Marianas turkey shooting: claims losses

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, May 31, 2015.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Not to derail Greg's thread, perhaps we could discuss the Marianas turkey shooting here, or more precisely the claims, approved kills and real losses.
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    ASAIK the US Navy claims and losses for the Marianas are as follows:

    Marianas.jpg

    Looks like the U.S. Navy aircraft outnumbered the Japanese aircraft that they egaged by an average of 12.5 : 1, and shot down a claimed 51.2% of them. We had 22,432 action sorties, engaged 1,791 enemy aircraft (12.5 ; 1), lost 65 in the air to enemy aircraft, another 203 to enemy A/A, and another 223 operationally not attributable to enemy causes.

    We claimed 917 shot down in the air and 306 destroyed on the ground for a total of 1,223 enemy aircraft destroyed.

    In the strikes from 7/1 through 8/1/44, we outnumbered the enemy aircraft we engaged in the air by 532.5 : 1 (7,455 action sorties versus 14 enemy aircraft engaged.

    I have never seen the Japanese equivalent report, so I don't know the numbers from their side.

    I have some reservations about claiming 51.2% of the enemy aircraft engaged ... but ... (1) it was late in the war, (2) we had a large cadre of combat veterans and (3) we outnumbered them by an average of 12.5 : 1 in the air.

    I have nothing to say about the accuracy of the numbers as I have not tried to verify any of them against anything. I don't have the USN combat reports or the IJN combat reports. It is interesting that we had 83% as many operational losses as losses to enemy A/A and A/C combined. I do not know if a significant percent ran out of fuel, were lost to mechanical / electrical causes, or what.

    If anyone has the Japanese numbers, please post them. It would be very interesting, for instance, to know how many sorties the Japanese launched since we only engaged 1,791 total aircraft in 22,432 sorties (12.5 : 1).

    These data come from "Naval Aviation Combat Statistics of WW II," otherwise identified as "Opnav-P-23W" dated 17 June 1946.
     
  3. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Tillman in Clash of the Carriers p.198-199, gives some info on the IJN carrier based attacks of June 19 1944.

    Raid I:69 IJN aircraft engaged, 42 failed to return versus 105 USN fighter claims

    Raid II: 119 IJN aircraft engaged, 98 failed to return versus 107 USN fighter claims.

    Raid III: ~15 IJN aircraft engaged, 7 failed to return, versus 15 kill claims.

    However some of these aircraft were shot down by USN AA. Tillman states that 19 were shot down by USN AA but IIRC, AA gunners claimed over 60 kills. In any event we have 227 fighter claims versus 128 potential kills ( 147 - 19 = 128 ) .
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #4 GregP, May 31, 2015
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
    So where exactly did he get the Japanese numbers?

    I sent serious questions about one of his articles to the editors of Flight Journal after he made some claims in there, too. No answer. There are basically about 3 or 4 authors I don't really believe and he is one of them, though he DOES write a good story. Go look though his articles / other publications and see how many numbers you agree with. He ranks right up there with William Green and Martin Caiden.

    I might have to buy that just to digest his numbers. It isn't too expensive, less than $15.
     
  5. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    What were the IJA a/c losses in air combat Greg?
     
  6. Hiromachi

    Hiromachi Active Member

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    There is a very good book for this topic : https://www.hlj.com/product/MDG22950/Nav
    You have to forgive me for the link, but I dont have to the amazon and found it on hjl a bit quicker.
    The book has some story and explains a bit, but from my perspective for the discussion the most interesting part would be last 100 pages or so, as they basically contain a list of all Japanese aircraft and airmen participating - with comment if they survived or died. I could scan some of the stuff later, when I will find some time but there would be needed someone with more skill in translating Japanese to give us overview.
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #7 GregP, Jun 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
    Hi Milosh,

    Since you asked, what do YOU have? I already posted the Navy numbers above, if you look. I have no personal accounts of any WWII battles ... I wasn't there. Any accounts I read .. I try to corroborate with other accounts before blindly accepting numbers.

    Here's one acount --- I can't vouch for its accuray with any primary sources:
    Battle of the Philippine Sea: Operation A-Go

    If I can find a Japanese language version online, then at least I can tanslate it and get a mostly-correct interpretation. The only interview I read with Admiral Ozawa about Lete Gulf pretty much corroborates the US account. I have not seen a Japanese acount of the Philippine Sea and this ain't a Naval History forum.

    I'm mainly interested in the planes, restoring and flying them. I see some VERY strange numbers posted in here, but we aren't at war, we don't have 120 - 150 performance number fuel, and the engines and planes are privately owned. NOBODY uses WER in a stock plane except a decidedly rich man who wants to habe a little fun. If he is around, I haven't heard about him.

    I don't think even the guys in the Bronze class at Reno run WER. Those are mostly warbirds restored to stock configuration ... or as close as the money allows. I know one or two use slightly elevated rpm, but that isn't the same as WER manifold pressure. Some MIGHT use WER, but the first prize money in Bronze surely won't pay for an engine overhaul or even a prop. Of course, Silver and Gold classes are a different story, power-wise anyway ... maybe the same story for prize money.

    Thanks for the link, Hiromachi. It would nice if I could find an English version. I see there is English in the title ... but it seem to be a Japanese language-only text.
     
  8. Hiromachi

    Hiromachi Active Member

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    All titles on the Hobbylinkjapan are in English, or at least Romaji. But most of the publications are purely in Japanese and so is this one. There is no English version of it as far as I'm aware, and so that is why I thought if someone speaking Japanese could help here.
     
  9. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, he makes reference to the IJN official history. I'll check that tomorrow, as I'm away from home right now.
     
  10. Hiromachi

    Hiromachi Active Member

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    Hmm, emmm, it seems it might take more than I anticipated ... as I forgot where did I put that book :( So I will scan some parts as soon as I will find it.
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Hiromachi. This is geting a bit much for me. I'll check in every once in awhile, but basically I'm just trying to collect the data that are available and make some analyses of it. I have almost zero interest in debating the validity of the data.

    If it's all the data we have, then there isn't any better data available and use it or not as you choose. But do the analsysis and then have all the nay-sayer crop up and challenge everything makes want to just stop posting.

    The nay-sayers should put all the effort into getting valid data and we'd all be better off. I'd ofer help if I could find decent primary sources for other than esy-to-find Allied data. And if you HAVE primary soruces, that's probably the best data you a re going to get, so cross check it and go from there. The issue comes when changes to the data are made. Almost no group will find three people who would make the same changes at the same time.

    Everyone thinks any disputes are excess claims, but there is also the case where inventory onhand is miscounted ... think about the Soviet Union. I'm not sure I'd report true strength onhand if Stalin executed commanders who lost a lot of planes in one battle, and that's not the only reason for planes on hand to be misreported. Thre is also planes in maintenance and planes mission ready. Fudging the numbers is EASY and there are a considerable number of people out there who want to look good even if they're not in reality good. At least SOME of them had to be Commanding Officers.
     
  12. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    #12 RCAFson, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
    Tillman makes reference to "Japanese records" on page 199, and there's four Japanese sources listed in the bibliography, along with the USSBS, but he doesn't reference any official IJN histories directly. Probably the main source is Hata and Izawa, Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in WWII.

    On page 199 Tillman, states that total Hellcat claims came to 380 versus 261 aerial losses suffered by Japanese sea (224) and land ( 18 ) based aircraft, but 19 of these IJ losses were from USN AA, for 380 kill claims versus 242 losses.
     
  13. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Tillman could well be right. I have found him wrong several times in the past but not so often as to make it normally-suspected thing.

    If he IS right, it would be very good if we could get a good accounting of Allied and Axis losses by country, service, date, and time, location and height, etc., so we could check things ... using the same sources he used. Good data is where you can find it.

    Just doing one battle when you HAVE the refence doesn't seem right. Of course he IS an author, so maybe he DID get a good, complete list and is saving it for future articles. It's called job security.

    Of course not every victory record HAS a location and height.

    If HE can get the sources, then we should be able to find them. I have checked several times on sources in several magazine articles of particular interest to me, not necessarily Mr. Tillman's articles, and couldn't find mention of them anywhere either online, in nearby libraries, or in online library card catalogs, including the Library of Congress. They still might be good sources, but if you can't find them anywhere, what do YOU think?

    I think pepople make up a lot of things to sell articles to magazines. Not everyone or even most, but at least some. I do NOT claim Mr. Tillman is is usually wrong or even specifically wrong in this case, but I'd still like to check his sources for more information on a much wider timeframe. As I said, the book isn't all that expensive, so maybe down the pike a bit ...

    Another sticky point is primary sources. Souces called "primary" by some are called "secondary" or worse by others. It would be good if all primary sources for data in WWII could be indentified in one list somewhere, but I seriously doubt it will ever happen. Online anything is not a good primary source, too easy to change the information or even fake it entirely.

    You might have heard about the guy making the airshow circuit in the 1970's and 1980's claiming to have been a pilot with the AVG in China ... but no other real AVG pilot could remember him and his namje didn't show up on the rolls. That isn't the only such example as everyone is here is well aware. No need to drag out more examples; they abound.
     
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