If you were a pilot, how many Kills would you be satisfied with?

How many kills would you want, before you end your Flying Career?

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Soundbreaker Welch?

Tech Sergeant
Feb 8, 2006
Colorado, USA
You can end your career after a day if you want. It's up to you how long you want to stay and fight. It could be untill you decide to go home as a Veteran or until you die in combat as many a good pilot did.

Remember, the more combat missions you fly, the more likely you will be killed! And the thing is you can end your career when ever you like! So it's likely if you only fight a week, you won't become an Ace. If you fight three years, it may be up to 40 depending on how many battles you fought in.

Of course maybe this poll works better in WWI or WWII. Jets don't make many kills nowadays.

But since this is an imaginary poll setting anyway............You could be flying an F-22 and still go to 100 and beyond after our real world has run out of jets!

(Ok, ok, I'll quit with the polls.)
This is kinda a silly poll/question, as it is wwwaaayyyy too generic in terms....

But to be specific, if I were a combat pilot in WWII, I would do my duty for my country and fly as often as the political leadership asked me to... 5 kills and over is all any fighter pilot could ever ask for, so 5+ kills is it for me as well....
Being a fighter pilot in World War II, I would do my duty and fly as often as required. I would, however, be happy enough with just surviving the war.
Personally, thinking as I was now id want 100+ cos im a stubborn little so and so and id want to be the best.

But thinking in hindsight, I agree with D. Happy to just survive.
I think I'd like to do the job I was given to my best ability. I protect my bombers/wingmen by shootin down as many as needed to bring my charges and myself home.

On the G/A side I want to destroy as many as possible on the ground or in the air while bringing my charges and myself home. The number of kills is secondary.

A pilot has to be aggressive, observant (85% were bounces that the kill never even saw) and lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time (no bogie's no kills, too many bogie's your the kill).

I would agree that I would be happy to survive, but on the other side of the spectrum, I would want to excede Bong in terms of number of planes brought down. I don't want to be the top leading ace for all the nations, just the leading ace for America. Yes, I would care about my team mates, and an enemy aircraft that shot one of them down would soon find themselves in a similar situation, except with more holes in the cockpit.
What makes you so sure you could better your opponent? Let's face it, you'd be blasted out of the sky like 99% of us on here.
Strange poll. I suspect that, since every enemy represents a threat to your buddy, or someone on your side, I would want to eliminate everyone that opportunity presented. I'd be satified with all of them.
Decent question. Keep in mind that to make a kill you have to take the chance to get killed. The ability to stomach that realization and still be an effective killer is what makes an ace.

Plenty of guys (we're talking in the past here, pre-1960) went out, flew their tours and never blew the tape off their guns. Does that make them ineffective- not ace worthy, no, definitely not. They may not've had the opportunity (flying wing, ground attack or in an area where air to air was over- Joe Foss's second tour is a good example). They also may not've been the hard core killer type. And high scoring aces either are or become that type.

But back to the part where you have to take a chance to get killed to get a kill. Some people can't get past that point. Doesn't make them a coward or any of that, those types are generally weeded out. But guys who make kills tend to be pretty cold blooded. Mannock or McCudden once said that they were hired assassins, nothing more. It would be worth keeping that point in mind.

One last point, the guys who get whacked down are generally the newest and least experienced. The US Air Force did a study and found out that a pilot had something like a 25% chance of being shot down on any of his first five missions (note- odds posted could be as high as 50% but I've had a few beers and the first thing to go is "Mr Memory" so take that part with a grain of salt- Note 2. Odds per mission are not cumlative, 25% per mission on each of the first 5 missions) and thereafter the odds of survival increased (or of getting the chop decreased) to the point of a steady 5% per mission (average on that last one, flying an escort mission to Berlin is going to be a more hazerdous, in general, than one to the Normandy). A good ace/killer is going to quickly figure out how to spot the neophytes and go after them. The experts or hard core are much harder to get. Replacements die in groups, veterans die alone.
Thanks Bud.

Reading it now, I'm amazed that I'm that coherent at 9:30 on a Saturday night, kicking around the house with nothing much to do and drinking a few beers.

After reading about it for years, I'm of the opinion that air combat is something of a combination of an aerial mugging/assasination. Get in quick, slash n' stab, get out. The heavier the firepower, the less time spent firing, the better the chance for a break away. Get them but avoid getting "got" yourself. The less time you spend in the furballl, the better your chances of having a drink in the bar later that night. You can't see everything, hence the need to get in and out quickly. The 75% who get knocked down without seeing the guy who gets them weren't all neophytes. Some of them probably got task saturated and some joker slid up behind them--BAAM!

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