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Old 25th April 2005, 17:16
Nonny Nonny is offline
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Israeli Ezer Weizman

Did Israeli President Ezer Weizman shoot down any Arab or British aircraft during 1948-50? http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/568496.html

What was his career in the RAF during the war?

Last edited by Nonny; 25th April 2005 at 17:22.
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Old 25th April 2005, 20:42
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Ruy Horta Ruy Horta is offline
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Re: Israeli Ezer Weizman

Great man, but I've moved the post because its off topic.

Here's a link you can check:

http://home.sprynet.com/~anneled/IAFclaims.html

The IAF actions between '67-73 rank very high in my book.

Of course that might be because I just love the Dassault Mirage IIIC so much!!!

But Nonny sometimes I doubt your sincerity, like in this particular instance.

PS. Returned the thread, since it does include a ww2 reference, although I can't remember seeing it in the original post and I did try to find one...
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Old 26th April 2005, 00:17
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Re: Israeli Ezer Weizman

Nonny,

You know probably, he died on Sunday 24th.

Regards,
Michal
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Old 26th April 2005, 15:46
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Israeli Ezer Weizman

Hi Nonny,


Not as far as i am aware.

Following taken from "Spitfires over Israel"

Gained pilots licence in 1942 , volunteered for RAF. Was a driver until accepted for a flying course in Rhodesia . Eventually graduated in 1945 and served briefly as a P47 pilot in India . After the war he studied at the Aeronautical College in London . He returned to Palestine and was later to become one of the first pilots of the Tel Aviv Squadron.

Be interested to know which P47 RAF Squadron he was with in India .

"Black 57" still lives, its former pilot now no longer with us.

A Great Loss

Alex








Alex
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Old 27th April 2005, 04:31
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Ezer Weizman extra info

Hi,

Just to add that Ezer's Uncle, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who was Israels 1st President lost a son in WW2 while serving with the RAF.
F/Lt. Michael Oser Weizmann was serving with 502 Squadron with Whitley V's when on the 11th February 1942 the aircraft was lost over the Bay of Biscay after reporting engine trouble.
Z6831 was lost.
Ezer's side of the family for some reason dropped the second "n" from the family surname.

Ezer could perhaps have claimed a Tempest as damaged when on January 7th
1949 he was in battle with the RAF and was thought to have inflicted damage on 6 Sqdns Tempest NX134 JV-T flown by Douglas Liquorish, hits on its tail section. Earlier in the scrap Ezer had been hit himself and as a result had to belly land with two bullet holes in the a/c , Spitfire "2018" , (I expect that it was 2013 White 18 . But his a/c was in worse condition than that of Liquorish's a/c.

Alex
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Old 27th April 2005, 08:40
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Re: Israeli Ezer Weizman

According to Isreali Fighter Aces, by Peter Mersky, Ezer dropped the second N as a sign of independence. The same book also claims that the RAF did not let Ezer fly during WW2.
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Old 28th April 2005, 04:34
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: Israeli Ezer Weizman

Basically, Ezer's own claim to have shot down an aircraft, as made in his autobiography and repeated in other published works, now seems to be regarded as incorrect. Please note when reading the accounts below that works on the IAF published in Israel, both official and unofficial, have often omitted the part played by NON-Jewish volunteers...

Some snippets from Weizman's autobiography, "On Eagle's Wings":

RAF Service number 775869. After being accepted for pilot training, departed Port Tewfik, Egypt, by ship, bound for Southern Africa. Trained in Rhodesia and gained his wings in early 1945 and promoted to rank of Sergeant. Posted to an OTU {probably No. 73 OTU} at Faid, Egypt, to continue training on Spitfires. On completion of this course, he was posted to India (probably ferried in a Sunderland - travelled Cairo-Basra-Bahrein-Karachi) and spent time.

Weizman states that he spent most of his time "in a town called Bangalor doing patrols here and there, ferrying planes about."

Before demob, sailed from India to Port Tewfik, Egypt. Discharged at Ramle, Palestine after 4 years service in the RAF.

Now to the 7th January 1949:

Firstly, some background, starting with details of claims from Dave Lednicer's wonderful sites: http://home.sprynet.com/~anneled/IAFtotal.html & http://home.sprynet.com/~anneled/IAFclaims.html

07-Jan-49
3 Spitfires (British) claimed by IAF Spitfire IX's
2 MC.205V's (Egyptian) claimed by IAF P51D's
1 Tempest (British) claimed by IAF Spitfire IX

Individual claims:

Chalmers Goodlin (flying IAF 101 Sqdn Spitfire IX) claimed a Spitfire FR18 (British, No. 208 Sqdn,pilot F/O Geoff Cooper)
John McElroy (flying IAF 101 Sqdn Spitfire IX) claimed a Spitfire FR18 (British, No. 208 Sqdn, pilot Ron Sayers)
John McElroy (flying IAF 101 Sqdn Spitfire IX) claimed a Spitfire FR18 (British, No. 208 Sqdn,pilot F/O Tim McElhaw)
John Doyle (flying IAF P-51D) claimed an MC.205V (Egyptian)
Boris Senior (flying IAF P-51D) claimed an MC.205V (Egyptian) - possible
William Schroeder (flying IAF 101 Sqdn Spitfire IX) claimed a Tempest (British, pilot David Tattersfield)

Next, from "No Margin for Error", by Ehud Yonay:

"Early that morning {7th January 1949}, an Israeli military convoy radioed for help after it was attacked by enemy fighters, and two recently arrived volunteers, John McElroy and Chalmers "Slick" Goodlin, were scrambled to the scene. According to McElroy, he and Goodlin spotted three columns of smoke from a distance, and reached the Israeli convoy just as four Spitfires were swooping down as if to shoot it up again. EcElroy shot one of the attacking fighters from such a close range that when it exploded, McElroy's own plane was damaged by the flying debris. According to McElroy, Goodlin was going after the second Spitfire when he himself turned back and returned to base with his damaged plane.

"Goodlin's recollection of the affair is somewhat different. He remembers no columns of smoke, and says that the thick sandstorms that day made it difficult to see anything. As he tells it, they had picked up some unidentified radio chatter, and McElroy said, "We've got some bogies out here." Just then, Goodlin recalls, "we noticed dark shapes ahead of us in the dust. McElroy said, 'I'll take the one on the left and you take the one on the right', and that's what we did." Goodlin says he saw McElroy blow up one of the planes, while he himself followed the second Spitfire up through the blowing sand. When they were out in the clear and the enemy pilot spotted Goodlin behind him, "he peeled off and came back, and I noticed gun smoke starting to roll out underneath his wing," Goodlin recalls.

"It was only at this point that Goodlin first realised that the fighter he was up against was a Royal Air Force Spitfire with full insignia. "I remember seeing it and wondering why the hell he was shooting at me {well, they had just attacked and shot down his wingman! - Rod}, especially since je was firing at the wrong angle and couldn't hit anything," Goodlin would say later. But by them the fight was on, and "I managed to get into position behind him and get off a couple of lucky shots (which) struck his engine." The RAF Spitfire went down through the dust clouds and crashed."

"FOOTNOTE - According to subsequent testimony by F/O Cooper, the RAF flight leader that morning, his four-fighter formation was on a tactical reconnaissance mission along the Egypt-Israel boundary, with two planes flying low for visual inspection of the combat area, and the other two photographing the terrain from 1,500 ft. When they flew over the Israeli advance route in Nizana, the two low-flying Spitfires were shot down by ground fire (one pilot killed and the other bailed out and was captured). Cooper and his wingman were looking for the downed pilots when they were atacked by"Jewish aircraft...with the British-type camouflage and with red airscrew spinners similar to those of the aircraft of 208 Squadron (both of them bailed out; Cooper was picked up by Bedouins and returned to Egypt, while his wingman was taken by the Israelis)."

"...later that afternoon, when four Israeli Spitfires led by Ezer Wezman ran into a second British force of four Spitfire and fifteen Tempest fighters, and one of the American volunteers shot down a British Tempest - the fifth RAF fighter to go down that day."

Next, from "Israel's Best Defence", by Col. Eliezer "Cheetah" Cohen IAF (ret):

"On the morning of January 7, 1949, the last day of the war, rumors reached Hatzor that the cease-fire would go into effect during the afternoon. The pilots competed for every sortie, since there might be no more. The Spitfires took off in pairs. Since the arrival of the last ten in Operation Velvetta 2, the squadron was well equipped. Ezer Weizman, the operations officer, and Rudy Augarten-Carmi took off toward Abu-Aweigila. They attacked the rear flank of the remainder of the retreating Egyptian forces, strafing vehicles and people and then returning. At 0930 hours, another pair, Goldin and McElroy, an American and a Canadian volunteer, returned. They reported shooting down two Spitfires. "British," they added, by the way.

"The British air presence was not a surprise. It had been expected from the day the IDF entered the Sinai and received the ultimatum from London. It had also been felt previously, after the bombing of Amman. The British were more reasonable in the air than they had been on the ground during the final days of their rule of the country. They generally observed from the sidelines and maintained a low profile. At most, they sent photographic reconnaissance planes toward Israel. When the fre­quency of these sorties increased, suspicions began to arise in IAF headquarters that the photographs would be passed on to Egypt, Jordan, or Iraq. In early December it was decided to respond. From the ground they saw the high-altitude contrails of a twin-engined British Mosquito bomber, which they knew could also fly reconnaissance missions. It was flying south along the coast at its peak altitude. Only the Mustangs could climb to such an altitude to intercept it. The Mustangs were already in operational service, and one of them, flown by the experienced Wayne Peake, an American volunteer, rose to intercept the Mosquito. Peake had grown up in the Mustang during the Second World War. He caught the Brit over Hatzor, squeezed a burst out of his cannons, and saw chunks of the Mosquito falling into the sea. The incident was not publicized, and even the British remained silent.

"The report that the British had lost an aircraft in a violent confrontation that could give validity to the diplomatic ultimatum was received with mixed sentiments in the squadron. Along with a degree of joy, there was also a certain trepidation about how the British would respond. After two hours, another pair returned from the Sinai. Before landing, Jack Doyle's Spitfire executed a roll, a clear sign that he had shot down an enemy plane. He told how they had encountered six British aircraft. In a short dogfight, Doyle shot down one and his partner might have hit another. The emotion also swept through IAF headquarters, though they felt no trembling of the knees.

"Ezer was ordered by telephone to continue the patrols, but to be careful of further confrontations with the British. The cease-fire had been set for 1400 hours, and it was now 1230 hours. Ezer was depressed. He had destroyed Egyptian tanks and vehicles, but had not chalked up one downed aircraft. At the last moment he called headquarters and proposed sending two pairs to El Arish to demonstrate their presence and to remind the Egyptians that they should observe the cease-fire. The planes took off from Hatzor at 1445 hours, with Ezer leading. Sandy Jacobs was his number two, and numbers three and four were both Americans, Bill Schroeder and John Dungot. Flying at seven thousand feet in cloudy skies, each Spitfire carried two 20-millimeter cannons and two . 50-caliber Browning machine guns. In bone-chilling cold, they flew in an open formation. Above Haluza, not far from the international border, Ezer observed several black dots in the distance. Counting them, he reached eight, decided that they were not Israeli, and waved his wings to indicate to close the formation. The three others copied and pulled. Ezer climbed to altitude. He knew that in a dogfight, particularly in the Spitfire, altitude meant speed. His altimeter read 8,500 feet, and a quartet was coming straight toward them. The second quartet flew a bit to their left and above. There was no doubt that they were British. "We're going in!" he yelled into the radio. The British pilots opposite him continued to fly as if they had not noticed the Israeli aircraft or did not expect them to attack now, of all times, when the cease-fire was about to come into effect.

"Ezer saw Bill Schroeder entering the battle, and after a few seconds, the first British Spitfire began to spin, dragging a trail of black smoke until it crashed into the ground. It was now four against seven. Ezer grabbed another and fired all his cannon and machine-gun rounds. The plane was hit, but did not fall. Within two minutes the, battle was over. From the ground the Egyptians were sending up antiaircraft fire. Ezer looked around and found himself alone. The skies were empty, and none of his people could be seen. This was a common experience after a dogfight. In the distance he could see a British Spitfire climbing to altitude, also alone. Ezer set out on its trail, but felt the distance between them growing. He scoured the desert, hoping to find the plane he had hit with his cannons. Nothing. With slight disappointment he returned to Ha­tzor. Sandy Jacobs embraced him. He had seen a plane crash and did not know whose it was. Ezer's Spitfire had survived with only two holes in the propeller. At 1530 hours, after the debriefing and the reports from the Sinai, the picture became clear, and he could smile. Five British aircraft had been downed, and one was his. It had executed a belly landing near El Arish, and its pilot had been taken prisoner by Israeli forces, along with another pilot. Two pilots had been killed, and one had been picked up by the Egyptians. Only three had returned to their base.

"In Hatzor and Tel Aviv, there was both joy and concern. The pessimists feared retaliatory action, with dozens of RAF bombers and fighter planes wiping Hatzor off the map. After recovering from the ecstasy of victory, a sadness remained. They felt sorrow over the two British pilots who had been killed. The next day, a telegram was sent to RAF headquarters in Cyprus: "Our apologies, friends, but you were on the wrong side of the fence.""



Lastly, the account from Weizman's biography on the encounter in question:


"In the meantime, while we were trying to predict the British response, things were happening fast and furious. The boys were out on patrol, in search of prey, and an Egyptian Fiat G-46 was shot down. I also went out, but returned empty-handed. At about 11.30, two hours after the first two, two other pilots came back. One of them did an aerial roll — the conventional way of signalling an enemy plane shot down — and when his plane came to a halt he clambered out smiling. Another British plane. A second group of six British planes — probably seeking traces of the two planes lost in the previous engagement — and our two took on all six ! They shot down one and thought they damaged another. We reported to high command, and over the telephone came the sound of agitated breathing. At 12.30, or slightly later, we got instructions from the command: continue patrolling, and beware of British planes.


"The cease fire was to go into effect at two that afternoon. The hands of the clock were moving on, the war was coming to an end, and I'd had a fruitless day. I hadn't shot down anything — Egyptian, Syrian or British. A crowded day, and here I was, excluded from the festivity. True, in the course of the war I had flattened some tanks, as well as some other vehicles; I'd bombed and strafed. But I never had any luck in aerial dogfights.

Two o'clock. Cease-fire. No more flying over enemy territory. I phoned air-force command: `Listen, there's a cease fire? Okay. But those Egyptians — I don't know whether they'll start again or not — but I think it would be good for morale to fly over El Arish with a foursome, to display our presence, and to remind them that they'd better keep to the cease-fire.' I breathed deeply as I got the word, 'Go!'


"We took off from Hazor at about 2.45. With me were Sandy Jacobs and two American boys, Bill Shroeder and Caesar Dangott. It was cloudy and cold; we were flying at 7,000 feet, in fairly open combat formation. Each plane had two 20-mm cannon and two o.5 machine-guns; sights functioning, the radio in order. We flew on compass bearing : El Arish. Objective : demonstration of force. Motive: a personal hankering for adventure and a search for just one more victory to finish up the war.


"Around the international boundary I saw black dots, the same height as we were, at twelve o'clock. I counted eight planes. Clearly not ours. I waggled my wings, signalling `close formation'. The other three saw what I had and closed up. In air combat, especially with these planes, if you have height you enjoy an advantage, because you can always convert height into speed. So I climbed. At 8,500 feet, they approached from straight ahead. Two foursomes, one slightly higher and to the left of the other. `Going in!' I called. The planes facing us continued to fly at the same height. Either they hadn't noticed us, or they thought we wouldn't attack them. They did not get into formation and remained 1,500 feet below us, to our right.


"Bill was the first to go in to the attack. Within seconds, black smoke was pouring out of one of the British `Spits' : he went into a spin, nose down, and hit the ground. A lively battle — seven of them and four of us. I caught one, sat on his tail and let him have it. I observed hits, but I didn't see him catch fire or crash. In a fight lasting about two minutes we scattered them in all directions. Then the Egyptian anti-aircraft fire was turned on us. I glanced around, looking for the others, but I was alone, which often happens after combat. I noticed another plane climbing, making off alone. I tried to catch up, but the distance was too great. After another turn — perhapsI'll find the plane I hit — I headed back to Hazor. Sandy had already landed, and he ran up to embrace me. He had seen a plane crashing and wasn't sure whose it was, making him fear for my fate. Upon checking I discovered one or two bullet-holes, nothing serious.


"We had had a long day. Five planes, the property of the British Empire, were now buried in the desert sands. One of them was mine. It transpired that the plane I hit did a belly-landing near El Arish. Two of the British pilots were killed, we captured two others, and one of them walked back to his base."


Cheers

RodM



Last edited by RodM; 28th April 2005 at 04:41.
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