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American Spitfire Aces of World War 2 by Andrew Thomas

By Andrew Thomas

The 1st few American volunteers in global warfare 2 flew Spitfires with the RAF in the course of the conflict of england. Many extra joined their ranks, frequently posing as 'Canadians', ultimately forming 3 Eagle squadrons who earned a fierce combating attractiveness. while the us entered the conflict its fighter sections have been issued with Spitfires and finally the Eagle Squadrons have been transferred to the 8th Air strength. observe the studies of various American aces of their personal phrases via first-hand money owed, interviews and strive against studies, in an exciting learn that transports the reader from the conflict of england to the deserts of North Africa and castle Europe itself.

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During heavy air fighting over Tunisia, the 52nd FG lost six Spitfires to fighters or flak. Returning to 6 April, early that day 11 aircraft from the 307th escorted A-20s sent to bomb La Fouconnerie, and en route to the target they were attacked by a dozen Bf 109Gs shortly after 0730 hrs. Lt Virgil Fields fired off all his ammunition at one of the fighters, and had the satisfaction of seeing part of the port wing of his victim fall off. He was duly credited with the first ofhis six victories upon returning to base, his victim believed to have been Ltn Klaas.

On 20 May Peck was awarded a DFC, having made 15 claims since arriving in Malta - 3 1/2 destroyed, three probables and no less than eight T 44 Pit Off Donald McLeod of No 126 Sqn arrived in Malta on 21 March 1942 and shot down two Bf 109s on the 24th and 25th of the month. However, he was himself shot down in flames on 2 April and baled out, injured. McLeod later transferred to the USAAF, and scored two more victories with the 83rd FS (via Brian Cull) damaged. He survived more than forty combats over Malta, and later spoke to American reporters of his experiences; 'I never even got a scratch or so much as a bullet through my aeroplane.

I fired at one Ju 87 and saw strikes on the wings and pieces flying off. The Stuka went into a steep downward spiral, finally getting out of control at 800 ft and going straight on in. ' It was not all sun in the desert, as evidenced by Spitfire VC VF-E of the 5th FS following a flash flood at La Sebala caused by a period of torrential rain during the spring of 1943 (No 165 Sqn Records via P H T Green collection) Capt Arnold Vinson of the 2nd FS made his first claims on 2 December 1942, when he damaged a Bf 109 and then shot down an Fw 190 west of Bizerte.

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