View Full Version : Clostermann shot down?

18th June 2007, 22:49
I don't have his book but while reading another board it was stated that he was shot down while in a Tempest in April 1945. Now the Thomas/Shore Typhoon-Tempest book has no listing of a Tempest loss with a Closterman as a pilot.

Is this an ommision in the book? Or, was not the Tempest a 'loss'?

Chris Thomas
19th June 2007, 00:26
Kutscha can you give a precise date? If it was 20 April 45 he was hit by enemy fire in combat with Fw190s and, according to his book, made a wheels-up landing at base (B.112).

The ORB (Form 540) mentions his two claims on this sortie but does not record the belly-landing. His combat report notes two Tempests 'Cat B' (his an another). The details of this sortie are not on the Form 541 in the ORB but earlier in the day he was flying NV994 - known to be JF-E. NV994's record card reports it with 3 Sqn by 15 April 45 but the next entry is '413 Repair and Salvage Unit Cat B 1 Jul 45'; it then went back to Hawker for repair (it was eventually rebuilt as a TT.5)

If this was the 'loss', it was actually just badly damaged and later repaired and therefore does not appear in the list of losses in Typhoon and Tempest Story.

19th June 2007, 00:35
Gents :

the date was 21 April 1945. pilot Leutnant Rudi Wurff of 6./JG 301 dove out of the clouds in his Dora 9 and shot down Clostermann's wingman, went back up into the clouds and according to Pierre came out of the clouds again and shot up his Tempest in which he crash-landed. Clostermann in his regard gave Rudi at least 2-3 kills on this date reporting that with his skillful flying had shot down his whole flight of 4 ~ but has been only given credit for 1 Tempest.

this was from an old re-collection written down back in the 1960's and reproduced in one of Clostermann's books edited

there is a photo of Rudi in Reschke's JG 301 book on page 204 with his Dora 9

E ~

19th June 2007, 00:48
Thanks for the reply Chris. Yes, the date sounds correct.

19th June 2007, 00:51
Erich you have a PM.

19th June 2007, 00:52
HI, thanks a new one for me, luftwaffe pilots name,

19th June 2007, 00:55
Guys, I wish I could tell you more straight up from Rudi but he has passed away some years back I was told from W. Reschke. He may have had more than 3 kills accorded to him, the other two were B-24's while in the same staffel flying in April and June of 44.

E ~

Chris Thomas
19th June 2007, 23:30
Erich, I'd like to introduce some facts into this discussion. Firstly the date: if Clostermann was involved it was 20 April not 21 April. According to the 3 Sqn ORB Clostermann did not fly on operations on 21 April.

Secondly, on the sortie led by Clostermann on 20 April (up 1936, down 2105) only 3 Tempests took part. The ORB does not name the 2 pilots who accompanied him but 'The Big Show' names 'MacIntyre' and 'Gordon'. There was indeed a Flt A.G.McIntyre in 3 Sqn at that time but no 'Gordon' (perhaps Flt G.Duff?). Two Tempests were hit in the combat with Doras but all three returned to base. So who was 'shot down'? ... never mind '3 or 4'!! I checked through the records of all 3 Sqn's Tempests of that period and found another (in addition to NV994 JF-E) that was recorded as Cat B damaged on 20 April 45 (NV978 JF-C). So this fits with Clostermann's official Combat Report which states (under 'Our casuaties') "Two Tempest V Cat B (combat) Pilots unhurt".

If the Rudi Wurff's combat really was on 21 April, it was not with Clostermann but 3 Sqn did lose a Tempest and its pilot on that date, in the early evening (Flt Lt B.C.McKenzie, EJ610 approx 1745 hours), also in the Hamburg area (Clostermann's combat was 10 miles SW). The loss was thought to be due to flak but who can be sure?

Stig Jarlevik
19th June 2007, 23:43

This proves indeed how hard it is to write an accurate history about combat in WW 2.

Reading the new 2 TAF books by Shores/Thomas, we get listings of British losses that day. The list given by Shores/Thomas on April 21st excludes, if I read correctly, all damaged planes that returned, (and I believe that goes for all days) and what happened to them. Clostermann is not even mentioned as having his aeroplane damaged. From the answer by Chris Thomas above it is even not possible from the remaining British documents to know exactly which day the Tempest NV994 was damaged under cat B. It is not made easier that Clostermann himself seems to have been of the opinion his plane was damaged the same day he shot down his two Fw 190, that is the 20th. At least that is what I read out from the article in Avion published after his death. Impossible, it seems, to say if Clostermann's memory played tricks with him and/or his flying records are incomplete.

Only one Tempest was 100% lost on the 21st and that was B C McKenzie. As usual he is claimed to have been hit by flak. If he was Clostermann's wingman is not stated but the article in Avion implies that he was a friend and could well have covered his tail that day... Whatever other losses Clostermann may have remembered in his "edited books" listed by Erich does not seem to be true, or perhaps we have more slightly damaged Tempests around?

There were many eager Luftwaffe pilots still around and many claims were filed. I have no idea how either Clostermann nor Erich has come to the conclusion that it was Wurff that got McKenzie and himself. Clostermann was a very colourful man and a big personallity, but in my opinion also prone to overstate his cases.

Not many pilots or individuals would so completely have listed his idol de Gaulle in such a fashion as he did. How many other pilots have named their aeroplanes after a political leader?

I certainly have not followed the controvery surrounding Clostermann's victories and the by now rather famous letter written by AVM Harry Broadhurst on November 1st, 1945. Why did he write that letter in the first place? I can understand that the French authorities wished to have the records of their citizens which had served with the RAF transferred to themselves, but why would an AVM write a personal letter to that effect? Talking from memory here, I believe Clostermann was also a political figure in the post war French election circus, and what would suit better than an official letter from a high ranking officer in RAF confirming Clostermann as the greatest French ace in WW 2 and of course belonging to the side of de Gaulle?... Would be interesting to know on which side the returning pilots from the Soviet Union stood....

One of our members certainly found out the hard way that not even 60 years later was it possible to debate such a national hero in public and certainly not in writing. I think even today the official stand point is that he did get 33 victories in total, 19 by himself and 14 shared by others.

I think we all have an opinion about Clostermann. Personally I think it was his book more than anything else that made me become interested in aviation, to read history and in the end taking a pilot's license. To put it more rudely, fancy a Froggy being more inspiring than Biggles and the whole lot of other books I read in my youth about Limeys and Yanks :) , but of course the book was in English....


19th June 2007, 23:51
well I am trying to find the complete mission exerpt as supplied by Clostermann himself. In it he did say R. Wurff was the man behind the 2cm weapons package, as for date yes it may not have been Pierre after all but McKenzie.

Again my info was from the 1960's and then an edit by Pierre for one of his books, which one I cannot remember.

Gentlemen I appreciate your honesty in the matter with back up evidence.

if anyone can supply a small Clostermann sampling of the April mission we could probably get a bit farther ahead or even more confused.

E ~

Adriano Baumgartner
20th June 2007, 17:06
Hello to all.
I do have in my hands the French magazine LE FANA DE L´AVIATION from December 2001. There is a letter of Clostermann remembering the events of 21 APRIL 1945 ( page 21 ). Apparently he tried to discover the identity of the pilot who shot him down writing to the Gemeinschaft der Jagdflieger. This is HIS own account on the magazine ( of course translated to the English by myself ):
" Dontermann leading seven Fw 190 D-9 from I/JG 26 surprised six Tempest V. He attacked alone with Soffing covering. He immediately shot down Filmstar Red 2 ( F/L Mackenzie-Intyre ) and Red 4 ( F/Sgt Staines - who was a pilot on loan from 33 Squadron ) and dived on the deck. I ( Clostermann describing ) dived down behind him on the limit of the VNE, but he got me in 2"tempo" and 3 mouvements. Too low to bail out I landed my plane with the wheels down. A part the propellers and flaps the Tempest was intact. It was my 2nd Tempest from 3 I have flown and it had only 23 flying hours. It was sent to AMU at B-58 Bruxelles on the 17th May 1945, then transferred to Bristol Aero Co. of Banwell, stocked and sold to the Egyptians. Clostermann says he saw the same airplane at B-58 on the 20th May. It was hit by two 20mm shells. One of those shells had hit the spark plug link for the 6 upper cylinders on the left side of the engine and the other hit the oil reservoir.
Werner Molge confirmed to Clostermann that on his report, Dontermann wrote that his 3rd victim had landed near the Dummersee and that it had the letters JF-L and that his propeller hub was RED. My ( Clostermann saying ) aircraft indeed had a propeller hub red and the letters JF-L could have been misdjuged with a JF-E with mud on its sides.
It seems that Clostermann advised the other pilots on his formation to let the D-9 to him, saying: "Let it to me, it is a piece of cake". This sentence was later put on the Mess, when he returned home and it was a case of much fun to everybody...
I also read that the D-9 pilot dived on the Tempest while he was getting out. Clostermann believed he was going to be machine gunned, but the Dora 9 pilot waved his wings in a GENTLEMAN act and went home. This is on an interview Clostermann gave to some Brazilian people ( it is in Portuguese ). It was his last interview before he passed away. Hope this will help the thread...
I do not know IF the JG 26 Diary matches this claims here, but I put what it is on the MAGAZINE. Sorry for any mispelling or miswriting.
Cheers for both of you

Franek Grabowski
20th June 2007, 21:05
I understand Clostermann's log book is in a museum in Paris. Has anybody attempted to obtain a copy?

20th June 2007, 21:21
There's a French saying: when you want to prove something too much, you just don't prove anything.

Have you ever read on an air combat report the code of an E/A shot down? Maybe that was possible in WWI but with the speed of a D-9 and of a Tempest, this looks very doubtful.
I'm disappointed that Dortenmann did not record the serial number of the Tempest!

Clostermann claimed a few stories that, either happened to someone else, like his fight against a high-altitude Bf 109 over the Orkneys (story that was NOT printed in the original English-language edition - why?), or cannot be ascertained, like his close encounter with a Do 335.

Stig Jarlevik
20th June 2007, 22:22
More and more interesting

Clostermann's memory certainly must have been playing "tricks" with him.

As far as can be ascertained he never checked any RAF files to confirm his diary (if kept) and his log book. It seems very strange that he claims to have flown on the 21st when Chris says the ORB is empty with regard to his name. Surely, if his log book exists, he should have been able just to look inside? Is it possible for at least four pilots to have flown on an unrecorded/unauthorised flight on the 21st?

However if the action did take place on the 20th it makes much more sense of course. However it then could not have been Dortenmann who shot him or any other of his Tempests down, since the time filed by all involved is wrong. Dortenmann and his pilots claimed their three victories on the 21st at about 15.15H, so not even if we transfer their mission to the 20th do they fit. They also claimed Spifires and I doubt that such an experienced pilot as Dortenmann would mistake Spitfires for Tempests!! BUT, Chris says only three Tempests were involved, so who was Filmstar Red 4 who also is claimed as shot down on that day? Is it possible Chris, just because he possibly was on loan from 33 Sq he would have been exluded in 3 Sq ORB?

No Tempests as far as I know was ever sent to Egypt, so again Clostermann's memory fails him.

Not sure who Werner Molge is/was but it seems he never got the name right of Hans Dortenmann and it also seems no one else but him has read Dortenmann's combat reports...


Chris Thomas
20th June 2007, 22:51
I don't really want to promote a Clostermann-bashing session but have some comments to make on the foregoing.

Yes Stig you are correct in your interpretation of the losses listed in '2nd TAF'. We did not include 'cat Bs' unless they appear in the 2ndTAF daily log, and many did not. To include them would have meant a huge time-consuming effort and vastly increased the size of the loss tables - which were an issue with the publisher. And yes, you are correct in that surviving records do not allow the precise recreation of air combats. The reports at the time were the impressions of one man in a fraught and confusing environment; its hardly surprising they often do not match up.

Adriano, many thanks for your translation of the 'Le Fana' letters. The following comments do not reflect on your ability - I am not 'shooting the messenger'!

I stand by what I wrote about the events of 20 April but now we have alleged events for 21 April. Well ... according to the 3 Sqn Operations Record Book Clostermann did not fly operationally on 21 April - nor for the rest of the month; his next sortie was on 3 May 1945. By his account (The Big Show) he had been wounded in the leg by Allied AA on 20 April, so a break from operations would not be unexpected.

The 21 April was a day of poor weather and the Tempest squadrons carried out little operational work that day. Some of the squadrons did not fly at all. I have checked through all the ORBs (except 486's which I do not have to hand) and there is no report of a lost or force-landed Tempest anywhere.

As for the combat reported in the Le Fana letter - it seems to have more in common with that on 12 April when Dortenmann claimed 2 Tempests and Soffing claimed another. The RAF unit involved was 33 Sqn and they lost two Tempests and had a third badly damaged (it was eventually scrapped). One of the two downed Tempests was flown by Sgt J.Staines, who was killed (so he can hardly have been loaned to 3 Sqn on 21 April!).

The other Tempest pilot mentioned in this account, " F/L MacKenzie-Intyre" seems to be a bizarre mix of Flt Lt B.C.McKenzie who was killed on 21 April leading a 3 Sqn formation (Clostermann was not with him) and Flt Lt A.G.McIntyre who had flown with Clostermann on the 20 April sortie.

For the record Clostermann was in the UK on 12 April - at Warmwell APC where he had just joined 3 Sqn.

And, incidentally, no Tempests were ever sold to the Egyptians! In fact no Tempest Vs were sold to any foreign country.

20th June 2007, 23:18
Axel Urbanke has listed in his book "Green Hearts First In Combat With The Dora 9" that Dortenmann's and Fw. Kurt Hein's victories over Spitfires on the 21Apr45 were possbily the two loss from 443 Sqdn RCAF. He lists Rey's claim was only listed as "probable"

Franek Grabowski
21st June 2007, 00:43
Well, then I will put some my comments too.
Chris, yes, I have seen such reports, although they are rare indeed. Note, that Dortenmann referred to an already crashed aircraft, so it puts slightly different perspective, too. Otherwise, I think the easiest sollution is to have a glance into the Dortenmann's report (who could easily confuse Tempest with Spitfire, a most common error), but I am not sure if Mr Molge, a secretary of JG 26 association is still with us.
Concerning records, I would not give the head for any information in ORB or any other document. They were filed by human beings and they obviously have tons of errors. A missing section from an operational flight would not surprise me that much, I have seen such things happening. Of course it does not mean 3 Sqn's ORB is wrong, it just only means a cross check with other sources is necessary.
In general this indeed looks like memory playing tricks but it should be proven by more detailed research.
PS I always thought The Big Charles is a reference to The Old Charles of Guynemer.

Boris Ciglic
21st June 2007, 01:06
I remember very well that in French TV series about the history of aviation from the seventies, its name here in Serbia was translated as "Skies in flame" Clostermann, leaning on JF-E spoke about an air combat in April 1945 during which he and his wingmen were shot down by single German pilot, in exact circumstances as written by Adriano, saying something like "one two three and it was over". I possibly have it somewhere recorded on VHS tape but dont have VCR any more :)
By the way, this is by far the best series on the subject I have ever seen, I think it had seven or eight episodes, with many interviews and excellent footage. From French side, interviewed were Roland de la Poype seated in Jak 3 and William Laboussiere standing next to a Chato. Maybe some of our French friends know more about it.

Graham Boak
21st June 2007, 02:23
I don't know about the Orkney combat not being in the first English edition, but it certainly was in the paperback edition I read in the 1950s.

Is it being suggested here that Clostermann did not fly this mission - in the (later) edition I have now he makes no claim to the kill for himself.

Nick Beale
21st June 2007, 10:53
Have you ever read on an air combat report the code of an E/A shot down?
Clostermann claimed a few stories that, either happened to someone else, like his fight against a high-altitude Bf 109 over the Orkneys (story that was NOT printed in the original English-language edition - why

1. Actually, I have. Twice, duing research for Air War Italy 1944-45. In one case an "orange" square was reported, which was in fact a yellow number; in the other, an Allied pilot reported a "diamond" on his opponent's fuselage, which was part of the tactical markings of one of the ANR's Gruppi di Caccia. In neither case was a code clearly seen, though.

2.The Orkney incident: IIRC there was a thread about this on the old forum.

21st June 2007, 11:23
Franek, "Le Grand Charles" is rather an hommage to Charles De Gaulle.

Adriano Baumgartner
21st June 2007, 17:02
Have you ever read on an air combat report the code of an E/A shot down?
Well, we do have quite a lot of examples:
1- Mike Boleslaw Gladych was twice shot down by a German fighter with the number "13".
2- I remember seeing on a Discovery Channel documentary about the ACES an American ace and F-86 Sabre pilot mentioning a Mig 15 he shot down over Korea that has a Dragon painted on its side.
I do remember other actions but had to check on my books to put correctly here. It is not unusual, if pilots came in very close to their victims before opening fire...( If my memory do not fail me, a certain Dunn - an American who fought with the RAF during the Battle of Britain and who later wrote a book of his memories remembers shooting down a Me 109 with brownish codes on its sides...I will check to post later here ).
Cheers Adriano

21st June 2007, 18:35
Have you ever read on an air combat report the code of an E/A shot down?

On 19 August 1941 Oblt. Johannes Schmid of Stab/JG 26 claimed one Spitfire, and clearly noted in his Abschussmeldung the code of downed machine.


Chris Thomas
21st June 2007, 18:37
Don't bother checking Adriano. We are in red herring territory.

I am well aware, Franek, of the deficiencies of RAF Squadron ORBs, having spent a considerable part of the last 30 years comparing them with other documents. However, what do we have here? An alleged combat on 21 April 1945 in which 2 or 3 Tempests were shot down/damaged and a Fw190 claimed destroyed.
Any note in a Tempest Squadron ORB? None.
Any RAF combat report? None.
Any mention in the '2nd TAF Log of Casualty Claims, Assessments and Losses'? None.
Any Tempests other than McKenzie's lost that day? None.
Any supporting documentation from the purveyors of this yarn? None.
Oh yes, and a pilot from 33 sqn involved, despite having been killed 9 days earlier. Mmmmm.

Franek Grabowski
21st June 2007, 23:14
Adriano, the story of Lucky 13 is a bogus to the best my knowledge. It does not change the fact in some circumstances airmen were able to provide astonishing details about their opponents.
CJE, then it is a different matter, but I am afraid we will not learn the entire truth in the nearest future. I am wondering if his family had pre-war ties with de Gaulle, but perhaps it will be more convenient to discuss it via email.
Chris, you are absolutelly correct, but if we want to dismiss such a story we should not refer only to ORB. Perhaps this is a simple case of mistaken dates - 12-21 - but it could be more complicated. As I have noted, Clostermann's log book is in a museum, so it should have an entry for 20 or 21 April. I cannot believe the ace would invent a story of being beaten up by Germans if this had never happened. Otherwise you do not mention Opflash Reports nor Authorisation Books, those being more primary sources.

Brian Bines
22nd June 2007, 00:49
With the Orkney case the combat report is for P/O J. Blair DFM ( Ian Blair in The Big Show ) and F/L W. Bennett and as the 1951 edition of The Big Show credits the kill to Blair. The combat report also mentions the 109 had the letters A K or A H painted faintly on the fuslage in black ( NVM gives A6+XH ),

Brian Bines

Chris Thomas
22nd June 2007, 01:12
Franeck, I have just listed several sources other than the ORB which should have produced evidence of this alleged encounter, but do not. Therefore I am not "only refering to the ORB".

Furthermore, in my British edition of 'The Big Show' (1951) there is no record of any action after the combat of 20 April until the attack on Schwerin. And by the way, 3 sSn did indeed attack Schwerin on 1 & 2 May but Clostermann is not recorded as having taken part. He did take part in an armed recce the next day and in the afternoon led an attack on Grossenbrode. However there is no sign in RAF records of the "6 out of 8" Tempests lost attacking Schwerin (as claimed in 'The Big Show'). 3 Sqn lost just one in the first 3 days of May!

Franek Grabowski
22nd June 2007, 04:41
To make it clear, I do not put in doubt your research, but you must have in mind all the problems arising with documents. At last you have written some comments to the article written by me and Wojtek.
Any note in a Tempest Squadron ORB? None.
You perfectly know how inaccurate this document can be. A note that an airman has married, even if he was missing believed killed since three days, missing sorties, discrepancies between F.540 and F.541, and so on. Tom Neil put it perfectly in his preface to The Forgotten Months.
Any RAF combat report? None.
There would be no PCR (Form.F) if no claim was made. There should be Loss Reports or MACRs, but they are either destroyed or unavailable.
Any mention in the '2nd TAF Log of Casualty Claims, Assessments and Losses'? None.
The Log was based on Opflashes send every evening to respective command. If airmen were FTR and reported OK, this well may have ommit informations about damages.
Any Tempests other than McKenzie's lost that day? None.
If aircraft was not Cat. E, it could have been easily misreported, mentioned on another date, etc.
Any supporting documentation from the purveyors of this yarn? None.
Well, have we seen Clostermann's Log Book?
Furthermore, in my British edition of 'The Big Show' (1951) there is no record of any action after the combat of 20 April until the attack on Schwerin.
That is the valid point, the question is what was in the original French edition. I have heard that the translation is much shorter, is not it?
Otherwise this might be the point. I know a case of a certain pilot who wrote his memories but was unable to have them published. He was told more sex and action is needed. He could not add sex because of his wife, so added some action instead.
Well, I am not putting in doubt your knowledge and research. I am just noting that quite often people like Clostermann are accused of confabulation, but on a closer look their stories could be closer to the truth than initially expected. I recall a story of an airman describing a rather long dogfight with a Me 109, when he gradually gaining on him in sharp turns, and finally noticing his bursts hitting the target. His PCR clearly described this as a typical hit and run attack. Fortunatelly, his cine camera film survived to prove PCR was not telling the full story!

22nd June 2007, 05:21
The episode is present in the latest UNABRIDGED version of the "The Big Show" which came out a few years ago. It appears that the version i had been reading for years was the ABRIDGED version which left out a lot of detail. A much better book.
Among the new stuff:
It starts with his stint at Cal Tech as a college student before coming to England,whereas the condensed version starts with him entering Spitfire training. And a whole lot more
Whatever, the facts are, there no better books on air combat over Western Europe. Clostermann never let facts get in the way of a great story.

Chris Thomas
22nd June 2007, 12:11
My point is Franek, that despite what would have been a significant event, with claims and losses on both sides, not a shred of supporting documentary evidence has been located or produced.

I do not expect to find written evidence of every aspect of air combat and have no doubt that some events remain unrecorded in any way, but the norm is to find something.

Nor does the fact that circumstances can go unrecorded prove that they did happen in another case ...

So show me some evidence please. From a reliable source.

22nd June 2007, 13:14
No, kaki, the latest version "Le Grand Cirque 2000" is NOT an unabridged version. It's another fully rewritten version. Most of the dates do not appear any longer in the text.

Please, note that I don't intend to reopen the debate, which, AFAIC, is a closed case.

Franek Grabowski
22nd June 2007, 20:28
Chris, we are indeed walking on a very soft ground here. What bothers me in the first place is that whatever is written by Clostermann, it is at the start considered untrue. But what if Clostermann just only confused name and date in his memoirs, does it mean the story is bogus?
It reminds me the story of the yellow Fw 190. Everyone laughed off this story, but nobody bothered to notice that yellow German aircraft had been reported occasionally. It does not mean they were yellow, it does mean they were seen yellow.
I believe hard conclusions are drawn just too easily here. Again, please do not consider it any personal attack, as my comments were not particularly aimed at you. I just want all the researchers here to reconsider use of such words like most likely, most probably, I believe, documents I have found show, etc.

22nd June 2007, 20:38
No offense and I don't take it personal.
Don't worry, Franek.

Franek Grabowski
22nd June 2007, 22:49
Glad to hear that! By the way, do you know if it is possible to obtain a copy of Clostermann's log book from the museum (I believe theyr at at Dome des Invalides)?

Many Souffan
23rd June 2007, 11:44
Hello Franek

Firstly the "Grand Charles" is a go between a remember about the "Vieux Charles" of Guynemer because P. Clostermann has read when he was young his biography by H. de Bordeaux (When I met him some years ago he show me proudly the portrait of Guynemer) and it is also to the général de Gaulle as has said CJE.

About the log book (the 2 + civilian+ CdeV for Algeria) in the museum of the l'ordre de la Libération, it is not possible to see them till february 2006, it is a demand from the family...

...But I can say it will have a great surprise in 2008, unfortunatly, I can't say more...

The 6th july the new promotion of the école de l'Air of Salon de Provence will have as godfather Pierre Clostermann...

Franek Grabowski
24th June 2007, 15:53
Many, I hate you for that teaser! ;)
I suppose it has nothing to de Gaulle, as I do not think anything ground breaking will be published in France. ;)

26th June 2007, 09:04
Chris, we are indeed walking on a very soft ground here. What bothers me in the first place is that whatever is written by Clostermann, it is at the start considered untrue. But what if Clostermann just only confused name and date in his memoirs, does it mean the story is bogus?
It reminds me the story of the yellow Fw 190. Everyone laughed off this story, but nobody bothered to notice that yellow German aircraft had been reported occasionally. It does not mean they were yellow, it does mean they were seen yellow.
I believe hard conclusions are drawn just too easily here. Again, please do not consider it any personal attack, as my comments were not particularly aimed at you. I just want all the researchers here to reconsider use of such words like most likely, most probably, I believe, documents I have found show, etc.
HI.franek.how do you now the full facts.its true a D( did shoot down 3 planes tempests.in a book i read.

John Hilly
6th September 2008, 23:03
I just happened to read Clostermann's books (all three trenslated in Finnish ). Mistakes in the contex, but... memories.
I woud like to learn more of Rudi Wulff, specially his final destiny.

Johnny B. Goode

John Hilly
6th September 2008, 23:21
This might be repeating, I'm a newcomer so I don't know how handle this f... machine. Still, I coud argue about Clostermann - in honest.
Who was Rudi Wurff, 40 victories in 8 months?
Please be patient!
Johnny B. Goode ;)

24th September 2008, 14:35
But what if Clostermann just only confused name and date in his memoirs, does it mean the story is bogus?

Hi all,

In the preface of "The Big Show" one can read : "I wanted them (Note : Clostermann's father and mother) to live it (Note : his life in the RAF) with me, day by day, even if I did not come back to describe it myself.
So every evening I used to write down for them the events of the day in a fat Air Ministry notebook stamped 'G.R.'."

We can also read what follows :

"I ask the reader not to expect a work of literature. I simply jotted down day by day the impression, the fleetingly-caught incidents so sharply imprinted on my memory. It would require a remarkable talent to reproduce with truth and at the same time with literary grace the life of a fighter pilot in the last war. It is precisely because they are true, because they were written in the flush of action, that I have made no attempt to retouch these notes."

That means clearly that "The Big Show" was written during the war at a time when confusion of dates was not possible...


Tom Semenza
24th September 2008, 21:10
So, Many, now that 2008 is certainly here, can you reveal the "big surprise"?

Nick Beale
27th September 2008, 23:56
... fancy a Froggy being more inspiring than Biggles

But the French graphic novel version of "Le Grand Cirque" is part of the series "Biggles Présente" (Biggles presents)!