Aerial victories....

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Lucky13, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. Lucky13

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    Aug 21, 2006
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    Is it just me that thinks that the RAF way of awarding kills sometimes was a bit unfair?
    As from Ospreys Typhoon and Tempest Aces of World War II:

    Beaumont's No 2, "Lefty" Whitman, came to the end of his tour before the V-1 campaign was over, and recalls his alst sortie;
    "Just as I turned over Goodwin Sands, tracers crissed-crossed the estuary, tracking the course of my target. It was about 1000 ft, just visible above the fog banks. Starting off at full throttle, I was quickly in a firing position, but not a moment too soon. There, direvtly in front, was the balloon fence. A short burst blew number 14 to smithereens; another few seconds and the Battersea power station would likely have been hit as it lay dead ahead. As I circled to report my "kill", people rushed out of the row of houses, waving, and I knew that my victory roll would help help keep the morale up."
    As the above passage indicates, "Lefty" Whitman claimed 14 bombs destroyed (7 solo and 7 shared), yet "official" records indicates he was credited with "5 solo and 5 shared". Many pilots involved feel their claimes were unfairly adjusted, and "Lefty" has this to say;
    "It was a combination of luck, plus some "claim jumping", that translated into high scores and high decorations for those who practised the art.
    Claimes were constantly being adjusted at squadron level, and, as I was to discover later, at Command level as well.
    The "Guns" were occasionally given credits for "kills" for morale boosting and, we suspected, for boosting of other sorts. It was not unusual to discover that you had been given a half credit, or one quarter, or some other fraction of a "kill" that you thought you had made alone."

    Would all this hassle have made the pilots annoyed, fed up? I know that, at that point they weren't doing it for the glory and all that. It was a job that needed to be done and someone had to do it.
    Was it just the RAF that had 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 kills, beside the damaged, probable and destroyed? I know that the USAAF had kills added to those that made strafing kills since that was a dangerous business with flak, small arms fire etc...
    How did the VVS, Luftwaffe, Imperial Japanese Navy and Army Air Force and Regia Aeronautica award their "kills"?
    And, how about tank crews and their victories?

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