P-38 Lightening vs YAK 9

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by kot, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. kot

    kot New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    After coming across limited sources on the incident that happened on the 7th of November, 1944, all I discovered was a report from the headquarters of 866 IAP. In this report, it states that at 12:50pm 12 American planes( P-38 Lightening) attacked a Russian Infantry that were traveling west from Nish. Four of the American planes started an attack on the Russians while the rest of them was keeping watch at 1500 meters. After several rounds were fired, the Russian artillery shutting down one of the American P-38 planes. At 1:00pm, 2 YAK-9 planes took off. At 1:05pm, 6 more YAK-9 planes followed and then at 1:10pm 2 YAK-3 planes also followed. A dog fight broke out between the countries ending with 2 YAK-9 planes being taken down by the Americans and one more by friendly artillery fire. Russian planes and antiaircraft artillery shut down 5 Lightening planes. The P-38 displayed an impeccable ability to maintain horizontal and were were able to quickly maneuver onto the tail of YAK-9 planes because they had a much shorter radius of banking(turn-in). The YAK-9 had better ability to withstand vertical maneuvers.

    First, I am looking for more information regarding this fight. ( Air Classics Vol. 38, No.8 August 2002 is the information that I currently already possess)

    My main question is: How is it possible that this report's information is legitimate about the P-38 being persistently on the tail of the YAK-9 with the knowledge that the YAK-9 was strong at horizontal maneuvers. It is also true that the P-38 was not an amazingly maneuverable aircraft.
     
  2. 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
    PILOT SKILL
     
  3. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    American pilots where much better trained than the Russian pilots and its always been that way.
     
  4. kot

    kot New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    OK.I'll take it.
    But the result of the dogfight is 3-5.
    From the begining YAKs had disadvantage:
    - 12(P38) -10(Yak)
    - low altitude(YAKs)

    So why was that the result? IF PILOT SKILL
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    ROFL Are you kidding???

    Have you spoken with any P-38 pilots that flew them during the war? I have. They had plenty of training in single engine aircraft. Their entire familiarization program with the P-38 was a half hour ride along, crouched in the radio compartment with the radios removed to familiarize themselves with the cockpit. After that, they were given aircraft and were in their own.

    One of the vets I interviewed stated that if he had an engine failure on takeoff in the first 20-40 hours of his time in the cockpit, he probably would have been killed.

    You need to flush yourself of the propaganda you have been spoon fed, and look at history with a neutral point of view.
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Quite simple, the man in the cockpit is what ultimately makes the difference. That is how Filipino pilots were able to splash a few Zeros while flying P-26 Peashooters, or why the Finns were able to have aces in Brewster Buffalos. The same thing applies here.
     
  7. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    OK I'm really sorry evangilder about comments about the Russian training programs.

    It does seem though that in this case the American's had better training and that allowed them to take the win. Without opening a whole new debat; would I be right in saying that the same thing was true over Korea with the MiG-15 and F-86. I'm thinking completely neutrally here.
     
  8. JoeB

    JoeB Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    2 P-38's were actually downed by the Yaks, another to flak. The USAAF reported 2 Yaks, 2 probables, 1 Yak damaged. Rall and Popkov in "Stalin's Eagles" reproduce the 82nd Fighter Group's combat report and other documents reporting this error to higher headquarters.

    This seems a poor example to draw any conclusions from: both sides realized, the Soviets immediately (but had to defend the convoy the US was mistakenly strafing), US before the combat ended, that they were involved in a friendly fire incident. And it was just one incident.

    There's no example of P-38's v Yak-9's in fully real combat, however there are dozens or hundreds of examples of the USAF and Soviet AF in combat just a few years after, in Korea from 1950-53. Though off topic for this discussion, that would probably be a better place to draw conclusions about relative combat capability in that general time period.

    Re: Evangilder, as mentioned before those Filipino P-26 pilots were brave to go up against modern fighters, and downed one Japanese bomber, but no Zeroes.

    On P-38 pilots with single engine training sent to P-38 squadrons that kind of stuff happened in 1942-3, wasn't as common by late 1944 which is when this incident occurred. And the 82nd was highly experienced as a group in late '44 (though surely had more and less experienced pilots within it). On the other side the Soviet flight leader, A.I. Kuldonov ended the war as 8th leading Soviet ace, 46 victories.

    Joe
     
  9. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Not according to the official history of the Philippine Air Force.
     
  10. JoeB

    JoeB Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    That's interesting they apparently use "Bloody Shambles" by Shores to check those claims v Japanese accounts. Usually P-26's are credited with Zeroes Dec 12 (didn't happen per Japanese accounts) and 23rd. Problem is, the latter incident happens to be an apparent error in "Shambles". Shores matches that Filipino claim which was apparently on the 23rd, with a Japanese loss on the 24th (PO1c T. Kikuchi of the Tainan Air Group, KIA, per other sources, no loss on the 23rd) saying there was no known American claim otherwise. But there was: US P35's engaged Zeroes the 24th same place the Japanese said the loss occurred, claiming one or two, apparently the victors over Kikuchi, and the only documented case where a *P-35* ever downed a Zero. Apparently no Zeroes were downed by P-26's.

    As it mentions, Villamor's bomber claim Dec 12 does correspond to a loss of a 1st AG 'Nell'. The crew was captured, later freed by the Japanese, and flew one of the first deliberate suicide missions, against Port Moresby in New Guinea in 1942, to restore their honor.

    Joe
     
  11. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Well, the wording does leave it a bit mysterious as they have it. Filipino P-26s succeeded in scoring some victories against the Mitsubishi A6M Zero during the first few days of the Japanese attack. That is pretty vague, "some victories" and "during the first few days". I wasn't aware of the Japanese records from those events not jibing with the Philippine records.

    I certainly don't envy the poor bastards having to fly a P-26 against the Zero! It certainly isn't much of a match, that's for sure.
     
  12. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Wait, why are US forces attacking Russians? (I just know I'm going to feel stupid for asking that when I hear the answer)
     
  13. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,976
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Bioinformatician
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    Probably a mistake. Happens all the time in a war, if you look at WWI and WWII (or any other war) history, you'll probably end up with a lot of other similar incidents.
     
  14. JoeB

    JoeB Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Mistake, definitely. Per the reports in the source I mentioned above, mission over the former Yugoslavia by 15th AF P-38's, Nov 1944, fluid situation as the German evacuated and Soviets advanced into the country, 82nd FG on a mission to strafe any German motor transport found, mistook a Soviet vehicle convoy for German. They were then attacked by single engine a/c they immediately realized had red stars, but shot a couple down defending themselves, then with each side realizing it was mistake, the P-38's waggled their wings, Yak's acknowledged, and they dis-engaged.

    Joe
     
  15. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA

    Yeah, it was this first paragraph that made me think otherwise, and I'd missed the second...
     
  16. kot

    kot New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
  17. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Still a student
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
  18. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Pfft I beg to differ.

    I can't look them up now but I've read many accounts of Luftwaffe aces with excess of 50 kills become dumb-founded by the P-38's ability to out turn and zoom better than the 109's even at the same speed.

    Not that a P-38 really turns tight at all, but its Fowler flaps tend to give it much more lift for a smaller amount in drag compared to a plane with more conventional flaps. This lets it turn significantly FASTER though not TIGHTER.

    More accounts of PTO Lightning pilots glorify the P-38's lack of torque allowing the plane to remain under control at near-stall speeds.
     
  19. kot

    kot New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Okay guys, thanks everybody for answering my questions. But, if at possible, can you explain more thoroughly WHY the commander of IAP – who saw that particular fight from the ground especially mentioned in the report that the P38 was much more manuverable at the horizontal level and did not have a problem to sit on the tail of YAK9?

    If we compare two american planes P38 and P51 Mustang – which one would be better at the horizontal manuvure if the skill level of the pilots are the same?

    If the level of the American pilots was greater than the Russian pilots – why did they not shut down all Russian planes?
     
  20. santosh

    santosh New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    computer engineer
    Location:
    pokhara
    P-38 were the worst planes in the pacific theatre..coz lots of them were shot down by the japanese zero.
     
Loading...

Share This Page