American Fighter Aces Victory Credits Board?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Raymond Kemp, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Raymond Kemp

    Raymond Kemp New Member

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    I ran into learning about the AFAA Victory Credits Board a number of years ago and I had to take a moment then to think about how this might be impacting history. At the time I inquired about this subject to my grandfather, Col. Raymond F. Toliver for his take on the matter since at one time he was the historian for the AFAA. From what I understand this is something that is not in any way associated with the USAF, yet from what I've seen on various forums, etc. these so-called "official" findings by the AFAA Victory Credit Board are in some cases being officially adopted into publications, etc. and therefore new fighter aces are popping up from time to time.

    I'm interested in what others here feel about such a system. It looks like if the USAF won't validate you as on ace, you can take your case to the AFAA and they just might make you one.

    Raymond Kemp
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #2 GregP, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
    I do NOT like the AFAA Victory Credits Board. They are false, period.

    The official total comes for the USAF who used to be the USAAC.

    If you shoot down and enemy aircraft and if it falls to the ground and lands or crashes, you got a victory. I don't care if they recovered it, it was a kill whether or not the pilot or aircaft survived later. If it flew later, it was STILL SHOT DOWN. Why does it matter if the enemy takes drastic action and recovers it? It was shot down for a victory by the other side.

    Let it go. I KNOW that if YOU shot down an enemy aircaft and if it landed out of the fight or crashed as result of combat, YOU would claim a victory. Other people did, too, and they were right. If it went down, it was a kill. recovered or not. The kill is about aerial combat results, not about Aluminum rsources.

    Just my opinion and I do nor care if the AFAA or anyone else agrees.

    AFAA Victory Credits Board, GO AWAY and die an unnatural death. We don't need you.

    Reasonable disagreements wiil be considered, but remember, if it went down, it is an aerial victory for the pilot, squadron, group (or whatever) and air force.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #3 stona, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
    I believe Frank Olynyk is still the AFAA historian. I would simply quote him.

    "The American Fighter Aces Association Victory Credit Board is only official for AFAA purposes. It is not associated with the USAF, and if it has any impact on USAF deliberations on claims, it appears to be more negative than anything".

    My italics.

    Seems fair enough to me. If you don't agree with AFAA research or results you can just ignore them. If it's results are quoted and properly credited in other publications that seems fair enough too.

    Claims is always a contentious and murky area. What exactly constitutes a "kill",as highlighted above,is just one of many issues.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The USAF Victory Credits are occasionally updated as evidence is brought to the attention of a review Board. Frank has submitted several based on his findings and I believe that several have been approved.

    Personally, I have submitted three in which a mid air collision (and both pilots perished) as a result of Macr documentation by the LW.

    The AFAA did eliminate all the Combined Aces in which the air/ground combination met or exceeded five, in the case where five were not destroyed in the air. Having said that, the AFAA relied entirely on USAF Study 85 for their determinations when that decision was executed. I have been out of touch with AFAA since 1990 but through that date the USAF Victory Credits Board was the sole determinant.

    If the AFAA credits depart from USAF Victory Credit Board, it isn't by much and AFAIK the Claims to Credit review process is pretty thorough. I will post Frank to get his views.
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #5 drgondog, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
    In what way has AFAA offended you?

    The historical process when AFAA was formed was a.) use Gene Gurney's Five Down and Glory as basis plus whatever USAAF/USAF resources that were available when the American Fighter Ace Association was formed in 1960. Specifically Project Aces (1959) was known to only a few and it was Not used initially. b.) About the same time Wayne Jorda 81st FG was president, "A Preliminary List of US Air Force Aces 1917-1953" was published it was discovered that his total was only four, his fifth being a 'probable'. Wayne was asked to resign along with all the others not contained in that study.

    Hess and Toliver were Secretary and Historian respectively and Publishe American Fighter Aces in 1975. I did about 12 Bio's for The Aces, and also contributed to Toliver/Constable "Fighter Aces of the USA".

    So, the news that AFAA has gone down a path not sanctioned by USAF for AAF/USAF Ace recognition is news to me. I would like to see what you have on this.
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Allright, I'll bite.

    The AFAA seeks to "validate" victory credits. The victory credits awarded in the war are all that matter to me. I have seen several instances of people looking at old aircrft wreckage and thinking it was a particular aircraft, only to find out later, sometimes years later it wasn't. To me, if the AFAA wants to keep a tally for their own purposes, so be it. The offical USAF and USN / Marine Corps victories are what counts to me.

    I deplore revisionists unless they want to examine all of a history period or action. To pick a specific example and try to change it makes it look like a hidden agenda is in effect, like maybe somebody's grandfather was on the losing side and the person wants to change history's view so his grandfather was on the winning side.

    Sometimes, history is the point of view of the victor, and it has been that way since history began to be recorded. I have no issue with publishing the point of view of the loser, but I don't like it when they try to change the historical outcome. Hence, I have no use for the AFAA. The war is long over and the pilots were awarded what they were awarded; it's done. They should live with it. Mistakes may have been made, but they were made during teh war in question. Let it go; it's already recorded.

    I understand other viewpoints; I simply don't agree. I would not seek to disband the AFAA; I simply don't consider them as experts on anything except their own careers which, no doubt, are interesting. The aerial victories are what they are and will not change for the people who were involved in WWII; at least not to me.
     
  7. Raymond Kemp

    Raymond Kemp New Member

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    Hi Bill! I remember discussing this with my grandfather back around 1996 give or take a year. At the time I stumbled on some rather harsh comments online about how he and Constable were not updating their books to include the new aces as proclaimed from the findings of the AFAA Victory Credits Board. If memory serves me correctly, I think it was Hess making the comments; don't hold me to that, I'm still looking for the forum where I spotted the comments.

    In a nutshell, my grandfather said he did not approve of the AFAA Victory Credits Board and that the board was something completely independent of the USAF process of determining victories. I was left to assume they (him and Constable) would not update their books to reflect AFAA claims although I'm the process of confirming this now. Bill, do you have any insight on this from your contact with my grandfather?

    I did look up a few of the newly anointed aces from the AFAA Victory Credits Board and some of them do proclaim themselves as "officially" becoming an ace although they do not divulge how they were officiated. The jury is still out with me as to my thoughts on this matter and I believe I'll share those thoughts as I educate myself a bit more to this controversial topic.

    Ray
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Even when they are demonstrably wrong?

    This works both ways and I understand that the USAF will consider new evidence.

    To me it is a matter of little import whether a man is credited with 4,6,352 or no victories. It's a deeply flawed numbers game on all sides of the conflict.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  9. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    but gentlemen it is what we have had and will have, as more of the pilots and their logbooks are lost forever we lose another window from both sides of the conflict case being strongly during 1945 for the Lw it is just plain gone except for those fortunate to have with them the unknown pilot/crew Flugbuchs handy and offerings taken for big monies.

    Frank O. is the man now and he is trying we need to support him and his findings we have glassed the what-if for the US fighter aces so consistently here on these boards and elsewhere it will get nowhere if we continue down that long boring path except to make us personally feel up and up...........do we really want to ? cross-reference and cross-reference I say.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Wasn't Lee Archer made an ace in this manner?
     
  11. Raymond Kemp

    Raymond Kemp New Member

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    #11 Raymond Kemp, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
    According to a post I found from Frank Olynyk on another board, no. It appears from Frank's post, Lee Archer was listed as an ace in Charles Francis's book on the Tuskegee airmen due to Francis "misreading of a very unofficial hand-written victory list for the 332nd FG." I take it from Frank's post that meant the AFAA did not proclaim Lee Archer as an ace either.

    I would like to see the complete list of aces proclaimed by the AFAA Victory Credits Board. Anyone got an insight as to getting such list?
     
  12. frogg

    frogg New Member

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    In his book Stars Bars Olynyk lists Archer with 4 kills (page 119).

    Personally, I'm comfortable going with Mr. Olynyk's research (as well as Chris Shores for the UK/Commonwealth). Seeing as my relatives in WW II were ground pounders and merchant mariners I don't really have a dog in this fight so to speak.

    I've got Olynyk's USN and USMC books in addition to Stars Bars. If I could get my hands on his USAAF books I could die a happy man.
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I think that it is important to remember that history is not set in stone. More research is done and more data is discovered,or rediscovered, and it is only reasonable to introduce this into any history. That is not necessarily "revisionism" in the perjorative sense that that word is often used.

    Steve
     
  14. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    When you have time and inclination I woul like to know more about the new annointees and why the controversy exists.
     
  15. Raymond Kemp

    Raymond Kemp New Member

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    Bill, no he didn't cite anything specific, but it was very clear that he did not endorse the concept of the American Fighter Aces Association Victory Claims board proclaiming new aces. I think he felt that an association such as the AFAA had no business doing what should only be administered and validated by military VCB.

    I have to admit I was surprised to learn that such a board with the AFAA exists. But, where does history take a position on this? Should a historian publish claims made by the AFAA VCB which is completely unsanctioned by the USAF? And for those that do publish a pilot as an ace, are they declaring that the ace status is from an association and not a military VCB? It all boils down to the word "ace" and many people are under the impression this is a designation given solely by the military, not a club or association.

    Is this a form of historical misrepresentation?
     
  16. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    At the end of a very long day, the USAF Victory Credit Board is the governing authority of whom (USAF/AAF) shall be credited with an enemy aircraft (Ballon, Glider, airplane) destroyed. Having said that, based on the same criteria used to evaluate Encounter Reports as, for example, the 8th AF VCB during WWII - the Frank Olynyk probably has the most complete up to date 'lists'. I use the USAF VCB for my own analysis and historical observations but freely acknowledge Dr. Olynyk's scholarship.

    Now the question to be answered is "What specifically is the AFAA Board doing in their reviews that is causing consternation to those that object to such methods?" BTW the Fighter Aces can designate or reject the status of "Ace" in any manner they choose. Neither the USAF, or USN/USMC have to agree (or disagree) but if AFAA decides on a victory credit as important as one to officially declare a fighter pilot an Ace, they would be wise to submit the evidence to the appropriate military authority for eventual corroboration - or they would appear silly.

    The USAF Board is VERY slow in review process. I have had one on the table for 15 years, and two for 6 years and none have been reviewed as yet. I believe Frank has the same experience but IIRC he has had some reviewed and approvd.

    From my perspective I defer to Shores/Olynyk for comprehensive coverage and USAF VCB for AAF/USAF air victory credits and 8th AF VCB for ground credits. If I ever do research on USN/USMC I would defer Entirely on Olynyk. I can't speak for other authors or historians with respect to their own lists but you have my personal rationale.. take what you want and leave the rest..
     
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