British and Italian biplanes clashed over the Mediterranean at Crete and Malta, and in East and North Africa early in World War II. Both the Gloster Gladiator and the Fiat CR.42 Falco represented the peak in the development of the biplane fighter, which could trace its lineage back to World War I. However, by the time both aircraft entered service in the late 1930s, they were already obsolete. Nevertheless, they gave sterling service on all fronts in the Mediterranean and Africa in 1940-41. Indeed, the CR.42 was the Regia Aeronautica's staple fighter in both North and East Africa, Greece and over Malta in 1940-41, during which time its pilots routinely fought British and Commonwealth squadrons equipped in the main with Gladiator biplanes. Some bitter dogfights were fought between these two types as the Allies attempted to gain control of the skies over North Africa, Greece and East Africa. Both types were flown in the main by highly experienced pre-war pilots, and this in turn made for some closely fought engagements. The first known combat between the CR.42 and the Gladiator took place on 14 June 1940 over North Africa and the last engagement between the two types occurred on 24 October 1941 over the East African front.
Soviet fighter aviation suffered terribly at the hands of the Jagdwaffe in the first year of the war in the east, and with the arrival of JG 51 and its Fw 190s on the Stalingrad Front in September 1942 things only got worse for the hard-pressed Red Army Air Force pilots. However, help was on its way in the form of the re-engined LaGG-3 fighter, which was fitted with a powerful air-cooled M-82 radial engine. Designated the La-5, the new fighter was capable of withstanding more punishment than the fragile LaGG-3, and it was also appreciably faster and had a greater rate of climb. It was more of a handful to fly, however, but the new generation of better trained pilots who were led into combat by the survivors of 1941-42 quickly found the La-5 (and, later, the improved La-7) very much to their liking. Arriving in the frontline in August 1942, the new Lavochkin fighters soon found themselves pitted into action on the Central Sector against the equally new Fw 190As of JG 51. The first clashes took place in November of that year, and from then on the Focke-Wulf fighter would regularly clash with its counterpart from Lavochkin.
USAF Skyraider units were originally tasked to serve as quasi-training units for the fledgling VNAF. Equipped only with the two-seat models of the Skyraider, American pilots were required to have VNAF 'observers' in the aircraft for every mission. Eventually, this arrangement was changed as enough Vietnamese pilots were trained to man their own squadrons, while USAF squadrons were tasked with close support for US ground forces. Eventually, no fewer than four USAF and seven VNAF Skyraider units saw service in Vietnam. Additionally, one A-1 training squadron flew from Hurlburt Field, Florida, throughout the Vietnam War era. In the ten years that this squadron was active, nearly 1000 USAF and 300 VNAF pilots were trained in the Skyraider. While the core mission of all Skyraider squadrons was Close Air Support (CAS), other missions were accomplished at various times. Among these were Search and Rescue (SAR), night interdiction on the Ho Chi Minh trail, helicopter escort and special forces support to name but a few. Each of these missions took full advantage of the Skyraider's ability to deliver a variety of munitions in close proximity to friendly forces while inflicting heavy casualties on enemy forces.
Reviews of AD Skyraider Units of the Korean War (Combat Aircraft). AD Skyraider Units of the Korean War (Combat Aircraft) – Kindle edition by Rick Burgess, Warren Thompson, Jim Laurier, Gareth Hector. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading AD Skyraider Units of the Korean War (Combat Aircraft).. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
The Douglas AD Skyraider is considered the most effective naval aircraft of the Korean War despite the emergence of new jet fighters that captured public imagination. Built to replace the World War 2 workhorses like the Dauntless, Helldiver and Avenger diveand torpedo-bombers, the Skyraider operated numerous combat missions from carrier decks and from US Marine Corps land bases throughout the conflict. Drawing from personal interviews with AD pilots, the authors paint a harrowing picture of the deadly combat of this often forgotten air war as pilots took on Chinese and North Korean forces during daring night attacks and whilst outnumbered in daytime attacks.
As the Pacific War approached a crescendo, the clashes between swarming US Navy carrier aircraft, and the gigantic Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Yamato-class battleships became symbolic of the fortunes of the two nations. They also served as a metaphor for the profound changes in naval technology and doctrine that the war had brought about. The two opposing forces were the most powerful of their kind – the Japanese Yamato and Musashi were the biggest most heavily armored and armed battleships ever built, while US carrier aviation had evolved into a well-oiled, war-winning machine. With detailed analysis of the technical features of the opposing war machines and a gripping account of the fighting itself, this vividly illustrated work presents views from the cockpits of US Navy Divebombers, and down the sights of IJN anti-aircraft guns, during two of the most dramatic naval engagements ever fought. After proving at Pearl Harbor that even the mightiest battleships were vulnerable to air attack, the Japanese would be forced to re-learn the lesson as the American Helldiver and Avenger bomber crews battered and eventually sunk the last remaining jewels of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Never again would a surface fleet be the dominant power at sea.