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

By Warren Thompson, Andrew Thomas

The american citizens lagged at the back of their eu contemporaries in army aviation within the overdue Nineteen Thirties, and it took the conflict of england to rouse an remoted the USA to the need of getting plane that can guard goals opposed to night assault by means of bomber plane. With assistance from the RAF, the significance of constructing one of these really expert fighter strength used to be given most sensible precedence. This ebook examines the varied plane forms 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 heritage of the more recent and radar built Hellcats, Corsairs and Black Widows that have been designed to search out enemy airplane (both German and jap) in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. It was once those plane that registered many of the kills made by way of the army, Marine Corps and USAAF in 1944-45. eventually there are extra debts from the yankee pilots who hung out at the frontline on trade excursions with the RAF within the ETO/MTO, studying the intricacies of flying radar-equipped combatants 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 pictures, this can be an soaking up account of a frequently underestimated flying strength: the yank Nightfighters.

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The Black Widow's guns spewed 20 mm f0- e... rounds, and strikes were observed up and down the target's fuselage. The Ju 188's dorsal turret returned fire, and Ernst pulled hard ro starboard ro both avoid being hit and ro prevenr overshooting the targer. Pulling back astern and slightly below, Ernst fired three more short bursts. Both of the Ju 188's engines were hit, and seconds later they exploded. The intruder fell off ro pon and wenr in, being engulfed in a huge fireball whcn it hit the ground.

A minure Iarer ir hir rhe ground and explodcd. The P-61 crew said during rheir debricF rhar rhe Ju J 88's bomb racks had been empty, indicaring rhar ir had dropped irs load beFore irs Faral cncounrcr wirh "Lndy GEN': Irs inirial wesrerly course, howcver, rcndcd [0 conrradier rhe idea rhar ir had complered a bombing mission, For rhc ai rcraFr would ru rned immediarely ro rhe easr once irs ordnance was gone. P-61A-5 42-5544 "Lady GEN" was crewed by 1Lt Paul A Smith (pilot, seen here in the cockpit) and 2Lt Paul Tierney (radar observer I of the 422nd NFS.

J l- e... « I U » m ::x:l o C CI) CXl C CI) Z m CI) CI) The PV-1N Ventura's performance was credible, but as a nightfighter in 1943-44 it was severely lacking in altitude and airspeed capability compared to the IJN's G4M 'Betty' its principal target. These VMF(N)531 crewmen represent airborne radar operators (back rowl and turret gunners (front rowl (Ed Benintende) 74 Cdr William Taylor, a highly experienced nightfighter pilot who had previously served with the RAF (hence the uniform he is wearing in this photograph), was instrumental in establishing at least two US Navy nightfighter squadrons - VF(NI-75 and VF(N)-76 - as part of Project A firm.

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