p51 vs p47

p47 or p51


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Erich said:
I think what you meant to say is that twin enigne night fighters were called to help stem the tide of heavy day light bombers.

In the fall of 43 through spring of 44, Bf 110G's with heavy radar as well as some staffels equipped with the twin Br 21cm rocket launchers............

as friend and ace Peter Spoden has told me, (he flew one of these heavy beasts), if any Allied escorts were in the area, we knew we would be dog meat............

E ~

That could be, my source did not specify groups or aircraft just that the P-38 escorts caused a rethink and using previously night fighter F/Gs transfered to daylite operations. :confused:
 
i think that the 2 aircraft have different their role, so its performance are different:
Speed: Depending he model
Range: P-51(obviously)
Performance above 15,000 ft: P-51
Performance below 15,000 ft: P-47
Ground Attack: P-47
Manuverablilty: P-51(takes it 2 do a full loop 360 degrees at 15000 ft:15 seconds, P-47: 19 seconds)
firepower: P-47
Pay-load: P-47
Easy-to-control: P-51
More nosy: P-47
Wasting more fuel Per hour: P-47
Better Dogfighter: P-51
Faster Climb Rate: P-51
gun easier 2 jam: P-51
ummm...i think i wrote 2 much here... anyway in my opinion i think the P-51 is gonta gun down a P-47 first...
 
The thing you have to remember is that shooting down a P-47 is almost impossible. You have to fill it so full of lead, it's too heavy to fly! From my last presentation:
June 23, 1943
Early in the morning forty-eight Thunderbolts took off from the advanced base at Manston. Having previously been criticized for going off on his own, this morning Johnson resolved to stay in formation. The three squadrons of the 56th Fighter Group were all up: the 61st (Johnson's), 62nd, and 63rd. Before the mission, Johnson felt the cold fear that he always felt, and which he was able to channel into higher alertness. They flew up, over the Channel, into France, and soon spotted sixteen Fw-190s. Before Johnson could communicate or coordinate with his flight, he was hit. 20mm cannon shells ripped through his plane, smashing the canopy, punching holes in the plane, and inspiring in Johnson an overwhelming urge to bail out. More explosions smashed the plane, and Johnson's frantic "Mayday!" calls drew no response. Fire began to envelope the cockpit.

The Thunderbolt spun crazily out of his control and the twisted and jammed canopy frame resisted his repeated, superhuman, full-body efforts to open it. As he struggled vainly with the canopy, the engine fire miraculously went out, but he could hardly see, as oil spewed back from the battered engine. He tried to squeeze out through the broken glass of the canopy, but the opening was just too small for both him and his chute. Trapped inside the P-47, he next decided to try to crash-land and evade. He turned the plane south, toward Spain - the recommended evasion route. After struggling with hypoxia and hallucinations, his thoughts came back into focus and he realized that the aircraft was still flying fairly well. He headed back for England, counting on his high altitude to help him make a long, partially-powered glide back home.

The instrument panel was shattered. The wind constantly blew more oil and hydraulic fluid into his cut up face and eyes. He had neglected to wear his goggles that morning, and any attempt to rub his eyes burned worse than ever. He and his plane were horribly shot up, but incredibly he was still alive. He made for the Channel, desperate to escape the heavily defended enemy territory.

Swiveling constantly, he froze in horror as he spotted a plane approaching him, an Fw-190, beautifully painted in blue with a yellow cowling. Johnson was totally helpless, and just had to wait for the German to get him in his sights and open up. The German closed in, taking his time with the crippled American fighter. Johnson hunched down behind his armor-plated seat, to await the inevitable. The German opened up, spraying the plane with 30-caliber machine gun fire, not missing, just pouring lead into the battered Thunderbolt. Johnson kicked his rudder left and right, slowing his plane to a crawl, and fired back as the German sped out in front of him.

The Focke-Wulf easily avoided the gunfire from the half-blinded Johnson, and circled back, this time pulling level with him. The pilot examined the shattered Thunderbolt all over, looking it up and down, and shook his head in mystification. He banked, pulled up behind Johnson again, and opened up with another burst. Somehow the rugged Republic-built aircraft stayed in the air. The German pulled alongside again, as they approached the southern coast of the Channel. Still flying, Johnson realized how fortunate it was that the German found him after his heavy 20mm cannons were empty.

As they went out over the Channel, the German got behind and opened up again, but the P-47 kept flying. Then he pulled up alongside, rocked his wings in salute, and flew off, before they reached the English coast. Johnson had survived the incredible, point-blank machine gun fire, but still had to land the plane. He contacted Mayday Control by radio, who instructed him to climb if he can. The battered plane climbed, and after more communication, headed for his base at Manston. Landing was touch and go, as he had no idea if the landing gear would work. The wheels dropped down and locked and he landed safely.

Johnson relates:
"There are twenty-one gaping holes and jagged tears in the metal from exploding 20mm cannon shells. I'm still standing in one place when my count of bullet holes reaches past a hundred; there's no use even trying to add them all. The Thunderbolt is literally a sieve, holes through the wings, fuselage and tail. Every square foot, it seems is covered with holes. There are five holes in the propeller. Three 20mm cannon shells burst against the armor plate, a scant inch away from my head. Five cannon shell holes in the right wing; four in the left wing. Two cannnon shells blasted away the lower half of my rudder. One shell exploded in the cockpit, next to my left hand; this is the blast that ripped away the flap handle. More holes appeared along the fuselage and in the tail. Behind the cockpit, the metal is twisted and curled; this had jammed the canopy, trapping me inside."


That was none other than Robert Johnson, in his earlier days. Who was the pilot that failed to shoot him down? Egon Mayer! Egon Mayer was later killed in a crash after being shot down later, by a P-47!
 

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wmaxt, it was a Spitfire Mk. IX not a XIV. The P-38 got 1.1:1 kill ratio, not 4:1 in the ETO.
 
wmaxt said:
The P-38 was not a failure! As stated before it maintained in the ETO:

4/1 ratio in combat
Historians award 2,500+ kills
2 f/g accomplished a 4/5% bomber loss rate not bettered by 7 P-51 2 P-47 (long rangs escort) f/gs

Sorry but no :rolleyes:

here's a post by robert a well known internet poster on all things aircraft
The P-38 did not perform well in the ETO, statistically.
The P-38 was very successful in the Pacific, where it could use its superior speed and dive capabilities against the slower but more maneuverable Japanese fighters. When it encountered German fighters, who were both more agile and faster than the P-38, it was basically a failure. It was removed from escort duty as soon as possible; only one Fighter Group in the ETO (the 474th FG, 9th AF) was flying the P-38 by the time VE-Day rolled around. All four 8th AF fighter groups flying P-38s had been re-equipped with the P-51 as soon as it was possible to do so. It's worth noting that the P-38L, by far the best version of the Lightning, was used by only one P-38 FG in Europe, in limited numbers; that version could have held its own with the German fighters on a much more equal basis.

The Lightning had a mediocre record at best in the ETO. A four-to-one kill ratio? Official USAAF stats show otherwise. It destroyed 1,771 enemy aircraft for the loss of 1,758 P-38s, almost an even ratio, and its loss rate of 1.35% in the theater was by far the highest of any USAAF fighter, including the P-40 and P-39! For comparison, here are the ETO/MTO kill ratios and loss rates of the Mustang, Spitfire (USAAF Spits only), Thunderbolt,and Lightning:

Kill ratio - P-51, 1.96 to 1; Spitfire, 1.34 to 1; P-47, 1.00 to 1; P-38, 1.01 to 1.

Loss rate - P-51, 1.18%; Spitfire 0.66%; P-47, 0.73%; P-38, 1.35%.

The P-38's record is clearly inferior. It was quite effective as a ground attack aircraft; its 20,139 tons of bombs dropped was almost four times the P-51's total, although both pale beside the P-47's.

Why was the P-38 not successful in Europe? In a word, altitude. The P-38's Allison engines (often the superchargers) suffered repeated failures due to the cold at altitude, which severely compromised its ability to fight. The cockpit was inadequately heated, and aircraft suffered from the early onset of compressibility during high-speed dives.

Roger Freeman in The Mightly Eighth:

"[On February 4, 1944], nearly half the P-38s had been forced to 'abort' when once again extreme cold caused a spate of engine failures. Losses were often high in such circumstances, for the Luftwaffe were quick to exploit the situation if a P-38 was observed to have a feathered propellor. Because the likelihood of these troubles increased with altitude, Lightnings did not of choice operate above 30,000 ft. In consequence, Me 109 top cover which was usually around the 35,000 ft mark had been repeatedly bouncing the P-38s on nearly every mission."

Rene Francillon, in American Fighters of World War Two, Volume One, picks up the thought:

"...what at first appeared to be one of the strongest assets of the Lightning proved to be its demise, namely its twin-engined configuration. Although the P-38 could fly on one engine the Luftwaffe saw to it that such crippled aircraft would not return to base, whilst two engines doubled the possibility of engine troubles. Consequently the staff and fighter pilots preferred the P-47 and especially the P-51, and these they were able to receive in sufficient numbers to replace their P-38s."

As it was replaced as a fighter in the 8th AF by the P-51, it was replaced as a PR aircraft by the Spitfire Mk.XI, mainly because the F-5 (photo version of the P-38 ) was restricted to a 300-mile radius after mid-July 1943. The C/O of the 7th PG, Col. Homer Sanders, flew an F-5 in a mock dogfight against a Spitfire, and blew up a turbosupercharger trying (unsuccessfully) to get on its tail. Sanders went directly to Ira Eaker, the Commander of the 8th AF, to ask for Spitfires to replace his Lightnings, and the request was granted.

As for the claim that the P-38 could outmanuever a Spitfire, one must remember that the pilot who made the claim has a few details missing in his story, such as claiming the mock dogfight was against an ace RAF pilot (who doesn't show up on any list of RAF aces), and against a fighter version of the Spitfire Mk.XI (that also didn't exist)...He's also the guy who claims that in 1944 he shot down Adolf Galland while the latter was flying an Fw 190 - and that "Galland" went down with the aircraft. Use your own judgement about his credibility.

A much more credible source, John Cunningham's navigator, C.F. Rawnsley, tells the following story in his book Night Fighter:

"We were to share this vast aerodrome with several other squadrons. One of them was a U.S Army fighter squadron, equipped with twin engined Lightnings....

"...The trouble came to a head after an American test pilot had been on a visit to the the aerodrome and had given a snorting display of aerobatics.* Rather carried away by national pride , some of the American pilots made a boast in the Mess that night about the relative merits of the Lightning and the Spitfire. It was a foolish thing to do. The Lightning was a fine aircraft and it was doing a first-class job of work, but it could hardly be expected to out-turn a single-engined interceptor like the Spitfire. But the challenge had been made.

"The next morning the entire station was out watching the two aircraft as they took off and climbed into position. Cautiously they circled for a while; and then they turned in and rushed at each other. As we had expected, within a few seconds, the Spitfire was sitting firmly on the tail of the Lightning. The American pilot put up a magnificent show, and did everything but turn his aircraft inside out; but nothing he could do could shake off the tenacious Spitfire. Finally the twin-engined Lightning broke off the match and came spiralling in to land."

* This would have been Lockheed test pilot Tony Levier, who went to England in early 1944 to fly demonstrations for P-38 pilots on how to best utilize the aircraft.

I've read of another, similar challenge where a P-38 and Spitfire dueled, and the Spitfire had completed two firing passes before the P-38 had its undercarriage up. I don't remember the source, unfortunately.

The wing loading (weight vs. wing area) of the P-38L was 63.1 (lbs per square foot). The Spitfire Mk. XIV was 35.0. I'm sure about few things in life. However, these things I'm pretty sure of:

I'll never escort Jennifer Connelly to the Oscars.

I'll never play centerfield for the Cincinnati Reds.

I'll never play guitar for U2.

The P-38 couldn't outmanuver the Spitfire.
Thanks to robert :D
 
redcoat said:
wmaxt said:
The P-38 was not a failure! As stated before it maintained in the ETO:

4/1 ratio in combat
Historians award 2,500+ kills
2 f/g accomplished a 4/5% bomber loss rate not bettered by 7 P-51 2 P-47 (long rangs escort) f/gs

Sorry but no :rolleyes:

here's a post by robert a well known internet poster on all things aircraft
The P-38 did not perform well in the ETO, statistically.
The P-38 was very successful in the Pacific, where it could use its superior speed and dive capabilities against the slower but more maneuverable Japanese fighters. When it encountered German fighters, who were both more agile and faster than the P-38, it was basically a failure. It was removed from escort duty as soon as possible; only one Fighter Group in the ETO (the 474th FG, 9th AF) was flying the P-38 by the time VE-Day rolled around. All four 8th AF fighter groups flying P-38s had been re-equipped with the P-51 as soon as it was possible to do so. It's worth noting that the P-38L, by far the best version of the Lightning, was used by only one P-38 FG in Europe, in limited numbers; that version could have held its own with the German fighters on a much more equal basis.

The Lightning had a mediocre record at best in the ETO. A four-to-one kill ratio? Official USAAF stats show otherwise. It destroyed 1,771 enemy aircraft for the loss of 1,758 P-38s, almost an even ratio, and its loss rate of 1.35% in the theater was by far the highest of any USAAF fighter, including the P-40 and P-39! For comparison, here are the ETO/MTO kill ratios and loss rates of the Mustang, Spitfire (USAAF Spits only), Thunderbolt,and Lightning:

Kill ratio - P-51, 1.96 to 1; Spitfire, 1.34 to 1; P-47, 1.00 to 1; P-38, 1.01 to 1.

Loss rate - P-51, 1.18%; Spitfire 0.66%; P-47, 0.73%; P-38, 1.35%.

The P-38's record is clearly inferior. It was quite effective as a ground attack aircraft; its 20,139 tons of bombs dropped was almost four times the P-51's total, although both pale beside the P-47's.

Why was the P-38 not successful in Europe? In a word, altitude. The P-38's Allison engines (often the superchargers) suffered repeated failures due to the cold at altitude, which severely compromised its ability to fight. The cockpit was inadequately heated, and aircraft suffered from the early onset of compressibility during high-speed dives.

Roger Freeman in The Mightly Eighth:

"[On February 4, 1944], nearly half the P-38s had been forced to 'abort' when once again extreme cold caused a spate of engine failures. Losses were often high in such circumstances, for the Luftwaffe were quick to exploit the situation if a P-38 was observed to have a feathered propellor. Because the likelihood of these troubles increased with altitude, Lightnings did not of choice operate above 30,000 ft. In consequence, Me 109 top cover which was usually around the 35,000 ft mark had been repeatedly bouncing the P-38s on nearly every mission."

Rene Francillon, in American Fighters of World War Two, Volume One, picks up the thought:

"...what at first appeared to be one of the strongest assets of the Lightning proved to be its demise, namely its twin-engined configuration. Although the P-38 could fly on one engine the Luftwaffe saw to it that such crippled aircraft would not return to base, whilst two engines doubled the possibility of engine troubles. Consequently the staff and fighter pilots preferred the P-47 and especially the P-51, and these they were able to receive in sufficient numbers to replace their P-38s."

As it was replaced as a fighter in the 8th AF by the P-51, it was replaced as a PR aircraft by the Spitfire Mk.XI, mainly because the F-5 (photo version of the P-38 ) was restricted to a 300-mile radius after mid-July 1943. The C/O of the 7th PG, Col. Homer Sanders, flew an F-5 in a mock dogfight against a Spitfire, and blew up a turbosupercharger trying (unsuccessfully) to get on its tail. Sanders went directly to Ira Eaker, the Commander of the 8th AF, to ask for Spitfires to replace his Lightnings, and the request was granted.

As for the claim that the P-38 could outmanuever a Spitfire, one must remember that the pilot who made the claim has a few details missing in his story, such as claiming the mock dogfight was against an ace RAF pilot (who doesn't show up on any list of RAF aces), and against a fighter version of the Spitfire Mk.XI (that also didn't exist)...He's also the guy who claims that in 1944 he shot down Adolf Galland while the latter was flying an Fw 190 - and that "Galland" went down with the aircraft. Use your own judgement about his credibility.

A much more credible source, John Cunningham's navigator, C.F. Rawnsley, tells the following story in his book Night Fighter:

"We were to share this vast aerodrome with several other squadrons. One of them was a U.S Army fighter squadron, equipped with twin engined Lightnings....

"...The trouble came to a head after an American test pilot had been on a visit to the the aerodrome and had given a snorting display of aerobatics.* Rather carried away by national pride , some of the American pilots made a boast in the Mess that night about the relative merits of the Lightning and the Spitfire. It was a foolish thing to do. The Lightning was a fine aircraft and it was doing a first-class job of work, but it could hardly be expected to out-turn a single-engined interceptor like the Spitfire. But the challenge had been made.

"The next morning the entire station was out watching the two aircraft as they took off and climbed into position. Cautiously they circled for a while; and then they turned in and rushed at each other. As we had expected, within a few seconds, the Spitfire was sitting firmly on the tail of the Lightning. The American pilot put up a magnificent show, and did everything but turn his aircraft inside out; but nothing he could do could shake off the tenacious Spitfire. Finally the twin-engined Lightning broke off the match and came spiralling in to land."

* This would have been Lockheed test pilot Tony Levier, who went to England in early 1944 to fly demonstrations for P-38 pilots on how to best utilize the aircraft.

I've read of another, similar challenge where a P-38 and Spitfire dueled, and the Spitfire had completed two firing passes before the P-38 had its undercarriage up. I don't remember the source, unfortunately.

The wing loading (weight vs. wing area) of the P-38L was 63.1 (lbs per square foot). The Spitfire Mk. XIV was 35.0. I'm sure about few things in life. However, these things I'm pretty sure of:

I'll never escort Jennifer Connelly to the Oscars.

I'll never play centerfield for the Cincinnati Reds.

I'll never play guitar for U2.

The P-38 couldn't outmanuver the Spitfire.
Thanks to robert :D

Sorry Yes! The data you have is good in and of itself. It does not tell the whole story though. The facts I related are also true as is the 1/4 Fighter to aircraft ratio. The 1/1.1 ratio is to ALL causes Training, combat, ground fire weather ect. Don't forget it was also fighting the cream of the germans in odds that were 10/1 and worse.

The 1771 number is politicaly motivated but use it if you like the P-38 had enough scores to best all other American fighters anyway (608 MTO 5730+ PTO). Try the websites I gave for a more balanced view.

The story of the P-38 vs Spit XIV is true the Spit could not get away The Spit XIV was equal in almost all respects except range to the P-38L.

The P-38 history is interesting because you can find information on both good and not so good historys. Art Heiden contacted Martin Caiden because of the repeatedly wrong data out there on the P-38. Art also has a web site out there.

If only accepting the bad about the P-38 helps you to justify your aircraft - ok. ;) I will maintain my position.
 
plan_D said:
wmaxt, it was a Spitfire Mk. IX not a XIV. The P-38 got 1.1:1 kill ratio, not 4:1 in the ETO.

No it was a XIV. and Fighter to fighter was 1/4 the 1.1/1 ratio is loss to kill ratio not the same. Check out the following web site:

http://yarchive.net/mil/p38.html

It's a little reading but it relates both the Spit story and the kill ratio.

The Spit XIV was the equal of the P-38L in all but range and payload. The pilot made the difference when maneouvering.
 
Adolf Galland said:
i think that the 2 aircraft have different their role, so its performance are different:
Speed: Depending he model
Range: P-51(obviously)
Performance above 15,000 ft: P-51
Performance below 15,000 ft: P-47
Ground Attack: P-47
Manuverablilty: P-51(takes it 2 do a full loop 360 degrees at 15000 ft:15 seconds, P-47: 19 seconds)
firepower: P-47
Pay-load: P-47
Easy-to-control: P-51
More nosy: P-47
Wasting more fuel Per hour: P-47
Better Dogfighter: P-51
Faster Climb Rate: P-51
gun easier 2 jam: P-51
ummm...i think i wrote 2 much here... anyway in my opinion i think the P-51 is gonta gun down a P-47 first...

Seems like a pretty good comparison :)
 
Yes, I thought so too! It was part of my presentation last month and it definitely raised a few eyebrows. I am sure though that for every story like that, there were many that were not so lucky.
 
As for the claim that the P-38 could outmanuever a Spitfire, one must remember that the pilot who made the claim has a few details missing in his story, such as claiming the mock dogfight was against an ace RAF pilot (who doesn't show up on any list of RAF aces), and against a fighter version of the Spitfire Mk.XI (that also didn't exist)...He's also the guy who claims that in 1944 he shot down Adolf Galland while the latter was flying an Fw 190 - and that "Galland" went down with the aircraft. Use your own judgement about his credibility
I have the book in front of me, Top Guns, by Joe Foss and Matthew Brennan... The story is called "Big John" and it is about a Colonel John H. Lowell..... Credited with 16.5 kills, 9 Probables, 11 damaged...

I will type all this by hand....

The Group, 364th FG, had just recieved P-38L's just before the P-51's arrived...
"On a day that we were "stood down", General Eisenhower arranged for one of the top English aces Wing Commander Donaldson, to come to Honnington and show slides of English Spitfires....

S/Ldr. Edward Mortlock (Teddy) Donaldson, a Cranwell graduate took over Command of No 151 Squadron flying Hurricane's in November 1939. He shot down 5½ enemy aero planes up until August 1940. He survived the war ending up as an air Commodore with C.B, C.B.E.,D.S.O. and A.F.C.

This is a REAL PERSON..........

After the briefing, Donaldson said,
"If one of u bloody bastards has enough guts, Ill fly mock combat above ur field and show u how easily this Spit XIV can whip your best pilots ass..."

The entire group started clapping and hollered, "Big John, Big John!"
That was me, so I asked him, "What is your fuel load?"
He replied, "Half Petrol."
"What is your comabt load?"
He replied, "No ammo."

We agreed to cross over the field at 5,000 feet, then anything goes... I took off in a new P-38L.... I climbed very high, so when I dove down to cross the field, my speed would be close to 600 mph...... When Donaldson and I crossed, I zoomed straight up while watching him try and get on my tail... When he did a wing-over from loss of speed, I was several thousand feet above him, so I quickly got on his tail... Naturally, he turned into a full-power right lLufberry as I closed in... I frustrated that with my clover-leaf, and if we'd had "hot guns," he would have been shot down.

He came over the field with me on his tail and cut throttle, dropped flaps, and split-S'ed from about 1,000 feet... I followed him with the new flaps, banking only 45 degrees, below the tree tops... All I had to do was move over behind his Spit again.. He was apparently surprised...."

This story also explains about this::
He's also the guy who claims that in 1944 he shot down Adolf Galland while the latter was flying an Fw 190 - and that "Galland" went down with the aircraft. Use your own judgement about his credibility.
The story does not included Galland being shot down... This dude is pumping misinformation out.....

"One of our last P-38 missions was a flight to protect bombers on a mission near Berlin.. We were flying Top Cover..... We were bounced by 16 long nose Fw-190's... A flight of 4 overflew us and slowed down... I looked up at a German plane... The pilot was looking down at me as he eased ahead and close above me into sure death, unless he could take violent evasive action.... He split S'ed and I followed him.. He nearly got out of sight because if the P-38's high-speed compressability problem... Finally he turned into me and I cut across to close with him...

"Then the fight started...."

He was a fantastic, wild, talented pilot who pulled all the tricks i had ever seen... But finally I got into a tight Lufberry with him and used my clover-leaf surprise to get a few strikes... None of them harmed his power unit....

When his methyl injection was gone, he dived to the deck and dropped into a tar pit that was 500 feet deep and big enough to turn a fighter in... I got a few more strikes on him... A portion of his vertical stabilizer and one wingtip flew off..... As I was getting low on fuel, I headed back to England... I looked back over my shoulder to see the Fw-190D going in the opposite direction, wagging his wings...."

A few years ago, the American Fighter Aces had thier annual reunion at Maxwell AFB in Alabama....

"Ace Gabreski saw me and called me over to his little group... He introduced me as the highest scoring P-38 Ace in Europe... Whn I shook hands with German General Adolf Galland, I said "Adolf, did u ever shoot down a P-38?"

He replied, "Yah I shoot down 8."

I proceeded to tell the group about this dogfight over the tar pit.. I was using my hands and looking down as I described this engagement... When I looked up, he was pale white...

He said, "You son of a bitch! You dom neer keel me dat day!"

Holy Mackeral!!! All the pilots that heard our conversation bellowed their surprise, including myself... Adolf wouldnt let me out of his sight..."

I think redcoat, tht u should be alittle most questionable on ur sources......

What a great book this is....... It has the personal stories of Bruce Morehead, SW Vejtasa, Jack Ilrey, Robert Lee Scott, Leslie Smith, Sam Silber, Alexander Vraciu, John Lowell, Jeff DeBlanc, Hub Zemke, James Percy, Tom Blackburn, Kenneth Dahlberg, James Swett, William Shomo, William Cullerton, John Galvin, and Edward Rector...
 
Y'know something? I've seen this book at the base library here, and I just managed to flip through it. It does look like a great read. I'm definitely going to have to sign it out now, I think.
 
From all the stories I've heard about the -38 - Spit encounter it was a Mk. IX.

And there was no Mk. XV Spitfire. It was a Seafire Mk. XV
 

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