Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines-WWII style.

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One of the aspects of WWII that always fascinated me was the aerial battles and the skills of the pilots of the various air forces.

Not only did they have to be skilled in combat they also had to try to keep flying whilst being attacked,well with the exception of  the Kamikaze pilots I assume.

I panic when the ‘fasten seat belts’ sign suddenly lights up leave alone being shot at or trying to shoot.This blog is a tribute to Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines of the allied Forces.

Soviet Il-2 ground attack aircraft attacking German ground forces during the Battle of Kursk

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American Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft during the bombing of oil refineries in Ploiești, Romania on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal Wave

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Pilots of the No. 303 “Kościuszko” Polish Fighter Squadron during the Battle of Britain

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British Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft (bottom) flying past a German Heinkel He-111 bomber aircraft (top) during the Battle of Britain (1940)

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Hawker Hurricanes fly in formation.

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Four 264 Squadron Defiants (PS-V was shot down on 28 August 1940 over Kent

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The legendary Il-2 fighter-bomber, known among enthusiasts as the ‘flying tank’.

The legendary Il-2 fighter-bomber, known among enthusiasts as the 'flying tank'.

An American soldier waves good luck to a U.S. Army Air Force Liberator bomber

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Gun camera film shows tracer ammunition from a Supermarine Spitfire Mark I of 609 Squadron, flown by Flight Lieutenant J H G McArthur, hitting a Heinkel He 111 on its starboard quarter.

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P-61 Black Widow of the 548th Night Fighter Squadron,

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B-17F Memphis Belle over Europe

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Gloster Meteor – British WWII fighter. First operational Allied Jet Fighter.

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I have to acknowledge some of the efforts of the Luftwaffe for some of the technologies they developed were used long after the War ended.

Horten Ho 229 captured by Americans

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The Me 262, the first jet fighter and the most well-known of WWII

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The Messerschmitt Me 264 V1 (first prototype Me 264) aka Amerika Bomber, the clue is in the name.Schwerer Bomber Messerschmitt Me 264 V1

Italian jet fighter Caproni Campini No. 1 took off August 1940, a failed attempt by the Italian airforce.

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Honorable mention.

Although it never saw battle during WWII, the first flight of the Bell X-1 was on 19 January 1946. The development did start during the war, what difference it would have made I don’t know since the development only started in late 1944, at the last stage of the war. However if this aircraft would have been operational in the early stages of WWII it more then likely would have been a game changer, it achieved a speed of nearly 1,000 miles per hour .

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Hell in the skies

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Flying a plane in normal circumstances is difficult enough, flying a plane during bad weather is bad. However flying a plane while being shot at is like hell in the sky.

Especially  during WWII where there were no sophisticated systems on board like they have nowadays.

Following are just some examples where flying did become hell in the skies.

This Hellcat, the Grumman F6F-5P of Fighter Squadron VF-23, crash landed on the deck of the American aircraft carrier the USS Princeton in 1943. When the Hellcat’s arrest gear engaged, the plane ripped in half

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On November 10, 1943, this Hellcat crash landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise. It crashed into the ship’s port side 20mm gun gallery. In this (colorized) photo, Lieutenant Walter L. Chewning, Jr. is seen helping the pilot out of the burning plane. The pilot, Ensign Byron M. Johnson, survived relatively uninjured.

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21 Aug 1944. B-26 Marauder of the 12th AF, 42nd Bomb Division loses its right engine after a direct flak hit. Moments after the picture was taken the stricken bomber crashed

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Is there any wonder why the B-17 was loved by all who flew them, being shot at, greatly damaged and yet survived.

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This Consolidated B-24D Liberator is now resting on Atka Island, Alaska. It was crashed landed there on December 9, 1942 when bad weather made it impossible to land at any of the airfields within range. The pilot made a belly landing and nobody was killed.

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Messerschmitt Me-109 Crash

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Vought Corsair crashes on the Deck of a Carrier when the arresting gear failed. Most likely sometime during WW II. in the Pacific Theater.

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A Japanese Zero is seen here still stuck in the trees it crash landed into in WWII. It crashed into a Papua New Guinean forest and was never brought down from its perch. It has sat there since the War.

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American carrier-based Avenger torpedo bomber of the crashed into the water in an unsuccessful takeoff from escort carrier

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A Superfortress rests on a dirt mound after it crash landed with two engines working at Iwo Jima, Japan, on April 1945 during World War II.

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Shot Down with an A-20G Low-Level Bomber in a Hail of Flak During WWII

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A L2D Japanese transport plane, shot down by American fighters over the Philippines

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B-26 Marauder being shot down

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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