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

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Old 21st April 2008, 14:58
Ambush Commander Ambush Commander is offline
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The best allied fighter pilots have been the soviets

Bergströms mentioned

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It is a fact that the most experienced and most successful fighter aces on the Allied side in WW II were the Soviet top aces. It is interesting to note that the P-39 Airacobra was rejected by both RAF and USAAF pilots.
Is this true? I have never heard about that. To me that sounds like a joke. Also in the USAAF aces list i can' t find a single soviet fighter. Not even a polish and i think there must be polish fighters served with the USAAF.

Does there exists a kill list for those men or maybe a web page to get some more infos about this point?

Thanks in advance.


----EDIT-----

Or does he mean the USSR fighter pilots? He wrote ALLIED...
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Old 21st April 2008, 15:05
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

The comment applies to Soviet pilots in the Soviet air force, not to Soviet pilots in the USAAF, who were (by definition) zero. There are several websites and a number of good books dealing with the Soviet aces: look in particular for Ivan Kojedub with over 60 kills, the top claiming Allied ace of WW2. (Beware that the name may appear in different transliterations from the Cyrillic.)

Mike Gladych was certainly one Polish ace serving WITH the USAAF, but not IN the USAAF. There were many USAAF pilots of Polish origins, but I don't think that is what you mean.
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Old 21st April 2008, 15:14
Ambush Commander Ambush Commander is offline
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

Thanks Graham, you have been much to fast with you response. I just edited my #1 post. You are right he means the USSR pilots and not the USAAF.
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Old 21st April 2008, 15:23
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Evgeny Velichko Evgeny Velichko is offline
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
...look in particular for Ivan Kojedub with over 60 kills, the top claiming Allied ace of WW2. (Beware that the name may appear in different transliterations from the Cyrillic.)...
Иван Кожедуб could be as "Ivan Kozhedub", and he had 63 victories.

Григорий Речкалов, Grigory Rechkalov, had 61+4, most of them (not less then 50) - flying P-39.

Also, there were great amount of "20+" or even "30+" aces, who flew in P-39.

But of coarse they didnt serve in USAAF
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Old 21st April 2008, 16:55
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

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Originally Posted by Ambush Commander View Post
Or does he mean the USSR fighter pilots? He wrote ALLIED...
USSR (and, implicitely, the Soviet pilots) was a member of the 'Allies'.

A more interesting question though is can the Finns be also considered as part of the 'Allies' after their about-face of Sept. 1944? If so, then the most successful Allied fighter pilot was a Finn. Next in line is a Rumanian...
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Old 21st April 2008, 17:06
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

Lists of aces found using Google,
http://www.1000pictures.com/aircraft/aces.htm
http://aeroweb.lucia.it/rap/RAFAQ/aces.html

There was 23 USAAF aces who scored at least one kill in the P-39.
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Old 21st April 2008, 18:40
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

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Originally Posted by Dénes Bernád View Post
...Next in line is a Rumanian...
Hahaha

"I knew You will say that", (c) Judge Dredd

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Old 21st April 2008, 19:15
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

re Finns and Romanians: only counting kills scored whilst on the Allied side?

How about French/Vichy pilots? (OK, none with so large a number of claims....)
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Old 22nd April 2008, 10:13
kurlannaiskos kurlannaiskos is offline
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

perhaps what was meant was that I N Kozhedub had 62 victories and Major Bong (USAAF) had 'only' 40 and if memory serves correctly the top RAF ace had 'only' 38.
(I know someone will correct me if I am wrong)
making the top Soviet ace 1/3 more 'productive' than the USAAF or RAF


four of those top soviet aces scored some of their kills in the P-39 proving that it was not an 'Iron Dog' it was simply not being used correctly by the RAF and USAAF.
how many USAAF aces scored 5 or more kills in the P-39?
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Old 22nd April 2008, 11:49
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: The best USAAF fighter pilots have been the soviets

Not so much "not being used correctly" as operating under different conditions. The VVS operations were generally defensive patrols at low altitude over a very wide but shallow front-line, countering significant German offensive tactical operations. Not the kind of conditions generally available in the West, where operations were at higher levels with a high proportion of offensive operations going comparatively deeply into German airspace, and very limited German offensive flying.

Had the VVS the capability to operate above German fighters, or the operational approach requiring deeper penetrations, then the shortcomings of the P-39 would have been as important to them as they were to the Western Allies.

Or, switching to the Pacific war, had the VVS faced an opponent as agile as the Zero, then the P-39 would have proven just as inadequate in Soviet hands as in American.

Given the expressed opinions of the Soviet fighter pilots now being available in the West, I do wonder whether the prime advantage of the P-39 over concurrent Soviet types was the general fitting of a radio. Lack of communication and the associated inability to use other than the simplest of tactics must have been a heavy penalty to the VVS.
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