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 throughout the conflict of england. Many extra joined their ranks, usually posing as «Canadians», ultimately forming 3 Eagle squadrons who earned a fierce struggling with popularity. whilst the us entered the struggle 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 one other dozen aces claimed a part of their overall flying them, a testomony to their ability and luck on the controls of this mythical warbird.

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He survived more than forty combats over Malta, and later spoke to American reporters of his experiences; 'I never even got a scratch or so much as a bullet through my aeroplane. In all the fighting I haven't received so much as a scratch. ' The 'American Flight' was soon joined by another future ace, Pit Off 'Rip' Jones, who, on the morning of the 18th, opened his account by shooting down a Bf 109 that was strafing a rescue launch. He shared another that evening. Reade Tilley too had been scoring steadily, and on the morning of23 May he shot down a Macchi to claim his fifth victory, thus becoming the first American Spitfire ace over the beleaguered island.

202s of7° Gruppo, which had in turn made a number of claims. The Italians lost Capitano Sergio Maurer, and the Gruppo commander, Tenente Colonnello Giovanni Zapetta, crash-landed. 202 and a second Messerschmitt fighter damaged. 202 from 7° Gruppo for his second victory, whilst his old CO, the recently-promoted Lt Col Harrison Thyng, claimed a Bf 109 to become the 31 st FG's third ace that day. This proved to be the latter pilot's final Spitfire claim. Yet another ace to see action on 6 May was 1Lt Carl Payne, again from the 309th FS, who subsequently wrote; 'I was leading Blue Flight of my squadron on a fighter sweep of the battle area when we were engaged by two Me 109s.

U I- a.. « :::r:: u Another successful pilot with the 4th FS was Capt Moss Fletcher, who claimed his first (shared) victory when flying with the RCAF. During his time with the 4th FS he was credited with a further four kills to become an ace in late April 1943. Fletcher's aircraft not only carried his name and score, but also his personal nose art. Fletcher's crew chief is seen here sitting on the wing of their Spitfire (52nd FW) During the spring of 1943, quantities of the improved Spitfire IX began being delivered to the USAAF in North Africa.

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