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Pre-WW2 Military and Naval Aviation Please use this forum to discuss Military and Naval Aviation before the Second World War.

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  #1  
Old 7th June 2022, 13:07
Edward L. Hsiao Edward L. Hsiao is offline
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Rene Fonck's air to air claims

Gentlemen,I think a lot of 75 air to air kills of Rene Fonck were disputed. They didn't match up to known German losses over the Western Front. Also Fonck thought that his real total score over German planes was 127 claims. Which is total rubbish indeed! The Germans didn't lose that many. This topic about Fonck is not clear. There was one other World War I French ace that claim to have over 100 air to air kills over German planes which is false. I forgot the name of that French air ace.

Edward L. Hsiao
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Old 7th June 2022, 22:29
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Rene Fonck's air to air claims

Good evening Edward,

you find a list of René Fonck kills (75 confirmed officially, 32 verified by loss correlation) on David Méchin's excellent website:
http://www.as14-18.net/Fonck
and also a list for Georges Madon (41 confirmed, 64 unconfirmed):
http://www.as14-18.net/Madon

Best greetings from Switzerland,

Michael
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Old 8th June 2022, 00:59
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Rene Fonck's air to air claims

As I see it there is no point in hanging out any of the WW I aces, especially on the Allied side.

If you do, you would probably find that all major aces overclaimed quite a bit, not least on the British/Commonwealth side.

To try and verify German losses is impossible unless you can come up with a verified list of all aircraft
losses suffered by the Luftstreitkräfte.
At this stage we don't even know the exact production figures for many of the years.

Neither are the French losses known and I bet our French members cannot come up with a complete SFA number
list for all their aircraft built nor a complete loss list either.
We have some but far from all!

Cheers
Stig
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Old 8th June 2022, 19:11
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Rene Fonck's air to air claims

I would suggest a membership of the www.theaerodrome.com. By far the best forum on WW1 aerial combat.

For the French then you can't do better than David Mechin's recent volumes on the WW1 Aces. Each ace is given a biography that in many cases is surprising.

Regards

Keith
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Old 8th June 2022, 21:05
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Rene Fonck's air to air claims

Good evening,

I agree with Stig. Reducing ace scores on the basis of loss correlations alone is flawed. But that's what some members of the forum are doing all the time, even when this matter is not the topic of a thread at all.

In the current thread Edward specifically asked for the percentage of verified kills of Fonck. This question deserves an answer and the best French WW1 Aces expert is David Méchin. His ace biographies are highly recommendable to all and make it worthwhile to learn French.

To me the most interesting aspect of an ace is not the percentage of verified claims but the number of officially acknowledged claims in a certain aircraft type. My favourite Fonck fact is that he's the only ace who the top scorer in three (!) different aircraft types, respectively: SPAD S.XIII, SPAD S.XII and SPAD S.XVII.

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 26th June 2022, 06:31
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: Rene Fonck's air to air claims

One of the things to consider with WW1 score-lists is the inconsistent definitions. It was, after all, an very new concept.

The French started publicly celebrating air-to-air victories, perhaps first, adding to the pre-war fame of Roland Garros. However, it was not a uniform "set of rules" determining what constituted an "aerial victory".

The British and Commonwealth considered an enemy aircraft driven out of combat, to be the same as an outright shoot-down and these appear in the early scores of pilots - certainly until 1918 (from memory).

All this before we worry about determining over-claiming due to the larger combat formation encounters of late-1917 and 1918; or any hints of dishonesty. Perhaps best to take the data at face-value as indicative only.

...geoff
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Old 26th June 2022, 12:08
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Re: Rene Fonck's air to air claims

Good morning Gentlemen,

are you interested in the very first aerial victories ? This compilation shows a kind of French air supremacy in 1914:

• 25.08.1914 Hubert Harvey-Kelly (R.A.F. B.E.2a) & Christopher Wilson (Avro 504) are supposed to have forced to land a German aircraft. Harvey-Kelly and his observer landed next to it and destroyed it on the ground after chasing away the crew.
• 25.08.1914 Gilbert Mapplebeck (R.A.F. B.E.2a)
• 01.09.1914 Albert Moris (Maurice Farman MF.7bis) destroyed a balloon.
• 07.09.1914 Pyotr Nesterov (Morane-Saulnier Type G) rammed the Albatros B.II of Franz Malina and his observer Friedrich von Rosenthal. All three perished.
• 05.10.1914 Joseph Frantz (Voisin LA)
• 07.10.1914 Louis Gaubert (Maurice Farman MF.7bis)
• 24.10.1914 Émile Stribick (Henri Farman HF.22)
• 01.11.1914 Augustus Marsh (R.A.F. B.E.2a)
• 02.11.1914 Eugène Gilbert (Morane-Saulnier Type L)
• 03.11.1914 Arsène Vogoyeau (Maurice Farman MF.7bis)
• 05.11.1914 Richard Flashar (Rumpler B.I)
• 18.11.1914 Eugène Gilbert (Morane-Saulnier Type L) fought against an aircraft that was captured. However, this kill was never officially credited to Gilbert.
• 22.11.1914 Michel Mahieu (Voisin LA)
• 22.11.1914 Louis Strange (Avro 504)
• 06.12.1914 Julien Serviès (Voisin LA) destroyed a balloon.
• 17.12.1914 Eugène Gilbert (Morane-Saulnier Type L)
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