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Old 12th March 2005, 05:29
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Six Nifty .50s
Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
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.
Spring 1943.

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
RAF pilots were generally annoyed with excessive gunners' claims.
Only because the RAF wanted to direct attention away from their own excessive pilot claims.

In 1941, RAF fighter pilots inflated shootdowns by almost 10:1. That habit was hard to break. On August 23rd 1944, 'Johnnie' Johnson's 127 Wing engaged JG 26 and JG 11 -- the RAF pilots claimed twelve fighters shot down, but my source states the Germans did not lose a single aircraft in those combats. This Spitfire Wing was not an inexperienced outfit, so there was no excuse for their nonsense. In general, one has to question the veracity of RAF evaluation methods for pilot claims -- and those of the Wing Leader, Mr. 40-Victory-Ace.

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
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.
From FRIENDLY FIRE, by Richard Townshend Bickers, p.76-77:

"...In February 1941, deliveries of the Spitfire Mk V had begun[...]In Britain nobody had yet been able to analyse the effect of cannon fire when aircraft strafed ground forces. A demonstration was therefore arranged. Salisbury Plain was the obvious place. It being hardly practical to experiment on troops, a convoy of lorries was to be the target.
The high-ranking RAF and Army officers and some civilians who, because of their technical or political interest, were invited, were corralled in an enclosure at a safe distance from what, in battle, would be termed 'the killing ground'.
Six Spitfires came swooping into view with the sweet sound of Merlin engines, music to an airman's ears, to which a few seconds later was added the sound of gunfire and explosions of shells. Five aeroplanes flailed the lorries, ripped the canvas tilts to ribbons, tore great holes in their bodywork and blasted the engines to fragments.
The sixth directed all its destructive power at the spectators. As the din of aero engines and gunfire diminished, the cries of injured and dying men arose. Two generals and three other senior officers were killed, some twenty others wounded.
The photographs taken by a War Office Photographer were confiscated, secrecy was enjoined on all who had witnessed the lunatic act. The perpetrator was variously rumoured to be a Pole who went berserk or simply aimed badly; a traitor working for Germany; or an ordinary British squadron pilot who was already crazed by too much operational flying and driven completely mad at the moment by the noise and flames and general reminders of combat..."

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
W/O Livesley of 198 Sqn was killed by Lt. Sparer of 363FG
Did Livesley or his mates bounce these Mustangs first?

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
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
Is that all, Franek? You forgot the Allied planes shot down by RAF pilots. (My list has over 100 destroyed or damaged). You did list Franks as a source; surely you must know about some of these?

William Chorley did Bomber Command Losses and Ross McNeill did Coastal Command Losses which I haven't read. I do have Fighter Command Losses; a handy desk reference, but not a reliable source for total losses -- for the Battle of Britain months, about 250 aircraft losses are missing. It appears that Franks may have omitted thousands of aircraft losses from his three volume set. When I was looking at losses from motor trouble, I checked the No. 247 Squadron history and the author listed 20 Typhoon airframes lost to engine failures -- but only six were recorded by Franks.

Anyway I've found several hundred friendly fire incidents caused by the RAF and other British military units (sometimes they did hit the target). Far too many cases to paste in here, but someday I will post all findings and sources on a Web site. The most enlightening data came from Allied flyers, soldiers, and sailors -- in reference to the number of times they were attacked by the RAF or British anti-aircraft batteries.

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Yes, we Europeans are well known of hypocrisy.
Well RAF flyers managed to do this in just three months:

07 Jul 40 Hurricane P2756 Shot down by RAF Spitfire.
08 Jul 40 Hurricane P3461 Shot down by RAF Spitfire.
10 Jul 40 Hurricane P3676 Damaged by gunfire from RAF Spitfire.
01 Aug 40 Battle L5568 Shot down by RAF night-fighter.
11 Aug 40 Hurricane N2667 Shot down by RAF Spitfire.
11 Aug 40 Hurricane s/n ? Damaged by gunfire from RAF fighter.
15 Aug 40 Blenheim L6610 Shot down by RAF Spitfire.
24 Aug 40 Blenheim T1804 Shot down by RAF Hurricane.
24 Aug 40 Blenheim Z5736 Damaged by gunfire from RAF Hurricane.
24 Aug 40 Blenheim N3531 Damaged by gunfire from RAF Hurricane.
28 Aug 40 Spitfire R6832 Shot down by RAF Spitfire.
28 Aug 40 Hurricane R4198 Shot down by RAF Spitfire.
31 Aug 40 Spitfire X4054 Shot down by RAF Hurricane.
03 Sep 40 Blenheim L1512 Shot down by RAF Hurricane.
03 Sep 40 Blenheim L8650 Damaged by gunfire from RAF Hurricane.
03 Sep 40 Blenheim L1409 Damaged by gunfire from RAF Hurricane.
14 Sep 40 Hurricane P3209 Shot down by RAF Spitfire.
14 Sep 40 Hurricane L1981 Damaged by gunfire from RAF Spitfire.
17 Sep 40 Hurricane s/n ? Shot down by RAF Hurricane.
18 Sep 40 Spitfire R6772 Shot down by RAF Spitfire.
18 Sep 40 Hurricane s/n ? Damaged by gunfire from RAF Spitfire.
29 Sep 40 Hurricane V6621 Shot down by RAF Hurricane.
13 Oct 40 Blenheim L6637 Shot down by RAF Hurricane.
13 Oct 40 Blenheim K7135 Damaged by gunfire from RAF Hurricane.

British AA units destroyed and damaged a similar number of RAF planes.

THE BATTLE of BRITAIN: THEN & NOW, Winston Ramsey, ed.
SPITFIRE ACE (documentary; interview with pilot of Spitfire R6772)

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
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.
During test flights over the UK, a prototype clipped-wing Spitfire was painted bright yellow -- good idea because, as predicted, RAF pilots often attacked the camouflaged kind.

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Apparently it worked well as no other measures were taken
No other measures taken, eh? Some RAF planes had a solid white stripe wrapped around the fuselage. RAF fighters in the Far East eventually had their roundels reduced in size because they looked uncomfortably similar to Japanese roundels.

I know a measure the RAF should have taken, but didn't. Tell us how many planes with a natural metal finish were shot down by aimed fire from Allied pilots.

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Quite recent friendly fire incident indicate that Americans cannot cope with it up until today and percenteage of losses caused by own troops increase with time.
RAF squadrons have not shot down an enemy plane since World War II -- but they have shot down some RAF planes since then.

In 2003, there was at least two friendly fire accidents involving British Challenger tanks in Southern Iraq. One Challenger II was destroyed and according to a BBC news report, the turret was torn off the hull when hit by gunfire from another British tank. During the 1991 Gulf War there were no less than three similar cases. In one, a Challenger I destroyed a British APC and damaged another.

The MoD covered up every fratricide incident in the Falklands (ten British soldiers were killed) until they were pressured by a British newspaper in 1986. High speed commo will stop many of these lash-ups; it is now possible for a soldier to leak anonymous tips to anyone worldwide, within seconds.