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Marinos Mitralexis - ramming a bomber

bomber greece ram PZL P.24 Cant 1007Z Italy

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#1 Paolo Tagliaferri

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 09:56 AM

Do you know of other similar acts during World War II ? I am sure he was not the only one to try such a desperate move.

 

From Wiki:

 

Marinos Mitralexis (Greek: Μαρίνος Μητραλέξης, 1920–1948) was a Greek Air Force pilot during World War II. He became legendary when he managed to bring down an enemy bomber by ramming its tail, on November 2, 1940.

 
Mitralexis graduated as a Second Lieutenant from the Hellenic Air Force Academy in summer 1940. In the following Greek-Italian War (October 28, 1940 to April 7, 1941), he was posted to the 22nd Pursuit Squadron, based on the airfield of Thessaloniki.
 
On November 2, a squadron of 15 Italian Cant 1007Z bombers, with Fiat CR.42 fighter escorts, headed towards Thessaloniki. Soon they were spotted and intercepted by Greek PZL P.24 fighters of the 22nd Squadron. During the dogfights, three of the bombers were shot down, while the rest reached their targets, and then started to return to their base in Albania. Mitralexis, who had already shot down one bomber, was now out of ammunition, so he aimed the nose of his PZL P. 24 right into an enemy bomber's tail, smashing the rudder and sending the bomber out of control. He then had to make an emergency landing near the crashed bomber. Having landed, Mitralexis arrested the four surviving crew members of the enemy aircraft using his pistol.
 
For this extraordinary feat, Mitralexis was promoted and awarded a number of medals, including Greece's highest award for bravery, the Gold Cross of Valour. He was the only Air Force officer to be awarded it during the war. When Greece capitulated to Germany (April 1941) he and the rest of the surviving Greek Air Force personnel and aircraft escaped to North Africa to join the Allied forces there.[3]
In September 1948, during a routine training flight in an Airspeed Oxford, he died crashing in the south Aegean Sea.

 

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#2 Kutscha

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:35 AM

Soviets did taran attacks Paola.

 

http://en.wikipedia..../Aerial_ramming



#3 Ricky

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:31 PM

And IIRC the Japanese tried using a similar tactic against the B-29.

 

Interesting to hear about the Greek/Italian air war though, it is one I'd never really heard or thought about before now. I didn't even know that the Greeks used Polish fighters.



#4 USAF Steve

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:43 PM

USMC Lt. Klingman used the prop of his Corsair to chop the tail off a Ki45 Nick at high altitude when his guns wouldn't fire due to the cold air at that height.  He was deliberate about it rather than ramming the enemy plane out of anger or desperation.  I always thought the tail gunner of the Nick (who's gun also wouldn't fire if I remember right) must have been terrified to have that big prop chopping into the tail a few feet from where he was sitting, and then to have to spiral down from that altitude in the back seat...pretty horrible. Klingman was awarded a Navy Cross.



#5 GregP

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:09 PM

Seems I've come across ramming on several occasions, but it well might have been these very examples. I do recall the tactic was mostly attributed to Soviet pilots except for the occasional exception to that.

 

I seem to recall that someone, and I can't remember who, came uop with a specially armored propeller so it could ne used to chop into an opponent's tail. I'll see if I can find that reference again. I thought it was bizarre at the time and still do.

 

AIrcraft aren't generally noted for being able to take impact damage.



#6 Paolo Tagliaferri

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:32 PM

Yeah I did know about the Soviets, especially in the first desperate moments of Barbarossa. I was interested in finding out that there are more episodes than one could imagine ...


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#7 GregP

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:03 AM

Looks like there were nine ramming attacks in the first day of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. On 18 Aug 1940, SergfeantBruce Hancock rammed an He 111 with his Avro Anson. On the same day Flight Lieutenant James Eglington Marshall rammed another He 111 with his Hurricane. On 15 Sep 1940 Flight Sergeant Ray Holmes rammed a Do 17 with his Hurricane. There were two more British ramming I in 1940, one against a Bf 109 and one against a Fiat CR.42.

 

In Greece, on 2 Nov 1940, a PZLP24 shot down one SM.79 and then used its rop to slice off the rudder of another and brought it down.

 

In Apr 1941 a Yugoslav Hawker Fury rammed and down a German Bf 109.

 

Naturally it happened in Japan, but also in Germany and there were two Bulgarian ramming.

 

On 10 May 1945, Marine Lieutenant Robert R, Klingman rammed a Ki-45 with his FG-1 Corsair, glided to a landing i9n the water, and was awarded the Navy Cross for his efforts.

 

Looks like there were nine ramming attacks in the first day of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. On 18 Aug 1940, SergfeantBruce Hancock rammed an He 111 with his Avro Anson. On the same day Flight Lieutenant James Eglington Marshall rammed another He 111 with his Hurricane. On 15 Sep 1940 Flight Sergeant Ray Holmes rammed a Do 17 with his Hurricane. There were two more British ramming I in 1940, one against a Bf 109 and one against a Fiat CR.42.

 

In Greece, on 2 Nov 1940, a PZLP24 shot down one SM.79 and then used its rop to slice off the rudder of another and brought it down.

 

In Apr 1941 a Yugoslav Hawker Fury rammed and down a German Bf 109.

 

Naturally it happened in Japan, but also in Germany and there were two Bulgarian ramming.

 

On 10 May 1945, Marine Lieutenant Robert R, Klingman rammed a Ki-45 with his FG-1 Corsair, glided to a landing i9n the water, and was awarded the Navy Cross for his efforts.

 

Looks like there have been at least 3 Soviet ramming between 1970 and 1988 as well.

 

Apparently trading one life to save thousands in the event of a nuclear attack is not out of the question.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bomber, greece, ram, PZL P.24, Cant 1007Z, Italy

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