Open main menu

List of aviators who became ace in a day

  (Redirected from Aviators who became ace in a day)

The term "ace in a day" is used to designate a pilot who has shot down five or more airplanes in a single day,[1] based on usual definition of an "ace" as one with five or more aerial victories.

World War IEdit

Ace in a day on two occasionsEdit

A Bristol F2B crew – Canadian pilot Captain Alfred Atkey and English observer Lieutenant Charles Gass – became "ace in a day" twice in the same week. On 7 May 1918, they shot down five German planes in a single sortie over Arras. Two days later, on 9 May, they were credited with another five enemy machines in the course of two sorties. Atkey survived the Great War credited with a total of 38 victories, making him the most successful two-seater pilot of the conflict.[2]

René Fonck scored six in a day on both 9 May and 26 September 1918.[3]

Ace in a dayEdit

The first aviators to ever achieve "ace in a day" were pilot Julius Arigi and observer/gunner Johann Lasi of the Austro-Hungarian air force, on 22 August 1916, when they downed five Italian planes.[4]

The first single pilot (as opposed to double aviators, as is the case with the previously-mentioned Arigi and Lasi) was World War I German flying ace Fritz Otto Bernert. Bernert scored five victories within 20 minutes on 24 April 1917. He had a total of 27 kills during the war, even though he wore glasses and had his left arm amputated at the elbow.[5]

World War IIEdit

Triple-ace in a dayEdit

To achieve this a pilot must have destroyed 15 enemy aircraft in a single day. This has been achieved by only five pilots, all from the Luftwaffe:[13]

Double-ace in a dayEdit

To achieve this a pilot must have destroyed ten enemy aircraft in a single day. This has been achieved by twelve pilots, three of whom repeated their achievement a second time within weeks.

  • Hiromichi Shinohara, on 27 June 1939 set an Imperial Japanese Army Air Force record of eleven victories in a single day during an air battle over Tamsak-Bulak.
  • Adolf Dickfeld claimed eleven Soviet aircraft shot down on 8 May 1942.[19]
  • Hermann Graf, the first fighter pilot to claim 200 aerial victories, shot down ten Soviet aircraft on 23 September 1942.[20]
  • Max Stotz claimed ten Soviet aircraft shot down on 30 December 1942.[21]
  • Walter Nowotny, the first fighter pilot to claim 250 aerial victories, twice shot down ten in one day. On 24 June 1943 and on 1 September 1943 he claimed ten Soviet aircraft shot down.[22]
  • Erich Rudorffer is credited with the destruction of the most aircraft ever in a single mission when he shot down thirteen Soviet aircraft on 11 October 1943.[23]
  • Johannes Wiese claimed twelve Soviet aircraft shot down on 5 July 1943.[24][25]
  • Walter Wolfrum twice shot down ten or more aircraft on one day. On 30 May 1944, he claimed eleven Soviet aircraft destroyed and on 16 July 1944, he claimed further ten shot down.[26]
  • Walter Schuck claimed eleven Soviet aircraft shot down on 17 June 1944.[27]
  • Erich Hartmann, the highest-scoring fighter ace in history, downed eleven planes on 24 August 1944, in two consecutive missions. In the process, he became the first 300-kill ace in history, and as a result of this, gained the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, by then Germany's highest military award for standard servicemen.[28]
  • Franz Schall twice shot down ten or more aircraft on one day. On 26 August 1944, he claimed eleven Soviet aircraft destroyed and on 31 August 1944, he claimed further thirteen shot down.[29]
  • Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer although he only claimed nine aircraft shot down he destroyed ten RAF bombers on 21 February 1945.[30]

Ace in a dayEdit

1940Edit

1941Edit

  • On 25 June 1941, Walter Hoeckner of Luftwaffe JG 77 shot down 8 Tupolev SBs.
  • On 26 June 1941, Reinhold Schmetzer of Luftwaffe JG 77 shot down 5 Ilyushin DB-3s.[38]
  • On 30 June 1941, then again on 30 August 1941, 19 May 1942, 3 November 1942, 14 January 1943 and 26 February 1943, Heinrich Bär, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern and Western Front, became a six-time ace in a day.[39]
  • On 10 July 1941, then again on 12 July 1941 and 12 August 1941, Walter Oesau, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern and Western Front, became a three-time ace in a day, with five, seven and six victories, respectively.[40]
  • On 17 August 1941, then again on 20 August 1942 and 5 July 1943, Werner Lucas, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a three-time ace in a day.[41]
  • On 8 October 1940, Günther Lützow, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became an ace in a day.[42]
  • On 5 December 1941, within a few minutes, Clive Caldwell, the leading Australian ace of the Second World War, destroyed five German aircraft in North Africa.[43]

1942Edit

  • On 22 June 1942, then again on 19 July and 20 July 1942, 2 December and 28 December 1943, Gerhard Barkhorn, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a five-time ace in a day, claiming five, six, five, six and seven aerial victories respectively.[44]
  • On 26 July 1942, then again on 7 August 1942 and 5 July 1943, Kurt Brändle, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a three-time ace in a day.[45]
  • On 12 August 1942, Richard John Cork of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm shot down five aircraft during the defence of a Malta Convoy in Operation Pedestal.[46]
  • On 24 August 1942, then again on 17 September 1942 and 4 August 1943, Heinz Schmidt, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a three-time ace in a day, with seven, five and five victories, respectively.[47]
  • On 3 September 1942, Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt, Luftwaffe fighter pilot in North Africa, became an ace in a day, with five victories.[48]
  • On 22 September 1942, then again on 29 November 1942, Josef Zwernemann, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a two-time ace in a day, claiming six and five aerial victories respectively.[49]
  • On 26 October 1942, Stanley "Swede" Vejtasa, a United States Navy (USN) aviator, downed seven Japanese planes in one sortie in the Battle of Santa Cruz while flying a Grumman F4F Wildcat.[50]

1943Edit

  • On 12 January 1943, then again on 4 August 1943, 4 April 1944, 28 June 1944, 14 September 1944, and 9, 27 and 29 October 1944, Otto Kittel, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a eight-time ace in a day, claiming six, seven, five, five, six, five, seven and six aerial victories, respectively.[51]
  • On 31 January 1943, Jefferson DeBlanc, a United States Marine Corps aviator, scored five victories in the Guadalcanal Campaign. His actions, despite mechanical problems with his aircraft and being vastly outnumbered, earned him the Medal of Honor.
  • On 7 March 1943, Walter Hoeckner of Luftwaffe JG 26 shot down 4 Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmoviks and 2 P-40C Tomahawks.[52]
  • On 27 March 1943, then again on 13 April 1943, 17 March 1944, 11 May 1944, 26 May 1944 and 17 July 1944, Heinrich Ehrler, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern and Western Front, became a six-time ace in a day, with five, six, seven, five, five and five victories, respectively.[53]
  • On 7 April 1943 James E. Swett, a USMC aviator, scored eight victories fighting against the Japanese Operation I-Go offensive. His actions that day earned him the Medal of Honor.
  • On 20 April 1943, then again on 8 May 1943, 5 July 1943 and 7 July 1943, Joachim Kirschner, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a four-time ace in a day, with eight, seven, eight and five victories, respectively.[54]
  • On 3 May 1943, then again on 20 August 1943 and 10 October 1943, Günther Rall, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, and the third highest scoring ace in history, became a three-time ace in a day, claiming five aerial victories on each of these days.[55]
  • On 12 June 1943, Lieutenant (JG) Vernon E. Graham, USNR, with a F4F Wildcat carrier fighter unit that intercepted 35 A6M Zero fighters, shot down 5 Zeroes, ran out of fuel mid-combat, and made a dead-stick landing on Pavuvu.[56]
  • On 5 July 1943, then again on 7, 10 and 13 July 1943, Günther Scheel, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a four-time ace in a day, with eight, seven, five and six victories, respectively.[57]
  • On 1 August, 4 August, 5 August, and 7 August 1943, Luftwaffe fighter pilot Erich Hartmann became a four-time ace in a day by shooting down 5 Soviet Union aircraft on each occasion. This, and his 24 August 1944 double ace in a day (11 kills) against Soviet Union airplanes, contributed to his all-time highest scoring ace total of 352 kills.[28]
  • On 12 July 1943, then again on 22 November 1943 and 14 October 1944, Joachim Brendel, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a three-time ace in a day, with five, six and five victories, respectively.[58]

1944Edit

  • On 20 February 1944, Rudolf Frank, a German Feldwebel shot down five Avro Lancasters over Germany.[59]
  • On 11 April 1944, then again on 7 May 1944, Peter Düttmann, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a two-time ace in a day, with six and nine victories, respectively.[60]
  • On 7 May 1944 Hans Waldmann of the Luftwaffe shot down six Soviet aircraft, taking his total to 120 aerial victories.[61]
  • On 14 May 1944, Unteroffizier Stadler of JG 27 Afrika, shot down six Savoia-Marchetti SM.84s of the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force.
  • On 25 May 1944, then again on 21 February 1945, Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, a Luftwaffe night fighter pilot, became a two-time ace in a day, with five and nine victories, respectively.[62]
  • On 19 June 1944, then again on 24 October 1944, David McCampbell, the USN's top ace and Medal of Honor recipient, became a two-time ace in a day, with seven victories during the "Marianas Turkey Shoot", followed by nine victories on the second date.
  • On 20 and 25 June 1944, Hans Wind, Finland's second highest scoring fighter ace, became a two-time ace in a day, with five victories both days. This was part of his 13-day tally, from 13 June to 25 June, of 29 aerial victories fighting against the Soviet Summer Offensive. His final World War II tally was 75.[63]
  • On 30 June 1944, Ilmari Juutilainen, Finland's top scoring fighter ace, shot down six Soviet planes flying against the same Soviet Summer Offensive as colleague and fellow ace in a day Wind. Juutilainen's final World War II score was 94.
  • On 30 June 1944, then again on 5 March 1945, Ulrich Wernitz, Luftwaffe fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, became a two-time ace in a day, with five and eight victories, respectively.[64]
  • On 6 August 1944, George Preddy, the United States Army Air Forces' (USAAF) top P-51 Mustang ace, shot down six German Bf 109s, setting the U.S. record in the European Theater of Operations.
  • On 2 November 1944, Donald S. "Bush" Bryan, P-51D pilot of the USAAF 352nd Fighter Group, shot down five German Bf 109s aircraft while en route to join and escort B-17 bombers on a mission to Germany.
  • On 29 December 1944, within seven minutes, Richard Joseph "Dick" Audet of 411 Squadron RCAF, piloting a Spitfire IXe, destroyed two Bf 109s and three Focke-Wulf Fw 190s over Osnabrück.

1945Edit

Post World War IIEdit

 
Air Commodore Muhammad Mahmood Alam "Little Dragon". Alleged Ace in a Day of the Pakistan Air Force

On 7 September 1965, in air-to-air combat during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Muhammad Mahmood Alam of the Pakistan Air Force claimed to have shot down five Indian Air Force (IAF) Hawker Hunter fighters in less than a minute, with four being claimed to have been downed in 30 seconds.[70] This makes him the only jet fighter 'ace-in-a-day'. He later stated: "Before we had completed more than of about 270 degree of the turn, at around 12 degree per second, all four hunters had been shot down. -- My fifth victim of this sortie started spewing smoke and then rolled on to his back at about 1000 feet."[71] However, the IAF claims that they only lost four Hawker Hunters on that particular day, while various Indian film scholars have also rejected Alam's claim.[72][73][74]

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ Geissinger 1997.
  2. ^ Guttman 2007, pp. 30–32.
  3. ^ Franks & Bailey 1992, p. 161.
  4. ^ O'Connor 1994, pp. 190–191, 272, 324.
  5. ^ Franks, Bailey & Guest 1993, p. 70.
  6. ^ Shores 2014, pp. 63–65.
  7. ^ Shores, Franks & Guest 1990, p. 368.
  8. ^ Shores, Franks & Guest 1990, p. 390.
  9. ^ Franks 2003, p. 61–63.
  10. ^ Franks 2001, p. 20–22.
  11. ^ Arthur Spurling.
  12. ^ Franks 2002, pp. 74–76.
  13. ^ http://aces.safarikovi.org/victories/germany-top1.html
  14. ^ Caldwell 2002, p. 395.
  15. ^ Weal 1995, p. 72.
  16. ^ Weal 2003, p. 90.
  17. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, p. 1281.
  18. ^ Weal 2004, p. 107.
  19. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 216–217.
  20. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015a, p. 413.
  21. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1276–1279.
  22. ^ Prien et al. 2012, pp. 175, 183.
  23. ^ Williamson 2005, p. 46.
  24. ^ Prien et al. 2012, pp. 285–286.
  25. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1418–1419.
  26. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1446–1447.
  27. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, p. 1180.
  28. ^ a b Matthews & Foreman 2015a, pp. 485–492.
  29. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1103–1104.
  30. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, p. 1152.
  31. ^ Sarvanto 2005, p. 202.
  32. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, p. 168.
  33. ^ Shores 1994, p. 190.
  34. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, p. 32.
  35. ^ Ketley 1999, p. 76.
  36. ^ Shores 1994, p. 287–288.
  37. ^ Shores 1994, p. 244.
  38. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, p. 1134.
  39. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 34–39.
  40. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015b, pp. 932–934.
  41. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015a, pp. 776–777.
  42. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015a, pp. 787–789.
  43. ^ Holmes 2002, p. 107.
  44. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 40–46.
  45. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 138–141.
  46. ^ Shores 1994, p. 191.
  47. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1140–1143.
  48. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1242–1243.
  49. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1472–1474.
  50. ^ "Swede Vejtasa: In Memoriam". Naval Aviation News. Naval Air Warfare Division, USN. 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  51. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015a, pp. 634–639.
  52. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015a, pp. 529–531.
  53. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 268–271.
  54. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015a, pp. 630–633.
  55. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015b, pp. 1003–1008.
  56. ^ Hess & Boyce 1996, p. 212.
  57. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1110–1111.
  58. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 589–593.
  59. ^ Schumann 2014, p. 43.
  60. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, p. 250.
  61. ^ Bracke 1997, p. 224.
  62. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1150–1152.
  63. ^ Stenman 2001, p. 123.
  64. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015c, pp. 1404–1405.
  65. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015b, pp. 1001–1002.
  66. ^ "Jefferson David Dorroh, Jr". Military Times. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  67. ^ "George Clifton Axtell, Jr". Military Times. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  68. ^ William Grimes (August 27, 2016). "Jeremiah O'Keefe, Ace in His First World War II Battle, Dies at 93". The New York Times.
  69. ^ United Press, "Army Flier Bags Five Japs In Single Fight", The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Monday 4 June 1945, Volume 51, page 1.
  70. ^ Nordeen 2014, p. 144.
  71. ^ Fricker 1979, pp. 15–17.
  72. ^ Guttman 1998.
  73. ^ Singh 1991, p. 30.
  74. ^ Haider 2009, p. 69.

BibliographyEdit