Pilots aiming at cockpits? (3 Viewers)

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They were hoping to land critical hits anywhere possible , especially considering the closing speed

Ι have never read bomber crews executed by official army. I do have read that individual bomber crews members were killed by German civilians
Well I have, a few survived to tell the tale, I didnt say army I said military. RAF bomber crews were killed by civilians and others were killed after being handed over to military authorities. Once they were dubbed "terror fleigers" by German propaganda, observation of the rules of war were forgotten.
 
Cold-bloodedly, shooting the pilot in the cockpit is quite sensible: in the short term, they're difficult to replace. Shooting them after they've bailed out is like machine-gunning sailors in lifeboats, and would be immoral.

Would anyone think it's somehow wrong to shoot a tank commander with his head out or, harkening back to the age of sail, officers on the quarterdeck?
In 1940, during the Battle of Britain Dowding considered it legitimate for a LW pilot to shoot an RAF pilot in his parachute, because he could rejoin the fight within hours. He considered a LW pilot in his parachute to have surrendered, because he was over UK land and would be captured, therefore he said it was not legitimate to shoot at him. Dowding also wanted LW pilots to be captured,, the info provided was worth the cost of their detention.
 
What is you source that Americans particularly wanted to kill the pilots?
About the jet pilots it s referred in many sources
In several German pilots memories is referred that later in the war they were trained to deploy their parachutes as late as possible
I am only an amateur , but I will make a small list with a few known pilots shot in parachute or strafed on ground
RAF did it very rarely, as often as LW, USAAF was another story
I have more than 50 years of reading on WWII aviation and, though all sides did occasionally shoot parachuting pilots, it was generally reserved for enemy pilots who had done the same first. That is, I have never heard that Americans went "headhunting" in any widespread manner. I also have never heard the Germans did it as a matter of policy. The only exception to that generally acknowledged was "unrestricted submarine warfare" against civilian ships which, though not exactly good, was not as bad as shooting pilots in parachutes. The sailors at least usually had lifeboats and/or life jackets, and had a chance if they survived the torpedo explosion.
Civilians ships equipped with guns and carrying war materials are not civilians ships any more
Unrestricted submarine warfare was practiced by all combatants.
Shooting someone's parachute removes or greatly reduces the chances for survival.

Any German pilots who were executed by American ground forces were generally the ones who had just strafed the people who captured them and caused casualties
Any pow before his capture is firing at his future captors. Should then all pows to be executed?
or were captured in the middle of an action where taking POWs was simply not feasible.
Then the Germans could justify themselves for the execution of US pows in Ardennes offensive by not having the fuel to send them in prisoner camps?
As a nation, we were raised to play fair, and execution does not fit that notion very well. Germans in general were also raised to be civilized. I'm guessing most of the executions on the German side were directed by the SS, not the average German soldier or airman. I know and have known several people who were captured by Germans in WWII and were treated reasonably well. I know couple of Germans who were captured by Americans in WWII and were treated reasonably well.

The Luftwaffe didn't exactly avoid executing American pilots. But both sides were more likely to do it much later in the war than earlier in the war. Several years of seeing war's brutality can make anyone a bit jaded. It's can be hard to think of treating people you capture well if your home has just been destroyed and your family has just been killed by the people you capture. That goes for ANY side.

Doesn't make it right or in any way justifiable, but it IS along the lines of human nature.
I am not judging. I don't know how I would behave in such terrible circumstances.
Additionaly the crimes of Germany are counted in millions. There's no balance in crimes. German prisoners died by thousands in allied prisoner camps but soviet pows died in millions in German camps.
We must remember every crime , and not repeat it.
But we do.
 
A small list found on another forum
 

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Livio Cessoti 2/10/42 Mc202 shot by spitfires
Hans Than by P47s
Emil Enerkel 16/8/44 strafed after parachuting
Wilhelm Martens 8/8/1944 shot in parachute , died later
Clive Caldwell , north Africa, well known to shoot parachutists
Polish and Chech pilots in RAF service routinely attacked German pilots in parachutes
.
A very small search found so many names. It did happen and was quite common
 
Winkle Brown (RN) comments specifically on engaging the Fw 200 Condor head-on and watching the cockpit crumble from his Martlet . Many Luftwaffe pilot writers do specify that the head-on attack was preferable against 4-engined day bombers, but not always achievable. Certainly, as escorted daylight raids latterly achieved local air-superiority the attacking Luftwaffe formations had to accept the meagre attack opportunities that they found, whatever their preferences might have been.

Eng
 
Capt Eric Brown described making a head on pass on an FW-200 in his Grumman Martlet and seeing the Condor's windshield dissolve under the weight of his fire. And besides that, he collided with it, and "The sturdy Martlet survived but the FW-200 did not." He loved the WIldcat.
 
But it is clear that, especially the Americans , wanted the pilots netrualized. Its clear that they kept shooting at German fighters long after it was clear that it was going down. Even as the pilot was trying to bail out
Even after in their parachutes they were not safe. It was a standard practice for German pilots ,later in the war, to open their parachutes as late as possible to avoid the American escort fighters. Many survived the jump only to be strafed on the ground. It takes some time to free yourself from the parachute
And we all know that there was as an official policy to execute the jet pilots.
A few German fighter pilots were even captured and executed by American ground forces
On the German side, I only know sporadic cases of parachute shooting. Eg a pilot in north Africa, a couple on the eastern front etc
Both RAF and LW were attacking the rescue boats on the channel front
Dedalos,

I'm going to have to challenge your bolded comments.

Have you ever shot down a plane? Coincidentally enough, most of the guys in WW2 hadn't either until the first time. And then only one doesn't make you a pro at it. Put yourself in a fighter, you get into a fight, and by luck or skill end up in a shooting position on an enemy aircraft. Your adrenaline is through the roof, you are scared shitless that an unobserved guy is going to get you, and you want to make sure this plane / target goes down.

In the F15 we talked about getting engaged (into a fight) with a single and how much ordnance you would expend. There were quite a few guys who used the "friends of industry" mentality or would way over shoot at a guy as it might be your only chance during a career. I flew the Eagle for 17 years, did five rotations to the Middle East in it, and the closest I came to any bad guy was 23 miles, and lucky for him he stayed on his side of the line. He was the only one in 106 combat missions that got inside range of my weapons.

There is also a phenomenon known as target fixation in which you can become so focused on a target that you miss or fail to observe something going on in close proximity. Have you seen one of those video clips where you are asked what happened, and you realize you missed the guy dressed like a gorilla who walked right through the middle of the skit? It happens and it happens a lot.

I have read where all sides gunned guys in chutes with no one side seeming to stand out.

Be careful judging what the man in the arena is doing when one has never set foot there.

And if I were to cast dispersions upon a side, I might lean towards the one that tried extermination of a particular group, or one that was defensive, who was routinely getting the crap bombed out of them, and was retreating or giving up their homelands.

Biff
 
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Dedalos,

I'm going to have to challenge your bolded comments.

Have you ever shot down a plane? Coincidentally enough, most of the guys in WW2 hadn't either until the first time. And then only one doesn't make you a pro at it. Put yourself in a fighter, you get into a fight, and by luck or skill end up in a shooting position on an enemy aircraft. Your adrenaline is through the roof, you are scared shitless that an unobserved guy is going to get you, and you want to make sure this plane / target goes down.

In the F15 we talked about getting engaged (into a fight) with a single and how much ordnance you would expend. There were quite a few guys who used the "friends of industry" mentality or would way over shoot at a guy as it might be your only chance during a career. I flew the Eagle for 17 years, did five rotations to the Middle East in it, and the closest I came to any bad guy was 23 miles, and lucky for him he stayed on his side of the line. He was the only one in 106 combat missions that got inside range of my weapons.

There is also a phenomenon known as target fixation in which you can become so focused on a target that you miss or fail to observe something going on in close proximity. Have you seen one of those video clips where you are asked what happened, and you realize you missed the guy dressed like a gorilla who walked right through the middle of the skit? It happens and it happens a lot.

I have read where all sides gunned guys in chutes with no one side seeming to stand out.

Be careful judging what the man in the arena is doing when one has never set foot there.

And if I were to cast dispersions upon a side, I might lean towards the one that tried extermination of a particular group, or one that was defensive, who was routinely getting the crap bombed out of them, and was retreating or giving up their homelands.

Biff
I don't judge. Who am I to judge?
I just study history and I report without motives
Auswitz did exist, Dachau did exist, the execution of US prisoners during the Ardennes offensive did happened. These are facts
But it s also a fact that Americans, were attacking some times the German parachutists.
I provided a small list of names.
German pilots like Hofman, reschke, sinner, and many others reported that later in the war was standard practice to open the parachute at the last moment. I am sorry but it's a fact. Its reported by many
And it's the statistics. Being shot down earlier in the war had a 30-40% death rate. Later in the war, 80% of the shot down German pilots were dead. The War Diary of jg26,that covers the entire war day by day, is an excellent read. Demonstrates the changes in tactics, in aircraft, in casualty patters. And also has a comment about pachute shooting
 
I don't judge. Who am I to judge?
I just study history and I report without motives
Auswitz did exist, Dachau did exist, the execution of US prisoners during the Ardennes offensive did happened. These are facts
But it s also a fact that Americans, were attacking some times the German parachutists.
I provided a small list of names.
German pilots like Hofman, reschke, sinner, and many others reported that later in the war was standard practice to open the parachute at the last moment. I am sorry but it's a fact. Its reported by many
And it's the statistics. Being shot down earlier in the war had a 30-40% death rate. Later in the war, 80% of the shot down German pilots were dead. The War Diary of jg26,that covers the entire war day by day, is an excellent read. Demonstrates the changes in tactics, in aircraft, in casualty patters. And also has a comment about pachute shooting
Hard to say what you mean by early in the war. At the beginning it was fought almost exclusively by rifle calibre guns. The British switched to 20mm cannon in 1941. Early American planes had a mix of rifle and 50 cal guns. The rate of fire of the 50 cal was increased and the number of guns carried was increased, the destructive fire power of a P-47 with 8 x 50 cal was much more than twice that of an early P-40, same for a Typhoon with 4 x 20mm cannon. Additionally the gyro gunsight advised the range to open fire based on the wing span of the target which the pilot input. This means that the gun sight was guiding to pilot to open fire at the mid point between the wing tips, which is where the cockpit is on a S/E fighter. If a pilot was attacking a bomber box when he bailed out I would say he was well advised to wait until near the ground before deploying the parachute, the space was alive with bullets, most of which did not hit what they were aimed at but would be inclined to hit something, especially something slowly floating down.
 
Books from my teens regarding WW2 air combat often mentioned a free fall, or delay opening, to get clear of the battle confusion. Watching videos of B-17 & 24 crews exiting shows almost immediate chute opening, likely adrenaline caused. During the Vietnam unpleasantness, I was told by a friend of some who ejected delayed opening to get away from the action. My friend, who flew missions there, said during a conversation about target fixation where "last words" was mentioned, said the most heard on the radio was "Aw shit".
 
I really do not think it was possible most of the time to aim at a cockpit, almost the sole exception being a head on pass at a bomber, and even then it was mostly just aiming at the front of the airplane.

I recall the IDF saying that while an AIM-9 hit usually enabled the enemy pilot to eject, their Shafir AAM had a larger explosive charge that usually resulted in a fireball that did not allow an ejection. That's about the only time I have heard of anyone being concerned about killing the pilot. I do recall reading of a USAAF fighter pilot continuing to fire at a German as he was trying to climb out of his BF-109, saying he was still in the airplane and was too good of a pilot to allow him to survive. I also recall an interview with a USAAF fighter pilot who saw a German fighter pilot strafing USAAF bomber crewmen in their chutes and then very carefully shot the German fighter down so that he would bail out and could be strafed in his chute.
 
I don't judge. Who am I to judge?
I just study history and I report without motives
Auswitz did exist, Dachau did exist, the execution of US prisoners during the Ardennes offensive did happened. These are facts
But it s also a fact that Americans, were attacking some times the German parachutists.
I provided a small list of names.
German pilots like Hofman, reschke, sinner, and many others reported that later in the war was standard practice to open the parachute at the last moment. I am sorry but it's a fact. Its reported by many
And it's the statistics. Being shot down earlier in the war had a 30-40% death rate. Later in the war, 80% of the shot down German pilots were dead. The War Diary of jg26,that covers the entire war day by day, is an excellent read. Demonstrates the changes in tactics, in aircraft, in casualty patters. And also has a comment about pachute shooting

You still haven't provided a source for your claim that it was official policy for American pilots to shoot German jet pilots in parachutes on sight and as a matter of orders, so I'm calling bullshit on that.
 
You still haven't provided a source for your claim that it was official policy for American pilots to shoot German jet pilots in parachutes on sight and as a matter of orders, so I'm calling bullshit on that.
I decided to provide a small list of German pilots shot in their parachutes.
The fact that jet pilots were especially targeted is at the memoirs of every me262 pilot that we have knowledge. Today it s common knowledge. Probably dont exist written orders to prove it, but the facts are very clear
 
About the jet pilots it s referred in many sources
In several German pilots memories is referred that later in the war they were trained to deploy their parachutes as late as possible
I am only an amateur , but I will make a small list with a few known pilots shot in parachute or strafed on ground
RAF did it very rarely, as often as LW, USAAF was another story

Civilians ships equipped with guns and carrying war materials are not civilians ships any more
Unrestricted submarine warfare was practiced by all combatants.

Any pow before his capture is firing at his future captors. Should then all pows to be executed?

Then the Germans could justify themselves for the execution of US pows in Ardennes offensive by not having the fuel to send them in prisoner camps?

I am not judging. I don't know how I would behave in such terrible circumstances.
Additionaly the crimes of Germany are counted in millions. There's no balance in crimes. German prisoners died by thousands in allied prisoner camps but soviet pows died in millions in German camps.
We must remember every crime , and not repeat it.
But we do.
Don't believe the USAAF did that more often than anyone else.

Unrestricted submarine warfare was practiced by all combatants AFTER the German Kriegsmarine implemented it first. Turnabout is, many times, fair play. You MIGHT have an idea that ships in a convoy were carrying war materiel, but single ships on the ocean would have to be stopped and searched before knowing they carried anything having to do with the war other than food and clothing. The Germans were sinking whatever they could find, making it tough not to join the fray in the same manner if you wanted your merchant sailors to stay on the job.

Your replies are trending toward barracks-lawyer type replies and do not deserve much of a response from me, particularly one with any logic to it, since you don't appear to use any when responding as you did above.

Let's say we would likely be on opposite sides of a lot of arguments and leave it there.

Cheers.
 
A small list found on another forum
Interesting list "from another forum" that is quite suspect. People couldn't keep the details of air combat straight in their minds but, in the heat of air combat, pulling too many g's, they could identify a plane going down and notice who was in the parachute?

Sounds like after-the-fact justification to me. People spend decades trying to get a good aerial victory list, but this post asks anyone to add to his list if they know more?

Please, think about your reaction if that were a victory list instead of a list of people who were shot in the parachute, and then ask yourself what the references were and how valid such a list might seem. If you would believe it, you would be one. Many thousands of others wouldn't.

I'm not saying the USAAF didn't occasionally DO the deed. I'm saying it wasn't nearly as widespread as you imply by ANY combatant on either side.

Cheers.
 
I decided to provide a small list of German pilots shot in their parachutes.
The fact that jet pilots were especially targeted is at the memoirs of every me262 pilot that we have knowledge. Today it s common knowledge. Probably dont exist written orders to prove it, but the facts are very clear

You clearly have no idea what it means to provide a source. It means to give me a link, or a specific reference in a book (which includes page number) so that I may read for myself this "official policy" ordering USAAF pilots to shoot German jet pilots in their 'chutes. Your word is simply not good enough.

You either have source(s) for this claim, or you pulled it out of thin air. I suspect the latter; feel free to show me wrong by linking to or at least citing your source.
 

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