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  #11  
Old 2nd August 2018, 20:41
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Hi all

This may help to understand some things.

That's what he says in an interwiew about his victories:

"When he leaves the RAF in august 1945,he claimed(HE CLAIMED) 23 vict.sures (individual or shared),BUT HE DOES NOT HAVE A RELIABLE LIST OF SUCCESSES,some of his claims having been credited differently by the RAF and FAFL."

Dixit himself.

Michel
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  #12  
Old 6th August 2018, 10:43
PMoz99 PMoz99 is offline
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Having looked at the various kill lists for Clostermann, it is my opinion that the one presented by Shores and Williams in AH (AH) is most accurate.
It credits him with 11 confirmed kills + 7 unconfirmed, 2 confirmed probables and 3 unconfirmed, and 9 damaged. I believe confirmation is from squadron records and combat reports. The kills in these numbers include 4 later changed to OTG kills.
Relating this score to the kill markings on his Tempest, you get 11+7+2+3=23 kills + 9 damaged, matching the numbers of black and white crosses.
So, did Clostermann ever state what the markings on the Tempest represent? In a post on another forum relaying the contents of a letter Clostermann wrote in response to questions on his kills, I have seen it said that the black crosses represent confirmed kills and the white crosses probables and OTG kills, BUT this statement is made in brackets, indicating it is likely an addition of the poster and not stated by Clostermann himself. This may hold the key to the various kill lists.
The problems I have with the statement made are -
1. that when you examine the 11 Spitfire kills which are referred to in his DFC, you can't get 11 unless you include the probables, and
2. in that case they can't also be included in the count for the white crosses, and
3. as the kill numbers given in AH include 4 later changed to OTG kills, they also can't be included in the white cross count
Finally, in the post on the forum I mentioned earlier, the poster quotes Clostermann as saying - "the French Air Force - as well as the US 8th Fighter Command, considered aircraft 'probables' and destroyed 'on the ground' as victories. This may explain some of the ridiculously inflated claims we found in the press". Another reason to conclude that the 23 as presented in AH is correct.
Has anyone else formed an opinion on his score?
Peter
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  #13  
Old 6th August 2018, 13:08
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Clostermann produced an official document giving his total score. It display 19 confirmed solo victories some probables and damaged (all are listed). The two DFC documents give each 11 and 12 victories (total 23) which are may be the 19 confirmed in the first place + 4 confirmed later (after crash site were found or things like that) or maybe includes the probables. Then, the French Air Force count the shared victories as complete victory whereas the RAF does not count them at all in general. So with 14 such victories, Clostermann tally for the Armée de l'Air is 33 (but this value should only be used to compare with tally established with the same method).
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  #14  
Old 6th August 2018, 13:47
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

to respond to Peter's post. Clostermann's letter to Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine in 1982 was published on their 'Readers Letters' page..

" ..As to my claims, they never changed. They were painted on my Tempest, (see accompanying photo ***) and are substantiated by the following citations and letters. My two DFC citations, by Air Marshal Slessor and AOC 83 Group Sir Harry Broadhurst, are enough for me - "DFC 26/8/44 This officer has displayed outstanding courage and devotion to duty throughout his operational career in the course of which he has destroyed at least 11 enemy aircraft and damaged other military objectives". "Bar 28/5/45 since being awarded the DFC this officer has participated in 70 new operational missions during which he has destroyed a further 12 enemy aircraft. Throughout, Lieutenant Clostermann has displayed outstanding courage and ability, and has proved to be a source of inspiration to all". 23 black crosses and 23 confirmed by my DFC citations. I never personally asked for anything else.... "

**(The photograph that Pierre sent with his letter, with him in the cockpit of 'Le Grand CharIes'~, NV724, JF.E of 3 Sqn., circa July 1945, showing the twenty-three black crosses representing his accredited confirmed 'kills', and the nine white outline only crosses for 'probables' and 'ground kills')

..NB: the aircraft referred to- 'Le Grand Charles'- is SN 222 and NOT his last JF*E, NV 724, although NV 724 featured the same 'scoreboard'
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  #15  
Old 6th August 2018, 15:32
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

FalkeEins - thank you. I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at with your post.
Yes, I have seen your blog regarding the 2 Tempests.
My question was whether Clostermann himself explained the markings on his Tempest(s), as the comments in brackets which appear on your blog and in the post I referred to seem to originate with the blogger, not Clostermann.
My opinion (and contention) is that, of the several kill lists I have seen, only that produced by Shores and Williams in AH comes close to matching the Tempest kill markings and citation information. The other lists simply don't match.

Alfred - is a copy of his list available?

Thanks
Peter
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  #16  
Old 6th August 2018, 15:37
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMoz99 View Post
FalkeEins - thank you. I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at with your post.

Peter
..just to clarify and respond. You asked "..did Clostermann ever state what the markings on the Tempest represent..?"

From the above he did..
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  #17  
Old 6th August 2018, 15:48
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Quote:
Originally Posted by FalkeEins View Post
..just to clarify and respond. You asked "..did Clostermann ever state what the markings on the Tempest represent..?"

From the above he did..
Sorry, I can't agree. This passage -

(The photograph that Pierre sent with his letter, with him in the cockpit of 'Le Grand CharIes'~, NV724, JF.E of 3 Sqn., circa July 1945, showing the twenty-three black crosses representing his accredited confirmed 'kills', and the nine white outline only crosses for 'probables' and 'ground kills')

is obviously NOT written by Clostermann. If it is, he got his Tempest info wrong for a start .... It is information/opinion provided by a third party - or am I wrong?

Yes, he did state he considers the citations for 11 and 12 kills respectively to be confirmation of his kills, but the makeup of those kills is not stated, nor is the meaning of the 9 white crosses.

Not trying to be argumentative, just precise.
Peter
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  #18  
Old 6th August 2018, 17:53
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Here's a reproduction of the document, this list is also found on a link provided earlier I think :






And here's something about the top 10 French aces :


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  #19  
Old 6th August 2018, 18:07
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

I am attentive to the discussion and I add this:

To add a little more confusion,there is another picture of his tempest (NV724) with 21 black crosses and 7 white crosses! just after the war.

I agree with Peter,the list in Ace High (Shores) is the most plausible,the report of the different ORB (274,56,3° Sqd) are reliable sources.

The French with their counting system mixing victories "sures",individual,collective,probable,damaged contributed to this opacity,hence the multitude of contradictory lists.this is not the only case!!

Annouce 33 homologous victories is a figure that "speaks" more.

One thing to remember,my previous post #11 dixit himself.

Regards

michel
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  #20  
Old 6th August 2018, 18:23
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

The reliable list of success is the document I provided and the 23 victories came from the DFC documents, they are more than a claim but may be still erronous.
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