Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Allied and Soviet Air Forces

Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 20th July 2007, 17:07
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,633
Adriano Baumgartner is on a distinguished road
Top REC-TAC aces of the Royal Air Force, RCAF

Good night to all!
I do have found several information about the top REC-TAC pilots of USAF, but there is not ( as far as I know ) about the RAF´s REC-TAC top aces. Anybody knows if one of those specialized aircrew managed to achieve ace status?
There is a link or something else that could be researched? Please, any information about this subject would be of great help. I do have found some claims by 430 ( RCAF ) pilots, but so far, it seems that NO REC-TAC pilot achieved ace status ( as far as I went on my readings ).

Glad to all. May you have a nice week!

Friendly as ever

Adriano
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 20th July 2007, 17:47
Michal R. Michal R. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bezdružice, Czech Republic
Posts: 76
Michal R. is on a distinguished road
Re: Top REC-TAC aces of the Royal Air Force, RCAF

Hi Adriano,

this a little relate to of my question there - http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=9489

For 414. squadron I have this two pilots:

F/Lt Douglas I. Hall, 7-0-2 vicories
S/Ldr Gordon Wonnacott, 4+2-0-0 vistories

May be is some other aces from 400. squadron.

Cheers!
Michal
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 21st July 2007, 04:27
Col Ford's Avatar
Col Ford Col Ford is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 32
Col Ford
Re: Top REC-TAC aces of the Royal Air Force, RCAF

Adriano,

The important thing to remember about Reconnaissance and Tactical Reconnaissance pilots is their primary task - RECONNAISSANCE. On that basis their primary focus is on getting the required visual or photographic reconnaissance information and returning back to base with it. In the early days of Army Co-operation Command and the transfer of the Mustang units to Fighter Command operational control from mid 1942 until mid 1943, when the primary focus was on gaining operational experience and causing damage to enemy transportation and facilities, dog fighting and shooting down enemy aircraft was a secondary consideration. Pilots from RAF and RCAF Tac/R units operating from the UK in that timeframe only tended to become involved in air to air combat when they were intercepted by enemy aircraft and had to fight their way home. A number of pilots had scores, usually two or three of claims of 'kills' or 'damaged'.

Some went onto other RAF Mustang units later on in their careers, usually with Merlin engined Mustangs, but the focus of those units tended to be on acting as fighter bombers or on long range fighter escort to Bomber Command or Coastal Command strikes. One or two of them added to their scores, but none to my knowledge made it to 'ace' status.

In 1942-43, more of the Tac/R pilots racked up big 'scores' on railway locomotives, barges and other enemy transportation targets. Later, late 1943 until late 1944 it was hammered home to the Tac/R pilots that their primary role was reconnaissance, even to the point of the Montgomery directive after D-Day strictly forbidding Tac/R pilots from engaging in combat, even for targets of opportunity, only for self defence purposes. Reason being he needed the information they were bringing back and needed to preserve Tac/R pilots and aircraft. He needed their 'eyes' to support his decision making for the Army.

From late 1944 onwards they were let 'off the leash' and some started to rack up big scores again, but not of enemy aircraft, but enemy transport. Supply vehicles, especially fuel tankers, railway locomotives, powered barges or tugs, were all 'fair game' for a quick strafing run. Anything armoured or of a more substantial nature, a call to the waiting cab rank Spitfires or Typhoons to handle with cannon, bombs and rockets. That was their true value. Find the targets for attack, find the weak points in the enemy's defences.

A Tac/R pilot might not get the acclaim for shooting down an enemy aircraft, but his results in sighting enemy reinforcements being moved to the frontline, or a critical enemy convoy on the move, or getting the critical photos of a V1 or V2 site, all to allow a later strike by the more offensive forces, is often overlooked. The sighting of empty railway flat cars at a particular siding at a station in France after D-Day, close to the invasion beach head, a sign that German armoured reinforcements had finally made it to the area and that a German counter attack supported by armour could be expected soon. Consider the value of that information brought home versus one claim for an enemy aircraft to the Army on the ground.

Regards,
__________________
Colin Ford
Canberra
Australia
No.268 Squadron Royal Air Force 1940-1946
Historian by Appointment
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 21st July 2007, 10:24
CJE's Avatar
CJE CJE is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bordeaux (France)
Posts: 1,409
CJE
Re: Top REC-TAC aces of the Royal Air Force, RCAF

Adrian Warburton ?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 21st July 2007, 15:39
Andy Fletcher's Avatar
Andy Fletcher Andy Fletcher is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cork, Ireland
Posts: 716
Andy Fletcher
Re: Top REC-TAC aces of the Royal Air Force, RCAF

Strictly speaking Adrian Warburton wasn't a TacR pilot. The missions he flew with 431 Flt/69 Sqn were more GR/PR in nature. He later commanded 683 Sqn and 336 Wg which operated in the PR role. His last claims were with 1435 Sqn with whom he occasionally flew on a "jolly".

Best Regards

Andy Fletcher
__________________
Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 21st July 2007, 15:55
Andy Fletcher's Avatar
Andy Fletcher Andy Fletcher is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cork, Ireland
Posts: 716
Andy Fletcher
Re: Top REC-TAC aces of the Royal Air Force, RCAF

Couldn't agree more with Colin when he says that the critical role performed by TacR pilots is often overlooked. Reconnaissance pilots (TacR/PR etc), whatever their nationality, don't get the recognition they deserve from us even though many were highly decorated.

Regards

Andy Fletcher
__________________
Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 23rd July 2007, 15:54
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,633
Adriano Baumgartner is on a distinguished road
Re: Top REC-TAC aces of the Royal Air Force, RCAF

Colin, Andy and CJE,
Thanks for joining this thread. I had a problem with my computer and was "out" for a few days...Yes, I fully understand the difference between Reconnaissance men ( 542, 541, 680, 544, 1 PRU, 140 Squadrons ) and those of REC-TAC ( 414, 400, 2, 4, 16, and so on...). Of course, Warburton with 9 aerial victories "seems to be" ranked number one, in terms of kills; although he was himself a RECON pilot. From the information Michal R. gave us, it seems that Hall ( RCAF ) could be Nº2 in terms of victories ( with 7 kills ). Any more data about 2, 4 Squadron claims?
I have been looking at this subject and did not find a list of RAF REC-TAC aces, like that stablished by Jan Safarik on REC-TAC aces of the USAAF. That´s why I asked more information about it. I go agreed with you Colin when you say that their main purpose was to bring back INFORMATION. But, it was a job for individualists and most of those REC-TAC men were keen to have a go at the enemy. I remember reading about a 414 Squadron pilot who shot down 3 enemy during Operation Bondenplatte. But, I fully understand that it was not their main task.
Yes Andy, I support your last sentence...many were highly decorated for what they saw and filmed, but it seems to be a subject forget inside RAF´s Official History; like the "pick-up" men of 1419 Flight, 161, 138 ( and eventually 357 ) Squadrons.
Thank you again for your help and fofr joining the thread. I am still at the beginning of my search, but will put here what I do have found.
Friendly yours
Adriano
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25th July 2007, 18:09
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,119
Stig Jarlevik is on a distinguished road
Re: Top REC-TAC aces of the Royal Air Force, RCAF

Adriano

While having no wish to degrade the great Adrian Warburton, it seems that officially he is only credited with 7 air-to-air victories. Although himself claiming 9 it is most probable that two of these were on the ground.

I reccomend you get Chris Shores three volumes, Aces High, Aces High vol 2 and Those other Eagles, where basically ALL British, Commonwealth and other allies serving with the RAF and Royal Navy with 2 and more victories are listed.

Cheers
Stig
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RAF losses 5./6. March 1945 JanZ Allied and Soviet Air Forces 13 25th February 2012 12:40
Was XXII TAC part of Twelfth Air Force? Lagarto Allied and Soviet Air Forces 4 24th February 2008 18:04
Airpower summary Pilot Post-WW2 Military and Naval Aviation 0 23rd February 2007 15:11
VVS divisions Mike35nj Allied and Soviet Air Forces 2 7th August 2006 13:27
Royal Indian Air Force in the Second World War JaganP Japanese and Allied Air Forces in the Far East 6 29th August 2005 00:21


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 20:01.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net