Most successful Allied fighter in the MTO

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by bob44, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. bob44

    bob44 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    What were the more successful Allied fighters in the MTO? Which Allied fighter shot down the most Axis fighters in air combat in the MTO during 1942-43?
     
  2. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's a goody. Kills and losses aside, I'm going to put in a plug for the P-40, in both British and US use. It was often outclassed in the air and took heavy losses, but it also took a heavy toll on the opposition, did well in ground attack, was tough, cheap, available and most important of all was easy to service and repair in lousy conditions an absolutely vital quality in North Africa
     
  3. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    lorry driver
    Location:
    Stockport
    Almost certainly the Supermarine Spitfire, which saw widespread service in the Med from early 1942 with both the RAF and USAAF.
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    That is a difficult question. The US flew and fought with P-39, P-40, Spit IX, P-47, P-38 and P-51. The Commonwealth/RAF flew Hurricanes and Spits.

    The choice has to narrow down to P-38 (1431 - US), P-40 (592 -US) and Spit (364 -US).
    So, the RAF/Commonwealth credits for P-40 has to exceed 839 or the Spit has to exceed 1036 to exceed the P-38.

    I would put my money on the Spit.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,064
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I have to agree, I lean more towards the Spitfire myself.
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    I'll go with the P-40. It held the line until better planes like the Spitfire could be effective. Besides the PTO, this is where the Warhawk, etc, made its name.

    Once the Allies controlled NA I would give it to the P-38. Spitfire was very good but I don't think it made its reputation here as much as it did in the ETO so - to me - its up to other types to shine.
     
  7. vinnye

    vinnye Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Maths teacher
    Location:
    Barnsley, UK
    You can put a very strong argument for the Warhawk / Kittyhawk, and the Hurricane - they did a holding job until the Spitfire was available to change the game.
    So for me - the Spitfire - especially those on Malta.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    When Ike commanded in the Med his personal B-17 was normally escorted by Spitfires. So it appears the theater commander considered Spitfires to be his best fighter aircraft.
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,198
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    All did well, but the spit gets my vote - one word - Malta!
     
  10. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Japan
    I'd also say the Spitfire was the highest scoring aircraft in the MTO in 1942 and 1943. It played a major role for the USAAF and was the main fighter type for the RAF in theatre from early 1943.

    Six squadrons of Spitfire Mk V pilots claimed a little over 640 kills over Malta in 1942 alone. They continued to claim through 1943, although at a much lower rate.

    Spitfires first flew combat missions with the Western Desert Air Force from August 1942. By June 1943, there were 18 Spitfire squadrons, outnumbering the DAF's remaining Kittyhawk and Hurricane squadrons.
     
  11. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Agreed. Spitfire Mk.V changed the situation over Malta and had a big impact over Tunisia.
     
  12. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    lorry driver
    Location:
    Stockport
    According to the Osprey book, Spitfire Aces Of North Africa and Italy, 61 pilots became aces while flying Spitfires in these two theaters and a further 76 aces scored some of their kills while flying Spitfires in these areas (the figures don't include the Malta aces).
     
  13. bob44

    bob44 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Great information. The Spitfire is looking pretty good.
     
  14. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Junior Historian, Paintballer, Student
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Home Page:
    Spitfire for sure...although my love of the P-40 makes me want to plug it as an awesome fighter, I know a lost battle when I see one. Really, the Hurricane and P-40 were great planes when flown by good to exceptional pilots (A South African going from Biplanes to Hurricanes and doubling his score comes to mind).
     
  15. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,287
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Plymouth, England
    How about another plane?

    The Beaufighter...
    In the Mediterranean, the USAAF's 414th, 415th, 416th and 417th Night Fighter Squadrons received 100 Beaufighters in the summer of 1943, achieving their first victory in July 1943. Through the summer the squadrons conducted both daytime convoy escort and ground-attack operations, but primarily flew defensive interception missions at night. Although the Northrop P-61 Black Widow fighter began to arrive in December 1944, USAAF Beaufighters continued to fly night operations in Italy and France until late in the war.

    Not bad for a (very) heavy fighter.

    Cheers
    John
     
  16. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Japan
    RAF scored about 400 night fighter victories with the Beaufighter in the MTO, while the USAAF scored about 35.
     
  17. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ohio
    Well, I think the question is somewhat open until someone can post the kill numbers of RAF Spitfires and Hawks. The question seems to be two part, specifically in 42-43, and then maybe overall? I would bet the Spit certainly in the first time frame, but maybe by a squeaker the P-38 overall??
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,515
    Likes Received:
    946
    Trophy Points:
    113
    In the ETO/MTO combined The P-38 flew 129,849 sorties, shooting down 1,771 enemy aircraft for a loss of 1,758. I believe, but can't confirm at the moment, that the P-38s worst figures were in the MTO.
    That's a lot of aircraft destroyed but it is also a lot of losses (the P-51 had a kill ratio almost double that). It would depend how exactly you define successful.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    The ETO victory credits for P-38 were 452, 1431 in MTO
    The ETO victory credits for P-51 (US only) were 4175 and 1061 for MTO
    Total - 1883 for P-38 and 5236 for P-51 (air - US only) for 2.78:1 ratio in favor of P-51. The Mustang destroyed more than all the P-47 and P-38 air credits combined. ... and far more ground credits.
     
  20. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    lorry driver
    Location:
    Stockport
    I haven't found the figure for the total numbers of Spitfire claims in the MTO yet, but if we look at the Spitfire claim figures we have come across so far in this thread, 640 for Malta based Spitfires in 1942 alone, plus 346 victories by the USAAF in this theatre while flying the Spitfire (the vast majority before 1944) =986, it means that the 16 RAF squadrons who operated the Spitfire in North Africa and Italy only needed to score a further 446 victories to exceed the P-38's score in the MTO.
     
Loading...

Share This Page