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Old 9th March 2005, 14:05
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 2,103
Franek Grabowski
Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
Maybe you misidentified the German pilot. Tony Wood never claimed to have complete data.
No I did not.

I doubt if that would mean anything. In Wing Leader, 'Johnnie' Johnson said the RAF had a prearranged agreement with USAAF Bomber Command that RAF fighters were not supposed to fly within range of defensive fire from heavy bombers. Johnson thought the request was reasonable and logical, and had no objections.
The question is when the arrengement was done. RAF pilots were generally annoyed with excessive gunners' claims and definetelly were not happy to do their job as it was not possible to escort bombers properly without closing to them.

Unlike certain Brits and the Poles, American pilots did not whine and complain just because RAF pilots constantly misidentified and attacked USAAF planes. The Americans usually felt pity for RAF pilots, because their gunnery skills were so incredibly bad. Everyone knew it, and the 56th FG was no exception.
Unfortunatelly I cannot ask you to talk with Gabby Gabreski or Jack Ilfrey anymore. I suppose they would share your views.

August 27th, 1943. After sweeping Lille, RV with the bombers was made at St. Poi, and the Forts were escorted to just off the French Coast on the way home. Enroute home the 63rd FS was bounced by a flight of Spitfires and scattered, along with having one of their P-47s damaged by gunfire by an overzealous Spitfire pilot.
This cheauvinistic Briton Freeman has mentioned this incident. As yet I was unable to identify Spitfire unit involved.

February 3rd, 1945. The twelve P-47s of the 61st FS that had remained as top cover were bounced at this time, too, by a dozen Spitfires, but no damage was inflicted. The mission returned at 1402 after a five and a half hour most eventful sweep. The longest mission to date.
Have you not mistook it with 2 March? W/O Livesley of 198 Sqn was killed by Lt. Sparer of 363FG.

Poor marksmanship was not confined to Spitfire and Seafire pilots. RAF Typhoons from Lympne and Manston constantly attacked Spitfires and other Typhoons. For some units it started as an annoyance but eventually took on the appearance of a roadrunner cartoon -- with the Typhoon pilots playing the role of Wile E. Coyote. They attacked No. 41 Squadron planes all the time, but couldn't quite get a bead on their Spitfire XIIs.
Unfortunatelly for some pilots marksmanship was just good enough.
Sadly enough American marksmanship was much better. A cuple of examples from my database.
43.08.17 11.00
Spitfire 341 Sqn Andre Poirier POW SE Boulogne Lt.Col. LC McCollom 352FG
43.12.21 11.00/10.58-12.41
Typhoon IB 609 Sqn S/L Pat G Thornton-Brown + 10 km S of Hesdin
Typhoon IB 609 Sqn F/O Charles Wesley Miller RCAF + Doullens
Typhoon 609 Sqn Art Ross USA OK all by P-47 78FG
43.12.21 11.00-12.10
Spitfire IX 501 Sqn F/O AA Griffiths POW Abbeville P-47 78FG
44.01.24 11.30
Typhoon 197 Sqn? Liege 1/Lt. RH Knapp P-47D 83FS 78FG
Mosquito FB.VI 107 Sqn F/O JA Glen + W/O T Davison + S Dieppe P-51 4FG
44.06.22 19.50- 2x Mustang I 268 Sqn? pilot OK. P-47
44.07.08 Spitfire 340 Sqn Michael Boudier POW P-47
44.07.14 a.m.
Spitfire 132 Sqn W/O Reeves + Calvados P-51 USAAF
44.07.24 a.m.
Spitfire 453 Sqn P/O Kinross + Bayeux P-47
Mustang III 122 Sqn F/O Pinches w. St Leger P-38
44.08.26 08.45
Spitfire 602 Sqn W/O Ellis OK Argeuil/Rouen P-47
Doubtless with such a marksmanship the war could have been shorter if they were firing at Germans.

Yes, hypocrisy often figures heavily in RAF unit histories.
Yes, we Europeans are well known of hypocrisy.

It's no secret (except to you) that early in the war, RAF squadrons in the UK started painting their propeller spinners white to discourage their own pilots from shooting at each other.
Well, it was no secret for me and I may add that yellow wing leading edges served the same purpose. Apparently it worked well as no other measures were taken. Quite recent friendly fire incident indicate that Americans cannot cope with it up up until today and percenteage of losses caused by own troops increase with time.