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Thread: "best fighter of ww ii?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    NW FL
    Quote Originally Posted by Venture92D View Post
    My opinion is the F6F Hellcat was the best fighter of WWII. I think it made more aces than any other aircraft, recorded the most kills as well. The Navy planes are what really won the war so imho the best fighter should be a Navy aircraft.
    About 20 years ago, there was a memorable volunteer tour guide at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola. He was a short, cocky gent with a big handlebar mustache. Said that he flew SBD's in the big one. He had a group visiting from Japan among his crowd. He pointed to one of the F6F's and said "This plane shot down 9 for each F6F that YOU guys shot down." Then he pointed to the F4U and said "That one got 11 for each one that you got.

    The visitors took it stoicly and politely.

  2. #12
    cluttonfred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    World traveler
    I agree that there is no one "best," you need to define the mission, place and time in order to answer this. The best dogfighter was not the best bomber destroyer and the plane with the highest performance did not necessarily have the biggest impact on the course of the war. "Favorites" I can give you: Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC, Bell P-39, Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (Oscar), Grumman/GM Eastern FM-2 Wildcat, Yakovlev Yak-3 are some that come to mind.
    Matthew Long, Editor
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  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    There are better if not one best, a Spitfire or a P-51 is obviously better than marginal P-39 and better than a Hurricane or Wildcat in practically every way, except carrier landings.
    A Canadian Spitfire ace from Malta when I asked about landings told me that if you could not do 3 point landings the RAF sent you to fly P-40s and your life expectancy was shorter.

    A P-51 can do most everything pretty well and excels in range. A Spitfire is equal or better than a 51 in most everything but range. Neither are as good for gound attack as a P-47.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; Today at 11:47 AM.

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