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Finch80
09-21-2006, 10:40 AM
Hello all,

Just a simple question from a curious newcomer. I was wondering if it is true that WWII pilots made some sort of marking on the side of their planes every time they shot down an enemy. Is this just a myth or is there some truth behind it? And if so, what were these markings called? Thanks.

pdf27
09-21-2006, 12:54 PM
Some did make kill/victory markings on the side of their aircraft by the cockpit. It wasn't universal as far as I know however, and some markings were elsewhere (IIRC at some point Adolf Galland was painting them on his tail - can't confirm that though).

http://www.web-birds.com/8th/352/fremntpi.jpg

The Swastika just by the cockpit is the kill marking here, indicating the pilot has shot down one enemy aircraft.

It was also common for bomber crews to paint a bomb/mine/similar on their aircraft after each successful mission.

Kovalski
09-21-2006, 06:18 PM
Hello Finch80,

Western-allied pilots were marking swastika or cross when they shot down german plane, tiny japanese imperial flag when they shot down japanese plane and italian planes were marked with italian airforce symbol. Soviet pilots painted a red star when they shot down a german plane.
But there were no defined marking rules for all.

micmacman
09-22-2006, 06:56 AM
what do all of the runes on the plane pictured represent? missions?

Kovalski
09-22-2006, 07:46 AM
I'm not an expert, but I assume that they may represent successful missions.

Here are different markings for shot down german planes.
http://1.blurg.com/i/0/6/9/7/1/t_069717100264.jpg (http://1.blurg.com/i/?069717100264.jpg)
http://1.blurg.com/i/0/5/5/8/6/t_055864000255.jpg (http://1.blurg.com/i/?055864000255.jpg)

Lancer44
09-22-2006, 07:47 AM
what do all of the runes on the plane pictured represent? missions?

Yes, not very common custom but.
Later in the war some newbies were painting locomotives, tanks, strafing of trucks etc.

Finch80
09-22-2006, 08:22 AM
Thank you all for your responses and pictures. I've been fascinated by WWII for quite some time, and I enjoy delving into all aspects of the war. I've always wondered about this tradition (?) that some pilots seemed to have taken on but could never really find anything factual about it. The only thing I can remember are the Looney Tunes cartoons where a pilot will shoot down an enemy and promptly pull out a stamp with which he marks his plane! :o

Firefly
09-22-2006, 04:14 PM
Slightly off topic but this is an interesting site

http://users.accesscomm.ca/magnusfamily/airaces1.htm

Digger
10-16-2006, 06:30 AM
G'day,

German pilots in the early to mid war period usually had a bar painted for each victory on the tail. Depending on the pilot or unit when the kills reached a certain level the number say 50 was recorded with extra bars below with each subsequent kill. Oak Leaf laurels sometimes surrounded the number if the pilot had received an award.

Regards to all,
Digger.

Panzerknacker
10-18-2006, 08:14 PM
Gallands tail in BF-109F mid 1941.

http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/foto/galland1.jpg

temujin77
10-18-2006, 08:36 PM
Here is a picture of Lt. O'Hare in his Wildcat fighter, featuring 5 Japanese ensigns painted by the cockpit:
http://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=2115

This is another Wildcat, in flight, with three Japanese ensigns painted:
http://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=2022

Those two are the only ones I can find on my website with kill markings on them.

George Eller
10-23-2006, 12:57 AM
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Colonel Francis S. 'Gabby' Gabreski - top scoring WWII USAAF ace in Europe in his P-47 Thunderbolt.

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/808/gabreskip472fn.jpg
http://www.18thfwa.org/whosWho/FrancisGabreski/FrancisGabreski_files/image006.jpg


In 1961 and 1962, Colonel Francis S. 'Gabby' Gabreski the top living American Air Ace, commanded the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, based at Kadena AFB, Okinawa. Today, late in the year 2001 he retains that Top Living American Air Ace title, with twenty-eight enemy aircraft destroyed in WW-II aerial combat, plus three on the ground, and an additional six and one-half victories during the Korean war ... for a total of 34.5 victories in the air and three destroyed on the ground.

http://www.18thfwa.org/whosWho/FrancisGabreski/FrancisGabreski.html

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Biography
http://www.acepilots.com/usaaf_gabby.html

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Obituaries in the News..Col. Francis Gabreski
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/620333/posts

Gabreski, who recorded 37 1/2 kills as a fighter pilot in both World War II and the Korean War, joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. Throughout the war, Gabreski was credited with a record 31 kills in WWII. He added 6 1/2 more kills during the Korean War, his daughter said.

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Colonel Francis S. Gabreski, WWII Air Ace Obituary
http://www.polishamericancenter.org/Gabreski.html

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George Eller
10-25-2006, 11:26 AM
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Cdr. David McCampbell - Top Navy Ace
http://www.acepilots.com/usn_mccampbell.html

Won Medal of Honor, shot down 34 Japanese aircraft
Commander - Air Group Fifteen (CAG-15) on USS Essex, Hellcat pilot

http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/8584/davidmccampbell01ng6.jpg

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/1562/davidmccampbell02cl4.jpg
http://www.sinclair.edu/sec/his103/photo/dm04.jpg
http://www.sinclair.edu/sec/his103/diary/tm03.htm

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Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington
C.O. VMF-214, Black Sheep Squadron
http://www.acepilots.com/usmc_boyington.html

"Just name a hero, and I'll prove he's a bum." - Pappy's self-assessment.
Undoubtedly the most colorful and well known Marine Corps' ace was Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, commanding officer of VMF-214.

http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/4405/gregoryboyington01yw4.jpg

http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/8469/gregoryboyington02aa9.jpg

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SEE ALSO:

American Aces of WWII
American fighter pilots and airplanes of World War Two.
http://www.acepilots.com/index.html#top

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George Eller
10-25-2006, 11:57 AM
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Major Richard I. Bong
http://www.acepilots.com/usaaf_bong.html

Top American Ace of World War Two
Shot down 40 Japanese Planes in the Pacific

RICHARD IRA BONG
ACE OF ACES
http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/ozatwar/bong.htm

Major Richard I. Bong
http://usfighter.tripod.com/bong.htm

http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/4553/richardbong01dq8.jpg
**** and his P-38 "Marge" (P-38J-15-LO Lockheed Lightning, #42-103993)


http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/7162/richardbong02de5.jpg
**** and wife Marge after their "piggy back" ride


http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/8508/richardbong03bc6.jpg
In front of the P-38 after Marge's ride


http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/7991/richardbong04ku1.jpg
**** Bong was the first known aviator to use an actual photograph as nose art. And what better photo than that of his beautiful wife Marge.

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George Eller
10-28-2006, 09:50 PM
Major George E. Preddy, Jr.

Top Mustang Ace
352nd Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force
The Complete Fighter Pilot

http://www.acepilots.com/usaaf_preddy.html

http://www.aviation-history.com/airmen/preddy.htm

http://www.highironillustrations.com/aviation/fullhouse_1.html

http://www.modelaces.com/148_scale_model/p47d_thunderbolt.php

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http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/738/georgepreddy01du3.jpg

http://www.starduststudios.com/GPTMA.htm
http://www.web-birds.com/8th/352/352.html

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http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/6915/georgepreddy02tq0.jpg
P-51 MUSTANG CRIPES A' MIGHTY 3rd ALUMINUM AIRCRAFT NOSE ART PANEL
http://www.pacprod.com/cgi-bin/hazelnt.exe?action=DETAIL&item=MVP51C

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http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/2974/georgepreddy03rp2.jpg
http://www.starduststudios.com/bluegep.htm

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http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/848/georgepreddy04qk3.jpg
Maj. George E. Preddy, Jr.
328th FS 352nd FG
North Carolina
December 25, 1944
Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial
St. Avold (Moselle), France
http://www.352ndfightergroup.com/assoc/memorial.html

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Interesting that he died on Christmas Day while flying his plane named "CRIPES A' MIGHTY".

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