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This may not be the answer you are expecting and it might be somewhat of a surprise. Just as in WW1, the first Americans to fly combat over Europe were those who joined up with the British RAF (or the French in WW1). Lance Cleo Wade was born in Texas with only the initials "LC". He joined the Royal Air Force and was sent to a squadron flying Hurricanes in Egypt. He scored his first kills when he shot down two Fiat CR-42s on the 18th November, 1941. He rose in rank to Wing Commander(Lt. Colonel) and was credited with 23 confirmed and 7 probable enemy aircraft. He was awarded the British Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Bars. He refused transfer back to USAAF. He was killed when his aircraft crashed on takeoff at Foggia airfield while visiting his old squadron in Italy in January 1944. He is buried at Reklaw, Texas, USA. There is probably a pilot shot down an aircraft on an earlier date that this. During the Battle of Britian(1940)the Americans were formed into Eagle Squadrons within the RAF. The first American to give his life in the Battle of Britain was Pilot Officer William M.L. Fiske of No. 601 Squadron. He died in hospital on 17 August 1940 after bringing back his damaged Hurricane to Tangmere. Link with a history of the Eagle Squadrons and transfer back into US Army Air Force:

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โˆ™ 2007-05-07 20:07:21
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World War 2

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Q: Who was the first American pilot to shoot down a German aircraft in Europe in World War 2 and on what date?
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