Luftwaffe Fighter Ace

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By his own, modest, admission Norbert Hannig was a Frontflieger, or operational pilot, who really did nothing special during World War Two. He was just, he says, one of the many rank and file pilots fighting for his country and not for the Führer. But his wartime career makes for fascinating and highly informative reading on an aspect of the 1939-45 war not often covered in the English language; primarily that of the campaign against the Soviet Union.

Norbert started flying during high school on gliders and joined the German Air Force as volunteer and officer cadet, one of the midwar-generation of Luftwaffe fighter pilots. He began operations with JG54 on the eastern (Leningrad) front in March 1943; initially he flew Messerschmitt Bf 109s before transitioning to the Focke-Wulf FW 190. After a year’s fighting, he was ordered back to Germany as a flight instructor to oppose the bomber streams of the AAF and RAF. Returning to Russia at the end of 1944, he became a Staffel CO and claimed many aircraft shot down. In April 1945 he converted to the first jet fighter, the Me 262, in south Germany, and flew his last missions with this aircraft. Also serving with JV44 (whose CO was Adolf Galland), Norbert Hannig finished the war with 42 victories from more than 200 missions. Many and varied were his experiences in action against the rejuvenated Soviet Air Force in the east, and the powerful western Allies over the homeland during the final chaotic months of hostilities, which culminated in his captivity.
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Iron Man: Rudolf Berthold: Germany’s Indomitable Fighter Ace of World War I

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As one of the most successful German fighter pilots of World War I Hauptmann Rudolf Berthold was victorious in forty-four aerial combats. He was also shot down or forced to land after six fights and survived crash landings in every case. Early in World War I, when only fighter pilots were awarded the Kingdom of Prussia’s (and de facto, Imperial Germany’s ) highest bravery decoration, the Pour le Mérite, Rudolf Berthold became the tenth recipient of the honor. Of that early cohort of air heroes, only Berthold and one other pilot survived the war. This book tells his remarkable story. Six weeks into the war, Berthold became the first airman in the 2nd Army area to be awarded an Iron Cross in recognition of his bravery and tenacity in combat. The symbolism of the award was appropriate. Described by one of his pilot protégés as, ‘an Iron Man – with an absolutely unbendable iron will’, he was a dedicated patriot. And, after he became a fighter pilot, he demonstrated a fierce fighting spirit in many encounters with British and French adversaries. All of his aerial combats with other Pour le Mérite flyers are detailed in this book. Indeed, Berthold was so relentless in his approach to aerial combat, when badly wounded, on at least six occasions, he cut short his convalescent leave to return to flying with his comrades. This included a hit to his right arm, which shattered the bone, rendering it useless – undaunted Berthold taught himself to fly using his left. Peter Kilduff has produced a landmark volume based on extensive research into Rudolf Berthold’s life and military career to form the most complete account yet about Germany’s sixth highest scoring fighter ace of WWI. Illustrated with over eighty photographs and other artworks, many of which have never been published before, Iron Man tells the tale of this ruthless, fearless and, above all, very patriotic fighter whose perseverance and bravery made him one of the most famous airmen of World War I.

Down to Earth: A Fighter Pilot’s Experiences of Surviving Dunkirk, The Battle of Britain, Dieppe and D-Day

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In Down to Earth, Squadron Leader McGlashan reflects honestly on his enthralling and diverse RAF career, one that began with the rag and tube of Hawker biplanes in 1939 and closed in the jet era of the late 1950s.

Shot down over the beaches of Dunkirk in heated aerial combat, we follow the footsteps of the nineteen year old along the debris-littered sands and beyond. From the protection of vulnerable convoys to the pioneering days of night-fighting and airborne radar, McGlashan is in the midst of the action.
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Buck McNair: Canadian Spitfire Ace, The Story of Group Captain R W McNair DSO, DFC & 2 Bars, Ld’H, CdG, RCAF

Reviews of Buck McNair: Canadian Spitfire Ace, The Story of Group Captain R W McNair DSO, DFC & 2 Bars, Ld’H, CdG, RCAF. Buck McNair: Canadian Spitfire Ace, The Story of Group Captain R W McNair DSO, DFC & 2 Bars, Ld'H, CdG, RCAF [Norman Franks] on . *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Robert 'Buck' McNair came from Nova Scotia, the second of three sons born of a mix of Scottish and German parents. As a young man he became interested in flight. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.

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Robert 'Buck' McNair came from Nova Scotia, the second of three sons born of a mix of Scottish and German parents. As a young man he became interested in flight, and was lucky enough to be able to fly floatplanes off the Canadian lakes. When war came, he went through flight training in Canada, sailed to England, and in the summer of 1941 found himself with the newly formed 411 Squadron RCAF. Eventually this unit began flying sweeps over Northern France and he saw his first combat actions during that autumn. An aggressive fighter pilot, he was chosen by his Canadian CO to accompany him to the besieged island of Malta in the spring of 1942, to coincide with the arrival on that island of the first Spitfires. Almost before he found his feet, he was nearly killed in a bombing raid. In wartime Malta, there was no chance to recuperate and he had to continue flying which he did with distinction, gaining a number of victories and winning his first DFC.

Returning to England later in 1942, he saw action over Dieppe in August, and became a flight commander. After a break in Canada, he took command of 421 Squadron RCAF in the summer of 1943, leading his pilots in many sorties over France and gaining more victories and two more DFCs. Finally as a wing leader in early 1944 his leadership brought him the DSO. However, he had been injured on one sortie which forced him to bale out of a burning Spitfire, and he was taken off operations shortly before D-Day. His score of victories however, had reached 16, with others probably destroyed and damaged.
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Spitfire Pilot: A Personal Account of the Battle of Britain

Reviews of Spitfire Pilot: A Personal Account of the Battle of Britain. Spitfire Pilot: A Personal Account of the Battle of Britain – Kindle edition by Flight Lieutenant David Crook DFC. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Spitfire Pilot: A Personal Account of the Battle of Britain.. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.

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Spitfire Pilot was written in 1940 in the heat of battle when the RAF stood alone against the might of Hitler's Third Reich. It is a tremendous personal account of one of the fiercest and most idealised air conflicts – the Battle of Britain – seen through the eyes of a pilot of the famous 609 Squadron, which shot down over 100 planes in that epic contest.
Often hopelessly outnumbered, in their state of the art Spitfires, Crook and his colleagues committed acts of unimaginable bravery against the Messerschmidts and Junkers. Many did not make it and the author describes the absence they leave in the squadron with great poignancy.
Spitfire Pilot is justly regarded as one of the classics of WWII and this new paperback edition, 66 years on, includes an introduction by the historian Richard Overy.