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"5 Deadliest Fighter Pilots in US Military History" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian22 Jan 2024 9:00 p.m. PST

Who are the deadliest fighter pilots in U.S. military history?

Military: link

CVA31bhr23 Jan 2024 10:09 a.m. PST

I'll vote for McCampbell. He was CAG-15, and as such, was supposed to concentrate on leading strikes, not air-to-air action, yet he made ace-in-a-day TWICE, and also credited with 21 enemy aircraft on the ground. He'd practiced his gunnery skills to the point on one training hop, he shot the tow cable for the target sleeve in two. And he was a solid leader. His wingman was a double ace, so he apparently had some mentoring skills.

Augustus23 Jan 2024 10:27 a.m. PST

Bong, P-38 Lightning.

Best of the best.

Choctaw24 Jan 2024 7:37 a.m. PST

I would go with Richard Bong as well.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2024 2:29 p.m. PST

I only had the pleasure of meeting Foss, in Indiana. I used to correspond with Bong's wingman. Also used to correspond with some of the "Black Sheep", but not a lot.

I believe it was tougher for the aces who started early, when the cream of the opponents flyers were still alive. Especially when their planes were more equal, or possibly less so.. like the wildcat.

The German planes might have been a bit harder to bring down, as the Japanese thought nothing for the protection of their pilots, sacrificing their safety for speed and agility.

But I respect them all. It takes extraordinary skill to achieve these marks. I cannot and will not pick a favorite.


Joe Legan25 Jan 2024 5:04 a.m. PST

No quibble with any of the above. Bong clearly by score as well as Rickenbacker who did fight German planes.


Wolfhag27 Jan 2024 6:15 a.m. PST

IIRC Bong said he was not the greatest shot. His tactic was to go head-to-head with a Japanese plane which evidently they were more than glad to do. It solved the deflection problem. A one-second burst of concentrated fire (approx 10x 20mm rounds and 40x 50cal rounds) was more than the Japan plane could withstand getting hit in the engine and pilot compartment.


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