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Other Forgotten (ignored) Warbird's

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#51 GregP


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Posted 20 January 2017 - 12:49 AM

It also might suggest that the quality of Japanese pilots dropped throughout the war due to attrition coupled with lower & lower pilot training hours for new IJN / IJA pilots. That meant the new pilots were rookies a lot of the time, with some veterans hanging in there.


The U.S.A., meanwhile, kept their pilot raining hours up and rotated their veterans home. When they weren't on bond tours, they could and DID go out to advanced pilot training schools and teach the more experienced students the finer points of air combat. So, even when they were rookies in the field, the new U.S. pilots mostly had 400 -500 hours and also had the advantage of getting some practical comat missions behind them in training versus returning veterans before actually flying combat.


That made a huge difference in the quality of pilots as the war dragged on, starting especially from about late 1943 onward, culminating in very few experienced Japanese pilots remaining in 1945 against 2 theaters worth of U.S. combat veterans since a lot of the ETO pilots were free to go to the Pacific after VE Day. This resulted in many veterans against a few Japanese rookies for a lage portion of the encounters, and the Japanese rookies were mostly flying obselescent types like the A6M Zero. The US veterans knew the Zero's weaknesses.


Don't forget they were joined by British, Australian, Canadian, and other Allied pilots, who were also mostly veterans, many from the ETO.


The former ETO guys were probably wildly ecstatic to be flying in VFR weather most of the time, where they could actually SEE the enemy and the surface of the Earth (water, mostly). Prior to the PTO they had never seen the ground from slightly after takeoff until just before landing.  :D


The net result was very predictable.

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