World War 2
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US Marine Corps

Who was the first American pilot to shoot down a German aircraft in Europe in World War 2?

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2008-05-11 10:11:51
2008-05-11 10:11:51

== == Don't have a name for you, but he would have been a American volunteer pilot, flying for the Royal Air Force. About 80 Americans traveled to Great Britain, long before the USA was involved in WW2, to volunteer their services to fight the Germans. They were tested and some were refused due to their lack of flight discipline, or poor flying skills. The rest were trained to RAF standards and graduated as Pilot Officers, and were then assigned to RAF fighter squadrons. Initially they were spread around the various defense squadrons, but eventually they were brought together and formed into two "Eagle Squadrons" that flew Hurricanes, operating from bases in southern England. During the Battle of Britain, in the summer of 1940, the RAF stood alone against the German air force, as it tried to destroy the RAF, in daily air battles over the English coastal areas. A typical day for a RAF fighter pilot would start at 3:30 am, at first light, and during the day he might fly as many as six patrols finishing at dark at 9pm. Day after day all summer long it went on until by the middle of September the Germans realized that they could not continue to loose so many planes every week and they shifted their plans to bombing the British cities at night. So Yes, an American, flying for the Royal Air Force would have shot down a German air craft, during 1940, long before the USA as officially "in the war".

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