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  1. #9801

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonCraig1 View Post
    Good try! this pilot had a few more victories than Miller.

    I'm looking for as pilot

    1. A highly successful RAF ace he is credited with victories over three German aces, each with a higher score than him.
    2. He seemed to be less successful driving being involved in two serious car accidents which hospitalized him, and being fined for a third accident.
    3. His war ended when he was shot down by FW-190s over Denmark and taken prisoner. He met one of the opponents who shot him down and the two became friends after the war.
    4. His first 'kill' was actually achieved by his gunner after he overshot the target.
    5. As well as more traditional targets, he destroyed one locomotive, damaged several E-boats and a U-boat
    6. The aircraft type he achieved his first kill in was already obsolete but pressed into this role as a stopgap. The remainder were in two other aircraft types, each a significant improvement in performance on their predecessors.
    7. One of the aces he shot down bailed out and the pilot considered gunning him down but was persuaded not to by his crew. The 'victim' went on to a mass a further 34 kills, over 200 aircrew given the targets he was hunting. An interesting question of ethics if ever there was one....
    8. Almost all his victories including the three aces were against twin engined aircraft.
    9. All his kills were in twin engined aircraft.
    10. He was the leading ace in one of these aircraft.
    11. Almost all his victories were at night.
    12. Although he became a Staff Officer he continued to fly ops 'borrowing' planes from local squadrons until his luck ran out.
    If no one gets this by tomorrow morning, I'll hazard a guess. Thanks; Ernie P.

  2. #9802
    uncljoe's Avatar
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    SWAG.... Bob Braham
    Semper Fi
    Joe
    Last edited by uncljoe; 06-09-2014 at 05:35 PM.
    Look towards the Horizon......your death awaits you there So Enjoy today ,,,,,,

  3. #9803

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie P. View Post
    If no one gets this by tomorrow morning, I'll hazard a guess. Thanks; Ernie P.
    I think there is no need for me to hazard a guess. Thanks; Ernie P.

  4. #9804

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    Well Done uncljoe! and very restrained Ernie!

    Bob Brabham it is. 29 confirmed victories with four more unconfirmed. Top Ace on Beaufighters. Saw through just about every innovation in night fighter technology from early radar to the Serrate homing device.

    He shot down Frank, Vinke and Geiger the 17th, 18, and 19th most successful night fighters of the Second World War. Vinke was the pilot who parachuted to safety and went on to amass his impressive record predominantly against Bomber Command heavies.

  5. #9805
    uncljoe's Avatar
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    Looking for a designed "Nocturnal"aircraft
    Look towards the Horizon......your death awaits you there So Enjoy today ,,,,,,

  6. #9806

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonCraig1 View Post
    Well Done uncljoe! and very restrained Ernie!

    Bob Brabham it is. 29 confirmed victories with four more unconfirmed. Top Ace on Beaufighters. Saw through just about every innovation in night fighter technology from early radar to the Serrate homing device.

    He shot down Frank, Vinke and Geiger the 17th, 18, and 19th most successful night fighters of the Second World War. Vinke was the pilot who parachuted to safety and went on to amass his impressive record predominantly against Bomber Command heavies.
    I had prepared the below, just in case. Thanks; Ernie P.


    John Randall Daniel 'Bob' Braham DSO DFC AFC CD (6 April 1920 – 7 February 1974) was a British night fighter pilot, flying ace—a title awarded to a pilot credited with shooting down at least five enemy aircraft in aerial combat—and one of the most highly decorated British airman of the Second World War. Braham claimed the destruction of 25 German bomber and night fighter aircraft and a further four transport and trainer aircraft for a total of 29 aerial victories. In addition, he claimed a further six damaged and four probable victories. One of these probable victories can be confirmed through German records, making an unofficial total of 30 enemy aircraft destroyed.

    Born in April 1920, Braham had limited ambitions. Upon leaving school he worked for his local constabulary as a clerk. Bored with civil life, Braham joined the RAF on a five-year Short Service Commission in December 1937. He began basic training in March 1938 and then advanced training from August to December. Upon the completion of flight training he was posted to No. 29 Squadron RAF based at RAF Debden where he learned to fly the Hawker Hurricane and Bristol Blenheim. In 1939 the Squadron began to organise itself as a specialised night fighter unit. By August 1940, the Battle of Britain was under-way. He gained his first victory on 24 August which remained his only success in the battle. In September 1940 No. 29 Squadron was re-equipped with the Bristol Beaufighter. Braham continued operations during "The Blitz" claiming the destruction of two more enemy aircraft. By the end of 1940 he had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

    Braham continued to operate as an anti-intruder pilot after the Blitz ended in May 1941. He became an ace in September 1941 having achieved five victories and was awarded the Bar to his DFC in November 1941. In June 1942 he was promoted to Squadron Leader. By October 1942 Braham had claimed 12 enemy aircraft destroyed and he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Braham also flew missions with RAF Coastal Command during this time and claimed a U-Boat damaged and an E-boat destroyed. He was then promoted to Wing Commander and given command of No. 141 Squadron RAF. Braham undertook more intruder sorties into German-occupied Europe at this point and received a second bar to his DFC in June 1943 and by September 1943 had gained seven more victories, including three, possibly four, German night fighter aces. Consequently he was awarded a bar to his DSO. The Squadron soon converted to the De Havilland Mosquito and in February 1944 Braham was transferred to the operations staff at No. 2 Group RAF but was permitted to fly one operation per week. He achieved nine victories in the Mosquito and in June 1944 was awarded a second bar to his DSO. Braham's war came to an end on the 24 June 1944 when he was shot down by a pair of single-engine German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters. Braham was captured and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. He was liberated in May 1945.

    After the war he was offered a permanent commission which he initially accepted. Having resigned his commission in March 1946 he re-enlisted briefly in 1952 after struggling to find work. Braham then emigrated to Canada with his family and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. Having held office at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and moved around Europe, Braham retired from military life and began working as a civilian for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. He continued to work there until his death from an undiagnosed brain tumor in 1974, aged 53.

    Braham had destroyed 12 enemy aircraft with one probable and four damaged and was one of the most successful RAF night fighter pilots. In recognition of his experience he was then given command of No. 141 Squadron RAF at RAF Ford on 23 December 1942 as a 22-year-old Wing Commander. With him went his AI operator Gregory, now a Flying Officer with the DFC and DFM. Three weeks later, on 20 January 1943, Braham claimed his first air victory; a Do 217.

    No 141 Squadron's Beaufighter Mk.IF's moved to Cornwall in February 1943 to carry out night patrols over Brittany and France and daylight patrols over the Bay of Biscay and Atlantic Approaches to protect RAF Coastal Command aircraft. On 20 March 1943 he claimed a locomotive destroyed and soon afterwards was promoted to acting Wing Commander. In April Braham attacked a German E-Boat, firing 500 rounds of 20mm cannon at the target causing a large fire. On other operations Braham damaged three E-Boats while also strafing and damaging a U-Boat.

    In May 1943 No 141 Squadron moved to RAF Wittering. It had been chosen to be the first purpose-built night fighter squadron to operate over Germany and occupied Europe in the bomber support role. The Beaufighters were equipped with the new Serrate radar detector, which picked up the radar impulses given out by the German night fighter's' Lichtenstein radar. A number of Beaufighters were also equipped with Mk IV radar, but not the more effective and recently introduced Mark VII. Serrate operations started in June 1943 and were given greater impetus as the Battle of the Ruhr was intensifying and Bomber Command's losses to German night fighters increased. Braham had immediate success, destroying an Messerschmitt Bf 110 over the Netherlands on 14 June and another nine days later. A claim was also made for a damaged Ju 88 after Braham's guns had jammed. In between these two successes, Braham was awarded a second bar to his DFC on 15 June 1943. Throughout June, 141 Squadron claimed five enemy fighters destroyed and two damaged for the loss of one Beaufighter. Braham noted the continuous operations were tiring Gregory and he arranged for him (now with the DFC, DSO DFM) to be rested as Squadron Operational Planning Officer. His replacement was Flight Lieutenant Harry "Jacko" Jacobs.

    His most successful intruder operation took place on the night of the 17/18 August 1943, when he participated in 100 Groups support of RAF Bomber Command's Operation Hydra. Braham had decided that it was best to employ the British night fighters in a freelance role. Instead of operating over known German airfields, he elected to interpose the Beaufighters between the outward bomber stream and German airfields in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. He hoped that the echoes made by the Beaufighters on the German Lichtenstein radar would attract enemy aircraft and divert them from the bombers. Braham flew in the first wave. As Braham's wave reached Leeuwarden in the Netherlands and while four of the five RAF fighters made no contact, Braham attracted two enemy night fighters. The Messerschmitt Bf 110s were from IV./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (Night Fighter Wing 1). Five had taken off under the command of Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer. Schnaufer led his flight out toward the echo. Using his Serrate radar detector, Braham and his radar operator picked up the emissions made by the German Lichtenstein radar. He gained on and shot down Feldwebel Georg Kraft, an Experten with 15 air victories from 4./NJG 1. Another Bf 110 had witnessed the action and attempted to engage Braham but was outmanoeuvred and dispatched also. Its pilot, Feldwebel Heinz Vinke was the only member of his crew to survive. Braham considered shooting at one crew member, likely Vinke, who he had seen parachute out of the aircraft, but Bill Gregory persuaded him not to.

    Braham was awarded the first bar to his DSO on 24 September 1943. Four nights later, on the 28/29 whilst carrying out an intruder operation between Celle and Hanover Braham encountered what he identified to be a Do 217 which engaged him in a dogfight. He downed the enemy aircraft which it the ground and exploded. He then gained another contact on an enemy aircraft but could not quite catch it then witnessed a crash or explosion nearby. One source suggests the victim of the crash was German ace Hans-Dieter Frank (55 victories), flying a Heinkel He 219, who collided with another German fighter while trying to evade Braham. The very next night he claimed a Bf 110. His victim was identified as German ace August Geiger of IV/NJG 1 (53 victories). Geiger parachuted out of his fighter but drowned. Within minutes Braham fired on a Ju 88 which claimed as damaged. Frank, Vinke and Geiger were the 17th, 18th and 19th most successful night fighter aces of the Second World War (and aerial warfare).

    Against his wishes Braham was rested from operations and posted from No 141 Squadron on 1 October 1943. He took a staff course at the Staff College, Camberley from October 1943 until February 1944. He was then posted as 'Wing Commander Night Operations ' at HQ No. 2 Group RAF. Although a Staff Officer at HQ, Braham was able, with persistence, to persuade his AOC, Air Vice Marshal Basil Embry to allow him to 'free-lance' using a Mosquito FBVI loaned from one of the various squadrons in the group. On 12 May Braham's Mosquito was hit by both anti-aircraft fire and fire from a Bf 109 over Denmark. Braham and Gregory bailed out 70 miles from the English coast, being hauled out of the water by Air-Sea Rescue. On 13 June 1944 he received his final award—a second bar to his DSO.

    His last operation of the war was a lone daylight 'Ranger' operation over Denmark and north Germany on 25 June 1944. Attacked by two Focke-Wulf Fw 190's of Jagdgeschwader 1 over Denmark, he managed to crash land his crippled plane on a sandstrip by the coast and was captured. One of the German pilots (Robert Spreckles) insisted on meeting him and the two became friends after the war. By the time he was shot down Braham had carried out 15 'Ranger' operations over France, Denmark and Germany, during which he destroyed another nine enemy aircraft; a He 177 of 3.KG 100 on 5 March, a Ju 52m and Ju W-34 on 24 March, a Bu 131 on 4 April, a He 111 and a FW 58 on 13 April, a FW 190 on 29 April, a Ju 88 of KG 30 on 7 May and a FW 190 on 12 May.

  7. #9807

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonCraig1 View Post
    Well Done uncljoe! and very restrained Ernie!

    Bob Brabham it is. 29 confirmed victories with four more unconfirmed. Top Ace on Beaufighters. Saw through just about every innovation in night fighter technology from early radar to the Serrate homing device.

    He shot down Frank, Vinke and Geiger the 17th, 18, and 19th most successful night fighters of the Second World War. Vinke was the pilot who parachuted to safety and went on to amass his impressive record predominantly against Bomber Command heavies.
    I had prepared the below, just in case. Thanks; Ernie P.


    John Randall Daniel 'Bob' Braham DSO DFC AFC CD (6 April 1920 – 7 February 1974) was a British night fighter pilot, flying ace—a title awarded to a pilot credited with shooting down at least five enemy aircraft in aerial combat—and one of the most highly decorated British airman of the Second World War. Braham claimed the destruction of 25 German bomber and night fighter aircraft and a further four transport and trainer aircraft for a total of 29 aerial victories. In addition, he claimed a further six damaged and four probable victories. One of these probable victories can be confirmed through German records, making an unofficial total of 30 enemy aircraft destroyed.

    Born in April 1920, Braham had limited ambitions. Upon leaving school he worked for his local constabulary as a clerk. Bored with civil life, Braham joined the RAF on a five-year Short Service Commission in December 1937. He began basic training in March 1938 and then advanced training from August to December. Upon the completion of flight training he was posted to No. 29 Squadron RAF based at RAF Debden where he learned to fly the Hawker Hurricane and Bristol Blenheim. In 1939 the Squadron began to organise itself as a specialised night fighter unit. By August 1940, the Battle of Britain was under-way. He gained his first victory on 24 August which remained his only success in the battle. In September 1940 No. 29 Squadron was re-equipped with the Bristol Beaufighter. Braham continued operations during "The Blitz" claiming the destruction of two more enemy aircraft. By the end of 1940 he had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

    Braham continued to operate as an anti-intruder pilot after the Blitz ended in May 1941. He became an ace in September 1941 having achieved five victories and was awarded the Bar to his DFC in November 1941. In June 1942 he was promoted to Squadron Leader. By October 1942 Braham had claimed 12 enemy aircraft destroyed and he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Braham also flew missions with RAF Coastal Command during this time and claimed a U-Boat damaged and an E-boat destroyed. He was then promoted to Wing Commander and given command of No. 141 Squadron RAF. Braham undertook more intruder sorties into German-occupied Europe at this point and received a second bar to his DFC in June 1943 and by September 1943 had gained seven more victories, including three, possibly four, German night fighter aces. Consequently he was awarded a bar to his DSO. The Squadron soon converted to the De Havilland Mosquito and in February 1944 Braham was transferred to the operations staff at No. 2 Group RAF but was permitted to fly one operation per week. He achieved nine victories in the Mosquito and in June 1944 was awarded a second bar to his DSO. Braham's war came to an end on the 24 June 1944 when he was shot down by a pair of single-engine German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters. Braham was captured and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. He was liberated in May 1945.

    After the war he was offered a permanent commission which he initially accepted. Having resigned his commission in March 1946 he re-enlisted briefly in 1952 after struggling to find work. Braham then emigrated to Canada with his family and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. Having held office at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and moved around Europe, Braham retired from military life and began working as a civilian for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. He continued to work there until his death from an undiagnosed brain tumor in 1974, aged 53.

    Braham had destroyed 12 enemy aircraft with one probable and four damaged and was one of the most successful RAF night fighter pilots. In recognition of his experience he was then given command of No. 141 Squadron RAF at RAF Ford on 23 December 1942 as a 22-year-old Wing Commander. With him went his AI operator Gregory, now a Flying Officer with the DFC and DFM. Three weeks later, on 20 January 1943, Braham claimed his first air victory; a Do 217.

    No 141 Squadron's Beaufighter Mk.IF's moved to Cornwall in February 1943 to carry out night patrols over Brittany and France and daylight patrols over the Bay of Biscay and Atlantic Approaches to protect RAF Coastal Command aircraft. On 20 March 1943 he claimed a locomotive destroyed and soon afterwards was promoted to acting Wing Commander. In April Braham attacked a German E-Boat, firing 500 rounds of 20mm cannon at the target causing a large fire. On other operations Braham damaged three E-Boats while also strafing and damaging a U-Boat.

    In May 1943 No 141 Squadron moved to RAF Wittering. It had been chosen to be the first purpose-built night fighter squadron to operate over Germany and occupied Europe in the bomber support role. The Beaufighters were equipped with the new Serrate radar detector, which picked up the radar impulses given out by the German night fighter's' Lichtenstein radar. A number of Beaufighters were also equipped with Mk IV radar, but not the more effective and recently introduced Mark VII. Serrate operations started in June 1943 and were given greater impetus as the Battle of the Ruhr was intensifying and Bomber Command's losses to German night fighters increased. Braham had immediate success, destroying an Messerschmitt Bf 110 over the Netherlands on 14 June and another nine days later. A claim was also made for a damaged Ju 88 after Braham's guns had jammed. In between these two successes, Braham was awarded a second bar to his DFC on 15 June 1943. Throughout June, 141 Squadron claimed five enemy fighters destroyed and two damaged for the loss of one Beaufighter. Braham noted the continuous operations were tiring Gregory and he arranged for him (now with the DFC, DSO DFM) to be rested as Squadron Operational Planning Officer. His replacement was Flight Lieutenant Harry "Jacko" Jacobs.

    His most successful intruder operation took place on the night of the 17/18 August 1943, when he participated in 100 Groups support of RAF Bomber Command's Operation Hydra. Braham had decided that it was best to employ the British night fighters in a freelance role. Instead of operating over known German airfields, he elected to interpose the Beaufighters between the outward bomber stream and German airfields in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. He hoped that the echoes made by the Beaufighters on the German Lichtenstein radar would attract enemy aircraft and divert them from the bombers. Braham flew in the first wave. As Braham's wave reached Leeuwarden in the Netherlands and while four of the five RAF fighters made no contact, Braham attracted two enemy night fighters. The Messerschmitt Bf 110s were from IV./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (Night Fighter Wing 1). Five had taken off under the command of Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer. Schnaufer led his flight out toward the echo. Using his Serrate radar detector, Braham and his radar operator picked up the emissions made by the German Lichtenstein radar. He gained on and shot down Feldwebel Georg Kraft, an Experten with 15 air victories from 4./NJG 1. Another Bf 110 had witnessed the action and attempted to engage Braham but was outmanoeuvred and dispatched also. Its pilot, Feldwebel Heinz Vinke was the only member of his crew to survive. Braham considered shooting at one crew member, likely Vinke, who he had seen parachute out of the aircraft, but Bill Gregory persuaded him not to.

    Braham was awarded the first bar to his DSO on 24 September 1943. Four nights later, on the 28/29 whilst carrying out an intruder operation between Celle and Hanover Braham encountered what he identified to be a Do 217 which engaged him in a dogfight. He downed the enemy aircraft which it the ground and exploded. He then gained another contact on an enemy aircraft but could not quite catch it then witnessed a crash or explosion nearby. One source suggests the victim of the crash was German ace Hans-Dieter Frank (55 victories), flying a Heinkel He 219, who collided with another German fighter while trying to evade Braham. The very next night he claimed a Bf 110. His victim was identified as German ace August Geiger of IV/NJG 1 (53 victories). Geiger parachuted out of his fighter but drowned. Within minutes Braham fired on a Ju 88 which claimed as damaged. Frank, Vinke and Geiger were the 17th, 18th and 19th most successful night fighter aces of the Second World War (and aerial warfare).

    Against his wishes Braham was rested from operations and posted from No 141 Squadron on 1 October 1943. He took a staff course at the Staff College, Camberley from October 1943 until February 1944. He was then posted as 'Wing Commander Night Operations ' at HQ No. 2 Group RAF. Although a Staff Officer at HQ, Braham was able, with persistence, to persuade his AOC, Air Vice Marshal Basil Embry to allow him to 'free-lance' using a Mosquito FBVI loaned from one of the various squadrons in the group. On 12 May Braham's Mosquito was hit by both anti-aircraft fire and fire from a Bf 109 over Denmark. Braham and Gregory bailed out 70 miles from the English coast, being hauled out of the water by Air-Sea Rescue. On 13 June 1944 he received his final award—a second bar to his DSO.

    His last operation of the war was a lone daylight 'Ranger' operation over Denmark and north Germany on 25 June 1944. Attacked by two Focke-Wulf Fw 190's of Jagdgeschwader 1 over Denmark, he managed to crash land his crippled plane on a sandstrip by the coast and was captured. One of the German pilots (Robert Spreckles) insisted on meeting him and the two became friends after the war. By the time he was shot down Braham had carried out 15 'Ranger' operations over France, Denmark and Germany, during which he destroyed another nine enemy aircraft; a He 177 of 3.KG 100 on 5 March, a Ju 52m and Ju W-34 on 24 March, a Bu 131 on 4 April, a He 111 and a FW 58 on 13 April, a FW 190 on 29 April, a Ju 88 of KG 30 on 7 May and a FW 190 on 12 May.

  8. #9808
    uncljoe's Avatar
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    1.Looking for a designed "Nocturnal"aircraft
    2.Twin power plants.
    Look towards the Horizon......your death awaits you there So Enjoy today ,,,,,,

  9. #9809
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    Northrop P-61 Black Widow?
    Oregon RC Aircraft Buy/Sell/Trade
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/764344763587229/

  10. #9810
    uncljoe's Avatar
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    No not the P 61 "Black Widow"


    1.
    Looking for a designed "Nocturnal"aircraft
    2.Twin power plants.

    3 Designed around a radar system
    Look towards the Horizon......your death awaits you there So Enjoy today ,,,,,,

  11. #9811

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    Quote Originally Posted by uncljoe View Post
    No not the P 61 "Black Widow"


    1.
    Looking for a designed "Nocturnal"aircraft
    2.Twin power plants.

    3 Designed around a radar system

    How about the Douglas F3D Skyknight? Thanks; Ernie P.


    The Douglas F3D Skyknight (later designated F-10 Skyknight) was a United States twin-engined, mid-wing jet fighter aircraft manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company in El Segundo, California. The F3D was designed as a carrier-based all-weather night fighter and saw service with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The mission of the F3D-2 was to search out and destroy enemy aircraft at night.
    The F3D Skyknight was never produced in great numbers but it did achieve many firsts in its role as a night fighter over Korea. While it never achieved the fame of the North American F-86 Sabre, it did down several Soviet-built MiG-15s as a night fighter over Korea with only one air-to-air loss of its own against a Chinese MiG-15 on the night of 29 May 1953.

    The Skyknight played an important role in the development of the radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missile which led to further guided air-to-air missile developments. It also served as an electronic warfare platform in the Vietnam War as a precursor to the EA-6A Intruder and EA-6B Prowler. The aircraft is sometimes unofficially called "Skynight", dropping the second "k". The unusual, portly profile earned it the nickname "Willie the Whale". Some Vietnam War U.S. Marine veterans have referred to the Skyknight as "Drut", whose meaning becomes obvious when read backwards. This may be in reference to its age, unflattering looks or its low-slung air intakes that made it vulnerable to foreign object damage (FOD).

    The F3D was not intended to be a typical sleek and nimble dogfighter, but as a standoff night fighter, packing a powerful radar system and a second crew member. It originated in 1945 with a US Navy requirement for a jet-powered, radar-equipped, carrier-based night fighter. The Douglas team led by Ed Heinemann designed around the bulky air intercept radar systems of the time, with side-by-side seating for the pilot and radar operator. The result was an aircraft with a wide, deep, and roomy fuselage. Instead of ejection seats, an escape tunnel was used, similar to the type used in the A-3 Skywarrior.

    The XF3D-1 beat out Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation's G-75 two-seat, four-engined, Westinghouse J30-powered night fighter design and was issued a contract 3 April 1946. The US Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) also issued a contract to Grumman for two G-75 (company designation) XF9F-1 (BuAer designation) experimental aircraft on 11 April 1946 in case the Skyknight ran into problems. Grumman soon realized that the G-75 was a losing design but had been working on a completely different, single-engined day fighter known as the Grumman G-79 which became the F9F Panther.

  12. #9812
    uncljoe's Avatar
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    You have it Erine
    Look towards the Horizon......your death awaits you there So Enjoy today ,,,,,,

  13. #9813

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    Quote Originally Posted by uncljoe View Post
    You have it Erine

    Thank you, Sir. Before I post my next question: Is there any one lurking around this thread who has never posted a question? If so, speak up soon and I will happily surrender the floor. If there is no response by tomorrow afternoon, I will post my next question. Thanks; Ernie P.

  14. #9814

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    This one should be interesting and, hopefully, educational. Thanks; Ernie P.


    Question: What warbird pilot do I describe?

    Clues:

    (1) This pilot wasn’t a particularly high scoring ace, but he did serve with distinction; serving as a pilot for a rather long time.

    (2) He is most well known for shooting down a single aircraft, early in WWII.

  15. #9815

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    (Early) Evening clue. Thanks; Ernie P.


    Question: What warbird pilot do I describe?

    Clues:

    (1) This pilot wasn’t a particularly high scoring ace, but he did serve with distinction; serving as a pilot for a rather long time.

    (2) He is most well known for shooting down a single aircraft, early in WWII.

    (3) He took part in a very famous battle, very early in the war. But, his actions resulted in his being court martialled. He was exonerated; but the incident was never forgotten, and continued to plague him throughout his career.

  16. #9816

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    Morning clue. Thanks; Ernie P.


    Question: What warbird pilot do I describe?

    Clues:

    (1) This pilot wasn’t a particularly high scoring ace, but he did serve with distinction; serving as a pilot for a rather long time.

    (2) He is most well known for shooting down a single aircraft, early in WWII.

    (3) He took part in a very famous battle, very early in the war. But, his actions resulted in his being court martialled. He was exonerated; but the incident was never forgotten, and continued to plague him throughout his career.

    (4) He flew Gloster Gauntlets, B-17 Flying Fortress’, A-20 Havocs, P-38 Lightnings, P-47 Thunderbolts, and P-51 Mustangs.

  17. #9817

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    Good question, Ernie. (Had it down to two possibilities after the previous clues, and this one settles it.) I'm not going to answer for a reason that you'll see without my giving it, I think. And also because I don't have a question of my own.
    Al Gunn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Gunn View Post
    Good question, Ernie. (Had it down to two possibilities after the previous clues, and this one settles it.) I'm not going to answer for a reason that you'll see without my giving it, I think. And also because I don't have a question of my own.
    This is one of those questions I like to ask simply to aquaint people with the history. It doesn't surprise me for you to have solved it, Top_Gunn; you are usually pretty quick on things. Now, let's see how long it takes for the others to catch up. Thanks; Ernie P.

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    Afternoon clue. Thanks; Ernie P.


    Question: What warbird pilot do I describe?

    Clues:

    (1) This pilot wasn’t a particularly high scoring ace, but he did serve with distinction; serving as a pilot for a rather long time.

    (2) He is most well known for shooting down a single aircraft, early in WWII.

    (3) He took part in a very famous battle, very early in the war. But, his actions resulted in his being court martialled. He was exonerated; but the incident was never forgotten, and continued to plague him throughout his career.

    (4) He flew Gloster Gauntlets, B-17 Flying Fortress’, A-20 Havocs, P-38 Lightnings, P-47 Thunderbolts, and P-51 Mustangs.

    (5) But, he is best remembered for having flown a Spitfire; and for a Hurricane, a type he did not fly.

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    Evening clue. Thanks; Ernie P.


    Question: What warbird pilot do I describe?

    Clues:

    (1) This pilot wasn’t a particularly high scoring ace, but he did serve with distinction; serving as a pilot for a rather long time.

    (2) He is most well known for shooting down a single aircraft, early in WWII.

    (3) He took part in a very famous battle, very early in the war. But, his actions resulted in his being court martialled. He was exonerated; but the incident was never forgotten, and continued to plague him throughout his career.

    (4) He flew Gloster Gauntlets, B-17 Flying Fortress’, A-20 Havocs, P-38 Lightnings, P-47 Thunderbolts, and P-51 Mustangs.

    (5) But, he is best remembered for having flown a Spitfire; and for a Hurricane, a type he did not fly.

    (6) During pilot training, he flew solo in around half the time of an average pilot.

  21. #9821

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    Morning clue. Thanks; Ernie P.


    Question: What warbird pilot do I describe?

    Clues:

    (1) This pilot wasn’t a particularly high scoring ace, but he did serve with distinction; serving as a pilot for a rather long time.

    (2) He is most well known for shooting down a single aircraft, early in WWII.

    (3) He took part in a very famous battle, very early in the war. But, his actions resulted in his being court martialled. He was exonerated; but the incident was never forgotten, and continued to plague him throughout his career.

    (4) He flew Gloster Gauntlets, B-17 Flying Fortress’, A-20 Havocs, P-38 Lightnings, P-47 Thunderbolts, and P-51 Mustangs.

    (5) But, he is best remembered for having flown a Spitfire; and for a Hurricane, a type he did not fly.

    (6) During pilot training, he flew solo in around half the time of an average pilot.

    (7) His aerial gunnery scores were better than twice the average pilot.

  22. #9822

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    John Freeborn.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Freeborn

    Ernie, may I please ask you to present the next question? I'm stuck this week preparing for a big trip next week and I won't have time to do a new question properly.

  23. #9823

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyS View Post
    John Freeborn.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Freeborn

    Ernie, may I please ask you to present the next question? I'm stuck this week preparing for a big trip next week and I won't have time to do a new question properly.

    JohnnyS; Yes, I will present the next question for you. But, not before I again offer the floor to any new questioner. If any one out there has NEVER asked a question, and would like to do so, please post your question ASAP. I'll wait until tomorrow afternoon before assuming no new questioner wants to take the lead. Thanks; Ernie P.


    Question: What warbird pilot do I describe?

    Clues:

    (1) This pilot wasn’t a particularly high scoring ace, but he did serve with distinction; serving as a pilot for a rather long time.

    (2) He is most well known for shooting down a single aircraft, early in WWII.

    (3) He took part in a very famous battle, very early in the war. But, his actions resulted in his being court martialled. He was exonerated; but the incident was never forgotten, and continued to plague him throughout his career.

    (4) He flew Gloster Gauntlets, B-17 Flying Fortress’, A-20 Havocs, P-38 Lightnings, P-47 Thunderbolts, and P-51 Mustangs.

    (5) But, he is best remembered for having flown a Spitfire; and for a Hurricane, a type he did not fly.

    (6) During pilot training, he flew solo in around half the time of an average pilot.

    (7) His aerial gunnery scores were better than twice the average pilot.

    (8) He first met the enemy in a very famous action; which, although a defeat, has been celebrated since.

    (9) He scored two victories during that action.

    (10) He was also shot down during that action. An enemy gunner hit his engine and he had to crash land.

    (11) Although it was touch and go, he managed to evade capture and return home.

    (12) At one point, enemy soldiers had him pinned down in a cemetary; before he escaped.

    Answer: Wing Commander John Connell Freeborn, DFC*

    Wing Commander John Connell Freeborn, DFC* (1 December 1919 – 28 August 2010) was a World War II RAF pilot. He was not only an ace but also held the distinction of having flown more operational hours than any other RAF pilot during the Battle of Britain.

    He was born in Middleton, these days a suburb of Leeds within the city's ring-road, then an area of open farmland.

    His father Harold was a branch manager with the Yorkshire Penny Bank (now Yorkshire Bank), and he was something of a disciplinarian at home. Freeborn remembered that his mother Jean (nιe Connell) was a stern woman, saying 'I never saw her smile'. He had five siblings, two sisters and three brothers.

    They moved to Headingley when Freeborn was still an infant. He later attended Leeds Grammar School and, although a bright and confident pupil, his dislike of petty authority made him glad to leave as soon as possible.

    Later, during the war, he borrowed a Gloster Gauntlet and flew up to revisit his alma mater, giving an aerobatic display before landing on the school cricket pitch. Freeborn described the irony of having the masters who, only a few years earlier, had berated and beat him telling a new crop of pupils what a shining example he was.

    He joined the RAF on a short service commission in January 1938. In training, he was flying solo after only 4 hours 20 minutes logged flight time, a little over half the average; his accuracy at firing whilst in the air was more than twice the average. Commissioned as an acting pilot officer on probation on 26 March 1938 he initially flew Gloster Gauntlets, but in October 1938 he joined 74 Squadron, and from February 1939 flew Spitfires.

    In July 1939 Freeborn was one of the 74 Squadron pilots to fly Spitfires to France to celebrate Bastille Day with the French Air Force.

    On 6 September 1939 he took part in an action later to be called the Battle of Barking Creek - a tragic misunderstanding during which two No. 56 Squadron Hurricanes were intercepted and shot down by aircraft from 74 Squadron, thereby becoming the first aircraft destroyed by a Spitfire. John shot down the aircraft of Pilot Officer Montague Hulton-Harrop who did not survive, becoming the first RAF pilot to die in World War II.

    Whilst their working relationship continued to be professional and exceptionally effective, the case left a strained personal relationship between Freeborn and Malan. It is noteworthy that Malan did not recommend Freeborn for either of his subsequent medals. On Malan's departure in March 1941, Freeborn was not given command despite being eminently capable and far more experienced than the man who did take over.

    Confirmed in his rank of pilot officer on 17 January 1940, his first taste of enemy action was over Dunkirk covering the British Expeditionary Force's escape. 74 Squadron was there for six days from 21–27 May 1940. During that time they scored 19 confirmed kills—two of them Freeborn's—and 10 probable kills, with only four losses.

    During one action his engine was hit by return fire from a Junkers Ju 88 and crash-landed in France. Evading the advancing German troops, at one point pinned down by machine-gun fire hiding in a cemetery, he walked for several days to Calais, where a Blenheim took him back to England.


    Freeborn fought throughout the Battle of Britain as part of 74 Squadron. On 10 July he claimed a Bf 109 of JG 51 and on 24 July shared a Do-17 'unconfirmed'. Another Bf 109 was claimed on 28 July. On 11 August 1940, the squadron flew into battle four times in eight hours, destroying 23 enemy aircraft, three by Freeborn (2 Bf 110s and a Bf 109) and damaging 14 more. That evening, back at base in Hornchurch, Winston Churchill congratulated the squadron and their ground crew. On 13 August he claimed a Dornier Do 17, but was shot down again, although he wasn't hurt. Freeborn's accomplished flying made him an ace during the Battle of Britain, with seven confirmed kills and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 13 August 1940 and promoted to command a flight on 28 August. His DFC citation said:
    This officer has taken part in nearly all offensive patrols carried out by his squadron since the commencement of the war, including operations over the Low Countries and Dunkirk, and, more recently, engagements over the Channel and southeastern England. During this period of intensive air warfare he has destroyed four enemy aircraft. His high courage and exceptional abilities as a leader have materially contributed to the notable successes and high standard of efficiency maintained by his squadron.

    Freeborn's portrait was drawn by war artist Cuthbert Orde in August 1940 and on 3 September he was promoted to flying officer. He claimed another Do 17 on 11 September and a share in a JG 27 Bf 109 on 17 November. By the end of November he had been with his squadron longer than any other Battle of Britain pilot and had flown more operational hours. Three Bf 109s (and one shared) were claimed on 5 December.

    He received a second Distinguished Flying Cross in February 1941. The citation said:
    This officer has continuously engaged in operations since the beginning of the war. He has destroyed at least twelve enemy aircraft and damaged many more. He is a keen and courageous leader.

    In June 1941 he was posted to No 57 OTU (Operational Training Unit) at RAF Hawarden, training pilots from overseas to fly Spitfires.

    On 3 September, he was promoted to war substantive flight lieutenant.

    Following American entry into the war at the end of 1941, Freeborn was posted to the United States. He trained pilots at bases in Alabama, then moved on to test piloting new aircraft, including the P-47 Thunderbolt (which he hated), the P-51 Mustang, P-38 Lightning, B-17 Flying Fortress and A-20 Havoc.

    In December 1942 he returned to the UK and served as a flight commander with 602 Squadron flying Spitfires. He flew escort operations to bombers attacking German shipping and installations on the French and Dutch coasts.

    In June 1943 he joined 118 Squadron as commanding officer, again flying Spitfires.[25] This only lasted three months before the squadron moved to Scotland for less-confrontational patrolling and training duties.

    On 1 January 1944, he was promoted to the temporary rank of squadron leader (seniority from 1 July 1943). He was promoted to war substantive squadron leader on 30 April.

    In June 1944 Freeborn was promoted to become the RAF's youngest Wing Commander Flying, commanding 286 Wing based at Grottaglie in southern Italy. This was a period of frenetic activity, attacking German installations and convoys in the Balkans and defending Allied ones in Italy.

    In December 1944 he was posted to RAF Netheravon. Believing the post-war RAF to be 'run by nincompoops,' he resigned with honour and distinction in 1946. He had flown 42 different aircraft in his eight years.

    Freeborn was always an outspoken and forthright man, and never held back from expressing his opinion even when it was as iconoclastic as disliking Sailor Malan. He also had somewhat hostile views about another of the pre-eminent war heroes he flew with, Douglas Bader, telling one author "He was not universally popular with his comrades, he made me sick. I’ve never met such a self-opinionated fool in all my life.

    Freeborn qualified as a driving instructor, but soon joined Tetley Walker to serve as Regional Director for their Minster Minerals soft drinks brand. He took early retirement and in the early 1980s he moved to Spain, but later returned to the UK.

    Although popular as an interviewee and event guest, for many years he shied away from committing his story to more lasting record. He relented to talk at length to military historian Bob Cossey, which led to the biography of his military career, A Tiger's Tale, in 2002. This, in turn, gave rise to Tiger Cub, Freeborn's own account of his time in 74 Squadron, which he co-authored with Christopher Yeoman and published in 2009.

    He died peacefully in Southport and Formby Hospital on 28 August 2010.

  24. #9824

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    The Battle of Barking Creek

    I thought all of you might enjoy learning more about this early aerial battle of WWII. First victory for a Spitfire; first British pilot lost in action... but all a horrible mistake. Thanks; Ernie P.


    The Battle of Barking Creek was a friendly fire incident that happened on 6 September 1939, resulting in the first death of a British fighter pilot in the Second World War.

    At 6.15am on 6 September 1939, unidentified aircraft were reported approaching from the east at high altitude over West Mersea, on the Essex coast. In response, six Hurricanes were ordered to be scrambled from 56 Squadron, based at North Weald Airfield in Essex. For some unknown reason, the Squadron’s Commanding Officer, Group Captain Lucking, sent up his entire unit. In addition to these, and unbeknown to the rest of the pilots, two Pilot Officers took up a pair of reserve aircraft and followed at a distance, destined to be the targets of the mistaken attack.

    Additionally, 151 Squadron’s Hurricanes (also from North Weald), and Spitfires from 54, 65, and 74 Squadrons based at Hornchurch Airfield scrambled. With the war only three days old, none of the Royal Air Force pilots had seen combat, very few had ever seen a German plane. Communications between planes and command centres were poor. There was no identifying procedure for pilots to distinguish between enemy and friendly aircraft.

    With everyone in the air expecting to see enemy aircraft, and no experience of having done so, the conditions readily lent themselves to misunderstanding. 'A' Flight of 74 Squadron saw what they believed were enemy planes and their commanding officer, Adolph "Sailor" Malan, allegedly gave a clear and definite order to engage. Two of the three, Flying Officer Vincent 'Paddy' Byrne and Pilot Officer John Freeborn, opened fire.

    Malan later claimed to have given a last minute call of 'friendly aircraft - break away!' but, whether this actually happened or not, the call was not heard by the attacking pilots.

    One Hurricane was piloted by Frank Rose, who was shot down but survived. Pilot Officer Montague Hulton-Harrop, however, did not survive. Fired upon by John Freeborn, he was hit in the back of the head; he was dead before his plane crashed at Manor Farm, Hintlesham, Suffolk, approximately five miles west of Ipswich. He was the first British pilot fatality of the war. His Hurricane was also the first plane shot down by a Spitfire. The entire air-raid warning turned out to be false.

    Both Byrne and Freeborn were, along with Group Captain Lucking, placed under close arrest immediately after the incident.

    The ensuing court martial at Fighter Command's Bentley Priory headquarters was held in camera, and, as of 2010, the papers have not been released.

    However, it is well known that Freeborn felt that his commanding Officer, Sailor Malan, tried to evade responsibility for the attack. Malan testified for the prosecution against his own pilots, stating that Freeborn had been irresponsible, impetuous, and had not taken proper heed of vital communications. During the trial, Freeborn's counsel, Sir Patrick Hastings, called Malan a bare-faced liar. Hastings' deputy in defending the pilots was Roger Bushell, later to be incarcerated with Paddy Byrne at Stalag Luft III and become the mastermind of the Great Escape.

    The court completely exonerated both of the Spitfire pilots, ruling the case as an unfortunate accident.

    One history summarises it thus: “This tragic shambles, hushed up at the time, was dubbed in the RAF ‘the Battle of Barking Creek’ – a place several miles from the shooting-down but one which, like Wigan Pier, was a standing joke in the music halls.”

    It has been suggested by RAF historians that the incident exposed the inadequacies of RAF radar and identification procedures, leading to them being greatly improved by the crucial period of the Battle of Britain.

    Montague Hulton-Harrop is buried with a war grave headstone at St Andrew's Church in North Weald.

    Group Captain Lucking was removed from his post as Commanding Officer of 56 Squadron.

    Frank Rose was killed in action over Vitry en Artoise, France, on 18 May 1940.

    Sailor Malan went on to be one of the greatest Allied fighter pilots of the war, shooting down 27 Luftwaffe planes and rising to be a Group Captain. He received the Distinguished Service Order and bar and the Distinguished Flying Cross. On his return to South Africa he worked tirelessly against the apartheid regime until his death in 1963.

    Paddy Byrne was shot down and captured over France in 1940. He was detained at Stalag Luft III alongside his former defence lawyer Roger Bushell. In 1944 he was repatriated, having convinced the Germans and the repatriation board that he was mad. On his return to England he was reinstated into the RAF and given a ground position.

    John Freeborn flew for the rest of the war and proved to be an outstanding airman. He flew more operational hours in the Battle of Britain than any other pilot. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and bar and rose to be a Wing Commander. Freeborn finally told some of his version of events in a 2002 biography called A Tiger's Tale, before co-authoring a more complete account in Tiger Cub.

    In 2009 Freeborn told an interviewer of his continual regret about Hulton-Harrop's death, saying, "I think about him nearly every day. I always have done... I've had a good life, and he should have had a good life too".

  25. #9825
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    Well what do you know??? I had that one right!!!!! I researched that one early on and actually came up with the correct answer, but was waiting until a few more clues played so that I could be sure if I had it or not!! So glad that I did get it!! Dang if this whole came isn't fun!!!

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