By Mike Spick
Many hundreds of thousands of fighter pilots of many nations--British, American, Australian, Canadian, Polish, and plenty of more--flew, fought, and died in Allied airplane. a number of turned well-known. approximately 5 percentage of fighter pilots accounted for a few 40 percentage of all air victories, and those have been the aces.
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Additional info for Allied Fighter Aces: The Air Combat Tactics and Techniques of World War II
The bombers were altogether a different case. Mostly they were found in close formation, protected by the massed fire of their gunners, and with escort fighters lurking close at hand. With upwards of three dozen crewmen in each bomber Staffel all keeping a sharp lookout, surprise was not a factor. In the traditional attack from astern British fighters had to brave a storm of crossfire, and the standard of German air gunnery was high. ' The twin-engined German bombers were much bigger targets than the Bf 109; when in formation they flew straight and level, and consequently were easier to hit.
The first patrol over the French port on 23 May nearly ended in disaster as No 92 Squadron droned up and down in the regulation tight Vic formations. With too much attention paid to holding position, it was sheer luck that the 109s were spotted as they came snarling in behind the port beam. A Spitfire burst into flame, then the sky was full of turning, twisting fighters all jockeying for position. 42 FRANCE, SEPTEMBER 1939-JUNE 1940 Bob Tuck latched onto the German leader, who zoom-climbed through cloud, then levelled off and set course for home.
Ginger Lacey was not an average squadron pilot. A pre-war flying instructor with over 600 hours in his logbook, he was an outstanding aircraft handler who needed combat experience to give him the necessary confidence to succeed and become the fourth-ranking British ace. We shall meet him again in later chapters. In the confused melees that took place during the next few weeks, the shortcomings of RAF fighter tactics were ruthlessly exposed. Many leaders persisted in trying to use the standard attacks, even against fighters, for which they were not designed.