A Trivia Question...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by FLYBOYJ, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Who was the first person to shoot down a BF 109? I believe I have an answer but want to see what other come up with.
     
  2. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    Frank Tinker, American volunteer pilot for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. He shot down a Bf109B of the Condor Legion July 13, 1937, while flying an I-16. The Yugoslav volunteer B.B. Petrovic claimed one July 8, but none were actually lost that day.

    Joe
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    BINGO! But I should have excluded you from this! :lol:
     
  4. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Good question though..

    I bet he was a happy man!

    .
     
  5. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Darn, I was looking around 1 Sept and a Polish flyer!
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Frank Glasgow Tinker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    He was born in Kaplan, Louisiana, and grew up in DeWitt, Arkansas. In 1926 he joined the US Navy hoping to become a naval aviator. In 1933 he graduated from the US Naval Academy. In 1934 he was assigned to US Navy aviation and became a pilot of a reconnaissance floatplane of USS San Francisco cruiser. Because of problems with alcohol and brawls, he was dismissed from the Navy.

    After the start of the Spanish Civil War, Tinker offered his service to a Republican side, reportedly because of his aversion to fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, who was helping the Nationalists. He negotiated a high salary of $1,500 monthly, and a premium $1,000 for any aircraft he shot down. Under a nom de guerre Francisco Gomez Trejo he went to Spain via France.

    For a short time, from January 6, 1937, he served in a light bomber squadron, flying on obsolete Breguet 19 bombers. From January 23, he, along with some other American pilots, was assigned to a fighter unit, 1st Escuadrilla de Chatos commanded by Andres Garcia La Calle, flying Soviet biplanes Polikarpov I-15 "Chato". In 1937, he flew many combat missions against the Fascists, generally duelling against Germans and Italians. The squadron first entered action on February 10, and took part in a Battle of Guadalajara. On March 14, Tinker shot down his first aircraft, the Italian fighter Fiat CR.32. On March 20 he shot down another CR.32, and on April 17 he shot down German Heinkel He 51 fighter from Legion Condor over Teruel.

    On May 3, 1937, Tinker was assigned to 1st Escuadrilla de Moscas, commanded by the Russian, Ivan Lakyeyev, flying on faster fighters Polikarpov I-16 "Mosca". On June 2 and June 16 he shot down another CR.32's. On July 13, as the first American, he shot down one of the most modern German fighters Messerschmitt Bf 109B near Madrid ; it was the number 6-4 of the squadron 2G77 flown by Sgt. Guido Honess who happened to be the first ever German to win 3 victories on this new type of aircraft. On July 17, Tinker had another Bf109B shot down. He was actually the first ever pilot to shoot down a Messerschmitt plane. This first version of the Bf109 was not a good climber and Tinker got on his back while the German tried to gain altitude after a dive on him - a lethal mistake according to Tinker. The scene is described in detail in his book Some Still Live. His last victory was the FIAT CR.32, on July 18, 1937. He flew his last missions on July 29, 1937 then he returned to the USA.

    In total, he shot down eight enemy planes, surviving many close calls with gunners as well as malfunctioning equipment. In his official flight logbook there are claims for 19 victories. He should have shared a number of kills against Ju 52 bombers with the 1st LaCalle. However, due to the complex Spanish system of verifying air kills and the consequent extra fees paid to mercenaries, many of them were often not credited, either because the enemy planes crashed over the opponent's territory or as a means to avoid payment by the Spaniards.

    Eventually, he fell victim to shell shock due to the constant combat. In 1938, he wrote a book detailing his war experiences, Some Still Live, which was first published in serial form in the Saturday Evening Post. Ernest Hemingway was notably a fan, lauding it to Maxwell Perkins. However, soon after the book was published, Tinker committed suicide in a Little Rock hotel by a gunshot to his head.

    The reasons for his death relate to the bad treatment he received from the FBI due to his warm support to the Republican cause. He asked to return to the US Navy or US Army as a pilot but he was rejected. He even threatened to return to Spain to continue fighting. At the end he was haunted by the thought he had betrayed his comrades and himself. His mate in arms Albert John Baumler, nicknamed 'Ajax' (from his name acronym A.J.), proposed joining the Flying Tigers in China. His signed request was found next to his death bed with an empty bottle of whiskey. On his tombstone the local priest engraved the phrase in Spanish: Quien Sabe?, meaning "Who knows?"

    I wonder if this is true:On 13 June in a drunken haze, he shot himself. A letter of acceptance from the Chinese Air Force sent by Claire Chennault was found next to his body.




    Because of problems with alcohol and brawls, he was dismissed from the Navy.

    Back then? Just how much Boozing and fighting did you have to do to get kicked out of the Navy in 1934??
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thanks, Comiso. I never heard of him.

    Shame that the Armed forces and the US turned their back - per se - on him. Could have used that experience after '41.
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    It would make a great movie..

    as long as he wasn't played by Ben Aflack
     
  9. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    :lol: :lol: Too true......

    It would make a good movie I agree.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    There was at least one other pilot I heard of who flew in the Spanish Civil War who was a real boozer and was sent home from Spain for too much heavy drinking - Bert Acosta.

    Bertrand Blanchard Acosta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  11. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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