Who was the best fighter pilot in World War 2?

Jun 2011
306
The Old Dominion
#31
The second quote is relevant to the OP, I think. Leonard was an experienced fighter pilot, "led four divisions" on this mission, successfully, and yet didn't score himself.
Except my friend Barrett was not totally clear; that was the engagement in which he, Leonard, was credited with two A6Ms. Graham, who flew in the second section of his division scored 5 confirmed, then crash landed at Knucklehead from fuel exhaustion. The entry in the my father's pilots log for 12 June 1943 states "June 12 - F4F-4 - 11985 - 4.2 (hours) - Fight at Russells - Dumbo to Segi, also fight, 2 Zeros"
 
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May 2019
70
Northern and Western hemispheres
#33
I count 35 aces from the FAA, these include gents from the RN, RM, RNVR, RCNVR, and SANF(V).
I imagine the majority of the FAA aces fought in the war with Germany and Italy. However some might have became aces in the Pacific Theater as in 44 and 45 as the European war was winding down the Royal Navy moved some its carriers out to its Pacific Fleet and made some air raids to join the U.S. Navy carriers there.

If you don't mind me asking, are you yourself an ex navy man Mr. Leonard? Looking at your avatar I would say were. You seem very knowledgeable about military history and naval/aviation history.
 

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,545
Amelia, Virginia, USA
#34
Except my friend Barrett was not totally clear; that was the engagement in which he, Leonard, was credited with two A6Ms. Graham, who flew in the second section of his division scored 5 confirmed, then crash landed at Knucklehead from fuel exhaustion. The entry in the my father's pilots log for 12 June 1943 states "June 12 - F4F-4 - 11985 - 4.2 (hours) - Fight at Russells - Dumbo to Segi, also fight, 2 Zeros"
Oh well. Point still stands, though.
 
Jun 2011
306
The Old Dominion
#36
If you don't mind me asking, are you yourself an ex navy man Mr. Leonard? Looking at your avatar I would say were. You seem very knowledgeable about military history and naval/aviation history.
No, oddly enough, I was never in the Navy; I mucked about with the state guard for about 12 years, mostly out of idle curiosity, got out as a major In the S3 end of the business.

US naval aviation is just my primary area of historic interest . . . I’m only vaguely aware of a war in Europe, except when it comes to US carriers and patrol squadrons operating in the ETO . . . oh, and a minor interest in the operations of the 13th US Infantry (my uncle ended the war as CO of the 2d Battalion – starting as a 2LT pre-war), and the USAAF 405th Fighter Squadron (another uncle, KIA in January 1945, the squadron commander, an LTC who graduated from USMA in 1942 . . . joined that squadron as a 1LT after flight training . . . was originally stationed at Byrd Field, about 20 miles from where I now sit). Other than those, I’ve little to no interest in the war in Europe, either east or west.

Pretty much a function of time. But, I’m always willing to at least look at other events in passing, my bachelors was in history from an obscure military college outside Lexington VA; which is why I like this forum and it North American counterpart. Something will catch my eye and I'll spend an hour or more going through the pages . . . probably won't post anything (no point in showing off my ignorance) but, I'll read it all. And when I do write, it is only on those subjects upon which I have enough knowledge to do so.

My avatar is a close up of one of the F4F side panels I have off the plane (#11985) my father flew while with VF-11.

Regards
 
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