By William B. Colgan

One of the offensive aerial missions hired in global battle II, air-to-ground gun scuffling with used to be some of the most invaluable. Strafing, which concerned the huge harm of floor, air and naval forces via pilots flying in lethal, low-altitude skies, helped the Allies to their victory. This historic textual content examines the position of strafing in strive against, fairly in the course of global battle II, but additionally throughout the Korea and Vietnam wars. the character of gunnery, strafing and gunfighting are explored in the context of specific missions and activities. First-hand debts and gun digital camera movie facts give a contribution to the exploration of this most threatening type of strive against and honor the braveness of America's veterans who served as pilots or aerial crewmen.

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Extra resources for Allied Strafing in World War II: A Cockpit View of Air to Ground Battle

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Japanese losses have been cited as low, 29 out of 355 attackers, or 8 percent. The first wave of 185 lost nine planes (5 torpedo, 3 fighter, 1 dive-bomb). The second wave of 170 planes lost 20 (6 fighter, 14 dive-bomb). These Zero and Val losses were a marked increase over the first wave; and the difference in Val losses, 1 versus 14, is fair evidence that the second wave was a much different fight—more like the deadly nature of World War I strafing. S. forces in other parts of the Pacific. Wake Island was hit about noon, 8 December, by low-flying aircraft.

Lt. Case stressed he "dived" to hold his gunfire on troops at the door. Rickenbacker and Chambers "porpoised" down an enemy column. Had they flown along level above it, their guns would never have pointed down on it. A steep dive was necessary to shoot downward on troops in trenches. Yet, shallower dives were more common on troops in the open and numerous other targets. There was an endless variety of target situations. References report that World War I pilots felt that certain altitudes were very dangerous in strafing passes, particularly 300 to 500 feet.

Fraction of second steady follow through leads into a safe pull-up, attempt to re-aim there can send you into the ground. Precise airplane control in aim is necessary, pure roll will not hurt but any waiver in pitch and/or yaw will. A world of details involved, but we are going to work to "fly the airplane right"—stay ahead of and avoid glitches, and develop a total and repeatable flying maneuver in mind and feel that does the job pass after pass—rather than fly a mass of details each time. Everybody do that, get hits, 1 0 20 percent, qualify—then we'll all compete for expert status—50 percent and up.

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