomony to their ability and good fortune on the controls of this mythical warbird.

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These]u 88 kills had come at some cost, as several Spitfires were also shot down. Two days later the 52nd FG had an even greater success which was a source of some satisfaction, as there had been criticism from the Army about the level of air support it had been recently receiving. Late in the afternoon, the 2nd FS, led by Capt Vinson, set off to patrol the frontline. It soon came across a formation ofaround 14]u 87s, with a Bf 109 escort, and as the Americans dived to attack, the Stukas jettisoned their bombs and desperately scattered before their escort could intervene.

He was duly credited with the first ofhis six victories upon returning to base, his victim believed to have been Ltn Klaas. The following day, again near La Fauconnerie, two Bf 109Gs were shot down, including one by the 2nd FS's 1Lt John Aitken for his first victory - he became an ace later in the war, having by then been promoted to the rank of major. Another pilot continued his path to 'acedom' 24 hours later when lLt Sylvan Feld of the 4th FS destroyed a Bf 109G northwest ofKairouan. Feld's fourth victory came on 9 April as the Allied advance continued from the south and the west in the face of stiff opposition both on the ground and in the air.

His No 2, Lt Miles Lynn, described his demise. 'I was with Vinson when we were jumped by 109s. He had already shot down one Stuka. ", but he was hit as we turned'. Back at base, Norman McDonald said, 'To those who flew with him as their leader, he was the best'. Vinson was replaced by Maj George Williams. /JG 77, and the American pilots emerged with three kills to their credit. In return, one of the Luftwaffe's great experte (with more than 150 kills to his credit), Maj Johannes 'Makki' Steinhoff, who was also the Geschwaderkommodore of JG 77, shot down the Spitfire of newly-arrived Lt Richard East.

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